I think I do everything you’re not supposed to do with babies. I read the books and the things they recommend not doing, I do. In my eyes, I do it to survive. Take, for example, nursing babies to sleep. I do it. Can’t help it. It works for me, so be dammed everyone else. I might come to regret it later, but for now the babies go down to sleep for naps and bedtime with minimal fuss, in about 7.5 minutes. It’s awesome.
Then there’s helping them to sleep through the night. You’re supposed to let them cry for about 5 to 10 minutes on their own so they can get accustomed to putting themselves back to sleep. Not going to do that with twins. I hear so much as a peep, and I’m bouncing off the bed, feet on the floor, bathrobe on and I enter the nursery in stealth mode as quickly and quietly as possible to feed one before the other wakes.
Or take the whole making lots of sound while they are sleeping. Heck no I’m not going to do that. I depend on their regular nap intervals like I depend upon eating and breathing fresh air. I am not going to risk banging around in case they wake up. As soon as they nap, I tap into my inner librarian.
So far this has worked for me. But the past two nights, Ryan has started waking up at 12:30am again, and it’s surprising since they’ve been sleeping straight through until 3am. I know it’s my fault because I nursed them the past two weeks whenever they cried as they were so sick and I couldn’t help myself. Their noses were stuffed up and I needed to make sure they were getting as much liquid as possible. Now I am paying for it.
The first night, unusually awake, the hubby said, I’ll go in, you’ve got to stop feeding them at night. Up out of bed he stumbled like the proverbial bull in a china shop, kicking the stupid throw pillows I like to place on the bed every day and banging into the door, trying to find the knob. I thought, all this and he hasn’t even left our room yet. Sigh.
I could hear him bumping into the walls that I have memorised after ten months of night walking, and when he finally found the nursery door, it was with his feet first. Bang. I listened attentively to the sounds from the babies’ room. After a few moments of silence, I hear the nursery door shut loudly and my husband comes back into bed with an exhausted flop. Babe, my husband groans, where’s the manual for these guys? Less than fifteen minutes later, Ryan was crying again. This went on for about an hour until I finally decided to end both of their misery, and went in to nurse Ryan back to sleep.
Cue 12:42am last night, and our little Ry-guy’s at it again. Before the husband can break the china, I get up, sling on the robe and go to the nursery. I pick Ryan up and rest his head in the crook of my neck and start my side-to-side rocking. I’ve mastered the art of this, I have to brag. It’s sort of something between a glide and a lunge, in a figure-eight, full body movement. I don’t know why, but it works every time. Right, left, right, left. On and on I rock.
A good twenty minutes later, I hear the little yawn I’ve been waiting for, and gently place him back in his crib. I keep my hand on his back in case he complains, and since he didn’t, I take one step away from the crib. Then another. Slowly backing towards the door, until I reach the handle. Now, the way I close the door is total ninja style. It takes me a couple full seconds to twist open the knob and slowly open the door. Holding my breath the whole time, I slide through the barest of openings and silently close it behind me. I go back to bed, and after 10, 15, 30 minutes pass without a cry I think I fall back to sleep.
It’s 3am, I’m awake and my circadian rhythm is programmed to nurse. But there is not a sound from the nursery, so I take a chance and fall back to sleep. 5:42am and only then do I hear the babies wake! I feed and they sleep in again until 8:32am.
I think I am on the next stage of completely eliminating the night feedings. But I don’t know for sure as I seem to have lost the manual.