Can you give me a big hug and tell me it will get easier?

(39 Posts)
NoMoreWineForMeThen Mon 22-Oct-12 09:32:55

I'm so tired. Bottom lip quiveringly tired.

DD is 2 and DTs are 24 wks.

I don't want to write a huge post listing all the reasons I'm struggling (besides, I'm sure most of you will have or are going through the same so will know anyway) but in brief: BF DTs; no routine; no sleep - ever; house a tip: feel trapped and isolated. Also feeling so guilty, no quality time with toddler and she is acting up for attention, not interacting properly with DTs, just zombie like most of the time. I'm really struggling.

I feel like everything would seem a little easier if I could just get some sleep.

Strong with just a dash of milk and 1/2 sugar please..... smile

Quodlibet Mon 22-Oct-12 09:37:15

brew

I don't have any experience of your situation but I'm sure someone will be along in a minute.

Do you have any friends/family you can call on for support, even if it's just taking DD out for a bit or tidying the house? If you were my friend and you were struggling like this I would want you to let me know so that I could help support you.

Watching with interest (and fear).

My Dts are 3 weeks old and the exhaustion is unbelievable! Also desperate to get out the house but it takes forever to get them out for a walk.

Hope someone with wise words can help you (and me!)

onetothree Mon 22-Oct-12 11:34:04

Do you have any family local to help?
Can your toddler go to nursery at all?
Do yours dts sleep in the same room? Ours never did and me and dh had one each at night for the first 6 months or so.

Sleep is very important to me. Sometimes I'm in bed at 8! Could you try going to bed when the children do?

onetothree Mon 22-Oct-12 12:07:14

Sorry was in practical mode then and forgot the hug!

((((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))))

It does get easier I promise. Mine are 20 months now and make me laugh every day.

mummypigof3 Mon 22-Oct-12 13:54:33

DTs now 9 months and DD was 2 when they were born. It's been though but it is much easier now. A routine does make a huge difference especially when someone else can help out too so they know what to do.
Put a wash on every night. Don't bother with ironing. Online shop. Batch cook and meal plan. If you can afford it get your DD in nursery a few hours a week, a cleaner for a bit and even a mothers help couple of evenings a week.
Try and go out yourself in the evenings, even for a couple of hours. It makes you feel so much better.
Hang in there,wink you will be fine and it is so worth it once they start playing with each other.

chesticles Mon 22-Oct-12 21:36:58

Sleep deprivation is a killer. You have my sympathy. (((hug))) It does get better though. My kids are now 4, 2 and 2. The days of broken nights are now a distant memory, though honestly I can't remember much of the first year!

My advice would be to get a routine sorted. With twins I think it is essential. Feeding routine first, and then a strong bedtime routine with bath/final feed/bed. At 24 weeks they should be big enough to sustain 6 hours at night without food. Even if the rest is broken if you get 6 hours solid sleep you'll feel a lot better.

I would also phone your health visitor and ask if there is any help you might be eligible for. My friend with twins(who is not on benefits or especially low income) got 2 free mornings a week at the council nursery as she was really struggling. Hers were 18 months though so yours might be a little young. But the HV might be able to get you a homestart volunteer.

Do you have any family or friends or DH who could help? Take the twins for a walk for 30 minutes whilst you read DD a story/or have a shower? Coudl your mum come to stay for a weekend and give you a break so you could sleep for 48 hours (bar feeding) and give you a chance to recharge?

Hope things improve soon, I'm sure they will

NoMoreWineForMeThen Mon 22-Oct-12 22:12:27

Thank you all for the replies. I've been quite tearful today as it's all getting on top of me somewhat so it's nice to have a little virtual support smile

I do have friends and family nearby but am guilty of not being completely honest about how difficult I'm finding things. Im sure my friends would like to help, family are less likely to unfortunately. DH is generally great but he works long hours so often isn't around or when he is, he's exhausted too.

I did actually contact SureStart and Homestart but neither could provide me with any assistance. SureStart did promise me a few hours a week but called me to revoke the offer due to a backlog of cases. Homestart don't cover my area.

I'm going to go through finances to see if there is any way we can afford a cleaner. I'm sure the state of the house is affecting my mood a great deal.

I'm wondering whether we need to switch to formula to be able to get a good routine going. Did any of you manage to get into a routine whilst BF? I'm getting close to switching anyway as it would at least mean that DH could help during the night, even if its just during a weekend when he doesn't have work the next day.

imperialstateknickers Mon 22-Oct-12 22:25:09

Re formula, we started giving a formula feed very early, at about 8.30 p.m. This was so that DP could do one while I did the other. This routine went on for many months, I bf all the rest of the feeds.

DP/my mum/one of my sisters/a friend took over, completely, for at least three hours, from about 5 p.m. until the 8 p.m. bottle. And I went to bed. I didn't always sleep all that time, but I was 'turned off' - not responsible. It made a huge difference. DP slept in the spare room for the first 8 months, it was the quid pro quo for the three hours in the early evening.

I didn't have a toddler to deal with as well and I do feel for you.

Please come clean to your friends and family. Humans are not really designed to have two or more at the same time and this stage is the most knackering.

And yes, it does get better. In fact, all in all it's been the most fun I've ever had.grin Mind you I think puberty's beginning to hit ddtwins, so I may not feel the same this time next year...

toomuchpink Mon 22-Oct-12 22:55:02

Hi there
I know exactly how you feel. My DD1 was 2-and-a-half when the twins were born and I found it really hard-going. Lots of tears, lots of exhaustion, lots of struggling through the days.
I found, maybe like you, that on the odd day when I was not totally knackered I would have the energy to look around and see what a mess the house was in and feel overwhelmed and in tatters.
Here's some thoughts.
Firstly, you are so brilliant for breastfeeding your babies to this point. This has given them the best possible healthy start in life and the piles of clothing, the dust on the cupboards, the toys everywhere do not matter at all in comparison to this brilliant, brilliant thing you have done.
On your routine. I found mine did nap more reliably once I started them on solid food around six months. It was a stressful time getting them onto solids because often one would get upset in their bumbo while I was trying to feed the other, so it is not an easy stage, but they did sleep for longer periods. I was very determined about getting a morning nap (9.30am-ish) and a lunchtime-ish nap/ early afternoon nap. I just made them go down in their cots at those times from around 3 months, but it was only when they went onto solids that they started sleeping for say an hour or more at both nap times.
If you have not got this kind of routine, I would really try to implement it or something similar.
In terms of help, like you I had very little. Now mine are 13 months, it is much, much better and often quite fun. They play much more independently, but while I still worry about neglecting DD1 it is much easier to split my attention. When I think back, I think I could have made my life easier by spending just a little bit of money on some assistance. Girls from our local private nursery charge £5 an hour. I used to find the days ok until about 3pm, when we were all tired. I think, maybe I could have bought in a few hours help at the end of the day for a a few weeks just so it was a bit easier on me. I did it on maybe two or three occasions, but I could perhaps have done something consistently and lightened the load for those tough few months. I have good memories of the few days when I did have the nursery helpers. Knowing someone was going to knock on the door at 3pm two days a week would have cheered me up I think.
It really does get better so spending money to get over this hump, will not mean spending it forever. My DD1 is now three-and-a-half, and is also much less trying than she was at two-and-a-half. Of course your oldest will react to having two new siblings, but I think it is a tricky age anyway.
I hope this is some help. I would soooo make that cup of tea for you if I could.
x

rednellie Mon 22-Oct-12 23:03:07

nomore I haven't read the whole thread, but I've EBF my DTS and DD was 2 when they were born. We did get a routine going and still have one now so it is possible. And it does get easier I promise!

Now, at 7 months I have time for all of them, we're eating better, the house looksaalright and we sometimes sleep. DD had a really tough time to begin with but her and her brothers have such a great time together.

Of course we have our off days, but I just wanted to reassure you. You're doing brilliantly. X

kingfix Mon 22-Oct-12 23:22:14

It will get easier.

But it is so hard when they are tiny. I know what you mean about fessing up to how hard it is to friends. I also felt there was a use-by date on twin sympathy so stopped asking for help too soon. (My twins are 17 months, the other children are 3 and 6.)

Sleep is the key. Just having a guaranteed block of sleep, even if it's very short. Can your dh or a friend come and mind them at a set time so you can get your head down? I even paid a friend's mum to do this for me, just for 2 hrs once a week and it was great to know that whatever else happened in the week I had that time to look forward to.

What would help you get out of the house? If the twins are in a buggy and your DD is walking, that can be fairly good quality time as you chat to her and 'ignore' the twins for a bit.

It is so exhausting when they're little and you have another one and the babies are settled with solids/sleep! Hope you get some rest.

Randomkath Tue 23-Oct-12 10:11:08

Hope things are looking brighter this morning. You are completely right, don't be afraid to ask your family and friends for help. I remember having a meltdown at about this age too. I think I was putting too much pressure on myself thinking I should be able to cope on my own by now, when really it's so hard still, especially if they're not sleeping well. I wish I hadn't struggled for so long. I ended up phoning my retired mother-in-law one morning begging her to come round just so I could have a shower for the first time in a week. She also then had the green light to be let loose cleaning the house, which she had been dying to do for weeks but didn't want to offend me. She then came in for an hour most mornings for a couple of months until we were into a routine and sleeping a bit better. I found however bad a night we'd had, if I could have a hot shower and a cup of tea in peace I could face the rest of the day!

Well done for bf, that in itself takes it out of you. However, unless you think the time is right or bf is part of the problem I would be wary of switching to bottles too hastily, as just adds another dimension of sterilising etc to your day. I put my twins on daytime bottles at about 7 months as one of them would want feeding every 1-2 hours during the day and I couldn't get the other one to concentrate on bf during the day, but she was waking every couple of hours hungry at night, so I was feeding every couple of hours 24 hours a day! At first they would only take 50-60ml at a time so still felt like I was constantly feeding, but after a couple of weeks we were down to 4 x 150ml bottles, plus bf first thing in the morning. Then I just went cold turkey and refused to feed at night. Only took a couple of horrible nights and they started sleeping much better and I would get a 6-7 hour stretch most nights. They are now a year old and I still bf first thing in the morning and sometimes for comfort/teething/colds. I'm not sure if it was bottles that helped with the routine or weaning as this happened at about the same time. Once they were on 3 solid meals a day it all just came together.

It does get easier, mine are now a year old and I actually think 5-6 months were the hardest bit (so far!)

OhGood Tue 23-Oct-12 10:17:34

No twins here but massive respect for all of you and brew all round.

It will get easier. Massive massive respect for EBF twins, but if you can nudge them into any sort of routine that will hugely help you. You'll be weaning in a few weeks so that will start to put some structure into your day, even if only 1 meal a day to begin with.
Once you're onto lunch if you can have a guaranteed afternoon nap each day you will know you have an hour or two to leave the house with them in a buggy snoozing, or nap at home, or get on with stuff. Such a help.
Mine are 13 months now and although some stuff is harder, generally it is so so much easier. They're jsut getting to the point where if we go out as long as we have some nappies and a banana, we can survive! (Obviously we do actually go out with enough food and luggage for a week abroad, but it's no longer quite so life-or-death!)

Foxtailsoup Tue 23-Oct-12 14:03:21

TELL PEOPLE HOW YOU FEEL! Please. My DTs are 19 months now and oh my god it's been tough - like you I wanted everyone to think I was coping when actually I was struggling desperately (and that's without another child to think about as well!). Once I opened up to my family about how much support I really needed, things changed for the better. You can do it all by yourself, but if you don't have to then please don't.

It's really really hard the first year, although I remember 6 months being a turning point and things looking up when they started to sleep more soundly and try solid food. Now they're older I look back and I honestly can't remember how we got through it, but we did and now I've got a little girl that likes to walk and "read" at the same time, and a little boy that shouts POO-BAG!! everywhere we go smile.

Everyone's right, routine is the way to go - it won't necessarily stop you feeling trapped, but it will give you a sense of control and a chance to take charge again. We put together a cuddlier version of a Gina Ford type thing based on what their natural sleeping and eating cycles seemed to be and we still run on a (different) routine for them now, it really does work.

NoMoreWineForMeThen Thu 25-Oct-12 15:57:52

Thank you for all of the replies and apologies for the sporadic responses. I've been pretty down recently but the boys slept from 9.30pm until 1am the other night and I was amazed at how much better I felt after just 3 hrs of unbroken sleep. Sleep is indeed the key.

You are all completely right of course, I do need to let people close to me know that I need help. Silly thing is that I'm sure if I asked, I would get help so I'm not sure what's stopping me really.

Also, I recall now that things did feel easier with DD once we past the 6 month mark. The combination of solids and introducing formula dramatically improved her sleep and she now sleeps for 12 hours overnight and usually has a 2hr nap after lunch too - I'll keep everything crossed that the boys follow suit smile

I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not yet doing grocery shopping online. Quite ridiculous really considering supermarket shopping is virtually impossible. If I get that sorted, it would help with batch cooking as I would actually have food in the house to cook with! Online shopping is number 1 on my list and sorting a cleaner is number 2!

With regard to routines, how did you all manage to get your twins to sleep in cots at the same time? If I put the boys down awake, no amount of shhh patting etc will sooth them. How did you manage it? I end up playing sleep tennis all day. As I get one to sleep, the other wakes and I spend a large part of the day running up and down the stairs. A lot of effort for little reward given that they sleep for such a short time.

You've helped me put things into perspective and given me confidence that it will get easier and hopefully not in the too distant future so thank you again. I'd better get cracking with weaning now hadn't I! smile

Will they sleep in the buggy? Can you use that to force encourage a nap routine. I recline mine and drape a muslin over the top (like putting a parrot to bed...) and they nod off!

RedZombie Thu 25-Oct-12 16:09:31

I was in a right state around the 12 week mark - both having completetly different 'routines'. A twin mum friend gave me a copy of Gina Ford and within a week, one was sleeping through the night and both were having 2 hour nap during the day. I felt like a new woman! I know its not popular round here, but having a detailed plan of what I was doing all day every day saved my sanity.

Ask for help! and get onto the online shopping. Sod the housework - so long as there are no environmental hazards then you're OK.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, I'm currently organising paperwork in my office MNing while my two are downstairs watching a DVD.

NoMoreWineForMeThen Thu 25-Oct-12 16:09:32

Sorry if this is a silly question, but do you leave the pushchair in the house or go out walking?

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Thu 25-Oct-12 16:43:02

I think you're doing amazingly well.

I struggled getting a routine just with one EBF baby!

Is there anyone who can help you plan a routine? I found I was so tired that I just couldn't see the wood for the trees and couldn't begin to see a pattern to the feeding and naps, although there was a small one emerging by itself.

Could you ask a friend or your mum or your DP to sit down with you and work out what seems to be naturally happening that you just need to tweak a bit, or go completely back to the drawing board and plan a brand new routine?

DS is 13 months and still naps in his pushchair in the flat can't face trying to put him in his cot, the nights are bad enough . We're lucky that we have a long corridor we can push him down but if your babies will fall asleep just in the pushchair and maybe a bit of rocking that could help?

I find that DS naps much better in his pushchair in the flat than outside (less noise/intersting things to look at etc.) plus it means I get a rest too!

Not a daft question! I have friends who can get their Los down by jiggling the buggy indoors. My two have always needed a fair bit of walking - fine as I have a dog who needs walking too - but I could often get away with coming home early and letting them sleep in the porch in their buggy for a while. In fact that's basically how I ate lunch for a few months!

amillionyears Thu 25-Oct-12 18:00:56

Get help. I gratefully and gleefully accepted any help going.
Made the world of difference.
Also made things much more sociable.
Everyone was delighted to be asked,and helped practically as well.
Win win all round as far as me and DH was concerned.
In short,I ditched my pride.
That way,everyone was able to enjoy the experience.

rednellie Thu 25-Oct-12 19:24:56

My older DD sort of helped force a routine as I found I had to fit the twins around her. I found it helped to tandem feed in the early days as it was so much quicker.

In terms of naps I started off feeding them to sleep, normally after they'd been up for two hours, then transferring to a cot I had downstairs. At about 5 months I started putting them down upstairs in their cot, then putting them down awake. First time they did cry for about ten mins but I left them to it and they've napped brilliantly since.

I reckon starting with that pattern of: wake up, feed, play, change nappies, put down awake for nap over the course of 2hrs will set you up for a basic routine. If they're awake for too long I find them much harder to settle.

Nowadays my boys always have a lovely long nap in the morning from about 830/9am. I stay at home for this one and it's my time to cook, play with DD etc. Then we go out for lunch/after and they nap in their buggies whilst we do something fun.

Sorry I've waffled a lot! Went on a night out last night and still slightly fuzzy!

NoMoreWineForMeThen Thu 25-Oct-12 19:53:54

A night out! envy

mummypigof3 Thu 25-Oct-12 21:49:55

I try to build my routine around my older dd. I found gina ford really helpful for weaning and setting a routine. She has a weaning book. I didn't stick to it word for word but used the ideas for times and how to introduce things/ drop feeds etc. I had forgotten how to wean...
I completely understand your term sleep tennis! I am usually tied up with the elder dd and by the time I have a chance to go in there they are asleep!

NoMoreWineForMeThen Thu 25-Oct-12 22:37:48

Actually, I was going to ask if anyone could recommend any books for twins. Gina Ford has two mentions so perhaps worth getting a copy?

Oneminute Thu 25-Oct-12 22:44:59

It will get a bit easier soon, I promise. My little boy was two when my triplets were born. I think it is so hard when the babies are reliant on milk feeds and you have done so well to feed them yourself. I mix fed mine and to be honest I had to have a routine otherwise I would have gone mad. I do think it gets easier when the babies begin to be weaned. It brings its own challenges but I think the day tends to have a bit more shape.

I think rednellie has given good advice on naps. I did a similar thing. I put them down when I thought they should sleep. (I remembered my son's pattern of napping).At first it was just like you describe, I was up and downstairs all the time but they do eventually get into a pattern. My older son would never sleep if just put into a cot so I used to take him out for a long walk in the buggy. Eventaully I found out he would sleep whether I went for a walk or not as long as he was in the buggy! That might be an idea for now if yours don't like the buggy.

I also agree with the advice of internet shopping, doing a wash everyday and NO ironing. At first I was so knackered I couldn't even get a list together on the Sainsburys site but when I finally managed to do it, it was worth it. I do batch cook but sometimes I am either too busy or too tired to do that so I have a few meals that hardly take any time at all to prepare. If you pm me I will send you a couple of recipes that are quick but vaguely nutritious (they are quite limited, I am not much of a cook!).

Finally, try not to worry too much about your two year old. She has a mum who loves her and she will get so much joy out of being with your twins. This is just a little phase, things will get better. Soon she will enjoy "helping" you with spoons etc!

Sorry this is so long. I just feel for you. I could have written your post a year ago. Do get some help if you can... this is one of the toughest bits.

Oneminute Thu 25-Oct-12 22:49:55

I think the Gina Ford book can be quite useful in giving you an idea of when the babies might have a nap. I didn't have the twin one but just looked at the times in the ordinary book. I remember my older son seemed to naturally settle into the pattern she suggests, even though I wasn't trying to Gina Ford him at all!

Oneminute Thu 25-Oct-12 22:51:40

First post should say 'if they don't like their cots'! I will shut up now!

rednellie Fri 26-Oct-12 04:57:56

nomore when I get back on my laptop I'll send you a pm with an excellent book we used. T.bh it didn't tell us anything we didn't already know about good sleep habits but it helped so much just having it written down. Like it was said earlier, you get so tired you stop being able to make rational decisions.

Sorry about mentioning the night out, really tactless of me! I went through a phase of wanting to headbutt anyone who said their child slept through...

mummypigof3 Fri 26-Oct-12 10:23:18

Re the gina ford- I am not gina fording my twins by any stretch of the imagination. Just any "sensible" book with an idea of something you can use as a guide for meals/naps/milk times.
I also had a really though time at 6 months with the DTs. 4 months on and I feel
Much more in control and happier. Here's to that continuing
For all of us wink

toomuchpink Fri 26-Oct-12 22:18:30

I used separate cots. I made sure when one woke in the morning I woke the other soon after, so they started the day at the same time. As soon as it got to the stage where they were pretty grumpy I put them down. If one seemed less ready for bed I allowed them to stay up for 10 more minutes, but no more.
Once in the cots I left them for 10 minutes, if they were still crying I went in cuddled, tucked them back up and came away and gave it another 10 minutes. I know there was one day when I was starting the routine when DT2's entire "morning nap" consisted of me going in every 10 minutes and leaving her again. It was stressful, but massively worth it because they have napped at the same time pretty much ever since. I did it a week when my husband was on holiday so I had some moral support. When I went in to soothe them I did it really kindly and gently so I knew I was being nice to them and not horrible to them, even though they didn't want to be left. I was absolutely determined about it though. It did not take long for them to get used to the sleeping pattern. Certainly less than a fortnight. I think it was pretty much sorted within a week.

whizmum Tue 13-Nov-12 20:24:01

I had a cleaner for the end of my pregnancy (couldn't move and kept falling asleep..........) and for the first six months.

I had a hellish first child, so the twins were easier, except there were two of them..... I woke them up and fed them at the times they usually woke up (kept a list of feeds to start with), keeping them to the routine they chose. I fed them a lot over the evening whilst DP put toddler to bed, in the hope of them sleeping longer. Slept through before DS who woke each night until age 5!

From the moment they woke up and it could be considered morning , I planned the day around getting them to bed at 8pm. My mother used to f8ck this up by taking them for long walks in the pram "look, they've slept all this time!" I was tired but just got up and started the day as this worked better. Once when they were about 18mths, I dropped the last yogurt on the floor [sad, crying with exhaustion smiley!]

They are 18 and have gone to uni. It is definitely easier now! They have always been the best thing that ever happened to me (I was not going to have children.............)

LongStory Sat 24-Nov-12 20:04:54

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 14 years, 2 months and 8 days to go...

PrincessScrumpy Thu 29-Nov-12 14:47:55

twins are now 15mo and hanging off me so will keep short - 1st year focus on ensuring all are fed, watered, warm and cleanish -= that's the essentials, everything else is a bonus. I felt very guilty about dd1 but now she plays with dtds it's fab! (and a bit easier)

go to baby groups and don't be scared to delegate! people want to helpbut often need your permission! It gets a lot more fun! xx

PrincessScrumpy Thu 29-Nov-12 14:49:07

oh yes, I have a cleaner, she was weekly but now once a fortnight. Can't really afford it but for the sake of my sanity dh is happy for me to keep her - I never was a great house wife as I've always worked but childcare for 3 is impossible!

twosquared Sun 02-Dec-12 13:27:16

Hope its easier now NoMoreWine. If it helps, I never shhh patted or jiggled mine. Harsh as it sounds I let them cry (unless sick or in pain). If one woke up I also woke up the other. That got them synced fairly quickly. My twins are now five and six (afraid two sets). They all seem to have survived their harsh early mothering. Even better they now all sleep in the same room and can all sleep through one child screaming / vomiting / staging a little late night party.
I promise there will be MoreWine and the best thing is as they get older they need less entertainment as they always have a little buddy to play with.
Good luck!

defineme Sun 02-Dec-12 13:51:34

I had twins and a 2 yr old and bf. They were in a routine immediately because ds1 was too. So I had to take him to preschool for 915 so that was their 1st nap of the day in the pram on the way(2nd bf of day just before we set off-often twins were still in night sleepsuits under snowsuits).

2nd nap was in pram on way home from collecting ds1 and would leave them in secure back garden(change in temp would wake up if in house) with back door open and watch then through window whilst had lunch with ds1-he napped until he was 4 so he'd have an hour then too. If no preschool would generally go out anyway-didn't internet shop cos I needed to get out of the house-just lots of small shops whilst buying far too many trains for ds1 to make up for ruining his life!

Naps in house were more difficult-joint feed then if not asleep on breast I'd pat/shush/shuggy/swaddle/whatever I could think of.

they were in same single pram in snowsuits when we went out for about 4 months(ds1 sat on the end of the pram on a cushion!), then I had a double buggy with ds2 (lightest) in a sling or ds1 walking.

I went to bed at 8pm with twins and after 3 months dh did any feed before midnight with formula-so I had 4 hours if I wore ear plugs.

Dh did his own ironing and I didn't iron anything else. I did minimal housework, but kept tidy so it was easier to clean when I did have a minute.

It was head down and get on with it for a couple of years, but we have lots of photos to remind us of the good times we had amidst the grind. It will pass before you know it and I now believe twins are the best thing that could possibly have happened to us.

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