Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Two steps forward one step back

The twins are now 5 months and up until 2 weeks ago I’d foolishly forgotten the n.o 1 rule of parenting… don’t get lulled into a false sense of security.  I thought that we’d cracked the old sleep routines.  Scratchy sleeps 12 hours (yes I know incredible but don’t be envious of me just yet as…) Itchy sleeps anywhere between 6-9 hours.  But 2 weeks ago Itchy went back to feeding every 4 hours, and has been crying loudly which then sometimes wakes Scratchy who then decides she wants food too.  I’m exhausted all over again, it’s like stepping back to the first month.  Sleep deprivation is the biggest challenge for me.  Everyone tells you but you don’t appreciate how hard it is until you’re there so tired that you’ve; missed doctor appointments/are half way down the street with your slippers on/ mistaking your toothpaste for deodorant (delete as appropriate).  I was so tired the other day I went to stand up whilst forgetting that I had a baby on my lap.  Thank God for reflexes. 

It reminded me of my first week as a mum of twins in hospital when both fed every 3 hours.   After expressing, I did the post-C-section shuffle to the communal kitchen and back, and had a full conversation with a midwife en route with my tits hanging out.  Bless her she didn't mention anything and is probably used to it. She asked me what day I was on and counting to 5 was the most difficult thing.  Babies are to mathematics what kryptonite is to Superman.  Around the same time the nurse suggested I managed my own pain relief.  She explained the dose was 2 pills in four hours, or 3 in 6 or something like that but I internally panicked and all I was hearing was the magic round-a-bout music in my head.  I think she detected a glazed look and just said "it's difficult to over dose on these but try not to do it on my watch". 
Counting the scoops of formula when making up a bottle in this state takes all my effort.  Woe betide the person who puts me off as I’m mentally saying to myself “one, one one, two two two, three three….oh ..was I on three or four.”  Damn you baby brain.  Shall I start again or risk constipation”?  All of the new mums bar none I’ve met tell me in great detail what their night was like, when they fed, put baby to bed, put themselves to bed, when they woke up and what they did.  On the outside it’s THE most boring conversation but I take an interest and hold out cause I know I’ll get the opportunity to describe my night in the same excruciating detail.  It’s sympathetic therapy.  And since you’ve asked, I’ll tell you about a recent night for me: put them to bed at 7pm, I’m asleep at 10:30pm, feed Baby B at 11:30pm, 3pm 7am and Baby S at 7:30am.  And if a bad nights sleep wasn’t enough then, for some reason, I depress myself further by counting how many hours I got in total.  To think pre-baby I found it difficult to cope on anything less than 10 hours.  Now 6 hours in a row is enough to run a marathon on.

Tiredness really doesn’t help with baby brain either.  I’ll be honest and tell you the pre-baby me thought baby brain was somehow related to intelligence and because I was a sharp successful career woman it wouldn’t effect me.  WRONG!  Here I am often unable to finish sentences because I’ve either forgotten what I’m talking about or I cannot for the life of me find the words I want to use.  It’s embarrassing.  As soon as I try to conduct a non-baby conversation a trap door appears in my brain and all the verbs just disappear.  In fact changing my blog name from Anonomum to Labotomum, might be more fitting.  Mother nature just laughs and rubs her hands with glee that another mum is under her mumsie spell.  Turn the topic to poo however and I could give a 3 hour seminar with visual aids and examples.  What I now realise is; baby brain happens because your baby is SO important to you that you soak in every detail and there physically isn’t enough space for anymore info.  And you don’t want to think of anything else. Between remembering their feeding & sleeping needs and remembering to remove my vomit stained cardigan before my shopping trip, something’s go to go….and there I am one of those mums smelling suspect in the nappy isle.  I don’t care…I’m too tired. 

I’m now trying anything to get Itchy to sleep better.  Putting them down later, big feeds, solids, more comfortable bedding, lavender, crystals.  Anyone got a magic solution besides ear plugs and a wet nurse?

PS: if you like my blog please recommend me to other friends.


  1. Tits out in the hospital still makes me laugh!! Xxx

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