Newborn twins mean no sleep, right?
Wrong. Newborn twins plus older children mean no sleep.
Okay so not many of us ever managed to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ with our firstborn, but dammit, I wish I bloody had done. There was so much opportunity!
They might not sleep much at night, but they sleep SHIT loads during the day, and I wasted it first time round showing off baby to countless visitors, and trying to prove we were totally in control (which of course, we weren’t). Oh, and watching baby sleep. What a bloody mistake that was!
Second (and third) babies are a totally different ball game
Second (and third) time round, is a whole different kettle of fish, as you experienced Mummas know. The Twins were basically in the nocturnal baby category. Some of you will know the type. They slept all day. Like ALL day. But then from about 9pm they were awake until about 4am. Screaming. Just like this…
4am. I shit you not.
4am (I have to keep repeating it, to believe it) was the earliest we managed to get them to sleep for about three weeks. Even for like 10 minutes. It felt like a pain worse than death. How can newborn twins even stay awake that long, when in the daytime they were dropping off every 15 minutes?
This would have all been fine and dandy had we been able to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps”, of course, during the day. Yes alright, effing Gina Ford/Supernanny/Miriam Stoppard, we’ll try that shall we?
Except Toddler wanders in at 6.30am and wants to be full-on entertained. ALL DAY. Slight flaw in the ‘expert’ advice right there.
First night home with newborn twins was hideous
Our first night home was pretty horrific if I’m honest with you. We’d done the guilt-ridden ‘birthday celebrations’ (aka a supermarket caterpillar cake) for Toddler as best we could to make up for not even telling him it was actually his birthday yesterday.
The Other Half had even made a card for CBeebies. It went down really well as you can see…
The most unmemorable birthday ever over and done with, normal bedtime resumed for Toddler whilst his new little bros dozed away nicely.
We managed to eat (The Other Half is our chef) and even watch a bit of tele with the newest additions to our family snoozing happily in their bouncers at our feet. It was all going rather too well.
All hell breaks loose at bedtime with newborn twins
Take them upstairs to bed and all hell broke loose. I have honestly never heard such loud screaming. Shut your eyes and you’d think Twin Two had undergone some weird metamorphosis into a Pterodactyl and was circling the room ready to swoop on us with every cry. That night we renamed him Terry the Pterodactyl, a name that still stands today. His blood-curdling screams obviously set Twin One off (and no doubt woke the whole street up), and we literally prayed he wouldn’t wake Toddler or it really was game over.
Dummies. Where the f**k did I put the dummies I’d bought in a “my perfect babies won’t need them, but just in case” moment?
12 hours out of hospital and these clearly faulty newborn twins were being gagged with little bits of sanity-saving rubber. It’s all about survival, right? That’s if you call a total of two hours broken sleep a night survival.
The nights were frustrating as we tried separate moses baskets, both in a cot, in bed with us, rolled up blanket moulds, tilting mattresses, sleeping bags, swaddling blankets, white noise (not that it could be heard over Terry) and letting them sleep on our chests. One would settle whilst the other screamed and vice versa. God, it was shit. And I’ll admit now, we did a LOT of swearing. At each other, and even at them.
Going rogue in a bid to survive
Until one night, we went rogue, and brought the bouncers upstairs. The bouncers?! How very dare we? Yes we know babies aren’t supposed to sleep in their bouncers at night. But there was actually a bit of peace and quiet, albeit limited.
Advice and regulations went out the window that night (and still do on a daily basis if I’m honest). Did I mention, it’s all about survival? There is the Mothercare way of parenting, and the Three Under Three with Newborn Twins way of parenting, as far as I’m concerned. And in those early few weeks, I’d have challenged anyone to tell me otherwise and walk away unscathed. I was a woman just about ‘functioning’ on serious sleep deprivation. I don’t do tired very well.
Daytime was a haze with newborn twins and a toddler
Night time was one thing, but days with newborn twins and a just two-year-old were an absolute haze. I remember a friend with twins telling me she spent the first six months sat on the settee feeding her babies and knowing straight away I wouldn’t be able to do that because of Toddler. How apparent that became the second we were home. He still needed feeding, entertaining and exercising. Like a flippin’ excitable dog but in human form.
So the very next day we sucked it up and just got on with it. No sitting around cooing over babies in this house. Babies? What babies? Oh you mean those two little bundles of blankets and babygrows basically being left to get on with it in their (sanity-saving) bouncers?
Both the health visitor and midwife did their ‘day 3 phone calls’ whilst I was doing the emergency food shop in Morrisons. Admittedly, it was a little awkward answering questions about fanny stitches and breastfeeding whilst frantically trying to pack bags at the checkout but I didn’t think much of it at the time. Maybe I was on some kind of sleep-deprived high or something. Apologies to the old man behind me in the queue. Possibly a case of too much information in hindsight.
Day four and we were out and about already
Day four and we had our first ‘fun’ family trip out to Saltram, our local National Trust property where I pretty much live, as I’m sure most Plymouth mummies do.
I say fun – I sat under a tree feeding The Twins inspecting my ever-increasing swollen feet (WTF??) whilst The Other Half entertained Toddler. That was our first encounter of all the attention twins attract from randoms. But more of that another time.
It was during these first few days that midwives turned up at our house to find us out and about. They’d then phone and ask why I wasn’t home for them to do certain health checks. It was like I was being told off. Why do they just turn up rather than ringing first? Maybe it’s because you’re supposed to be at home bonding with your baby in your pyjamas, not hobbling about National Trust places with pasty feet, or buying pizza and garlic bread in Morrisons.
Ah well, it made a change from McDonald’s fries…
How did I do?
Did you enjoy this post? You might like some of my others, so how about you have a read of Totally Outnumbered all about finding out I was going to have three boys under three, or how the birth went in Epidurals are the best thing ever!
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Brilliant! Theres 17 months between our son and our twins and this has bought back some memories (to be fair, I don’t remember much about 2013, it passed in a sleep deprived haze). Well done for making it out of the house, though, looking forward to reading more from your blog
Thank you – it is all a bit of a haze, yes!
But worth it, it’s lovely to see them play together now x
Sounds like Hell!! Poor poor you Helen xxx
Don’t worry, the fact it’s all a blur helps!
Ohhh I feel with you. Keep going! You are doing a GREAT job. And you will survive! We have..so far….with our own measures too. Ours are 11,8&8.
Hugs from Germany
Thank you. Good to hear!
Oh. My. God. You are amazing. To get through all that and, to then write so bloody hilariously about it! My husband and I have been crying (and not in a Terry the Pterodactyl kinda way) with laughter. I am so sorry we are laughing so hard at what was clearly a tricky time. But you’re right – you just gotta sod the rules at this point and just do what you gotta do! Excellent post. #ItsOK
Ha ha, thank you. No need to apologize. If I didn’t laugh at the whole situation I’d cry!
Oh my word, it’s been a long time since I heard babies cry like that! You’re doing great lovely.
We also bought a dummy, just in case. I lasted 12 hours at home without one, and 4 years later we were fine! lol
Thanks for linking up to the #itsok linky. Hope you join us again next week.
The crying was just painful! I was always determined to get rid of the dummies by six months. That’s not happened!
Shitting hell! You’ve brought it all back in mind-blasting, ear-breaking technicolor! Yes, it most definitely is all about survival. And then it’s about wine. And survival… but the wine definitely helps. #ItsOK xxx
Wine and survival are basically the same thing, aren’t they? And chocolate.
Man… we don’t have twins, but we have five kids and the youngest three were 3 under 3 (with only 14mo between the youngest two). I know it’s not the same, but I see so many similarities the more that I read about your adventures.
Survival. It’s all about survival! I brought a pacifier to the hospital with our fifth. It was the first time I’d ever done that, but I knew there was no other way I’d survive, lol
I love that – by number 5 you just knew how to do it! I’m beyond worrying about stuff now. I just do what I have to do to get through the day. You must be the same with five!! Don’t know how you manage. I can only just survive three 🤪
Clearly faulty newborns! I laughed so hard and then barely caught my breath to laugh even more. #DreamTeam
Clearly faulty newborns! I laughed so hard and then barely caught my breath before laughing more! #DreamTeam
To be fair, I think they might still be a bit faulty now…
Our oldest, Big, cried so much and shouted so much that she started sounding like Bonnie Raitt at 4. The ENT told us if she has nodules growing from her screaming and carrying on. If she didn’t stop, she would permanently ruin, maybe even lose her voice. Oh, those good times! #dreamteam xoxo