Friday, February 3, 2012

Send in the Troops?

Sunday night, I decided it was time to take back my life and adopt a routine.  This routine meant the twins would sleep in their crib and that Nathan and I would go to bed at the same time. For the past few weeks, Nathan and I have set up camp in the basement. There is ample space for all of our baby gear (swings, amby bed, bassinet, bouncer, gliders) and the person "on duty" sleeps on the couch, while one of us sleeps in the downstairs bedroom. Around 3 AM, we switch shifts. Somehow, I envisioned Ezra and Elliott peacefully sleeping and tag teaming feedings with Nathan. We'd get more sleep this way and assume a more "normal" life.

Well, you know what that say about the best laid plans....

Ezra and Elliott were fussier than usual and insisted on receiving constant attention. Each baby required one parent and by 3 AM, Nathan and I decided that us both being awake was a very bad idea--albeit a necessity. Additionally, Eliza had a very hard time going to sleep and required attention off and on throughout the night. Nathan finally fell asleep from sheer exhaustion around 5 AM, and, for the first time since Eliza's colic days ended, I pulled an all-nighter.

By the time Cheryl and Rex woke up for breakfast, I was nearly delirious. And when Eliza woke up at 6:15, I just wanted to crawl into bed and cry. Needless to say, it was a very long day (and it's probably a very good thing I didn't blog about this until four days later). I hadn't slept at all, Nathan had slept for less than two hours, and Eliza was extremely grumpy because she was running on 5 hours of sleep herself.

When Cheryl returned from work that afternoon, I was still in our bedroom, trying to soothe both babies. The thought of relocating to the basement had felt too overwhelming, so I had stayed in bed all day with Ezra and Elliott. I tried in vain to get them to sleep.  Nathan was off fighting his own battle with Eliza and was unable to help much. Consequently, as soon as I saw Cheryl, I burst into tears.

Staying in one room for an entire day was a bad plan. Crying babies and an unhappy toddler were no fun. Not sleeping for over 30 hours was not healthy.

Thankfully, my wonderful mother-in-law is a problem solver. While I continued to hope Ezra and Elliott would feel relief from the thrush, Cheryl jumped into action. She started calling ladies from church, asking if anyone would be interested in coming over to "rock a baby." Additionally, she started scheduling play-dates for Eliza for the mornings. By Monday night, a number of women in our little community had volunteered to help our family. We had helpers coming over each morning and moms scheduled to pick Eliza up for play-dates for the remainder of the week.

In the midst of Monday's madness, I was sobbing as I asked Cheryl: "What am I supposed to learn from this?" I know trials are learning experiences, but I couldn't possibly understand what I knowledge I was supposed to gain from two crying babies.

It's now Friday, and I feel like I have learned quite a bit in the last few days.

To begin, I am amazed by the generosity of others. The willingness of individuals to serve those in need is overwhelming and truly a testament of Christ-like love. Yesterday, the woman who came to help in the morning has 8 children of her own.  This amazing lady actually found a babysitter for her younger children so she could come help us for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, another friend from church (the first woman's sister-in-law--the two are married to identical twin boys, funny enough) took Eliza to play for nearly FIVE hours! Eliza had so much fun, and we couldn't believe how much different it was to watch twins versus twins plus a toddler.

Secondly, Nathan and I were reminded to be grateful for our trials. I think this is a lesson God really wants me to learn. Every time I have an episode where I feel like I cannot handle life's challenges, I am reminded that everything is, in fact, alright.  Oftentimes (like last week), the reminder comes from some small incident, which is immediately followed by feelings of peace and acceptance. This time, though, the news that put things in perspective was no small incident.

On Wednesday, we received word that Nathan's cousin, who was also pregnant with twins, lost one of her babies during delivery. I have never met this woman, but my heart broke imagining the situation. Cheryl told me the news while I was holding Ezra, and I couldn't help but to cry and hold him closer. Later on that night, when Nathan and I were alone, he looked over at me and said: "Could you imagine only having one of our babies?"

My first response was to say, "Nathan, why would you ask such a thing?!" The thought was too painful to even entertain for a second. That thought was another woman's reality, though. I quietly responded, "No. I couldn't imagine it"

I know that raising twins who constantly require attention isn't a trial. It's absurd for me to even think that now. Instead, it's a labor of love. It's hard, but I am glad to have my children and will accept whatever consequences come with the territory.

Third lesson: I love my husband. It's easy to get frustrated with your spouse when you are running on absolutely no sleep, but Nathan and I have emerged from another round of sleep deprivation victorious.

And lastly, the fact that mothers love their children has been reiterated several times this week. I'm so lucky to have a mother-in-law who treats me like a daughter and does whatever she can to help. I am also blessed to have a mother who was willing to drop everything and fly across the country (for the second time in 6 weeks) to come help. That's right! My mom is coming today! It wasn't cheap or easy, but I am so happy! She'll be here in less than four hours. I can't believe it.

Another long and emotional post. I did it again! Can you tell I have a lot on mind?

(p.s. I think the thrush is gone!)


  1. Thank you for that post. I like how you said having twins is a labor or love and not a trial. That's a very good way to think about it. Keep up the good work. You are amazing.

  2. You are so wonderful! I love you guys and I'm so glad that you are being blessed by others kindness. It really makes me glad to belong to such a wonderful church and it's also great that Cheryl has so many generous contacts. Hopefully this continues! Hooray for the thrush possibly being finished! You guys definitely deserve a good break after all this. I can't wait to see you again...hopefully soon, but it really depends on the queen of my abdomen at the moment. :)

  3. I so admire your strength and your attitude! I really look up to you!


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