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Sleep, Sushi and Chocolate for Breakfast

Sleep, Sushi and Chocolate for Breakfast
I became irrationally upset the first time the twins cried because 'not all their memories were perfect anymore.'

I know. Ridiculous. And this from someone who didn't think they had unrealistic expectations of Motherhood. I exceeded my expectations, however, when I made a solo trip to the baby clinic with the twins and got them weighed and changed without either one waking. I ignored the sulky stares from singleton Mums who were cross that I was granted permission to drive the bus, I mean buggy, into the room while their's waited in a jumble outside. I ignored my increasingly flushed face as the pressure mounted and my certainty that a sleepy twin would wake, heightened. I ignored the fact that I have probably been placed on some sort of list because the Health Visitor didn't laugh at my 'I-didn't-drug-them-I'm-just-lucky-they're-sleepy' joke. I ignored the urge to cheer triumphantly as I left the room, and smiled smugly instead.

Baby Clinic days are filled with stranger small-talk about night feeds and buggies and ooohing and aaahing over offspring. As a Twin Mum my buggy full of offspring attracts a larger than average crowd, and, maybe I shouldn't admit this, but I'm not overly excited by other people's babies, even as a fully-fledged member of Club Motherhood. Maybe it's just because I am underslept and overtired, with little energy left to summon enthusiasm for anything other than a good night's sleep?

Sleep Deprivation

There are 101 uncertainties surrounding Motherhood but tiredness is a given.
Proud Dad with his twins
Unfortunately that inevitability does not make it any easier to deal with. Google 'sleep deprivation' - it's scary. I knew I would have to get used to significantly less sleep when the twins arrived, I just wasn't prepared for NO sleep. It was weeks before we had more than 4 consecutive hours. Prior to that there was a choice to be made between a power nap and food during the brief periods when both twins were asleep at the same time. I won't even begin to confess how shocking my diet was in the early weeks. Sushi at 3am and chocolate for breakfast was one of the better days.

Squeaky-clean newborns rely on the most exhausted version of you to look after their physical and mental wellbeing. You know you could do better, if only you could sleeeeeep. Our 'Arms Reach Co Sleeper' gives us a few precious extra minutes. The cot attaches to the bed so we don't need to move far in the moonlight. In fact the only way the boys could be closer is if we were to lay them in-between us. And then I wouldn't sleep for fear of rolling over and squishing them.

Despite knowing the boys were safe in their cot there were curious moments in the first few weeks when I would wake with unfounded certainty that I had fallen asleep with a twin in my arms. I would work the duvet into an empty bundle in my sleep, clenched fists cradling nothing.

Katy at laptop with twin
Parents of older children take great pleasure in telling us the newborn bit is the easy bit. Small people, small problems they say with a knowing smile. More often than not these wise baby-day survivors have not had twins, which renders them completely unqualified to make any assertions about what our 'easy' life is currently like, or what our future holds. I'm sure I will be guilty of rose-tinted nostalgia when twenty toddler toes leave me exhausted but I will never, ever say to a sleep deprived new Mum, it only gets harder. Even if I discover this to be true. Which I doubt. Surely everything is easier after a good night's sleep?

Katy Hymas
Proud Mum of Twins Mummy Blogger
June 2010

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