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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tales from the Crib Side



Don’t let the glass of wine and the fact that I am now in the recliner fool you. Tonight, I went into full battle mode and have the headache, the missing hair, and the wrinkles to prove it. Tonight, I took a walk on the crib side…

One of our first purchases after the first trimester was a pair of beautiful cherry wood sleigh cribs for the nursery. It was one of those purchases that Marty thought could wait, but I had been waiting years to furnish a nursery, and what twin nursery is complete without matching cribs? By 24 weeks, in anticipation of bed rest, we had the nursery all finished, minus the names of the walls, since that was to be a secret. A shrine to all things baby!

I read and researched and asked other twin moms about where their twins slept. Ultimately, I bought another item Marty thought we could do without: a co-sleeper. The babies would sleep attached to our bed, side by side, in twin bliss. Eventually, we would move them to one crib, and then one day, into two separate cribs. Twin-tastic ideas!

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.

The first night home from the hospital was a co-sleeper disaster. From trying to climb into the bed over the co-sleeper with c-section stitches to babies who would not sleep on their backs (or any other way for that matter), we realized we had made a terrible miscalculation on the sleeping arrangements. We tried bouncy seats. We tried car seats. We tried begging, pleading. Even tears of frustration. Oh, how uncompromising five day old babies can be.

We realized the next day that they seemed to nap pretty well in the Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper I had bought after reading glowing reviews on my message board. Unfortunately, we only had one. Fortunately, Babies R Us had them in stock and in the store. At that point, we would have paid double the sticker price if it meant even an hour of sleep.

Nirvana.

We LOVE the Rock and Play sleeper. Hands down, it is the best baby item—EVER. Did I say, EVER? I really mean EVER.

Sure, it meant the expensive co-sleeper was useless. Sure, I was ruining their twinness by separating them into separate bassinets. But, they slept so well. The incline was perfect for a reflux baby like Drew, and the way it snuggles a baby tight was perfect for Emily who loves to be held close. We could easily divide and conquer, with each of us taking a baby, a bassinet, and some bottles for night time duty. The sleepers fold easily for travel and are perfect for the grandparent’s house or the hotel.

Time out—going upstairs to check on babies—again…BRB.

Okay, crib check reveals two sleeping babies, both still breathing. Mommy can breathe and blog.

Speaking of breathing, having the babies right beside me allowed me to check on them throughout the night. It was comforting to roll over, see their angelic faces, kiss their foreheads, and feel their warm breath.

So we continued on, enjoying the sleep and the noisy sounds of babies snoring and sighing until—

They became mobile.

Emily pulled up on the side of the bassinet first. Then Drew learned to sit straight up in his. Uh oh.

Was it really the end of the Rock and Play era?

I guess that was when they were about 4-5 months old. We tried to put them down for
naps in the crib. We tried a few nights in the crib. Something always thwarted our attempts. One would wake up and not want to go back down. Another would be contorted into some strange sleeping position. Maybe it was a cough or a sniffle that made me afraid to leave them. It was too hot in the room. Too cold another time. We were lazy and didn’t want to walk across the hall during a fussy period when it was so much easier to have them beside us. Mommy didn’t want them to grow up so fast…

So we rocked on.

Until tonight, the one night of the week I am on my own for bedtime. I fed them, bathed them, read to them, and turned the music on, just like any other night. Emily starts twisting first, and the next thing I know, she’s over the side, but not before I catch her and put her back down. After the third time, I decide to pull out the big gun—the crib.

As I get her out, Drew decides to scoot out of the bottom of his sleeper. I catch him with the third and fourth arm that all moms of multiples have and decide he has earned a trip to the crib, too.

In their beautiful cribs, Emily screams as if the crib has been dropped on her while Drew decides it’s a soft place to practice his crawling pose. Oh, this is not looking good. Not good at all.

I reposition Drew who is hanging out of the crib like a prisoner begging for food. I kiss Emily again. I bite my tongue to keep from saying, “This is for your own good.”
I sit beside her crib. I sing. I hum. I bounce. I rock. She’s really testing my belief in not letting babies cry it out. At one point, I walk out. In tears. I hear the Rocky theme song playing over “Rock a Bye Baby.”

I scarf down my supper in a couple of bites. I need my strength to continue the fight.

And, then I realize it’s quiet. Or at least the wailing has stopped. I tiptoe upstairs to find Emily asleep sideways in her crib and Drew smiling on all fours.

Fifty percent success.

Drew is wearing down, so I put him in the sleeper beside the crib. I sit in the doorway, watching to make sure he doesn’t catapult out. A few minutes later, he’s out, and I easily move him to the crib.

Two babies down and one mommy down and out.

An hour later, I can report I have been up there a total of five times to check on them. Each time, they have been just fine.

Me? Well, I am battered, exhausted, and determined. We (or should I say I) can’t keep doing this transition over and over. The time has come, and I am determined to win the crib war. Two babies--one night at a time.

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