the four little words that most every mother lives by during the rough patches... "this too shall pass"...
to be honest, i've never taken great solace in them. now and again they have helped pick me up when i was down but mostly...call me a negative nelly, if you must...mostly i find myself thinking, "well it is great that at some point said situation will pass, but what the hell do i do right now to get through it without losing my mind??"
i've heard and thought a whole lot of "this too shall pass" since the twins have been born. this saddens my heart a bit as i really don't want to be wishing time away, but sleep has been hard to come by around here and that, my friends, can put an ugly spin on most anything.
anyway...why write about this now? why at 3:30am (update: though i started this at 3:30am, it took me the rest of the night, day, and part if the next night to finish it...damn blogging via iphone) as i sit here on the couch with two nursing babes? it is not because i hate doing this, i actually love nursing them and i don't even mind doing it through the night. hell, i nursed nolan through the night until he was two and a half. granted he was just one baby and i didn't have to actually get out of bed...or be fully conscious (side lying nursing is a gift from god) as he had no reflux issues, but it still kept me from sleeping through the night. so it is isn't any of that. it is just that when there are two...as you may expect...they don't always live on the same schedule. the whole process of getting up, changing diapers, latching on, nursing, burping, holding them upright (thank you, reflux) for 30ish minutes and then making the transfer to bed (which inevitably fails the first try) takes bare minimum an hour...each time. what does all that mean? it means that in the nearly eight weeks of their lives, i've been averaging...averaging meaning often times less...four non-consecutive hours of sleep each night. four is not enough to then wake up and make it positively and successfully through a day with a toddler and two infants. definitely not enough. enter: "this too shall pass"...
two nights ago, we had an exceptionally difficult one. the girls barely slept all day and woke up as soon as i laid them down every. single. time. all. day. long. so needless to say we were all tired and cranky. this also meant that nolan got preeeeetttyyy much zero solo attention, which makes for a very sad, needy, grouchy bug. combined with the fact that suddenly he is having a rather difficult time with the transition. it is like the newness has worn off a bit and now he wants his mama back. :(
anyway...back to that night. the girls were awake and angry through dinner, what should have been bath time and bedtime. it was a total nightmare. daddy was at work and i had been solo with them all day and toddler testing had been in full effect. by bedtime, everyone was in tears. i couldn't seem to help anyone to happiness...i couldn't even figure out how to get there myself. nolan melted down multiple times and didn't fall asleep until 9:00. the girls held out until 11:00 (and the were up multiple times in the night) and cried a good chunk of that time. i nearly lost it. i just wanted to give up. all my insecurities about mothering three came flooding back full force and i was right back where i was when they were two weeks old.
then something happened. the night ended and the next day began. we made it through. i didn't sleep more than three hours total, but we made it through anyway. we had planned on going on an adventure to the batting cages with nolan for that following morning, but i cancelled it. no energy and no patience for the circus it is to get us out the door and then home in time for lunch and naps. that was the best decision i've made in a while. we didn't leave the house at all! we colored and played with toys an just hung out. there was no nap for mama, but still overall good. the girls slept quite literally all day long, which terrified me for what was to come at night, but allowed me some one on one time with bug and i even packed three small boxes (getting ready to move in a month).
that night (last night) went surprisingly well after their all day sleeps. they stayed asleep each time I laid them down. alice slept for a six and a half hour chunk of time (what!?). lilah missed that memo, so i didn't get to enjoy that same chunk of sleep, but i did manage to get five hours in during the night! i felt like a new woman today! haha. and it reminded me of what "this too shall pass" really means to me. it means, don't fear when the girls don't sleep or nolan doesn't listen or eat or is acting a mess on one day. it doesn't mean they will never sleep or that nolan is going to grow up to never listen to anyone or follow any rules in his life. it is just that hour...that day...maybe that week or month, but it doesn't make who they are. it doesn't make who they are any more than my bad days make who i am...at least i hope they don't. ;) it means, just take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. breathe. and trust that we will make it through and improve later. this too shall freaking pass.
now...off to attempt a baby transfer and hopefully get some sleep.
ps. i wrote this post on my phone. please pardon typos. :)