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Please help or tell me it gets better!

(103 Posts)
Rebecca1608 Thu 02-Jul-15 14:24:29

Hi just want to vent and get some advice really. I've got id girls born at 35 weeks. They will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. They spent 10 days in SCBU but when they came home i got them into some sort of routine. The last couple of weeks they have been having 4oz 4 hourly and my OH went back to work monday. I continued to feed them and change them at the same time but the last couple of days it's all gone to shit (i'm not expecting 5 week old babies to follow a routine religiously) but they are barely going 3 hours for me now. They wake at different times and they are always shouting. Though i always make sure they are ok. I'm feeding one of them every other hour and i've had 2 hours sleep. One likes to be awake more in the day and the other at night so i can't catch up on sleep. My OH just says "i wish i could help you" he can't during the day as he is in work but in the night says he will be too tired in work. I was up 2am until 7am this morning as one of my little ladies kept calling and very restless. I slept from 7 until 9 when my other little lady woke and have been awake since. I had my first coffee of the day at 2pm as it's been so hectic. No time to eat. I can't leave the house as when i've finished one feed it's soon time for the next. I have been in the house since sunday!! I phoned my mum in tears earlier and i just got "i don't know what to tell you" i'm really run down sad HV said it's because they are coming up to their due date which is actually tomorrow. She said everything will go out of the window but i am struggling! Please offer some advice.

neversleepagain Thu 02-Jul-15 14:46:08

It is hard, extremely hard. It is hard until they turn one then it becomes hard in different ways. Mine are nearly three and I could run screaming some most days.

littlegemsem Thu 02-Jul-15 14:52:16

Oh bless you, I remember those days well. Firstly yes it does get better!!! My boys have just turned 2 and we're born at 34 wks spending 15 days in scbu. Between about 5 & 10 weeks they turned into proper cluster feeders and I could not get a proper routine going, things settled down after that. There isn't a great deal you can do, I remember going hrs without a drink or eating and the advice of sleeping when they sleep was a joke!! Your oh might just have to help, mine used to take over from 8pm - midnight and if it had been a really rough night he would take over again at 6:30-7:30am. At least 2 nights a week he would help all throughout the night so feeding didn't take as long. One of my boys was very fussy so I can really empathise with you.

My mum used to say the exact same thing and never offered to help!

I wish I could offer you a solution but it is just time. Try and take comfort in the fact that all this feeding will make them strong and healthy. The challenges change but nothing is as intense and exhausting as those early weeks/months. xx

Rebecca1608 Thu 02-Jul-15 14:53:50

I know i'm incredibly lucky to have 2 gorgeous healthy girls but i'm worn out and trying everything to keep them happy. Keep them awake. Let them sleep. I changed milk. I've tried gripe water incase it was wind. Tried upping their feeds. Rocked them. Dummies. Breast fed. Little material in their baskets that smell like me. Keep an eye on their temperature. I'm a first time mum and i feel i've got it so wrong as nothing i'm doing is good enough?

Blazing88 Thu 02-Jul-15 14:56:35

Sounds really hard. Hmm. I don't have twins, so I no I'll probably get people saying it's not the same, but I did have a small gap between my at the newborn stage I also had a 17month old baby wandering around, tantruming, waking in the night still etc etc. And no, not old enough to help by bringing wipes or anything!! So I do recognise the complete stage of sleep exhaustion you are describing. Two lots of crying at the same time is just horrendous.

I also massively struggled to get out of the house - 2 small ones on totally different schedules, so I don't think that's limited to twins (and also I lived in a top floor flat with no lift - that really didn't help!!)

How do you cope? One day at a time. Lower your expectations. Ask for help - don't expect people to just offer it. Tbh, I got really low because i couldn't understand how my friends were ok with me really struggling and no one was offering to do anything. I think with hindsight, I should have just blatantly said I wasn't coping very well. I cried a lot to the HV but never to any of my friends. How silly.

Don't clean or do any of that crap. Leave it for husband to do or buy in some help.

The early days are horrendous frankly, doesn't matter whether it's your first, your fifth, twins or triplets! Oh and that is my other tip. I tried to think of people who had it much much harder than me ( a lady i know who had 2 yr old twins and THEN another set of newborn twins!!!) and thought, actually, come on, you can do this.

Do you have homestart in your area? Ask now for help. They finally sent someone to help me, but it took 3 months after I asked - at which point I was finally coping so didn't need it any more! They will help with any multiple births or multiple small kids in a house.

You're not alone. Mind you. Mine are 1 and 2 now and most days I'm still in bloody tears not coping particularly well! Except now it's different challenges!!! One day at a time. And ask for help. Help off ANYONE AND EVERYONE!!!

Rebecca1608 Thu 02-Jul-15 14:58:42

Littlegemsem- thanks. That is about the only thing keeping me going. Knowing it's making them strong. I will have to talk to OH tonight even if he fed them both when he finishes work now they are feeding different times i might get 4/5 hours in early evenings. It's better than the 2 hours i've had today. I look and feel like shit.

Can i ask how your twins slept? As i've got mine in moses baskets i'm wondering if it will help putting them in a cot together as they calm eachother and love being close on baby gym etc or are they too young and small? X

Picklesauage Thu 02-Jul-15 14:59:52

Is there anyone, anyone at all you could ask to help? There are usually lots of people who offer to help when a new baby arrives, let alone twins. Well if anyone ever offered anything take them up on it. If you have a book group, a friend who works part time, people from the church ask for help.

I have a 2 1/2 week old at home at the moment as well as a toddler and I was struggling on Tuesday. I called a friend to come round and help entertain my elder one. She was AMAZING. She forced me to go to bed, entertained 2 toddlers and 2 babies while I slept for an hour. After which I felt more human and ready to face the evening ahead.

I am saying people want to help. Just take them up and ask for it.

Rebecca1608 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:05:20

My mum helps now and again when she has a day off she will do a feed but not often as she is still looking after my dad who had a stroke last year. My sister has kids of her own and my friends are all singletons who would just rather go out. Don't ask MIL as whenever she comes around she makes me feel worse telling me how hard it is. How down it can make you (she has twins. OH bro and sis)

Lilipot15 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:05:50

Poor you. It sounds exhausting. Are you able to spell out to your mum that you need help? Or is there anyone else? Neighbours might be happy to occupy one whilst you feed the other / feed one whilst you rest. See if your husband can make you a packed lunch before he goes to work.
I was also going to suggest home start - it sounds like your health visitor has listened but done absolutely nothing to help! Is she visiting you soon?
I suspect friends think you are coping well, and also don't wish to interfere at this early stage but would be only too happy to help if asked.
I've had a lot of help from my parents with a young baby and a toddler, it isn't easy.
Good luck.

littlegemsem Thu 02-Jul-15 15:05:59

Don't worry what you look like or what your house is like, you are keeping 2 tiny humans alive which in itself is amazing!

If you can get any help do but I found most people were frightened of having twins on their own.

Mine slept in moses basket on their own until 12 weeks and then in their cots. I tried them together which helped the unsettled one but unsettled his brother so separated them again. It's just trial and error.

A lot of how you're feeling is just exhaustion so if your oh could help a bit more you'll be amazed by how much better you'll feel. xx

Lilipot15 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:09:04

And your other half needs to do more in the evenings too - yes, he is working, but what does he think you do for 24 hours a day? Essentially you are not getting any break, and your "job" of being mum to tiny twins is very important and demanding too!

Lilipot15 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:13:54

The other suggestion I have read in other threads about multiples / small age gaps is to see if there is a student from a local childcare course who could do a placement and help out - might be worth ringing one to see (though when you'd find the time to do that I don't know!). Not sure if this is more relevant for getting support minding a toddler with a newborn but you could consider it. I would have done this if my parents weren't on hand.
But do also ask your health visitor specifically about home start.

cathcustard Thu 02-Jul-15 15:16:22

I haven't got any real advice.

My DTs are now teens but I've never forgotten those early weeks, it's utterly grim.

Just get through it however you can; forget the housework, eat ready meals, forget ironic anything. If you can sleep in the day do.
Accept any offers of help, even if someone could take your DDs for a 30 minute walk, or empty the dishwasher.

Your HV might know some sources of support and TAMBA can be helpful.

You'll look back and think 'how did I do it?' but you will. flowers

caravanista13 Thu 02-Jul-15 15:16:40

I agree with Lili - you've both got full time jobs and your husband needs to step up. You can't care for your babies if you're beyond exhausted. I promise you it does get better - my DTs are adults now and I strangely can't remember much about the trauma - I think it's nature's way of keeping you sane!

cathcustard Thu 02-Jul-15 15:17:31

Ironing grin

TheEagle Thu 02-Jul-15 15:21:14

You're doing great, it's really intense and it's totally exhausting!

My twin boys will be 11 weeks old (born at 35+6) on Saturday and it's relentless. We have a 21 month old as well who's been very unsettled by twins arrival and a house move so nighttimes in our house are a melting pot!

It does get easier, those early crazy weeks are the hardest.

I know that you feel your MIL isn't supportive but even if she just changed a few nappies/made you a cup of coffee/let you have a shower it might be worth it.

I'm taking all the help I can even though some people are banging on at me to give the babies bottles. I just ignore the advice I don't want and let them make a dinner or change a dirty bum!

Nothing compares to having 2 newborns who need you ALL the time. I think your OH will just have to suck it up and help you as much as he can.

One of my boys sleeps in the cot on a sleep positioner thingy because he's quite refluxy. He's turned into a good sleeper though. My other guy is a bit more erratic so I have him in the bed with me.

I try not to look at my phone/the time at night because it stresses me out a bit, especially as I have to be up at 7 with my toddler.

Take every day at a time. Lie down whenever you can. Even if it's just for 10 minutes, at least you'll be horizontal.

I've read that putting the twins in the same cot can sync their body clocks so you might give that a go and see if that encourages them to wake at the same time? I initially woke the sleeping twin at night until I realised that I was always waking the same twin so now I just leave him be and he sleeps longer.

Hang in there, these crazy sleepless times will pass and there will be crazy hectic days instead smile

Plenty of brew and cake

Magicalmrmistofeles Thu 02-Jul-15 15:32:08

Ok first of all yes, it will get better, and easier as time goes on - it's bloody tough but you'll get there.

Do you have vibrating bouncy chairs? They really are a godsend - feed one, wind for 5 and put in chair - still upright enough to not get refluxy / chuck up. The other one is ok in a chair while you feed the first one.

Mine are nearly 4 and the sheer hell of tiredness won't be forgotten in a hurry. I remember having a huge busy up with DH once he had gone back to work - he slept in the spare room sun-thur as he was working, and didn't seem to realise the monotony of it all. He wanted to still spend time gardening and stuff he had always done until I threw a bottle at him out of sheer frustration. In fairness he did step up after that, I just think he genuinely didn't realise.

I do have to say as well that having two close in age is NOTHING like having twins. Sorry for the rant but it's a pet hate of mine!!

crazytyke Thu 02-Jul-15 15:34:32

No twins advice but can say that it will get better, they will get bigger, they will go longer between feeds and they will sleep through the night. One day this will all be behind you. In the meantime, yes definitely ask for help from anyone and everyone. Where in the UK are you? someone might know of local support

Rebecca1608 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:09:52

Thanks everyone sorry for venting... so much. Just feel pretty useless when you know they have a clean bum no wind a full belly lots of cuddles and clean sheets and they are still unsettled. I'm really thinking of the cot situation as it is the only thing i haven't tried. Obviously keep my baskets incase but they are so content when side by side. Hand holding. Blabbering etc but a few people (without twins) have told me it could be dangerous at their size incase they put their hands through the bars. So i don't know all i do know is i'm doing all i can without much help and OH seriously winds me up telling me how many hours sleep he has had and how fresh he feels. Where i've had little sleep and feel like i'm an inch away from a breakdown. Well a damn good cry maybe!!! Eventually i will be going back to work myself and what will happen then when they are teething etc. I live in Wales! ^ crazytyke. I feel better just for talking to people who have experienced it as (no offence) when i talk to people with one telling me how hard it is i feel like they're taking the piss!

Blazing88 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:25:12

I do have to say as well that having two close in age is NOTHING like having twins. Sorry for the rant but it's a pet hate of mine!!

Oh here we go, it's not supposed to be a competition!

I will say this though. My best friend has two exactly the same age as mine, a 1 yr old and a 2 yr old.

When we need a break, we swap kids. One of us takes the 2 yr olds and one takes the 1 yr olds.

I'm fairly sure nothing competes with twins (except for triplets etc!!!) overnight, early days, newborn days etc but please just remember with two with a small age gap, we've had 2 pregnancies close together, 2 possibly traumatic births close together. Also the elder child is not (contrary to popular belief!!) able to sort themselves out, do things for themselves etc etc - they're still a baby themselves when the next one arrived!

So please do tell how the hell you reason it's nothing like having twins?! Still two to deal with all the time. Still two causing lack of sleep. Still two going off in different directions. Still not enough pairs of hands. Which one do you run to first when they've both about to headfirst into the fireplace etc etc.

To be honest, it's a pet hate of mine people saying 'It could be worse, at least you haven't got twins!!!'

Rebecca1608 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:32:26

I was able to feed both girls then at the same time so i'm able to enjoy a hot chocolate also OH home at 5. Hopefully i get a sleep smile fingers crossed.

monkeychops06 Thu 02-Jul-15 16:37:33

Hi, I dont have twins but I hope you dont mind me replying. I remember seeing someone on facebook use NCT sleepyhead/poddle pod for their twins in a cot. They had to put it at a slant to get them both in. It might help with your worry of them putting hands through bars. I have never used one so cant comment on if it will help the babies but thought I would suggest it.

Magicalmrmistofeles Thu 02-Jul-15 16:43:22

Because a toddler will be placated for 5, 10 mins by food, cbeebies whatever so you can figure out why the baby is screeching.

Because the toddler is mostly sleeping better than a newborn.

Because a toddler can communicate at least some of their needs.

Because the toddler could go to a crèche / daycare whatever for a few hours.

Lots of reasons and not a competition at all but it is nothing like same.

accessorizequeen Thu 02-Jul-15 16:47:51

Rebecca, I just had to post as I so remember how I felt at this stage. My two are 6 now, but I haven't forgotten having 2 hours sleep a night, and collapsing on the floor after night feeds. Yes, it gets better, and yes there are wonderful, fabulous things about having multiples which I would never swap but my god having two newborns takes some beating for pure torture! You're doing brilliantly, but it's just surviving at this point. You need some help. If family won't help, then anybody you can get for a few hours a day will make a huge difference. Are you feeding them together, I couldn't figure that out? If not, make that your priority as otherwise all life is ruled by feeding. Made the biggest difference to me, switching to feeding them together. Your OH needs to step up a bit, if you haven't left the house in days and he is boasting about his sleep!!

accessorizequeen Thu 02-Jul-15 16:50:48

Oh and ditto to what magical said. Used to drive me bonkers people comparing twins with kids close together. I had both and hands down twins is harder for years! Even once they're at school.

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