My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Today is a better day

Wow.  Thanks so much everyone!  I was really expecting radio silence after my post about being miserable, but I've gotten more support comments than I thought I had readers!

I called the doctor and he saw me late afternoon yesterday.  Being the end of day on a Friday and not being a psychiatrist, there wasn't a whole lot he could do, but we talked a bit and came to the conclusion that in the short term, I need sleep.  I didn't sleep much during the last couple of months of pregnancy, and I'm now a really light sleeper with every single baby nurfle waking me up.  One little noise and I'm officially awake waiting for the "feed me" scream, even if it's another hour or two before it happens.

My years of bipolar disorder was triggered by life long sleep deprivation.  I had sleep apnea really bad and went my entire life not getting deep sleep until I had surgery to correct it a few years ago.  Once I had that surgery, I went off my depression meds (about a year later to try to get pregnant) and never needed to go back on them.

The doc gave me a prescription for a few nights worth of Seroquel which will apparently put me in a coma for 8-10 hours.  I've been warned that when I take one, be prepared to be done for the night because I will soon be out cold.  He also gave me the info for a therapist that specializes in this and instructions to make an appointment for early next week.

Honestly, I don't know what therapy will do for me.  I tend to outsmart it to some degree.  Yes, I have a really funky history with the infertility, losing a set of twin girls and now giving birth to a second set of twin girls.  I mean come on, that's just weird.  But even though I have a rough history, I just don't think there's a whole lot of therapy to be done.  While I was going through all of that, I kept very in touch with my feelings, allowed myself to feel them, and I think I went through the grieving and stress processes pretty well.  I'm just not sure what there's left to work through.  But I'll give it a shot and see if there's help to be had going that route.

Even though K had to work today, he insisted that I sleep last night.  He practically shoved an Ambien down my throat (because I can wake up with Ambien, we don't know about Seroquel), and he slept on the couch and kept the girls in the living room while I slept undisturbed the whole night.  I felt like such an asshole doing that!  He is feeling the stress and lack of sleep too.  He's wrenched his back and has been in some pain the last couple of days which is a stress pain he hasn't felt in years.  I just felt like it was so unfair for me to get a full nights sleep when he hasn't had one either, especially with him having to work the next morning.  Why do I deserve to sleep and he doesn't?  Add that to my "I feel so guilty" list.  I'm not sure if we're still going to knock me out tonight as planned, we'll discuss it when he gets home from work.  It's either a moot point now that I feel better, or we should go ahead and do it to give me more of a solid footing for the upcoming week.

Good lord what a difference a night makes.  I woke up about 3am to pump and help hold a bottle in a babies face, but then I slept solidly until 9am when K woke me up so he could leave for work.  I feel like a normal human being today.

I'm not saying I'm over it.  And I'm not saying that I won't be a crying freaking mess an hour from now, but for the last 7 hours, I've been puttering around the house, actually in a decent mood.  And today I think the babies are kinda cute instead of looking at them as little time bombs.  Haven't cried today, yet.

I think K and I will figure out some way to make sure that each of us gets one solid night of sleep per week.  The idea of sleeping when the babies sleep is all well and good, but in practice, if they make a noise that I'm capable of hearing, I'm just not sleeping.  Babies don't sleep silently so if I'm going to really sleep, I can't be in the same room with them or with a monitor.  I need to be out of earshot.  It's a good thing I really trust K and his fathering skills.


  1. Glad you got some sleep. Don't feel guilty about K taking a night and letting you sleep. Remember, staying at home with those girls is just as hard (even harder emotionally) than a job outside the house. Swap out nights and make sure you both get sleep:)

  2. Sleep does help...and I'm not saying that cancels out everything else. Hoping you feel better and stop beating yourself up. It is HARD to have twin preemie infants.

  3. Don't forget, too, that your body is working hard on post-pregnancy and post-surgery repair. I'm glad K let you sleep. He'll get his turn...and they will only be this small and needy for a relatively short time.


  4. We have our boys in their own room and we use an angelcare monitor. I don't hear the squeaks and hiccups but can hear immediately if there is a cry or moan.

    Maybe try getting them in their own room so that one of you gets a good night sleep while the other is on duty.

    We also hire a night nurse once a month so that we can both get a full night sleep together.

  5. Don't underestimate therapy because if you *think* you outsmart it, you won't benefit from it. Make sure you see a psychiatrist because post-partum can go from 0 to 60 in a minute. You have a lot of things to work on and you need to do it or you won't be your best for your girls. Drop the guilt, its not worth it to hold onto.

  6. I learned in my parent-baby group at Evergreen that a good way of feeling better in those first few weeks is to have a minimum of 3 consecutive hours of undisturbed sleep per day. In order to accomplish this, my husband and I did shifts. I went to sleep at 7pm (so early, but I was generally tired enough) in our bedroom and slept until 1am. My husband stayed with the baby in a separate room. At 1am he would get me up, and we would essentially switch places. I would then take care of the baby, and lightly doze while the baby was sleeping in between feedings until 7am, and then I would officially start the day while my husband got ready for work. I could not stop crying those first couple of weeks. As soon as we switched to shifts, I felt a lot better - I could manage my emotions and not feel like complete crap. The guilt, which I had a lot of as well, went away too. We did shifts until the baby only needed 1-2 feedings per night, and then we stuck her in her own room so that every little sleep sound she uttered didn't wake us up. Another thing suggested by the parent group was eating dark chocolate. Apparently that helps fight the baby blues too! I could relate to the vast majority of your bullet points in your previous post. As I read through it, I kept thinking, "yep, I remember feeling that way." When we first brought the baby home, both my husband and I thought we had made a TERRIBLE mistake becoming parents. But here we are 8 months later, and those early weeks of hell seem so minuscule compared to all of the enjoyable experiences we've had since then.

  7. We did the EXACT same thing as PP Anonymous with shifts to get through the night. We did a couple nights of one of us being on duty the whole night and the other sleeping all night, but then one of us was always feeling awful. The shifts worked wonderfully for us and around 2.5 months we realized we were both having relatively good shifts so we moved her from the living room to our bedroom where we got to sleep together.

    I did not enjoy the newborn stage at all. I was worried all the time about her weight gain and was just a nervous wreck about everything. I basically told myself "This is my job now. Jobs are hard. I will get through this." I only have one baby and she's a lot of work! Thinking of two is mind boggling! Somewhere between 5 and 6 months she started to get a little personality and I enjoyed my job more and more every day. Now at 10.5 months, I'm loving (almost) every minute of it! I think I'm just not a newborn person. While you are in the trenches, every day seems to take an eternity, but in no time at all, you will be planning a 1 year birthday party and shedding tears about how quickly it has passed.

    Quite frankly, I am utterly amazed at how much you've posted since the girls have arrived! You are doing great, Alex!

  8. SO SO happy you got sleep and are feeling better!!! I hope you two can work out a schedule so you both get more sleep. Glad you are going to go see someone. I hope they help.

  9. Alex, I have been following your blog for some time now, expecting twins myself in a couple of weeks. I think you are so refreshingly honest!!! My mother, whom I adore and who was (and still is) an amazing mom and woman, freely admits that she loathed the baby stage, and really didn't feel comfortable or connected to me until I was old enough to tell her what I wanted. I (of course) have zero recollection of her being anything but fabulous and she is still my BFF. So no worries - your girls will think you are a rock star too. Hang in there!!!!


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