Saturday, February 11, 2012

Told You So

Let me begin by saying that Nathan and I have slept less than 6 hours since Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon, my mom and mother-in-law offered to each take a baby for the night. Nathan and I were wary of giving them the responsibility of tending to two fussy babies, but decided we desperately needed the sleep. We gave our moms plenty of milk and headed to bed.

At 2 AM, we were still awake. We could hear the boys crying in different parts of the house and it made falling asleep difficult. I felt guilty that our moms were awake, and I also found it impossible not to go running to my babies to take care of them myself. At 5 AM, we took over for my mom. She was alone with Ezra and Elliott so Cheryl could get some sleep before work.

The first thing my mother said was: "This is not normal."

I couldn't help but laugh as I said, "I told you so!" Before my mom even arrived, I had repeatedly told her that the babies never slept at night. She thought I was exaggerating and kept telling me, "Babies wake up. That's what they do. They can't always sleep!" After one colicky baby and a toddler who knows no bedtime, Nathan and I definitely did not have unrealistic expectations regarding the twins and sleep. If we could sleep four hours or even two uninterrupted hours, it would be pure bliss! I tried to explain that they needed to be constantly rocked, bounced, or fed, but none of my explanations seemed to drive the point home.

Staying awake all night with Ezra and Elliott definitely drove the point home. Even though I felt bad that our mothers lost hours of sleep, someone could finally empathize with us and know the situation wasn't "typical."

By Thursday afternoon, my mom and Cheryl were brainstorming possible solutions to our "babies who never sleep" predicament. The boys undoubtedly have enormous amounts of gas which keeps them awake. I thought once the thrush was treated, the gas would disappear. Not so. They continue to writhe and cry all night, but somehow are just fine during the day. My belief is that they are so exhausted from being awake all night that they have to sleep during the day. Who knows, though?

We have tried Mylicon drops (which never worked with Eliza, so I consider them a joke) and changing bottles. We have tried burping them more frequently, and I have stopped eating all dairy. However, the problem persists.

When Eliza had colic, Nathan and I could take turns sleeping. With two babies who constantly cry, we cannot take turns. We are both awake, and we are both miserable.  So, if you have any time to spare, could you please send some warm thoughts our way? I welcome any and all suggestions as well. I have tried just about everything in the book, but too much advice never hurt anyone!

Somehow, Nathan and I have been able to stay (mostly) positive. Maybe it's because we have survived colic before and we know that it ends. Maybe it's because we have help during the day (when the babies are amazingly good!). I have moments where I feel as though I can't make it, but we manage to survive another day.

I mentioned before that I believe trials are learning experiences. Last night, I realized that marriage really is not only about love, but about becoming a true partnership. Once one baby fell asleep, Nathan and I both tried to take the fussy baby so the other one could sleep. Nathan didn't say, "Well, my baby fell asleep, so good luck!" Instead, he offered to take the other baby and tried to get me to sleep.

Our sleep deprivation hasn't made us forget the simple courtesies in marriage. In fact, we are more in tune with each other's needs. When the fussiness finally leaves, these memories of my husband's kindness and selflessness will remain.

And that makes me happy. Who knew sleeplessness could be so eye-opening? (Yeah, that was a pun! Get it? Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, I need to go to sleep)


  1. HAHA. i liked your pun. You are so blessed to have such a loving and devoted partner, and he is blessed that you realize and appreciate him for it! :) I'm glad you're hanging in there, sugar! Keep it up

  2. I haven't tried this product myself since my baby has outgrown the need for it and I only just found out about it. Maybe you already know about it, I don't know how new it is:

    I still remember the horrendous sleep deprivation when my twins were newborn-4 months, and they didn't have colic (though we did have thrush and reflux and I did have to stop dairy for their sakes)...I can't imagine how physically terrible you feel right now. But your post was a good reminder that something positive can always be found in the most difficult situations! Take care!

  3. Emily and Andrew were both like that, we did NOT get sleep with our babies because they would cry and cry and cry. (I would cry and cry too. It was miserable.) Mylocin drops never worked, either, and neither did going off of milk. I finally realized that some babies (especially those born early) have a hard time adjusting to life outside the womb. It comforted me to recognize that life was so simple for them in there, they didn't have to eat or feel the natural pains of digestion. Now they must. I believe that some babies have a harder time with this change than others, and both mine definitely did. (Though I had one at a time which, like you said, did allow for SOME sleep.)

    But, we did try something with Andrew: we let him sleep in the swing. I know that you've mentioned using it before, so maybe try using it just at night? We would also prop the kiddos up when we put them down so that they wouldn't be lying completely flat.

    I hear you, in a small way, lady. It's miserable! And going through this with two babies only doubles the misery.

    I still remember when a friend or relative came to stay with us and said, "wow, does your baby cry that much all the time?" And I was like, "um, yeah."

    I would recommend looking after your and Nathan's mental health. This can be incredibly wearying and, in some cases, induces post-partum depression. I know that it's easy to say "take care of your self" when you don't have two babies to care for, and I wish I were closer so that I could check on you myself.

    Remember, too, that colic comes in different flavors. Eliza was fussy because she was completely intolerant to milk, except goat's milk. Your babies are fussy because they are having trouble adjusting to life outside the womb. Both are equally tough and both eventually end; but that doesn't make it easy!

    Basically, I'm sending as much good thoughts as I can in your direction. I am so sorry for the lack of sleep and do hope those boys feel better soon.

  4. Sending lots of prayers for you guys! You're such and example of what a true marriage is, and what real love is about.

    Gray would have nights awake for hours, and nothing could help. Then we found out he had reflux and it was all the laying down and eating too fast. So we had to put him in a bouncy chair after every meal for at least 20 minutes to help him digest and feed him smaller meals more often. I was nursing so instead of nursing both sides i was only allowed to nurse on and then wait at least an hour before i nursed him again. the first days were really hard until he got used to not eating as much at once. (he was a preemie too - 8 weeks early - not uncommon for them to have a bit of a reflux issue or trouble with gas)

    he's a year old now and is great. but it was a trying few months for sure.

    blessings girl!! you're doing awesome.

  5. I am so sorry that things are still rough for you guys. I don't have much advice, but Jade and Gabriel both slept in their vibrating bouncy seats for the first four months. They loved it and it soothed them. Good luck, I'll keep praying for you guys.

  6. I love you! I so hope that this phase passes soon. It's so great that your mom was able to come and help out. Hopefully, you'll continue to get the help you need and the boys will find relief.

  7. You said goats milk worked for Eliza... have you tried that for the boys? Just wondering. I'm assuming you have. I'm stumped. I admire your patience and good attitude through this all. Take care of yourself. Seriously though, you are an amazing mother. PRAYING HARD that you'll get some sleep soon.

  8. Hey Celia, I am so happy for you! Your boys are so handsome and Eliza has turned into quite the little beauty! I am also very sorry for your struggles. I have noticed with our new little one that sleep deprivation makes any difficult situation that much harder. I hope things get better soon.

    One of your friends previously posted on here that they've never personally tried it, but mentioned colic calm ( is the only place you can buy it, i'm fairly certain). I wanted you to know that I have tried it and we are never without a bottle in our home. It is all natural and it's seriously amazing stuff. Now, we used it for reflux, so our situation is different, but we recommend it to anyone/everyone and have had several friends use it for their colicy babies with good results. I have used it with two kids now, and I seriously have seen magic happen. :) it's about $18 a bottle, so if you find it works, I'd order another one right away because it goes fast, but i promise it'll be worth a try ( I promise I don't sell it for the company or anything, i'm just a huge believer).

    Anyway, good luck, I just wanted to give my input in case it helps. I am currently very aware of the effects of sleep deprivation, though not to the extent you are. Good luck!

    Mariah Fenn


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