Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Know You're Tired When...

You fall asleep while eating a Wheat Thin.

You wake up from a brief nap because you are finishing some random sentence. (I never talked in my sleep before this!)

You're too tired to walk up the stairs, so you do the mature thing and crawl.

Sipping water from a straw requires too much effort.

You try to read in an effort to calm your mind and the page turns into a blur.

You make the shocking realization that you have been wearing the same pajamas for 4 days. It's time to shower. Gross.

In all seriousness, though, this sleep deprivation stuff is real. I started reading Happy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins last night and learned so much in just a few pages. The first chapter essentially validated my feelings of exhaustion and focuses on the importance of sleep for the whole family.

Dr. Weissbluth has worked with twin parents for over 35 years and stated, " Regardless of how old you are or what you went through to conceive your twins, or whether you have fraternal or identical twins, when they do not sleep well, the primary caregiver--usually Mom--suffers. Sleep deprivation undermines all aspects of her life and interferes with her ability to discover and execute solutions to help the twins sleep better."

Admittedly, I have lost my ability to problem solve. Otherwise, I would probably be wearing clean clothes. That being said, I welcome any and all advice. Hopefully, my book and fellow mothers (and friends in general) will have some good advice for me!

(p.s. Thank you for all of the suggestions so far. And thank you, Amber, for the comment! I started reading the book yesterday and then was encouraged to continue reading when I read your advice. Thank you, thank you!)


  1. I LOVE Dr. Weissbluth. LOVE LOVE LOVE him. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is my favorite parenting book. Good sleep makes everything else much easier. Still praying for you to be able to get more sleep!

  2. I wish I could offer some sort of highly recommendable advice that totally saves the day. Alas, all I've got is, "hang in there". Deep, I know. It's the kind of thing people will be talking about for years. ;) I do hope that you'll lots of comments with many words of wisdom.

  3. I love Dr. Weissbluth too! Anything I know about sleep comes from him. I hope he helps you. I wish I could come again and feed babies for you!

  4. I so wish I had some wise counsel for you but I don't. I try to think back to when my twins were tiny and it shocks me to realize that I do not remember the first few months of my children's lives! I was so overwhelmed and over tired that I have hardly any memories. I wish I had documented our struggles like you are doing. Even though it is tough right now, it will get better and you will survive! My twins are 2 now and we are going through a whole different set of struggles (think terrible 2's X two!!) but we get through each day on a wing and a prayer (alot of prayer!) and you will, too.

  5. Okay, it's me again...I am glad my comment on Dr. Weissbluth helped. Do you mind if I share a few more thoughts I have had since I last posted? I just look back on my experience with newborn twins and wish so much that I had known then what I've learned since. I wish someone had told me some of these things, so I only want someone else to benefit from my learning curve. If none of it is helpful, then it's easy to ignore--you don't even know me! If any of it helps, then it's all the more worth it for me to have gone through it so I could share. All I know about you is the little bit I've read on your blog since your twins were born, so I realize I don't know everything you are already doing or already have in place. These are just some thoughts I've had for you.

    Regarding the thrush...has anyone given you a prescription of Diflucan (for you, not the babies)? I have had thrush with all of my babies (besides my twins, I have a 2 year old and a 4 month old) and Diflucan is the only thing that has gotten rid of it for me. It is best prescribed for a higher loading dose on Day 1, then followed by about two weeks of a lower dose. See here for info:
    Many doctors are used to prescribing one pill of 150mg Diflucan for vaginal yeast problems and aren't aware that for breastfeeding yeast, the treatment plan has to be different. But Diflucan was a life saver for me once I had the right kind of prescription and amount.

    as for needing more are some ideas on ways to save time on other things so you might have more sleep time:
    Do you have extra bottles/breastshields/valves for your pump so that you don't have to wash the pump parts every time you use them? Usually, depending on your pump, you can get an extra set of pump parts for about $25. I don't know what kind of pump you are using, but hopefully it is a double electric pump. If not, one of the best pricing options for double pumps is the Ameda Purely Yours pump:
    Much less expensive that the $300 Medela Pump in Style and it works really well. Ameda makes hospital pumps and have been making them for long time, they know what they're doing. I have one now and use it multiple times a day with my 4 month old.

    Have you used these:
    I read your post on how you like to boil all your bottles, parts, etc. after washing and laughed because I'm the same way. Also, if you still are battling thrush, it is recommended to boil all your pump parts, pacifiers, baby bottles and nipples, etc. after washing to kill the yeast. These steam bags will do the same as boiling, but so much faster.

    Consider renting a hospital grade pump for a month or two because they pump so much faster and so much better than retail pumps (I have used both and I swear hospital pumps leave you feeling so much emptier and give much better relief in a shorter amount of time) so you won't have to pump for as long, but still get as much milk, perhaps more.
    Consider getting a "Hands Free" pumping bra--like a nursing bra, but designed to hold your pump bottles on your breasts so you can do other things while pumping. So this could give you a chance to eat every time you are pumping. I bought one with my twins, and it was good, but I bought it too small and wished it was looser on me. If you don't have one, do a Google search on "hands free pumping bra" and you'll see lots of options.
    I'll post a second comment now with the rest of my thoughts.

  6. Okay, now for the second half (sorry again for the length).
    Are you able to tandem nurse your babies? I never mastered this with my twins and wish I had. Would have made all the difference, especially for saving time during the night. I didn't know that special nursing pillows for twins are available until after I had stopped trying to breastfeed. It's like a Boppy on steriods:
    Another brand:

    Since I never managed to tandem nurse except for a few occasions, I have no tips on it. However, I came across a blog by an LDS mom in SLC who has two sets of twins (plus a singleton) and she successfully nursed both sets of twins. Here is her blog:
    I don't know her personally, I just read her blog, but I believe she is the sort of person that if you emailed her and wanted advice, tips, etc. on nursing your twins, she would be thrilled to help.

    Another blog that saved my sanity (just to know I wasn't the only mom like me) is that is written by a group of Moms of multiples. Some of the most useful posts to me were some of the earlier ones, not so much the ones from the last year or so.

    And for anyone who ever offers to help, but you don't want them coming over, or it's hard to ask (I have never learned to ask for help--another of the contributing reasons I "failed" to nurse my twins), tell them the most helpful thing would be to leave a meal for you on your doorstep. I know you said your MIL is making sure you have dinners, etc., but you need meals on hand all day long and you have no time to make them. Tell people to give you food!

    When you bottle feed your babies, do you feed them both at the same time (if you are on your own)? I figured out a way to lay my babies each in a separate boppy right in front of me, and hold the bottle in their mouth by tucking a blanket or towel up under the bottle near their chin. I felt terrible doing this--feeding your babies is suppose to be "bonding", but who can bond when you are so sleep deprived that you are a zombie? You have to find a balance somehow. And with my hands mostly free (since the blankets held the bottles in their mouths), I could pump while they ate, or just be able to manage their needs while the other one was still eating.

    I know this is enormously long. I apologize in advance if it's just too weird for me to be telling you all of this. I only hope some of it might help you. You don't even have to acknowledge any of it in any way! Best of luck and take care of yourself! I would leave you my email address if you want it, or if you want it so you can tell me to leave you alone, but I worry about posting it openly online. I'll find a way to give it to you if you want.


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