So, we’ve started settling into life with twins. The main thing I’ve finally grasped is that nothing is predictable: as soon as I think we’ve figured out what Hattie and Joe need, everything changes. This is becoming normal, finally.
I look at my gorgeous children and I can’t believe that we’ve made these two miraculous people, and that I’m the centre of their universe. I marvel at the fact that my body grew them and nourished them, and that they’re now steadily gaining weight solely as a result of me nursing them. How incredible is that, that my body can make and feed people!
But man, it’s hard work at times. For much of the time I feel like life is fascinating on a micro level – it’s amazing, watching a baby gradually learn how to do something, like hold a toy and bring it up to their mouth for further investigation. But off-setting this small scale interesting stuff is the broader knowledge that I’m becoming impossibly dull, with little to talk about that isn’t baby-related. I feel a bit like my brain is dissolving into mush, even though I know that it’s right, and necessary, that I should focus almost exclusively on my babies at this stage. I’m perfectly at peace with it most of the time, but at other moments I catch myself talking about something baby-related like it’s actually of interest to the poor sod listening to me, and I just want to give myself a slap, and issue a general apology.
What never ceases to amaze me is the way in which each day can ebb and flow. So much happens! And nothing really happens!
Today, Hattie and Joe had heavy colds, requiring us to siphon vast quantities of snot out of them. Understandably, this process isn’t popular with either baby, but when they’re so congested that they can barely feed properly we all have to grit our teeth/toothless gums and deal with it. These are their first colds, and they’ve been under the weather for a few days now. They’ve stayed remarkably chipper, considering how rough they seem to feel.
Today, we tried to break the recent habit of two early morning feeds. During the past couple of weeks Hattie and Joe have been sleeping quite badly (that sleep regression thing, and also probably something to do with their developmental stage – and I will write more about that soon). A month ago they were regularly sleeping at night for long stretches – anything from five hours to eight hours at a time – but more recently they’ve wanted three hourly overnight feeds, and have sometimes woken up hourly between the two of them. We know that it’s totally normal and that it should settle down again, but it’s bloody hard to start to become used to decent amounts of uninterrupted sleep, only to get woken up a lot again. The trick at the moment is to balance the need to pander to them a little bit (in light of their current sleep-regressing, skill-acquiring, heavy cold-having state), while not getting to the point where frequent night feeds become a habit. They’re big babies now: they shouldn’t need to feed that frequently – they’ve adjusted quite easily to a four-hourly daytime feeding routine. Anyway, we successfully resettled without feeding when the babies woke up at 1ish, fed them at 2.30ish, and then didn’t hear from them again until 7. Success!
Today, off the back of decent night sleep, Hattie and Joe had really good daytime naps. They self-settled easily, with minimal fuss, and managed to sleep through most of their sleep cycles without needing to be resettled. This is major progress! Recently I’ve had to haunt their room at key points during their naps, ready to swoop in and shush and pat them if they started to stir. I still checked them, but they hardly needed me.
Today, this little girl became very interested in her pink puppy rattle for the first time…
…but was still happy to pose for a photo:
Today, this little boy chilled out in the bumbo and watched some telly while I put his sister to bed for a nap:
Today, both babies were absolute nightmares when bedtime rolled around: it took around 90 minutes of crying, resettling, crying, and resettling before they both fell asleep. It was so frustrating – we thought we’d sorted out bedtimes a while ago, but Joe, in particular, is making it difficult at the moment. And Hattie was perfectly calm, but when she heard Joe kicking off she decided that she’d join in and add her incredibly shrill shriek to the cacophony that her brother was producing. She is such a fraud when she does this kind of thing. I’d go in there to settle her (while Tristan was settling Joe), and she’d stop crying instantly, grin as soon as she saw me, and then, if I stayed in the room, she’d give me a bit of sideways glance and then let out an ungodly yowl. And one time I walked in and she was lying on her back with Betty her bear draped over her face – pretty much like this, which is how she was when I went to check on her during a nap the other day:
Her face was entirely covered by Betty tonight, so I gingerly lifted her away, thinking that Hattie had gone to sleep like that… only to find her beaming at me, looking for all the world like she had put Betty there with the express purpose of playing peek a boo with me for a bit of a laugh. She cracks me up on a daily basis – I love the way that she interacts with me, like she’s conspiring with me to make life fun.
Today, darling Joe chortled at me when I sang to him, gave me the most adorable smiles, and gazed at me with his beautiful eyes like I was the best thing he’d ever seen.
On balance, today was a pretty good day with my sweet little babies.