I should start by saying the idea for this post belongs to my friend who had twins in December. She wrote a post like this, which I have read 20 or more times by now. It was very helpful in understanding what was coming in my future. I’m hoping this information gives my other readers some idea of what our daily life is like, and that it helps you understand why I’m tired all of the time, why my house resembles a disaster area, and why I never want to go anywhere anymore.
If you don’t have children yet, or if you’re planning on having more children, remember: as the name of my blog implies, twins can happen to you too! 🙂
Monday, May 23
4:30 a.m. – Imogen and Siren wake up to nurse. Will takes Imogen, changes her diaper, and brings her to me. Imogen starts nursing. Will takes Siren and does the same. Siren starts nursing 5 minutes after Imogen. While the babies nurse, Will starts the transition to moving downstairs. He takes the papers where we document diapers and feedings, the pacifiers, and the Diaper Genie downstairs. Imogen finishes nursing, I give her to Will to burp and for snuggle time. Siren finishes. I burp Siren and walk downstairs. Will goes back upstairs to sleep for 20 more minutes. I let Nieve outside while burping Siren. Both babies are in the crib asleep by 5:20.
5:25 – I get a bowl of cereal and put food and water in Nieve’s dishes. I look in the crib and the babies have their eyes open and are fussing a bit. I eat my cereal. Imogen goes to sleep. Siren continues to fuss. I finish my cereal and pick up Siren. She stops fussing and her eyes start to close. I put her in the crib and wait to see if she’ll go to sleep. She starts fussing again. I pick her up.
5:40 – Siren and I go upstairs to make sure Will is awake. He gets out of bed to get ready for work. I bring Siren back downstairs. Her eyes are closed again. I wait a couple more minutes and then lay her down in the crib.
5:50 – I use the bathroom, grab a blanket, and lie down on the couch to sleep a little more.
6:30 – Will leaves for work. I have slept through him eating breakfast and leaving to walk Nieve. Siren cries from the crib. I get up, move her to her bouncy seat right next to the couch, and we sleep a little longer.
7:00 – Siren cries. She won’t take a pacifier. Picking her up doesn’t comfort her. Imogen starts moving in the crib. I change Siren’s diaper and she stops crying. I bring her back to the couch to nurse. Imogen goes back to sleep. Siren nurses and I hold her for awhile afterward.
7:45 – Imogen starts fussing again. I put Siren in her bouncy seat and get Imogen out of the crib. I put Imogen in her bouncy seat. I microwave some oatmeal for breakfast and unload the dishwasher. I change Imogen’s diaper. I finish and she poops again. I change her again.
8:00 – I bring Imogen to the couch to nurse. Siren falls asleep in her bouncy chair. Imogen nurses and I try to eat my oatmeal left-handed.
8:25 – Imogen finishes, I burp her and put her in the bouncy seat. Siren wakes up and starts fussing. I change her diaper, which is incredibly poopy.
8:40 – Imogen and Siren are both fussing. I pick up Imogen and bring her to the couch. Siren quiets down. She starts to fall asleep but keeps waking up.
8:55 – I bring the babies upstairs with their bouncy seats to take a shower. Bringing the babies up or down the stairs by myself involves three trips: one trip for each baby and one trip for the bouncy seats. I have to make sure neither baby is upset when I begin this process, otherwise their crying escalates whenever they are left alone. We still have a crib upstairs in our bedroom and downstairs in the living room so that there is a safe place to leave the babies unattended.
I put the bouncy seats right outside the shower and buckle in the babies. Our shower door is clear, so I can watch the babies while I shower. Siren falls asleep while I shower. Imogen stays awake. When I step out 15 minutes later, Siren is still asleep, and Imogen is about to fuss. I undo her swaddle wrap and she calms down. I get dressed and apply lotion. Siren stays asleep and Imogen just starts to close her eyes.
9:40 – I’m finished getting ready and have to decide whether to leave the babies where they are and hope they’ll sleep longer or move them downstairs. Imogen opens her eyes, so I decide to move them.
9:45 – Imogen is AWAKE once she’s downstairs. Siren stays asleep but cries out occasionally.
9:50 – Siren wakes up. I nurse her. Imogen is happy in her bouncy seat and waves her hands around while she sits there.
10:00 – Siren finishes nursing. Imogen cries out. I put Siren in her bouncy seat and she goes to sleep. I change Imogen’s third poopy diaper of the day and nurse her. She still hasn’t napped and I begin to worry we’re headed for a meltdown. Imogen nurses and I burp her.
10:40 – I put Imogen in the bouncy seat and go into the kitchen. I put a frying pan on the burner and turn on the heat. I go back to check on Imogen and she’s asleep. Yes! I make my food and eat it. Careful readers might notice that this is my third “breakfast.” Nursing twins makes me hungry, constantly, even more so than when I was pregnant.
11:10 – Siren wakes up after exactly 45 minutes of napping. She sits quietly and I wait to see if she’ll go back to sleep, which she does. I drink a chai tea and read from my current twins book: Juggling Twins by Meghan Regan-Loomis.
11:40 – Siren wakes up. I change her diaper, take her out of her sleep sack and change her onesie. This makes her upset. I try to comfort her before we nurse, but she won’t calm down.
11:50 – I nurse Siren for 9 minutes. Then I burp her. She snuggles and falls asleep again. Imogen is still asleep and I don’t want to wake her up. I put Siren in her bouncy seat and tuck a blanket around her.
12:20 – I eat a banana for a snack and drink some water.
12:25 – Imogen wakes up. I change her. Finally – no poop. I take Imogen out of her sleep sack. I feed Imogen. Then I burp her and we snuggle. She starts to fall asleep.
1:15 – I set Imogen in her bouncy seat. Siren is kind of awake now. I microwave some leftover pizza (don’t judge me!) Siren sits quietly in her bouncy seat.
1:35 – Siren fusses and I pick her up. We try to go play but she continues to be fussy. Play time is supposed to be fun! I hold her for awhile. I change her diaper. I hold her some more. I finally feed her again at 2:30. Imogen stays asleep.
3:00 – Will comes home from school.
3:30 – Imogen wakes up. I change her diaper and feed her. Will and I eat dinner and the babies sit in their bouncy seats. I wash their faces and start laundry.
4:30 – We pick up the babies to take them into the dining room, which is now the play area. Will changes Siren’s diaper. I pick up Imogen and see that poop has escaped her diaper and is all over her tummy. Will brings Siren back and puts her in the bouncy seat in the kitchen. I peel off Imogen’s clothes. We bring her over to the sink and hose her off.
4:50 – Second attempt at play time. Will brings the babies into the dining room to play. I clean off the bouncy seat, which fortunately isn’t too messy.
Play time consists of the babies lying on their backs on an activity mat with small amounts of “tummy time” incorporated in. You are supposed to give your babies supervised tummy time every day, but I’m not good about making this a regular part of our day. The timing is tricky because I need to wait until it’s been about an hour since the babies have eaten, otherwise they spit up a lot. But it also needs to happen before they get too sleepy. So some days it works out, and other days it doesn’t.
Siren becomes upset while playing. I nurse her. Imogen becomes upset. We return to the living room so I can nurse Imogen. She finishes but is still hungry. I’ve got nothing left, so I heat up some pumped milk from the refrigerator. Imogen takes two ounces and Siren takes one. Imogen is still crying and upset after she finishes. We put booties and hats on the babies and put them in their car seats.
6:30 – We put the car seats in the stroller, and take the babies for a walk with Nieve. The babies sleep the whole time.
7:45 – We get back. The babies stay asleep. We put the car seats on the couch. Will brushes Nieve. I respond to some texts and emails that I didn’t have time to answer during the day.
8:00 – I eat a bowl of granola, fold the clothes in the dryer, make diapers (we use “G Diapers” which use a disposable, biodegradable insert inside a washable cloth covering) email my mother, make some chai tea, and sync my iPod.
9:45 – Will wakes up the babies to feed them and put them in their sleep sacks. I start nursing the babies at 10:00. Will and I are in bed asleep by 10:40.
1:30 a.m. – Imogen wakes up. Will changes her diaper and brings her to me. Imogen start nursing. Will wakes up Siren and goes through the same routine. Will puts Imogen down to sleep. I burp Siren and put her down.
2:15 a.m. – Imogen cries out. I pick her up and hold her. I try to keep the room dark but keep turning on the Itzbeen light to see if she’s asleep.
3:00 a.m. – I put Imogen down and she stays asleep.
4:30 a.m. – Siren and Imogen wake up to feed. They have slid to the middle of the crib because of the wedges we have on each end to keep them at an incline, in hopes of reducing their spit-up. I wonder if this situation is safe and when we’re going to need to move them to separate cribs. Will changes their diapers and brings me each baby to feed. Then he begins to gather the items to transition downstairs.
As I mentioned in the last post, seeing these events written down made me want to try and get us all on more of a regular schedule, or at least a general daily routine. I have been experimenting with that for the last week, and will hopefully find time one of these days to take notes on that. I do feel like it’s helping, but our days still look pretty similar to this one.
Taking care of twins, at least at this age, is all encompassing. During this 24 hours, the babies were asleep at the same time for about 9.5 hours, 7.5 which happen “over night” (6:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and the other 2 are scattered throughout the day. It makes it tricky to find time to do anything else. I’m only able to be on the computer now because Will is taking care of both babies and trying to get them to sleep.
However, I know that in the grand scheme of things, they are babies for a very short time. We will be able to sleep again some day. And it gets better. The last two nights the babies have slept from 10:30 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. without waking up (or we’re finally both so sleep-deprived that we’re failing to hear them, but I don’t think this is the case.) So I’m hoping we’re on the way to enjoying some larger chunks of sleep, and therefore getting to enjoy these babies a little more.