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#1 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ladies, I am seriously about to lose my mind here.

How on Earth did you make it through this? Last night was literally the worst night ever. Every single night seems to go worse than the night before. Last night we were in bed at 8pm and I still only got one hour of broken sleep. One. hour. They just wanted to nurse all night long. Of the 10 hours spent in the bed, I had someone attached to my breast for 9.5 hours. The other half hour was spent changing diapers.

I just can't do this. I can't nurse them both together. It gives me a creepy-crawly feeling.

This is just awful.

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#2 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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I gave in to tandem feeding and found that if I did it when I was sleepy at night and lying down that it was much easier. Not to say that you should keep trying if you KNOW it's not for you, but just to say that I hated it too but did find times when it was easier.

How is it going with the pacifiers? How do you feel about expressing and someone else cup feeding/ bottle feeding? I know that seems drastic and is a big nono normally, but it depends what's happening for you. As a temporary measure it can work so long as you are watching supply and latch issues etc...

It really won't last forever, but it will last a bit longer. Get whatever help you can of whatever type. Try to dictate a list to someone who can coordinate things a bit.

It will get better. I promise. It's so very intense just right now, but it will get better

If you could make one change, what would it be?

I got an amby hammock and my fussier baby would spend sometime in that. I bought various gadgets second hand - get someone to trawl the net for affordable solutions that you can try out!!

Can you sleep in the daytime? How's it going with your other little one? Is anyone taking the pressure off you in the daytime? Are you managing to eat and drink ok? Snacking?

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#3 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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I'm not yet in your position, but I wanted to give you a .

mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

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#4 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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I HATED tandem nursing. It makes me feel like I am going to run away at any moment. HATED it.

Make sure you've got enough water going in. After your post about not feeling full and the constant nursing it makes me wonder if your supply is a little low-ish. Gallon of water going in daily, good foods in your tummy, getting rest when you can.

I don't know how I did it, I just did. It was EXHAUSTING in the worst sense of the word. I nearly got no sleep for the first six weeks of their life and then it got progressively easier until we started cutting teeth.

I wish we MoMs could all live in a big, nursing commune to keep each other going. Hang in there, it DOES get better.
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#5 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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I promise it will get better! You have to do whatever it takes to be sane. At about 3-4 months, I started handing the boys off to DH at 8pm. I went to bed, he took care of the babies until midnight or 1am. I got 4-5 hours of sleep. We were already suplementing with formula, so that was what he did IF they got hungry.

It turns out that they didn't need to eat as often with DH, something about being in the same room with me made them want to somfort nurse.

Things got better for a while, then worse, then better, then worse...with teething and growth spurts, and swine flu, and head colds.

One of the mamas on here said something to the effect of:
"Do whatever works, for as long as it works, then try something different."

I have that mantra printed out at home to look at. I also have this one written out:
"The days may drag on, but the years? The years fly by."

Joanna - wife to Mike, mamachicken to Cub(8/98), Kitten (4/07), Dew-man, and Woe-boy(twins, 10/08)
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#6 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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#7 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~bookcase~ View Post


I gave in to tandem feeding and found that if I did it when I was sleepy at night and lying down that it was much easier. Not to say that you should keep trying if you KNOW it's not for you, but just to say that I hated it too but did find times when it was easier.

How is it going with the pacifiers? How do you feel about expressing and someone else cup feeding/ bottle feeding? I know that seems drastic and is a big nono normally, but it depends what's happening for you. As a temporary measure it can work so long as you are watching supply and latch issues etc...

It really won't last forever, but it will last a bit longer. Get whatever help you can of whatever type. Try to dictate a list to someone who can coordinate things a bit.

It will get better. I promise. It's so very intense just right now, but it will get better

If you could make one change, what would it be?

I got an amby hammock and my fussier baby would spend sometime in that. I bought various gadgets second hand - get someone to trawl the net for affordable solutions that you can try out!!

Can you sleep in the daytime? How's it going with your other little one? Is anyone taking the pressure off you in the daytime? Are you managing to eat and drink ok? Snacking?
Thanks for your reply. If I could change one thing, it would be to have them not need to sleep ON me to sleep.

I am not giving up on the tandem feeding yet. I just really have to focus on something else.

I haven't tried pacifiers yet. But I did get some to try tonight. I am only going to give them at night after feedings. Kai could literally be nursing for hours on end because he just needs to suck to fall asleep. I am not ready to pump because that just creates so much more work for me and I just don't let-down to the pump well.

I am drinking a gallon of water a day and eating lots.

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Originally Posted by Intertwined View Post
I HATED tandem nursing. It makes me feel like I am going to run away at any moment. HATED it.

Make sure you've got enough water going in. After your post about not feeling full and the constant nursing it makes me wonder if your supply is a little low-ish. Gallon of water going in daily, good foods in your tummy, getting rest when you can.

I don't know how I did it, I just did. It was EXHAUSTING in the worst sense of the word. I nearly got no sleep for the first six weeks of their life and then it got progressively easier until we started cutting teeth.

I wish we MoMs could all live in a big, nursing commune to keep each other going. Hang in there, it DOES get better.
Thank you. I am drinking a gallon a day. I am also taking fenugreek just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaChicken View Post
I promise it will get better! You have to do whatever it takes to be sane. At about 3-4 months, I started handing the boys off to DH at 8pm. I went to bed, he took care of the babies until midnight or 1am. I got 4-5 hours of sleep. We were already suplementing with formula, so that was what he did IF they got hungry.

It turns out that they didn't need to eat as often with DH, something about being in the same room with me made them want to somfort nurse.

Things got better for a while, then worse, then better, then worse...with teething and growth spurts, and swine flu, and head colds.

One of the mamas on here said something to the effect of:
"Do whatever works, for as long as it works, then try something different."

I have that mantra printed out at home to look at. I also have this one written out:
"The days may drag on, but the years? The years fly by."
Thanks mama. I need to remember that.

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#8 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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the first ~3 months are just bad. tiring and difficult. you are absolutely in the thick of it right now... but that's the good news. the hard part is almost over-with! just plow on through, do whatever you can to steal winks of sleep, take it day by day. as they get older, they will start to nurse less and the insanity will gradually lessen.

how i got through it... i was so exhausted that i didn't even care if they wanted to nurse all night long. i strapped myself into the ez2nurse, latched them on, leaned back and passed out. if one woke needing help, i woke up enough to help him, then back out i went. if i had to pee or something... i just held it in. i didn't even care - i was so incredibly tired. just reaching over to grab one out of the co-sleeper was too much for me, so that's how i slept. it usually bought me a solid 2-3 hour block of sleep. i'm not one of those people who are really into tandeming... but i had to. it was better than the alternative for me. actually, i napped with them that way until they were probably about 6 months.

take a deep breath and remember it's only temporary. sure, teething can be bad... etc etc... but nothing is as tough as those first few months. and you're doing it. it's getting over-with. you're amazing. keep it up!
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#9 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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I have no idea how I survived the first few months -- but I barely remember it, if that tells you anything. My twins turned 7 on Monday!

Just HANG.IN.THERE. It will get better at some point. It's really really rough, just do the best you can. Let go of the "shoulds" (my babies should not use a paci; my babies should cosleep) and just do your best. Big hugs to you.

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#10 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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Are you swaddling your twins? Swaddling is my personal cure for sleeping problems.

Did you decide to use pacifiers?

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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#11 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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Definitely swaddle. And draw limits on the nursing--9.5 hours is just too much for anyone to do. I'd be at the breaking point before that! Tandeming was really weird at first, I agree. After a month or so I got used to it and it felt really normal.

Honestly, in the beginning I pumped a lot and had DH help with a feeding at night until they were 3 mos old. I have never been able to nurse them both while lying down, I can only do one at a time. I can take naps during the day with them both on the nursing pillow if I put lots of pillows behind my bad and head, but I have to unlatch them before I can lean back. Napping during the day is a key part of it. After really bad nights I'd call someone to see if they could babysit my toddler for a couple hours during the day so I could take a nap with the babies.

You need a break at night. You need to be able to lie down and get at least one 2-3 hour stretch of sleep. Minimum! You are recovering from the birth AND breastfeeding two babies, you have to change this situation or you're not going to remain sane. (if you are still sane, I haven't been in a long while! :P)

I'll throw out some ideas for you....If you're able to lie on your side and nurse one baby while you sleep, then your DH can take care of the other baby for a couple hours. If he has to wear the baby and walk around for 2 hours, whatever! Put a swing and/or bouncy seat next to the bed and put a baby in there, swaddled, so you have a stretch with only one baby. Give the babies to DH after nursing and have him take them in the other room and put them both in swings or vibrating in the bouncers while he sleeps on the couch. If they won't settle down, have him put them both in a carrier (the Moby wrap is perfect for twin newborns, I used to wear them in a side-by-side kangaroo position). You can't walk around forever at night double-wearing them, but I found that if I had them both in the Moby they were comforted enough that I didn't have to walk, I could just rock in the glider (and rest my own head).

Good luck finding what works, the first few months are SO HARD!! You'll make it work, somehow.
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#12 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Oh, it is so hard sometimes! You do whatever you can to make it work. Our mantra was, "With twins, suvival is all that counts!"

I also had trouble with the creepy crawlies for awhile, but it goes away, mostly. I also found that reading a book or watching a movie helped to distract me from that feeling when it was strong. (yes you can nurse 2 AND read a book!!)

You don't have to change diapers if they are just wet. That will make a big difference for you.

Do you have a swing or vibrating bouncy seat? Will they use it? I had 2 swings that I used for naps and sometimes at night (like when they were sick and sleepig lying down bothered them). Don't feel about about using them as you need to. Only feel bad if you children spend ALL day in them, an hour or 2 a day is fine!!

Post-partum doulas, volunteers fro your church or local college, neighbors, twins group moms, drop in childcare, nannies agencies, or any other help you can find. Spend a day finding resources and print out the list for the fridge. Then at 3 am, when you are at the end of your rope, you know there is a list of help that your husband can start calling in the morning!

The nights are sooooooo hard sometimes. I would just hate going to bed because I knew that I would just be more tired b y morning. But it does get better eventually. And you also learn to deal and manage and make it work.

I eventually learned to nurse sidelying, with 1 twin next to me and 1 twin lying on top of me. But we also did TONS of other combinations including sleeping in the recliner.

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#13 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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I just posted around the same time as you. I am also in the thick of it- 1 week old babies and going insane. I just wanted to say that I feel your pain and hope we make it through very fast. It's hard to not want to press the fast-forward button when really we should be appreciating every little moment. So- if you figure something out for sleep, let me know!
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#14 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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Mine are 3 months old, and I really think the first month was ten times worse than anything. Swaddling, white noise, bouncy chair, swing...this is what worked here. Also gas drops (mylicon)--not very natural but it worked for one of them. Good luck...it can only get better from here, right?

Karen, mama to one toddler (9/07) and twin babies (10/09)
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#15 of 40 Old 01-27-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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BIG hugs mama - you can do it!!

Not much time to post these days but I'd second (or third...) the swaddling. It definitely made a difference for us. I never did figure out how to tandem them in bed but I slept (and still do) with one on either side of me so I just rolled back and forth...they generally didn't wake at the same time so I sort of dozed while feeding...it was a nightmare when they both woke up...while I could tandem during the day on the couch with my big EZ2Nurse, I couldn't do it in bed, even sitting up it was like crazy acrobatics for some reason. So, sometimes I would just roll back and forth...give one a bit, switch and listen to the other one fuss...back and forth...back and forth...until they finally fell asleep...for an hour...and while dh would try to help, they just wouldn't settle for him. I was so upset when they grew out of their Miracle Blankets!

The only other thing I would echo is the help during the day so that at least you can get a little rest if at all possible. I know I had a ton of help but didn't manage to get a nap very often - one thing I regret not doing...you know, instead of a shower even! Night time can just be so daunting...it's like EVERYTHING is just worse at night. Trying some positive reframing might help too in the darker moments.

You will get through this mama!

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#16 of 40 Old 01-28-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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Hugs to you! I have to say that those first months are like a combination of bizarre medieval torture and happiness, too. We just plodded through and made it. You will, too. After doing this you will feel capable of lifting a truck off of a person or flying like Superman. Seriously. This is why I say multiples mamas who nurse their babies are BAD ASS!!!!

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#17 of 40 Old 01-28-2010, 03:26 AM
 
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My twins really responded to the Happiest Baby on the Block stuff for sleep. We swaddled them up really snug & had white noise going. I did not want to use the baby swing, but they did really like it. Do you have a swing? I know it feels crappy to put your baby in a mechanical device, but newborn twins is do what you need to do to survive time.

I didn't have the creepy crawling feeling from tandeming until I was pregnant. Then it was hideous! So I feel for you going through that - it is miserable. Perhaps it will be more bearable as they get older and the pregnancy hormones simmer down.

It will get better.

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#18 of 40 Old 01-28-2010, 05:47 AM
 
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I slept sitting up for the first 4 or 5 weeks and nused them together. I don't think I could have survived not being able to tandem.

What is it that gives you the creeps? Whenever I get them I need to figure out what is causing it and usually I'm able to deal with them then

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#19 of 40 Old 01-28-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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I've read that the creeps is a hormone response and in my experience it did get better with time. I get overstimulated with just one baby so two was really difficult for me. I actually get panic attacks at let down! I think that eased up when they were, oh, 3 months old or so? There are still times when I'll refuse to nurse them together though if I'm feeling particularly agitated.
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#20 of 40 Old 01-28-2010, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the reponses.

Last night went MUCH better. I sat up to nurse them instead of trying to lie down. That way they each got a full feeding, so they slept for longer periods of time.

Kai took a pacifier for a couple of minutes while I dealt with Gavin so that helped a little bit.

I also swaddled really tightly and used a sleep positioner thing for Gavin so that he felt more secure while I was holding Kai.

Hopefully tonight goes the same!

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#21 of 40 Old 01-28-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Yay! That's great news!

FWIW, I never could nurse side-laying or laying down at all. I always sat up in bed, which worked best for all of us and seemed to = better feeds which = longer periods of sleep.

It's good to hear that the swaddling helped, too. Just in case you need this tidbit of info in the future, my babes would not sleep swaddled or on their backs at all. Eventually we put them down on their tummies, and they would actually sleep that way.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#22 of 40 Old 01-29-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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I also have one-week-old twins! I've been so busy I haven't been on here to post about them, but they are here! They are so amazing but...as you know...soooo challenging! Like you, we got maybe 1 hour the first couple nights. Last night was a bit better. Things that may work: Wake them during the day to nurse at regular intervals. My twins seem to sleep all day and be up all night so far, and I am trying to get them fed and awake more during the daytime. Let them sleep wherever they will sleep at night - whether that means co-sleeping or sleeping in car seats, bouncy seats, swings, etc. Granted, this may not be the most AP solution or a long-term solution, but sometimes with twins, you just need solutions! Pacifiers, swaddling, etc., all seem to help, too. Also, tandem nursing, while it wouldn't be my first choice if time were not an issue, does seem to be a huge time-saver. Also, think about pumping and letting someone else do early nightime feedings so that you can get some sleep early in the night. I'm thinking I may try this sometime soon if things don't get much better. Finally, get all the help you can get. I have had some family help so far, and it's helped a ton with my older children. Also, think of it this way - it's bound to get better, b/c how can it get worse?? This too shall pass!
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#23 of 40 Old 01-29-2010, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well last night was more awful that it has ever been.

This is so hard.

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#24 of 40 Old 01-29-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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yeah, its going to be that way for awhile. Sorry. Start calling people or groups for help. LLL, pediatritian, nanny agencies, church, twins clubs, neighbors, etc.

Take turns napping with your dh (is he home with you?).

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#25 of 40 Old 01-29-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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For sure call in some help. Anyone. You need rest and help.
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#26 of 40 Old 01-29-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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^ Call in the troops. Let go of EVERYTHING except nursing and keeping your older son fed. (And yourself.)

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#27 of 40 Old 01-31-2010, 02:10 AM
 
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there is so much good advice in this thread, i think you ladies have covered just about everything. the only other thing i might add is that sometimes, when you think they are crying because they are hungry, they arent really hungry. they might have a little tummy ache, maybe because they have cried and swallowed some air, or who knows why. do they burp good for you? that can be a problem sometimes. someone mentioned mylicon- i wish i had known about them when my twins were babies- didn't find them until baby #3. someone else mentioned that when dad or someone else has them, they might not root or act like they want to nurse like they do with you. good point, very true. pacifiers and the swings were big helps with my boys too. can someone put them in their carseats and take them for a drive for an hour or two during the day so you can nap? if your babies are really young, it's especially hard until your milk is really well established, but it does get better. take any and all help offered, and if no one offers, beg. and hang in there! (((hug)))

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#28 of 40 Old 01-31-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nummies View Post
Well last night was more awful that it has ever been.

This is so hard.
I am right there with you! One thing that makes a big difference is some help - can you find someone? Family? Overnight nanny? Even a mother's helper to keep your other child occupied would be a benefit. I figure it can only get easier b/c it is so hard! I shiver to think what life will be like once my help is gone...
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#29 of 40 Old 01-31-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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I really do believe that sheer grit and blind stubbornness is the only thing that got me through those first six months with my twins. It really is hard-- excruciatingly hard. My standard of judging how I was doing was very simple-- is everybody still alive? Fed? Is anybody bleeding? Then we must be doing okay.

Even so, there were days when DH came home from work to find me and the twins and my 2 year old all sitting together on the bed, all four of us crying together.

One thing we wound up doing was declaring a short period of the night a no-nursing time. For us, it varied. For awhile, it was from 10 to 11 pm. Then later on, it was from 3 to 4:30 am. We gradually expanded it to a bit longer, like two hours or a bit longer. During that time, anybody who woke was DH's job. He would take them downstairs and comfort them away from me. It wasn't ideal-- there was certainly plenty of crying. But if I didn't have a time, however short, that I could predictably count on, I would have gone completely over the edge. DH wound up having to go to bed a few hours earlier, to make up the difference for himself, but that seemed only fair, seeing as I wasn't sleeping at all.
Later on, when they got older, it was from 4 to 6 pm. That was in the spring, and DH would take everybody outside.

I can say, though, that as hard as it is, it passes. It really does. Hang in there!

me knit.gif, he bikenew.gif, my three reading.gif, sleepytime.gif, and fairy.gif-- and the one we lost angel2.gif
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#30 of 40 Old 01-31-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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I've been thinking of you, Mandie . Obviously I've got no advice . . .I haven't been there yet. Just couldn't read and not respond.

I, for one, am officially terrified . I imagine I'll be posting much the same thing in a few months. Good thing there are so many mamas here who have lived through it and lived to tell about it. I met a mama IRL at DS's soccer game on Saturday with a 5yo DS and triplet 18 month olds. It was encouraging to see her dressed, showered, and not bawling her face off . . . reminded me that eventually it becomes . . .well not easier exactly, but different, with periods of sleep mixed in to help things along.

Amy
mama to big brother Mason (Jan '05) and the littles, Adam and Holden (May '10)
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