There is no need to explain that a new baby in the house brings Sleep Deprivation. With two babies in the house there are Adventures in Sleep Deprivation. We were fortunate that our girls were on the same sleep schedule but that schedule still meant going to bed at 10:00pm and getting up every few hours to feed them.
My husband still tells expectant parents that all the parenting books and articles don’t even scratch the surface when it comes to the complete, out of body experience you feel when you haven’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in months.
This post will not share our foolproof tricks for getting twins to sleep through the night. I’ll be honest I was too tired to remember what we all tried and what finally worked. All I know is that one morning the pain of the mama milk machine woke me up before the sound of a little human looking for food. It was a painful and blissful experience all at the same time.
Instead, I invite you into our house at the wee hours of the morning during those first few months. While some of you (the ones without kids) were all sleeping, cozy and warm in your beds, this is what was happening in our house.
Side note: If you are a new twin family I want you to know that in just a few months time all the insanely stupid things that happen after midnight will become funny and you will live to tell these stories at your kids’ wedding someday.
Also, please remember, if you like what you are reading please click follow and please share! Let your twin parent buddies know they are not alone.
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Adventure 1: The Imaginary Baby
It was likely some dreadful hour of a new day and I woke up to the sound of one of my little humans waking up. I stumbled into their room and saw that only Maisy was awake so I decided to let Tim sleep as I could feed one and then the other and he could get a few more hours of sleep before work.
(I still to this day, don’t know how Tim stayed awake at work that first year. He was up with me every night and out the door by 6:30am for work. Man of many wonders.)
The baby monitor must have picked up my conversation with Maisy because something woke Tim up and I heard the shuffling of a hibernating bear coming into the room. What happened next made me seriously question our grasp on reality.
I sat in the rocking chair with Maisy (this is important, remember, I have Maisy), and watched my husband shuffle past me with his arms cradling what appeared to be an invisible baby. He went over to Maisy’s crib and ever so gently laid his imaginary daughter in her bed. He then turned to me and told me “When you are done feeding Ellie, feed Maisy.” He then left the room and crawled back into bed.
I looked down at Maisy in my arms and for a brief second I pondered if perhaps I had the wrong child. Nope, this was Maisy. The imaginary baby my husband had in his arms was one I had never met before but he seemed to care for her very much.
Adventure 2: No, My Babies Don’t Sleep Outside
Maisy and I waited about a minute before we heard Daddy coming back into the room. He looked at me, then at Maisy’s crib, then at Ellie sleeping in her crib, and finally, I kid you not, he said “You have Maisy. What baby did I carry in here?”. I had to now explain to a very foggy brained Daddy that he had an imaginary baby. As it began to hit him he and I laughed as only sleep deprived twin parents can at 3:00am.
I was relishing in the fact that it was Tim that had walked in his sleep and not me and I was taking full advantage of his misstep. Unfortunately karma caught up with me and shortly after the imaginary baby incident I managed to earn my own title in the sleepwalking hall of fame.
Once again, there was a little human making noise in the other room at what had to be the witching hour of 3:00am. I stumbled out of bed and Tim did the same. Tim started to go towards the girls’ room and then stopped as he saw me turn the opposite way after getting out of bed.
He most certainly didn’t say anything as he saw me fumbling with the door knob to the door leading out to the porch. Nobody said anything when, in a panic, I started yelling at the door “Why is the girls’ door locked!”. He also didn’t make a peep when I finally got the door open and took one very cold step into the Wisconsin December night air.
It was the most surreal feeling to realize you are standing outside when you were positive you were standing in your children’s room. I turned around to find my husband taking it all in. We were even.
Adventure 3: Grandma’s Doing Her Best
After having the girls my mom came to live with us from Florida for the first month. She was our lifeline and likely the only reason we ate and had any clean clothes. I haven’t a clue what state we would have been in had we not had an extra set of hands in the house.
Our spare bedroom is in the basement, directly below the bedrooms. Most nights my mom would come up when the babies woke up and help hold a baby, get me water or food to keep me awake, or help get one baby get back to sleep so Tim could get a bit more sleep.
For the first three weeks we would hear the babies first and our footsteps would typically bring my mom upstairs. We all made a good team. By the fourth week my mom had done countless loads of laundry, prepared a month of dinners, and endured my endless questions for advice. She was physically and mentally spent.
For this reason, it was not surprising that my mom, on more than one occasion, came into our bedroom to tap and shake me awake because one of the babies was up. Minor problem, the babies were sound asleep and not only that but they had full bellies because we had fed them less than a half an hour ago.
She looked shocked. She couldn’t believe that she had imagined their noises and she was baffled to learn that she had slept through Tim and I walking around and feeding them.
After the month was over my dad flew back up to drive home with her. My hard working mom slept from the our driveway to the Florida state line.
The One Thing We Couldn’t Sleep Without
There was one thing in our sleepy haze that we could not be without, Swaddle Sacks. This soft, fleece sacks held our little ones tight and kept them warm during through the Wisconsin winter. Our little ones loved the tight feel of these sacks and it was the only way they could fall asleep for their first few months. They come in a thick fleece for winter as well as a lighter cotton for summer and they wash so well….trust me!
You Will Sleep Again
I know that there were likely so many more adventures in sleep deprivation but again, we were too tired to remember any of them when the sun came up the next day.
To any new or expecting twin parents reading this I want you to know that it will get better, your babies will sleep and a day will come when you will have the strength to wear something other than sweatpants and t-shirts.
Then you will take the sides off their cribs and it will start all over again. Sorry.
Thank you for letting me remember and share those early days. If you want to find out what happens when did finally take the sides off their cribs and why we took them off so early, please remember to click follow and please share!! Thanks all!