Monday, March 01, 2010

Sleep Is NOT Overrated

What do I do at 2 am when I should be sleeping?
I write poetry of course.
Ok, not usually. But last week I did.
And here's what I wrote...

Will I ever be able to sleep again?
The answer is "no," I'm sure.
How much more of the crying and screaming,
Must this tired mom endure?
They scream in their cribs,
They cry in my bed,
They cause a throbbing pain in my head.
Those babies carry on,
For most of the night.
And I wonder if it will ever be alright?
I want my sleep.
I need it too.
What is a mother of twins to do?

I'm obviously not a poet. In all fairness, this was written in the foggy haze of my sleep-deprived brain in the middle of the night. It was a rough night and both babies had woken up crying in their cribs. Then they cried in my bed with me. And that continued all night. The next day the big kids all had colds and runny noses. Maybe it was related... I'm not sure. But I do know that I was so exhausted that I was grumpy and short with the kids that morning and I hated it.
Sleep is definitely not overrated. I feel more human when I get some decent sleep at night. I am more optismistic and ready to tackle anything. I just need to get these sweet babies on board with the whole sleeping at night bit.

In general, the babies sleep pretty well now. We have a few nights when I feel like I'll never get another night of uninterrupted sleep again. The truth is, I'd rather be woken up fifteen times a night and have these two sweet babies here with me than to sleep 8 hours straight. Totally worth it.

Two weeks ago I finally had the babies make the transition into their cribs. Of course this was before I decided to move again.
But for now, these guys are sleeping (sometimes through the night!) in their own room. Nathan usually sleeps all night without waking but Ryan usually wakes around 4 am and wants to nurse. I just bring him into bed with me and he goes back to sleep. I miss having them in my bed but I'm sleeping so much better now.
I've realized that I'm a much more patient mom when I have gotten a few good hours of sleep. I was staying up late every night and then nursing babies all night before waking up early in the morning. That could be why I had mastitis twice in the last 2 months!
So I made the decision to start night weaning the babies, even though they're just 17 months old. The girls were 21 or 22 months old (and I was pregnant with the babies) before they were night weaned and I remember feeling terrified of trying to transition them to sleeping in their own room. I couldn't have done it without Jason's help. He spent the first two weeks comforting the girls and getting them back to sleep without nursing. Of course I don't have Jason here to help this time so I was even more reluctant to change anything.
Besides, I love having my babies in my bed. It just feels so right to me.
I just wish I could figure out how to night wean and still cosleep. I know it can be done but I don't know how to do it myself. I think the girls would still be nursing at night if Jason hadn't stepped in and helped.
Do any of you cosleep with toddlers? Do they still nurse at night? Have you nightweaned and still shared a bed? Any tips for me?
P.S.- I have realized now that a) I take entirely too many pictures of my kids sleeping and b) I don't ever want to fall asleep first in this house because someone will take a picture of me wearing a wig or something.
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