I feel like I should be making one of those "it gets better" videos for new moms right about now because seriously, it gets better. If you've been following along, you know I was as miserable as miserable gets during those first couple of months of mommyhood. Part of me feared I would never like my kids at all because I just saw them as these foreign torture devices.
If I can be that miserable and only a few months later be doing as well as I'm doing now, if you're in the thick of the newborn misery, I hope you can see that it really will get better. Part of my problem was just not having an idea of when the torture would end. All I saw ahead of me in life was one torture being replaced by another and life never actually improving. But really, once they are sleeping in 5+ hour chunks, life starts seeming pretty decent again. Yes, now we have the misery of teething, soon be dealing with the energy it will take to chase after crawling babies, but the sleep thing - none of the new tortures even come close to how horrible it was when we weren't getting more than an hour of sleep at a time.
The last couple of nights, the girls have been sleeping 10+ hours straight at night without waking to eat. Awesome!!! (She declared in a Barney Stinson high pitched tone) Bedtime is now pretty easy and the fussing before falling asleep is minimal. We are able to count on having 9pm-midnight as couple time and trust that the girls won't need us. But we have given up on trying to make dinner when K gets home from work in the evening. Our new pattern is to have a quick snack about the time he gets off of work, have family time with the girls until they are in bed, and then we make dinner for ourselves and eat around 10pm.
They're starting to do the fun stuff that babies do. They are interested in toys, they kick with excitement when we walk towards them, and they are recognizing each other. I'm loving that they are now seeking out each other to hold hands. It's so sweet I just might go into a diabetic coma!
We saw the pediatrician for their 6 month check up today and she's very happy with how the girls are doing. Here are the latest stats -
Christina - 12lbs 11oz, 24.7 inches. She's on the growth chart!!! Still below the 5th percentile for weight, but between 5-10% for length. Woot!
Charlotte - 13lbs 15oz, 25.5 inches. Also fully on the chart with her length around the 25th percentile and weight between the 5-10%.
Ok, so they're still itty bitty for their age, firmly in the middle of size 3m clothing, but they're on the chart now!
A little "then and now" for you of Tina, the day we brought her home from the hospital versus 2 days ago.
Even more awesome sauce is that they are hitting milestones in line with their actual age of 6 months as opposed to their adjusted age of just under 5 months. Charlotte was able to sit up for a few seconds when put in the ape pose of kind of leaning on her fists in front of her. The doctor even said that getting her first 2 teeth already is pretty early. Yay to surpassing expectations!
Now that their night sleep is pretty well under control, the doctor said it's time to start structuring their naps. Just like night time sleep, it's time to start putting them down for naps and letting them fuss it out. Once they go down for a nap, they are to stay down for an hour or until they wake up, whichever comes first. It's going to be rough on Tina because she favors the 15 minute nap, but once we get over the first couple of days, this is going to revolutionize my life. I haven't done any pottery in the last year because even when the girls are asleep, I never know if it's for 10 minutes or 2 hours. Now I not only have permission from the doctor, but am encouraged to keep them in bed for an hour or more at a time, even if that's not what they want to do. Since the monitor will go out to the pottery studio, once I get a groove going with the naps, I'm going to start going out there and making a mug or two during nap time.
Another nap change - they generally nap in their swings in the living room. Once they fall asleep, I turn off the swings to let them go into a deep sleep. Well, they are now far more curious about their surroundings, so being in the middle of the house where all the life action is isn't going to work much longer. Even once they do fall asleep, they wake up pretty easy unlike newborns who can sleep through anything. We're going to be moving naps into the nursery. I think I've avoided doing that because it kind of feels like I'm "putting the kids away" like I would put away a toy when I'm done playing with it.
We're mentally preparing for the girls to start crawling and what that will mean for our household. We're going to have to section off a portion of the house with a giant play yard and try to keep the cats out of it. The damned cats are peeing all over the carpet lately even though they check out as healthy when taken to the vet. So the play yard area is going to have to be floored with those foam alphabet mats that can be sterilized if a cat manages to pee in the kids area. Grrrrrr. So much of my day is now dealing with urine. Cat urine, baby urine, finding time to get rid of my own urine. Blech.