Sleep Diaries

crying

Nighttime, for the past couple weeks, has been a bit rough. If this post is somewhat incoherent, I’m blaming it on the lack of sleep.

Last night we almost made it. We slept solidly from about 9:30, through the night with no interruptions…until 4:40 a.m. At that point, the crying in my dream became crying in reality, and D and I were awake in the bedroom in the dark. At first waking, I somehow assumed it was 6 am. My first thought was, “man, I feel tired,” and I had the sinking feeling that I would never wake up feeling rested again. Then I looked at the clock.

When we became conscious enough we could tell the crying was M. This was hopeful. M is usually not so difficult at night. A quick visit crib-side, lay her back down, a soothing tummy rub for a second or two and she’s back out, breathing deeply.

This time D went in for night duty. I heard him make his way around our bed; the babies’ doorknob clicked, then the nursery floor creaked as he crossed to the crib. For a moment there was no crying. Sweet silence. Then the floor creaked as he made his way out…”waaaah” another cry started up, E this time. D’s silhouette reappeared in the bedroom, quickly crossing to his side of the bed. “Damn! Damn! Damn!” We lay in the dark for a moment, not breathing, praying for her to fall back asleep.  The cries continued, increasing in urgency.

After that I don’t really remember (did we go back in, rock her, only to have the creaky floor wake her again as we tried to sneak out? Did they cry intermittently until 6, waking each other? Did I go in fruitlessly after 5 minutes, then 10, then 20? Eventually we brought E into our bed. Or was it M we brought?The nights blur together. In any case, there was no more sleep.)

It’s 9:20. Maybe I should go to bed.

Getting Out of the House with Twin Babies (Pittsburgh Edition)

gettingout

So I’ve done it now, twice. I’ve left the house with the babies, with no help, and driven somewhere in the car. Yesterday we went to Old Navy and I bought them some birthday outfits–they are almost ONE YEAR OLD (huh?!) but that’s another post. Then today we went to the East End Food Coop.

If you’ve been reading for a while you may remember how I used to get out of my walk-up in Brooklyn. For comparison, here’s the new way of getting out of the house.

Step 1: Make sure babies are dressed to go and wearing clean diapers.

Step 2: Carry heavy stroller from porch down three steps to the street. Carry stroller seats down and assemble stroller.

Step 3: Carry one baby down three steps to stroller and buckle in.

Step 4: Get second baby and buckle in.

Step 5: Wheel ten feet to the car.

Step 6: Strap Baby A into car seat.

Step 7: Carry Baby B around to other side of car and strap into car seat.

Step 8: Collapse stroller. Hoist stroller and seats into trunk.

Step 9: Drive away.

This part really wasn’t bad, though I won’t say food shopping while hauling along the double stroller with two restless babies plus a shopping cart wasn’t a challenge. I don’t think I could have made it up the little hill to where my car was parked if someone hadn’t offered help.

Also this is unrelated, but I realized when I got out that I was wearing a shirt and pants that didn’t match, and also that it was the first time I’d looked down at what I was wearing all day. I had at least, before I left, checked whether my sweater was stained and half-heartedly tried to rub some dried baby snot/food out of it. I ran into two people I knew at the coop (which is about all the people I know in Pittsburgh) so I guess there’s no more being anonymous.

Still, I can go places with the babies. Watch me.

 

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See here for more getting out of the house craziness:

The New, New Way of Getting Out of the House Sucks

On Getting Out of the House With Twins

Getting Out of the House: Brooklyn Walk-up With Twins

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potatoes, Sweat and Tears

It’s been a long day.

It started with one baby screaming at 4:45 a.m. We waited until maybe 5:15 and then decided just to feed them. We tried to put them down again afterward, but no go. D went grocery shopping and the over-tired babies cried. There was no sleeping at all, by anyone. When D finally got home I had one baby in a moby wrap, the other was in the crib still crying, and I was about to lose my mind. He put the second baby in a moby, and when they finally fell asleep we transferred them carefully to the crib.

We had wanted to go to a neighborhood baby play date at 10:30. No way we were going to wake the babies, though. At 11:15 they finally woke up. We tried to feed them quickly and then go. As if getting out of the house is ever quick these days. And today it was frigid. Bone chilling winds rattled the window panes. Bundling the babies took half an hour. Finally, with the babies all bundled, as I was putting M into the moby wrap she spit up all over my chest. I had to unwrap myself and change. We started off to the play date probably about an hour and forty-five minutes after the start time.

“I think I wrapped [E] too tight,” D said, before we’d walked a block, the frigid wind making our faces ache. “I don’t think she can breathe.”

“She can breathe.”

“I don’t think she can breathe!”

“Let’s go!”

“This is stupid!”

By the time we made it to the play date the last two people were leaving. We said hello then turned around and walked back home.

The rest of the day went similarly. I went to get a free high chair from another parent of twins in Clinton Hill. She had asked me to come between 2 and 3:30 because her three year olds would be napping.

“They’re not sleeping,” she said first thing when she opened the door. Her hair was unbrushed and her eyes bloodshot. Her husband appeared around the corner, about to say something to her then stopped when he saw me. “The only thing about these highchairs,” she said, “I sort of wished we had invested in some of the fancier ones with steps, like the Stokke, because…”

“Aiiiiii! Maaaamaaaa!” there was a scream from down the hall. The woman sighed and walked off mid-sentence. They husband offered to help me to the car. “I don’t have a car,” I said. “I’m taking the subway.”

“Can you make it?”

I hoisted the the highchair over my shoulder plus lugged two booster seats they’d given me in a big IKEA bag all the way to the subway, the wind blowing me back one step for every two forward. I was reminded of the scene in the movie, In America, where the father carries the Air Conditioner on his back across town. I was also reminded of an ant.

When I got home we washed and scrubbed the high chairs, we fed the babies, we washed the highchairs again, we washed the babies, we washed everything, we did laundry at the laundromat, we made dinner. Finally we put the babies to bed. They cried for fifteen minutes before finally going down. I don’t know if they were wired from the sweet potatoes or what.

It’s been a long day.

Not Fair

Last night we were awakened at 2 am…by a mosquito! Babies slept through the night except for some brief whimpering around 3 am. Tomorrow night it will probably be a car alarm. 

Just Me, No Babies

Yesterday, for about an hour and a half, I was alone in the house. This has not happened for four months. D and my sister, who was visiting, took the babies out to the park. I have a bit of a cold, so I begged out. What a sense of freedom. I really am a home body, I guess. This felt as liberating as going out by myself, maybe more so. 

First I ate lunch. Very slowly, no crying baby, no baby on me obstructing the path from my plate to my mouth. Then I just lay down on the bed. Rested my tired muscles. Closed my eyes and took a little nap. No babies to entertain. No rush with anything. What euphoria. Of course, after about an hour I missed them.