Well, things haven't really been going any better. Nap times are still rough with them crying for at least 30 mins to an hour before they settled down and go to sleep. Gary started putting the girls to bed every night by himself and it was going ok. But they still cried for at least an hour or more every single night. Real tears. Pouring down the cheeks real tears. Both Gary and I decided last night that we just can't do that anymore. It is heartbreaking!
So today for naps things started to look up:
Morning nap - We both each patted one baby to sleep since Gary worked from home today. I was so tired I could hardly stand up so I took a quick nap with them. Olivia slept 30 mins, but Abby slept about 1 hour and 15 mins which is great for her.
Afternoon nap - I stayed in the room but sat in the chair and cleaned up around the room. They both laid down on their own and went to sleep with no tears (a first for Abby!). They fussed, but no real tears. I can handle that :-) They both slept for about an hour and a half (Whoo-hoo!!)
Tonight we both went in and sat down in the floor where they could see us. Real tears came out pretty quickly so I laid in the floor and put one hand in each of their cribs. At first they didn't know what to think. It was pretty comical to see the looks on their faces as they stared down at my hand peeking through the crib bumper. Abby surprisingly laid right down. She settled down with her hand in mine. She laid quiet and still until she fell asleep. It only took about 20 mins. Olivia squirmed around rubbing her face, neck, hands, and feet into my hand, but she fell asleep quickly after only about 10 mins.
You know, if this is the transistion they need, then I can do it. Is it the right thing to do? At this time, yes. We both feel good about it. Lord, you knows how it will be next week!
It seems a constant ebb and flow...this last year. The positive highs and the lowly lows. Infancy was tough with the colic and the little sleep. I was recovering from surgery and caring for two tiny babies. Then around 5 months it got better. I felt like I could breathe! They could play in their bouncers and exersaucers. They were content!
Then around 7 months, again with the whining and neediness. That lasted for about a month then April was killer! It rivaled infancy except it was worse because I had had 10 months of little sleep instead of just a few weeks. I was at my wits end with them over nap time and just about to pull my hair out. Then, they turned a corner. That corner was me putting them in their swings to nap. They slept and it was wonderful. We had a couple of really, really great months. They were fun to be around and play with. They snuggled right down in our arms to go to sleep. Life was all of a sudden not so stressful. We had survived the first year. Yay for us!! But all the while there was this feeling...me waiting for the next rough time.
I have heard the first year is the worst and if I could just make it through all would start to look up. Then out of the blue, these monsters came! They whined and cried and started fighting us and with each other. They screech to get what they want. They arch their backs and fight us when it is time to sleep. They look right at us when we say "No" and LAUGH! Life is stressful again. I am tired again. Every time there is a low patch it's worse. A bleakness has settled over me just thinking of this cycle for the rest of their childhood.
And I know that all parenting is probably like this, but I honestly don't remember it with Zachary. Maybe it's because I have 2 this time or maybe it was that Zachary was just a really laid back and easy child. Maybe it is because I am not working. Could be just because I am older! Gasp! Maybe low times = teething. I don't really know. All I know is that during the low times, the days seem very long. They outnumber the good ones and I find it hard to enjoy my time with these wonderful girls. I strain to see the good.
And the good is there. Olivia wrinkles up her nose at us and grins all the time. Abby has started to run and chase us and want us to chase her. Olivia screeches then gets tickled and laughs at herself. Abby dances and has NO rhythm, poor girl, but still looks so cute. Olivia has started "talking". She speaks very earnestly to us and says "day go bah" a lot. She is telling us! Abby looks at her like she is crazy. They have started to play and interact more. They kiss and love on us and each other all the time. They both bring us books to read all day long. All.day.long...
The good is there. I know we will make it through. Maybe the next up phase will last awhile.