Sunday, July 01, 2007

Babies Are Like Snowflakes

I went to bed last night at 5:00 a.m. I haven’t done that since college. But at least then, I probably had a good buzz and a belly full of pancakes or pizza or some other food choice that I might regret later when the bed stopped spinning.

Baby A and Baby B are still suffering from incredible gas, the kind that makes their bodies go rigid and the toes to get tense and their faces turn red. I read somewhere that the average baby farts 20 times a day. Avery farted seven times while I was feeding her. My little overachiever. They are not gas-tacular all day, thank goodness, but the worst stretches seem to be at night, when they should be sleeping.

Last night was just atrocious. I had to take Maddie out for a Bjornwalk at 10:00 p.m. Of course, she fell into a deep sleep, despite the sirens and cars on the city street and the loud passers-by and the sounds of music spilling out of bars. I bring her home a half hour later and she wakes up, of course. And proceeded to stay awake most of the night. Gassy and over stimulated and over tired.

Please explain how I am supposed to wake up after a mere three hours of sleep, from 5 until 8ish, and be a good mother? One that is patient and rested and sane? Sleep deprivation is pure torture.

This gassiness has been going on for a while and of course I asked the doctor about it. She assures me that this is normal and fine and temporary and suggested diluted chamomile tea. That didn’t work. So we are still on the frantic search for the Magic Cure. This has sent me to buy new formulas four times. And gas drops. And now, our latest hope/prayer is gripe water. Nicole is busy reading Healthy Babies, Healthy Sleep Habits or something like that while I am perusing again that book about the 5 s’s (swaddle and sssshhhh and side sleeping and sucking and something else). We will try anything to get these babies comfortable and sleeping well because we are well aware that that will translate into similar benefits for us. We will keep trying and trying and trying till we find out what works for our unique little babies…or till they grow out of it. Whichever comes first.

The idea of a night nurse is becoming more and more appealing. Except I hate the idea of anyone other than me or Nicole or our relatives/good friends taking care of my babies when we are home. It seems weird, stragers in my apartment, taking care of these precious babies. The babies are up and crying….and Matilda The Night Nurse is bonding with them by feeding them and cuddling them? No no and no.

Truth is, I am kinda ok with limited sleep, with pockets of extreme lethargy here and there. I started going back to the gym (doctors’ orders be damned…I’m taking control of my body back) and that helps me with energy during the day. But when you hit that wall, you REALY hit that wall.

It is 8:15 at night on Sunday and I am a bit terrified about what the night holds.

Pictured above, Miss Maddie, who should be sleeping NOT on her mommy’s shoulder.


SJayneI said...

Just wanted to say Good Luck with your precious little night owls. I hope it all irons out for you real soon.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while. I found it while doing a search on temperatures while pregnant.

I am sooooo sorry for what you are going through. I went through this with Cade, my DS. What worked for me might sound weird but it worked. Let the babies suck on your chin and when they get relaxed, do the bicycle motions with their legs, then rub their little sides to work the gas out. Gripe water is just a fancy sugar water.


Jeannette said...

the pediatrician advised me to give the new formula a day or two to see if improved the gassiness. of course, if it was worse right away, then i knew it wasn't working. did you try the enfamil lacto-free? that's the one that eventually did it for my baby girl. of course, my boy ended up on soy, (and mylicon, which did not work for my daughter but worked for him) but that was years ago. no regular formula for my rugrats either. i hope the girls improve and you guys can get some rest. i remember that sleep deprivation fog vaguely. (it was about 3 years ago that i went through it last) believe it or not, one day you will almost forget what its like to live on four hours of sleep. (and no, i don't mean 4 hours in one stretch) one baby is hard. two babies has got to be at least double hard. you're doing a great job!

K J and the kids said...

I'm sorry that there really is just not a good answer. Some babies just take longer to adjust. While you run crazy trying to figure out what works and doesn't the's just time. So my suggestion. Sit down. Instead of driving yourself crazy. Rest.

As far as the sleeping thing. I've heard of people putting their babies in swings all night. Noise machines. Baths. Massage. Chiropractors. Swaddling. Holding. Hot pads. Car rides.
Are they just awake...or awake and screaming bloody murder ? This worked with my kids. I would bend at the knees and bounce them. It was great for your legs and seemed to always do the trick.

(((Big hug Jennifer))) You are doing such a good job. It is REALLY hard....and you are going through the TOUGHEST part. I can't belive you're even able to make it to the computer, let alone the gym. Way to go. Keep up the good work.

nailgirl said...

Yeah you are doing a great job.

Tracerhawk said...

What KJ said! Sound machine, can they fall sleep in their car seats? Ours slept in their car seats for awhile and the positioning helped somewhat with their gas. Bouncy seats that vibrate, swings - where do they sleep best during the day? You are doing great, one day at a time.

Truck Driver Wife said...

Perhaps Pepermint water will work. Worked for my little guy.

bri said...

Ugh. This really sounds torturous. I hope the night went a little better. Let me know if I can do anything. Do you want visitors yet?

Motel Manager said...

Sleep deprivation is torture. I definitely recommend the night nurse - we had a baby nurse for two weeks, and it was great because she helped us get the baby on a semblance of a schedule (he was four weeks old at the time) and she also covered nights so we could sleep. It was a bit frightening when she left, however, but we've managed to keep the schedule intact and we're sleeping WAY more than we were just a few weeks ago.

Hang in there. I am deeply impressed you are already back at the gym...I need to do that.

Anonymous said...

The 5s's and sound machines never worked for us...but Gripe water and massage did. There are some great books on baby massage, gets their little baby gas moving. Then again, we didn't have a super gassy baby, nor did we have twins :)
Hope things look up soon and your little ones feel less gassy.
(wow on the gym, I didn't go back till my son was a year old...and FWIW by that time I was so tired from running after him and not sleeping well that I was good 20lbs under my "normal" weight)

Eva said...

You two are doing great! These first 3 or so months are really about survival and it sounds like you're doing that. It gets SO much better.

But, that doesn't help you tonight. I know everyone has their tricks that worked, here's a couple of things...
>My friend recommended Dr. Brown's bottles as ones that let less air in. They have more parts to clean but worth it if they work.
>My daughter had gas and we would basically lay her on her back and pump her legs -- kind of like the bicycle someone described. When she was crying that would calm her down.
>The Sears Baby Book has a stomach massage for gassy babies.
>The 5 S's book has a hold that almost calmed my daughter down -- it is strange, though. Her head is in the crook of your elbow, face down, and then her body is across your forearm, and her crotch is in your hand. I think the pressure on her stomach really helped her.
>white noise and vibrating bouncy seats and swings helped our daughter, too.

Good luck!

anna said...

Miss Maddie, gas and all, is still one cute baby! This too shall pass, but you're doing a great job as a new mom. You give infertiles like me hope...thanks!

lagiulia said...

Sorry you're going through all this crap! One thing to keep in mind, amidst your resistance to hiring help, is that just because someone else with twins did it without a night-nurse or a nanny means nothing to your situation.

Just like all babies are different, each set of twins is different from another set. Some singletons are colicky and terrible sleepers. Do you think their parents do it alone? No no and no. They need help! You have two who are not good sleepers right now. I'm not say you HAVE to get help, but don't feel bad for considering it. My boys are generally easy to care for, but here they are at 20 months and still don't like to play together the way other twins their age do, which means they are all over me the whole freaking day. Plus Pacchi throws shit-storm tantrums every other day, and I am really losing it. Do you think it's a coincidence I'm going back to work in Sept.? Some days I'm at the end of my rope. I need help, and that help is called childcare. And I feel really sad and really guilty about that, but there it is - the truth.

You can always try hiring someone and just stop the service if you don't like it. Whether you hire help or not, know that you'll somehow get through this. But also take it from me: the more you stress and wear yourself down now, the more/longer it will take to get yourself back together in the coming months. There is nothing wrong with asking for or hiring help. In fact, it is the right thing to do... it's an investment in both the present and the future. Sorry to be preachy, and as I've said I'm a hypocrite. But you and I seem to both have this resistance to help, and it's just not practical for us moms of twins, you know? Lots of love.

tbean said...

Hi--New(ish) reader here. Congrats on your daughters, they are just gorgeous. And don't feel bad about taking on some temporary night-time help. In the grand scheme of things, a couple weeks help is practically nothing and if it allows you to be a better mom the other 18 hours in the day than you will be so grateful for it!

Homestead Mom said...

all good wishes to you. it does pass. i'm typing from under my 2 week old son, waiting for gas problems to develop (dd didn't manifest til 3 weeks.) we used the yoga ball to keep us sane and her comfy - bouncing with a surprising amount of vigor was the only thing that settled her down. at 3 am, it was preferable to hitting the streets with the bjorn. good luck!