Sunday, June 28, 2009

off the cuff is out the window

Okay, so I'm not stupid. I have always understood that babies are pretty needy. Smart girl that I am, at some point while I was pregnant with two babies, it occurred to me that my life might soon change a little.

But I don't think you can really appreciate the depth and pervasiveness of that change until it happens to you. Until your brain is puttering along on 4 scattered hours of sleep and you notice that you're wearing the same clothes you had on yesterday, and you really can’t muster the energy to care. Until your arm gets numb from jiggling a crying baby as you watch the window lighten at dawn, and you realize dimly that this is what people are talking about when they say that babies keep you up at night.

I think that the hardest thing to adjust to, though, is not a crying baby or sleep deprivation. It's the fact that I have been tossed into a completely foreign existence, and there is no end in sight. I remember hearing a mother once talk about caring for her three-year-old son who had severe cognitive impairments and health issues. She said it felt like she and her husband were surviving in "crisis mode" to get sleep, food, etc.--but that the "crisis mode" just never ended. That's sort of what I feel like, only not nearly that dramatic. It feels like I've made crazy changes to my life to get through a crazy situation, like taking extra deep breaths and focusing to get myself through the last few laps as I run on a track. But this time, when I squint toward the end of the track to see how far there is to go... there's no end! For the foreseeable future, my life revolves in three-hour segments of feeding, sleeping, and changing, with bouts of crying and rocking peppered in for flavor.

And it's not that bad--it sounds kind of depressing on the surface, but it's nice to be in a routine and know what to expect. It just takes a whole different lifestyle and frame of mind than I've ever had.

Want to know my newest revelation? I am TIRED of planning!! Me, the princess of plans, wants to abdicate the throne. Because now I'm not just planning on a large scale. I have to plan every single minute in order to get anything done. I have to plan LAUNDRY. Laundry! I hate laundry! And now I have to make advanced effort just to fit it into the day! Because if I just wait until the moment strikes me, as I've always done, it won't happen. I will think of it just as a baby starts crying, or after 10:00, when I really need to drop everything and sleep or I'll never get any rest. Because I need to plan when I will sleep, too! My life has no spontaneity at all anymore!

That's not even all, though--the real kick in the pants is that things will NEVER turn out the way I planned them! I feel a little like that Greek guy who had to roll the boulder up a hill and watch it roll down again, over and over for all eternity.

And now, because I am overly dramatic when I describe things and people reading this may think I am nearing suicidal levels of depression, let me just say that I am fine. WE are fine. If this is torture, then it's fairly pleasant torture. And there are many good moments. Both babies broke from the plan yesterday and slept soundly through a two-hour car ride, including an hour of stop-and-go traffic. Noah gave me a very cute and very real half-smile this morning. And Lily got lots of compliments on her tiny baby bracelet at church today. So I suppose we may make it after all.

Until they start teething, of course.

In other news, we are growing massive babies. As of last Friday, the kiddos were 5 weeks old. Lily weighed 6 lbs, 14 oz, and Noah weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz! So she has gained a pound and a half, and he has gained three pounds!! These kids are actually going to make it onto the growth charts! It is sadder than I expected to watch Noah outgrow his cute little newborn clothes. I’m going to have to buy outfits in three consecutive sizes when I really like them, so I can enjoy them for more than a couple of weeks.

And now for pictures! Here is Noah in his gangsta hat.

And Lily in her ladybug outfit, complete with hat. Unfortunately, the outfit is newborn sized and the hat is much bigger...

Unka Mark, taking a quick moment to relax with baby twins before heading back to Illinois.

Grandma with babies. (Noah is not feeling photogenic.)

Grandma and Grandpa with our little fam.

I think I forgot to post a picture of Scott's parents when they were here a few weeks ago. So here they are:


Susan Graham said...

aww hugs. I know I only have one but I swear it will get better! They will one day sit and play on their own, sleep thought the night and even attempt to hold their own bottle. Gotta go, mine's trying to push the computer off the desk. . .

Read on! said...

I remember being SO... tired even though I had one at atime and it is so long.

Even though it seems endless now, it is but the needs and events change so that the sleep deprivation is not endless.

It's strange how nearly all women, including me, think why doesn't anyone ever tell me how hard it will be. let's face it, if they did it would be hard to understand how all-consuming it can be until you live through it. For twins it must be double- very hard I would think.

It's also really hard at first not to measure a day in terms of how much you have achieved. That is a marker at work but does not really apply to babies.

I am so glad that you can enjoy Noah's half smile and the comments about Lily's bracelet. They grow and change so quickly. It's being in those moments that will sustain you, I think.

I am enjoying reading your blog.

Vicki said...

Your experiences, thoughts and reactions to the totally different life you now have brings back so many emotions! Little by little, each day will begin to hold more pleasure as the babies become more and more responsive to their mommy and daddy (and perhaps a bit less needy - relatively speaking!). I have to say that the small baby phase was never my real forte, possibly because of the immense demand on me personally, but when little ones really start interacting with you, it is something else! Keep on blogging! It's good for the soul!