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feeling like AP is impossible... - Page 2

post #21 of 35
I'm there too. My twins are just a couple of weeks older than yours, and I have a very energetic 3yo. I also work FTOH, which probably isn't AP, but it's the only way we'd still have a roof over our heads.

I am totally touched out, stressed out and have abandoned any ideas of actually doing AP. Okay, not quite that, but we do what works. And, what works right now is both babies in the crib, because our 3yo still sleeps with us. He's really been affected by the new additions (even though he absolutely adores them) and continuing to sleep with us really makes him feel more secure. Problem is, he rolls all over the bed thrashing and stuff, so it's not possible to have 2 babies there too. Not that there's any room. We tried, and it just didn't work, even with a king bed. of course, dh and I aren't exactly small people, so we take up our fair share of space.

We're just now getting to the point where the babies will sleep much better at night, we get about 4 hours the first stretch, then 3 hours after that. I am sort of breastfeeding. Mostly pumping and giving bottles. Baby boy hates nursing and baby girl can't nurse (she has a heart condition and tires too easily). Usually they're both screaming at the same time, so I can't nurse one and bottle feed the other, I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Dh works crazy hours, so I"m often alone trying to do it all myself.

Anyways...I totally agree with the swing idea. We use ours so much I'm constantly buying batteries to keep the thing going. We also have a bouncy seat that I put on vibrate, that seems to work fairly well too.

We are lucky enough to have a nanny, she is very AP and holds babies all day long.

I'd love to say more, but one's screaming......

**ETA: Usually the babies sleep in their crib the first "stretch" of the night, then end dh and I end up each holding one the rest of the night. They don't like to go back to the crib once they've gotten up to eat around midnight. I usually am sitting up in bed holding one, adn dh is usually on the couch with the other on his chest. I can't wait until they get a little bigger (they weigh 8 and 9 pounds right now, born at 38w, but were only around 6lbs each) so they are physically able to sleep longer and maybe I can have a break

It's really great to read the posts from all you experienced twin mamas, it really is making me feel so much better........
post #22 of 35
Mine were born at 38 1/2 wks. At around 6 wks, they started sleeping longer during the night (between 4-6 hrs). Slwoly they started sleeping 45-1 hr at naps. At around 10 wks, they started to take a longer morning/early afternoon nap of 1.5-2 hrs.

Now, at 13 wks they're down to bed at 8 pm (after a bath and long nursing session), up around 2-3 am, and then awake again at 7 am. So doable and they did it all on their own - no sleep training, little crying.

The only thing I do is sit up to tandem feed at night (b/c otherwise I found they would snack all night) and during the day they're not up for more the 1.5-2 hrs. One is generally asleep anyway but I actively swaddle and put my non-napper to sleep then too. He's so much happier (but too busy to let himself fall asleep).
post #23 of 35
Parenting twins is a tough job but youc an still meet their needs. It may not fit the definition of AP some days. Sometimes a baby may cry while you have your hands full with the other children. It's just reality when you have more than one baby with the same needs.

My younger set are 4 weeks old tomorrow and we hve good days and bad days. Mostly good... but the bad can be downright awful. I try to keep a hand free at all times because it never fails that someone will need me right when I've sat down to take care of someone else. I have been keeping the babies in a sling (either together or separate) until they fall asleep. Then I lay them down and hopefully have a few minutes to take care of everyone else.

Just hang in there! The sleep thing will get better. It will get easier. Trust me!
post #24 of 35
Don't have time to read all the other posts right now.

AP w/ twins is a little different than w/ one I think. Our version of cosleeping is two twin mattresses on the floor and I go back and forth all night. I don't babywear much. Just when out of the house and someone else is with me. dH does it when I am gone since he doesn't bf. Breastfeeding on demand is still possible and more conveinent than bottles, imo. Gentle discipline when they are older is doable.

DS slept in the swing for naps and night for the first 3 months of his life. I agree, his sleep was more important than the location. And for pete's sake, you have to go to the bathroom and eat too.

At that age, I didn't have tandem nursing down unless someone could help me get them in position. I can do it now at 7 months. But I could nurse one for a few minutes, massage the other one, then nurse second baby, massage first etc.

And trusting your mothering instincts is great advice. You know your babies, the author of a book does not. You will have some rough patches (I had a bad spot two weeks ago), but you will live through it. Promise!

Having multiples is sometimes hard, you just do the best you can. Take the ap mindset and find what works best with your family. I think ap is about listening to your children's needs and meeting that. Even if you don't follow some "guidelines", you can still meet their needs. In the end, I think the most important thing you can do for you children is love them like crazy.
post #25 of 35
This was the hardest part of having twins for me. With my first, I was all die-hard devoted AP, ya know? I carried DD1 all day and we slept with her all night. She was also a fairly mellow baby, so she really never cried, and I got to thinking that was how babies should be. I was full of philosophies and convinced that AP was the only way to go.

Then I had my twins, and DS was an extremely high-needs baby, and DD1 was still only 2, and reality set in. And it was hard. It hurt me badly that they didn't get the perfect AP babyhood that I'd imagined. It hurt me badly when one of them had to cry while I tended to the others, especially since it was usually DS doing all the crying. It hurt me when I realized DD2 had to sleep in a crib, because the cosleeping just wasn't working. There were days when I was convinced I was damaging them for life, and days when I was ready to run away from home because I was so overwhelmed.

And they're fine. DS has turned into a smiley, happy, jolly toddler, and obviously doesn't hold it against me for the times I put him in the bouncy seat or turned him over to my neighbor to hold for awhile, or gave him to DH at night so that I could get some precious sleep. You do what works, and what seems to keep everybody fed and clean and happy as much as possible. I counted it as a good day if everybody was fed. That was my goal for the day-- keep everybody fed. For the first few months, everything else got thrown out the window. We shuffled our sleep arrangements a dozen times-- at one point, DS was sleeping with me upstairs in my bed, DH was downstairs on the guest bed with DD2, and DD1 was in a cot near him. Halfway through the night I'd slide downstairs to nurse DD2, and bring her up to me, and DD1 would wander into bed with DH. You do whatever works, until they get older.

You have to find a way to forgive yourself for not doing things "perfectly," and focus on just meeting their needs as best as you are able to while keeping yourself healthy and okay. Take it one hour at a time.

I had good luck with putting them both in the double stroller and pushing them up and down the sidewalk until they fell asleep. Then I'd sit down on the porch and relax awhile. They seemed to nap longer outside, for some reason, in the fresh air.

You can do this. You really can. And afterward, when you've made it through the hardest part, you'll look back and realize it went so fast. And forever after, you'll be convinced that after newborn twins, there's nothing in the whole world you CAN'T handle!
post #26 of 35
Celesterra, my girls were early, and I noticed a "hey, we can amuse ourselves some now" change later than 3 months. Maybe 5? Hard to tell, it's so blurry now!

I also say AP what you can, and do the rest as best you can. I'm not super-crunchy myself, but my big things were breastfeeding and babywearing. And I've managed to do both of those with twins (with a lot of good advice I found here! love y'all! : ). I think you need to set your priorities and concentrate on those, and then don't sweat the rest too much. Make sure everyone's taken care of as best you can. Love those babies. They'll be okay.

And when you get down on how they're getting a bit less mama time than singletons, remember that they have a rare advantage singletons never had: they've never been alone (except maybe in the NICU). But from the earliest, in-utero months of their life through the present, they've known what companionship is. I can't help but think that's a great gift. I've heard someone say once that the twins she knows have a better conception of God, a very secure feeling that they are not alone, that they are loved. That's what I'm hoping the twin experience brings my girls. Just think! To have such an early experience of what it is to have someone always there. That's got to be good for you.

So there are bad parts and good parts to being a twin, but I think it's more good than bad, and I bet your kids find that to be true too.
post #27 of 35
My twins were born (39 weeks, 2 days gestation) on July 20 and jiminey, I am so glad to read that others have had napping issues, too. I know it's developmental (you can sort of see it predicted to the week in a book like "The Wonder Weeks") but it can shake your sanity when it happens. I actually screamed at my 4.5 year old for going in my room and waking the sleeping twin (and that "episode" of mine woke the other twin, who was snoozing on my lap. That was what made me feel so broken and livid...the knowledge that one really was out and the other was settled to the point that I was about to transfer him to the bed, too. And now we were back to tandem nursing, or just getting up, and I felt so frayed, frazzled, betrayed.) I think that emotion was born of all those days of desperation about the fragmented (at best) or non-existant napping.

I liked the comment about instincts, not impulses, being valid and trustworthy. My impulses have been all over the map lately. I find myself trying to reason with a crying baby, sometimes feeling edgy. It's worse with my older daughter, and I didn't expect that.

I have not worried about using the swing. We have the cradle type swing that goes forward or side-to-side and it was great for naps early-on. During those dreadful napless weeks (they've been napping for several days again, so I'm hoping it was a phase) the swing wasn't golden anymore. But the last day or so, I've been able to put a sleepy or just fed-and-contented baby in the swing and he'll do more than just sleep. He'll look up at the mobile or light show (we have the one with the lights & stars, because it has an electric cord & not just batteries) and smile. He'll either just spend a few wakeful minutes happy, then ask to get out, or he'll contentedly watch and zone out, until he snoozes.

I used to slip a sleeping baby into the swing and get a solid nap or a big chunk of nighttime sleeping, but now I'm able to keep a baby happy while I visit the bathroom or change a messy diaper, so it's also working as a short-term prop. I figure it's "AP" to get them from the swing when they tire of it, because that's responsive. I don't know....

The swing actually helped me feel more sane about our co-sleeping arrangement early on. I could get one baby sleeping solid and have him in the swing when I went to bed. I'd snuggle with the other like a singleton in bed, and nurse him when he needed. When the twin in the swing would wake for feeding, I'd cuddle with him and feed him (once in awhile I'd try to switch the other twin into the swing, but mostly I'd just try to keep the other baby asleep while I grabbed the swinger and started him nursing.) I assign a breast to a baby (alternating each day) and so I put the babies on the side of the bed that allows me to be on the outside edge turned in toward them. That helps me keep straight which baby is feeding on which side (in the night, when I wake groggily to nurse.) I then walk from one side of the bed to the other, or crawl over the foot of the bed to the other side (if I don't have dipes & wipes plus laundry or whatever piled at the foot of the bed.) My husband has been sleeping in the other room with our daughter, and he gets up if I call him or if he hears crying. Once our king sized bed comes out of storage, he'll join us, but in the queen it feels too crowded.

Anyway, I've felt this same frustration you describe and I often still feel it (though they are napping more than 7 minutes at a time, now, so the desperation isn't so sharp.)
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanauken View Post
And when you get down on how they're getting a bit less mama time than singletons, remember that they have a rare advantage singletons never had: they've never been alone (except maybe in the NICU). But from the earliest, in-utero months of their life through the present, they've known what companionship is. I can't help but think that's a great gift. I've heard someone say once that the twins she knows have a better conception of God, a very secure feeling that they are not alone, that they are loved. That's what I'm hoping the twin experience brings my girls. Just think! To have such an early experience of what it is to have someone always there. That's got to be good for you.
what you said here really made me cry it touched me so much.

reading through this thread has brought up inside me so many emotions I have experienced about my limitations with attachment parenting like I would LIKE with twins. As soon as I found out I was having twins last July 31st my life changed forever. For the LOONGEST time, since I could remember, I'd always fantasized being about to nurse my ONE baby, that that baby was the only being in the world that mattered to me. For me to have to "divide my love" was tragic.

I believe even though I was diagnosed with PPD after they were born that I experienced it WHILE pregnant cause of constantly in a panic of what was I going to do? How was I going to manage? Will they hate me forever for never being enough for them?

I don't understand why God gave me twins. I feel guilty because there are people deserving of ONE child who can't have them. I should feel blessed, right?

Thank you to everyone here for your immense wisdom, love, and support. I've realized through this board how I CAN do things and make the best of the situation as I can, to make it as AP as I can.

I just want to say that my MAIN struggle is the pressure from others to let them CIO. I have never done it (I am not physically able to let them cry), yet singleton moms I know do it for their ONE child and are alarmed why I'm not even thinking about it, like I'm crazy. Why is it such an important thing to train babies to sleep through the night? I honestly don't get it. Sorry for rant.
post #29 of 35
I just want to say that my MAIN struggle is the pressure from others to let them CIO. I have never done it (I am not physically able to let them cry), yet singleton moms I know do it for their ONE child and are alarmed why I'm not even thinking about it, like I'm crazy. Why is it such an important thing to train babies to sleep through the night? I honestly don't get it. Sorry for rant.


(I don't know how to do a quote)

I don't know why they have to do cio either! I feel like, what do you really have going on at night that you can't get up with your one baby!?! I get up with two. I also, physically cannot let them cry and not do anything about it. Yes, sometimes they have to cry for a few minutes and it sucks. I don't understand how I could ever listen to them cry for extended periods of time. I mean, doesn't it just break your heart thinking how the person you made and who loves you more than anything might feel if you just left them to cry?
I had ppd too but am feeling much better. It changes from feeling aghaghagh all day long to just having moments of that. The day turns into smiles and laughs and discovery with what their bodies can do. And it is so cool to watch them with each other. Happy to see each other in the morning or after a nap, roll on top of each other, pat and kiss.

Thinking of you and your family. Sending you happy, calm vibes.
post #30 of 35
mantra ... I am doing the best I can.

It's HARD ... no mincing words here. There are times when it is easier than others, but then the pendulum swings the other way.

TRY to get as much rest as you can, enlist the help of others, and be sure you are eating/drinking enough.

Much love and hugs to you.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleMonkey View Post

I don't understand why God gave me twins. I feel guilty because there are people deserving of ONE child who can't have them. I should feel blessed, right?

Thank you to everyone here for your immense wisdom, love, and support. I've realized through this board how I CAN do things and make the best of the situation as I can, to make it as AP as I can.

I

This is a VERY VERY common thought in my head, when I am having bad days. I'm SO glad I'm not the only one.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanauken View Post
And when you get down on how they're getting a bit less mama time than singletons, remember that they have a rare advantage singletons never had: they've never been alone (except maybe in the NICU). But from the earliest, in-utero months of their life through the present, they've known what companionship is. I can't help but think that's a great gift. I've heard someone say once that the twins she knows have a better conception of God, a very secure feeling that they are not alone, that they are loved. That's what I'm hoping the twin experience brings my girls. Just think! To have such an early experience of what it is to have someone always there. That's got to be good for you.
Yes. Ben crawled across the bed and into the co-sleeper so he could snuggle up and fall back asleep with Claire. He just wanted to be near her.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita View Post
Don't try to maintain some philosophy. Be kind, be attentive, meed their needs and know that this is a really really hard time for you. I was in that stage for a long time and had no help. What did I learn? I, and my instincts, are best for my kids. Not my impulses mind you, but my good mothering instincts that tell me to pick up a crying baby, to nurse on demand, etc...

You'll know what is right and loving to do. And you'll be drained and exhausted...your kids are really young and they need you.
I couldn't have said this any better! My twin boys came first and I wasn't even very knowledgable about AP. I did nurse them on demand and of course loved them the best I could. I couldn't find a comfy way to co-sleep, and felt quilty about it, but they did sleep together for a long time. I never found a good way to wear them at the same time, so it was a constant up and down.

Fast forward a few years, while I'm pregnant with my daughter. I though "oh yeah, no I can do all the AP things I couldn't do with my twins" she ended up hating slings and only occasionally tollerates mei-tais! ...the best laid plans eh? LOL

The parenting path is far from being perfectly laid out. You love your children, it's obvious, and you are doing the best you can. Try not to focus on what you can't do, it will make you crazy! You also figure into this equation, so a happy momma=happy kids, find your balance even if it means giving up some of your past plans on what AP is.

hugs momma, and you are doing a fine job!
-Di
post #34 of 35
[QUOTE=purpleheather79;12291047]
My younger set are 4 weeks old tomorrow and we hve good days and bad days. Mostly good... but the bad can be downright awful. I try to keep a hand free at all times because it never fails that someone will need me right when I've sat down to take care of someone else. I have been keeping the babies in a sling (either together or separate) until they fall asleep. Then I lay them down and hopefully have a few minutes to take care of everyone else.
quote

I can't believe that you have 6 kids, and 2 sets of twins, and the younger are only 4 weeks old. I don't know how you do it but your birth video always makes me cry and I think you are an inspiration.

My twins turned 4 weeks today, I don't know if it is a fluke, growth spurt, or God but after ranting the other day about no sleep my twins are now sleeping at 4 hour stretches 2 or 3x a day. One thing I decided to do after ranting is just accept that I'm not getting any sleep for awhile, this is harder than I ever imagined and that my girls didn't ask to be born together but I needed to give each of them my everything and I have to bite my tongue when I want to scream at my toddler because he is a baby too.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane~KJ View Post
I couldn't have said this any better! My twin boys came first and I wasn't even very knowledgable about AP. I did nurse them on demand and of course loved them the best I could. I couldn't find a comfy way to co-sleep, and felt quilty about it, but they did sleep together for a long time. I never found a good way to wear them at the same time, so it was a constant up and down.

Fast forward a few years, while I'm pregnant with my daughter. I though "oh yeah, no I can do all the AP things I couldn't do with my twins" she ended up hating slings and only occasionally tollerates mei-tais! ...the best laid plans eh? LOL

The parenting path is far from being perfectly laid out. You love your children, it's obvious, and you are doing the best you can. Try not to focus on what you can't do, it will make you crazy! You also figure into this equation, so a happy momma=happy kids, find your balance even if it means giving up some of your past plans on what AP is.

hugs momma, and you are doing a fine job!

-Di
Perfectly stated! All we can do is give them our all, our best, and they will know that they are loved. To me, that is attachment parenting: being mindful in our ways. We don't have to have our little monkeys on us at all times to be AP. Think of it as more figurative than literal.

Twins are SO HARD! Think about how much stronger you'll be in the end. Twin mamas are incredibly amazing! (Now if one more person says, yeah but at least you're not like Jon and Kate plus 8 I'll smack them!)
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