From the Blog

The Babies Have Made Us Crazy

Taking care of twins has been the first job I’ve had, since 1999, where I wasn’t sitting in front of a computer all day. It’s been a disorienting transition. Without sitting at a computer, it’s hard to know what time it is. Or what day it is. And sometimes, I forget what time of the year it is. Sometimes, I forget where I live. I’m serious. No, YOU’RE crazy.

So. I’m still here. And also, there’s lots of stuff going on. I would normally try to write about the stuffs and the goings on as they occur. But then, babies happen. And well, days very quickly turn into weeks and to be perfectly honest, I’ve become a bit batty.

I’ve had a few people ask me how we do it with two babies. One baby is hard, right? But two. TWO BABIES. I sort of don’t have a good answer for this question. These are our first kids, so we don’t know any better. We have nothing to compare it to.

The guys eat approximately every three hours. It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half to get them changed and fed and often changed again. And then I pump, which takes another twenty minutes or so. Generally, I have about an hour or so in between each feeding cycle, if they actually sleep in between. Usually the guys sleep after they eat, but as they get older, they are becoming more “awake,” and they want to hang out instead of napping all day.

Or they might just fuss and complain. They could be changed, and fed, and there is nothing in the world wrong with them, and yet, they whaaaaaa. And whaaaaaaa. And whaaaaaa. With their little trembling bottom lips. And their little tongues, like quivering flags in the breeze.

Or worse, they might turn on the charm, and be impossibly cute, with their little kicky feet, and their little grabby hands. They are at the point where I can just look at them and they give sunny little smiles. And just when I need to shower or eat, they turn on the cute, and I am incapacitated. How can I leave them alone when they are so damned cute? How can I get anything done?

During the first month or so, I floated around in a sped-up paralysis. As I walked around the house, sleep deprived, my mind jumped from task to task to task, trying to determine the most efficient use of time. I would completely lose focus on “what comes next,” so that any small silly thing became a distraction.

Since I was new with the babies, I had to stop and think about what I was doing. With everything. There was no structure. No routine. No mechanical thoughtlessness that relieved my brain from whirring constantly. Even normal household stuff would immobilize me. A sink full of dishes will still ruin my day. Not because I am an avid house keeper or because I’m trying to impress someone who might theoretically stop by. Doing the dishes has become a soothing activity. It creates a tiny bit of order and structure in my universe. I might be on the other side of the house, but I sort of can’t relax when there is a sink full of dishes.

Still, I have not been able to make myself productive in the little snippets of time between taking care of the boys. I will sometimes make myself something to eat. Or I might shower. But mostly, I zone out. If I sit in front of a computer, twenty minutes or a half hour is enough time to check my email, read a little news, get distracted by something, and then, oh wait, is that a baby waking up?

So yes, two babies is hard. I’m not sure how we do it either.

We are now getting close to three months with the guys, and the zombie stupor has lessened. Dave and I have both noticed with our new sleep deprivation and general fogginess, we have awoken in the middle of the night clutching a pillow, and thinking it was a baby. Around midnight the other night, I heard a baby being burped. But I was vaguely aware that it was still my “shift” between bedtime and 3 am. I looked beside me at Dave, completely asleep, patting his own chest like he was holding a youngster in his arms.

It was the cutest crazy I had ever seen.

Comments

  1. There will come a time when having two is easier than one, built in playdate :) I played/worked in the infant class of a neighborhood child care/preschool for 5 years, and saw plenty of new parent crazy. One mother of 3, an accountant, was shoeless one morning, I helped her rationalize it, you don’t drive in heels, so you don’t miss them until you get out of the car? And when my own infant daughter was in daycare, they turned off the lights and allowed the babies to sleep all day. Which meant she was awake all night, extending the sleep deprivation crazy for me until one night while preparing a bottle of apple juice, I actually put the bottle nipple on to the juice jug and the juice cap on the bottle. That woke me up. LOL.

  2. Oh ya. I was alone with one baby so maybe that’s kind of the same as 2 of you with 2 babies. And I do believe it makes you actually crazy. Those mothers that shake or smother their babies? It sounds horrible, but I can sympathize. There were times when it took every last ounce of fortitude I had left to stop myself from doing just that. Not that I didn’t love her more than I ever thought it was possible to love anything, but with no sleep for months, no time to yourself ever, the whole hormone thing, the whole frantically uncertain/scared stiff thing…well, it’s enough to make you truly crazy. The first 3 months though were the most difficult. Sometimes when they cry and there seems to be no reason, it’s just because they want to be held. It’s a big shock being in a warm cozy womb all that time, hearing, smelling, feeling you — to being all alone is a big cold empty space. It scares them. I carried my baby around with me 24/7 for 3 months. I only put her down for about 2 minutes while I showered every so often. Otherwise she’d cry. And cry. And cry. It DOES get easier. Not that there aren’t a zillion other types of challenges ahead, but this round-the-clock neediness and helplessness abates. They evolve from eating, crying, pooping machines into tiny people who actually start responding to you as people. They become aware, they start doing stuff, they start sleeping longer and feeding less often. Just being able to get 4 or 5 hours of good sleep in a row will make a world of difference. They’ll continue to make you crazy in one way or another for the rest of your life, but it’s all worth it. You’ll be great parents. And they’ll be great kids.

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