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December 14, 2010

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Couch Surfing

No, not that couch surfing, though sans kiddos, I’d probably be down with that.

What I’m talking about is our couch.

Since the babes have been born, there have been many times that Chicken or myself have found ourselves seeking the solace of a place to sleep far from the babies. In a one bedroom NYC apartment, the living room couch is about as far as it gets.
We’ve taken turns for the past 10 months–whoever needs it the most gets it. Since Chicken has returned to work, she’s needed it the most. While we both need brainpower to get through the day, her brain needs to function enough to make money where mine just needs to function enough to entertain the twins and get through the day intact. Different functions for sure.
As a result, there are months where we haven’t slept in the same bed!
It also made more sense for me to sleep in the bedroom since I am breastfeeding (and, I LOVE my bed!).

However, these past couple of months we’ve had a pattern of sleep regression from Grunter that really doesn’t seem to be getting any better. (No problems with W2. Thank god our colicy baby is finally giving us a break!) Teething? Sick?
We mentioned it to our pediatrician and he said (as all other twin moms told us),
“Let him fuss it out. He needs to know that 4:30/5/5:30am is not an acceptable hour to get up. He’ll learn, but you have to stick with it.” (unless he’s sick of course)
Oy. Then I mentioned that the crib is a mere 20 inches from my head and his reply was, “Oh. Good luck with that.”
Basically they are both so aware now that it’s getting impossible for me to get a good night’s sleep in the same room as them. When he wakes up in the middle of the night (for whatever reason) he can smell me (the milk) and once his eyes adjust to the dark he can see me and he WANTS me.
Brings a whole new meaning to the song, “Don’t You Want Me, Baby?”
When he starts fussing at 3am, my whole body goes into alert stage and I’m scared to move because he’ll HEAR me and then he’ll really wake up. My blood pressure sky rockets and I start sweating. It’s quite unhealthy, I’m sure. By this point, I’m just laying there playing ‘dead’ waiting until it’s all quiet on the baby front so I can move again. It wakes you up. Completely.
So completely that I can’t remember the number of nights I’ve been awake since 3am or 4 am, etc, etc. It’s all so very, very blurry.

Finally, after a truly heinous stint last week, Chicken suggested we pull out the sofa bed and start sleeping in the living room. I hate our sofa bed and balked saying I wouldn’t get a good night’s sleep. But I did it. And then I did it again, because the little stinkers slept until 6am. And I did it again and they slept til 5:30 and I did it again and they slept until almost 6:30….

If they are fussing any earlier, we aren’t hearing it and while I was a little freaked out the first couple of nights because I couldn’t hear every move they made, I relaxed a bit after that. We don’t have a monitor and I’ve learned to just chill. I don’t need to hear every move and every whimper. If they are really crying, I will hear that and that’s the crying that matters. I have to remember that our mothers raised all of us without monitors and it was all OK.

So, we’re on the 6th night now and I think this is what we’re going to be doing for awhile.
We are BOTH getting the solid, elusive stretch of uninterrupted sleep that we so desperately needed and I am feeling SO much better.
It’s our ghetto murphy bed. And I’m OK with that if it gets me sleep.
Someday, I’ll sleep in my own bed again with my wife.
But for now, I’ll just take sleep, period.
Sweet, sweet SLEEP!