Since the twins have been home, my sleep schedule has gone in all different directions. I'm currently on the "night time is my only 'me time' and I have stuff I need to do" (lack of) sleep schedule. Then, during the daytime, I've been working to get them on the same schedule. They have gone back and forth a couple of times, over the last few months. Finally, they are back on the same schedule, but that also means
that when one wakes, so does the other. So, this week, they've been falling asleep around midnight or 1am and then only sleeping for about 40 minutes. Then one wakes the other and they either go right back to sleep, like Elly did tonight, or they want to hang out and talk and play together for a while before going back to sleep, like they did last night. And what do I do? Why, I giggle right along with them, love on them until my cheeks hurt from so much smiling and 'happy baby talk' --and take a ton of photos, of course! :)
When KJ was little, it was so easy for me to be strict with her schedule, when I needed to be. When I'd wake to feed her, I needed my phone alarm to wake me because she would just sleep through the night and skip all her feedings (her pedi did not want that, since she was preemie and struggling to gain weight as a newborn). After I'd feed and burp her, I'd rock her back to sleep and that was that. She slept in her own room, in her own crib, from the third day of being at home (breaks my heart, now, when I think of it). There was no one, except mommy, to wake her at night. There was no one for her to play with -because I didn't give her a chance. I remember thinking, "I need to show her what night time is so that she doesn't change my night routine. I don't want her to get flip flopped."
Nine years later, I see things very different. The twins have changed my schedule . . . my entire life! We are still very much flip flopped. It might have to do with the fact that Chris and I struggled with secondary infertility for all the years in between. It might have to do with the fact that I had a job that I was planning on returning to. It also might have a lot to do with the fact that she was our first child. I'm pretty sure it all has a lot to do with everything put together. I desperately looked forward to nights of waking with a baby again. I did not plan on returning to work six or eight weeks later, after delivery (once I found out we were having twins, I did not line up any future childcare services for my home daycare. I was done --and very happy about the new chapter we were planning for.) And since the twins were not my first pregnancy, I was very much aware of how quickly these precious newborn and infant days would pass. I already knew what it was like to enjoy a 'good' night and day schedule --but then only to look back and wonder where all the early days of late night cuddles (that did not really exist because of my "schedule" that I stuck to) and quiet, while everyone else is sleeping, memories had gone. I wish I would have cherished all those little moments just a little bit more . . . no, actually a lot more, the first time around!
I know another HUGE reason, too, that I do things so differently this time around. KJ was born five weeks early, but did not spend a single night away from me. She was not confined to a room full of strangers and unfamiliar sounds for the first 31 days of her life. She slept right by my bed, only went to the nursery for a bath and a few labs, her entire 4 day stay. The twins and I, on the other hand, had to wait hours, and hours, before I could love on them at all (I got a very quick peek at them minutes after they were born -before they were whisked away to the NICU). And it was a very long five whole days before I was even able to hold my sweet Elly for the very first time. (I know that other families have had it worse -but for us, this was our "worse".) The beginning of our 'mother and child' journey together left an unimaginable, gigantic, hole somewhere so deep within me, that even 6 months of co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and baby wearing can't repair.
So, with all that said, I have no plans, whatsoever, as of yet, to 'sleep train' my babies, let them "cry it out" (which I did that too, really young, with KJ :( ), or "show them" that they don't need to be with me every moment of every day.
Yes, I miss sleep. My body is extremely tired, beyond what I ever could have imagined. I miss "me time". BUT I sure do know how so very, very, quickly, this will all be over --and I'll be hearing complaints about chores and schoolwork all too soon. Or even before any of that, I'll be getting my eyes poked at and will be used as a 'play gym' -and no longer able to just lay and cuddle them. hehe ;) I choose to cherish every single tiny breath and moment with these two little blessings, in this way; and so far, it definitely works for us. I don't know what our future holds, and, if we never get this chance again, I don't want to live with the thought that I just may have missed out.
The 'attachment parenting' is a first for this household; and I must say, it has been extremely peaceful and rewarding thus far!
So, here's to sleepless nights, a peaceful house, and tons and tons of precious, irreplaceable, memories!