Thursday, December 22, 2011

Take It Easy

Last night, as I was rocking Elliott and feeding him for nearly three hours straight, I began to feel completely overwhelmed; feelings of frustration, exhaustion, and desperation (for him and me to sleep) came to the surface. Once it reached 6:30, I decided to text Cheryl for help. She immediately came to the rescue. Ezra then woke up, so another feeding began, and I eventually went to sleep around 8 am.  It was a long night/morning.

I'm realizing more and more that it is okay to ask for help. The last two weeks, Nathan and I have been extremely fortunate to have a number of helping hands around. Ty and Jenny came the first weekend the babies were born and were followed by Becca and Ashley later on in the week. The day Becca and Ashley left, my mother came for 8 days. And now, Cheryl is off work for the week and able to entertain Eliza and juggle babies. All of these people have been amazing to provide our family with some much needed assistance (and sanity for Nathan and me).

It's at night, though, when we have the problem. I know I am not sleeping enough, but I struggle with finding a good solution to the problem. For some reason, I feel like it is my responsibility to tend to the babies during the night. I feel guilty asking for help because I know it means others will lose sleep.  I remember the ultrasound technician jokingly telling me, "Don't be a martyr!" when I told her I intended to breastfeed. While I definitely don't consider myself a martyr, I finally realize she was saying it would certainly be no easy task to nurse twins; she was probably also saying there was no need to do it alone.

Fortunately, pumping has allowed Nathan to help during the nights. He has taken over the "night shift" (10 pm - 3am/4 am) for me to rest, but I still have to wake up three times to pump during my "break." I hated the thought of him feeding the babies alone, so I have helped with the midnight feedings (even though Nathan has assured me he can do it alone). Additionally, the boys have had difficulty going back to sleep after the 3 am feeding, so I am awake with them for a few hours until I feel comfortable asking Cheryl for help around 6 or 7. All of this has culminated in a very tired Celia.

My mother-in-law is wonderful and has repeatedly asked me to let her help during the night. After sleeping for only a couple of hours last night, I plan on taking her up on that offer! I'm trying to let go of my unhealthy sense of responsibility; there is no need for it when people want to help.  I also realize that if I have to supplement with formula, it isn't the end of the world. So far, that hasn't happened yet, but I know I'm not a failure if I don't wake up to pump 5 times throughout the night.

I know all of this may sound negative, but overall, I feel very positive.  Last night, Nathan and I heard a message from our home teacher regarding gratitude (In our church, each family has home teachers assigned to them. Two men visit each month and check on the members of the family and also provide an uplifting message). Essentially, the message was for us to give gratitude for the things in our life that we need more of. For instance, Nathan applied this to our situation by saying, "I'm going to be grateful for the few hours of sleep I actually get. I know I could use more of it!" Instead of focusing on how little of something we have, we should focus on what we do have and be appreciative for it.

So, this Christmas season, I am thankful for a number of things. I am thankful for the sporadic naps I receive; I am thankful for our family who so graciously helps (I have no idea how twin moms manage without family around 24/7), and I am grateful for the time I have with these small babies. I know they will not be this little for long, so I plan on savoring every moment with them rather than wishing it away. It's nice to live in the now, rather than imagining the future where Ezra and Elliott sleep five hours at a time; that would be wishing away their baby-ness, and I don't want to do that.

Having twins is the best. Playing with Eliza is the most wonderful thing. Loving Nathan is a blessing. I've got this!


  1. You. Are. A rockstar. Keep the positive thoughts going and never be afraid to ask for help.

  2. Haha. I don't know that I did much helping when we were there, but I'm glad you consider it so. And hey, I usually wake up anywhere between 3-5 and can't go back to sleep for about 2-3 hours anyway, so if you need me let me know....or I'll just walk downstairs ;). It'll be much more productive than playing Solitaire for hours waiting to finally get tired enough to fall asleep. Haha. I love you lady and I can't wait to see all of you in a few days!

  3. Jenny, I was thinking the same thing! I'm a total pregnant insomniac. I wish I could be there to help! Try cutting back the pumping sessions if you don't get too engorged while you are sleeping. You are obviously making tons of milk if you pumped 2 liters.

  4. heck yes you do!!!! You're certainly my hero. :)

  5. Yeah I was going to say the same as your friend...If you're making plenty of milk, can you just sleep a little bit longer stretches and pump more when you wake up when it's your turn to sleep? Or do you get too full? I remember having to wake up to pump when Noah was new when all I wanted to do was sleep. It's so hard but you have the best attitude! You're soaking up all the baby-ness because yes it goes so fast! Look how big our toddlers are now!!

  6. I don't know what kind of pump you have. I remember falling asleep pumping and waking up with milk all over me because my hand came away from the breast.

    If you have an old sports bra you can cut slits in the front and that will hold the cups to you. then you can go hands free and you can sleep while you pump if you sit up in bed or a rocking chair or something. I don't know how you go about everything, but it's worth a shot to get some rest!


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