A few nights ago, we bit the bullet and did the full on extinction method. Once we put them down, that was it. No more visits from us unless they were truly in distress or the time came around for them to be hungry again.
I left the house. I took my dinner (we often don't get to eat until around 10pm because K gets home shortly before bedtime routine and it just gets put off and put off until the girls are firmly down) and ate out in the pottery studio and entertained my studio cat Buster. Poor Buster, I wouldn't touch him while pregnant and tend not to have much time for him now that I'm not anymore. Anyway....
K reports that it took about an hour. During that time, one would fuss for a few minutes, then fall asleep while the other one took over the fussing duties. They switched off, one fussing while the other recharged the crying batteries for a few minutes.
The following night, it took 10 minutes of both of them fussing before they both dropped off to sleep forthe night. The three nights since then, they've pretty much been asleep by the time we get to the other room and get the monitor turned on.
It's been heavenly! Around 9pm the girls go to sleep and K and I have the evening to ourselves! Chores get done, a few video games get played, a little nookie gets had, it's just been great to have a couple of hours of the day of being off duty.
We generally expect them to wake for a feeding around 1am, and being night owls, we're able to stay up and take care of that feeding right before we go to bed. Last night, 1:30am rolled around and we expected the girls up any minute but decided to just go to sleep for however many minutes they wanted to give us. They gave us until 4:30am! A solid 7 hour or so sleep! K fed them while I pumped, back in bed by 5am. Tina fussed around 7am and our alarm was set for 8am so K could go to work. So he brought her into our bed and she went right back to sleep on his chest. When he got up to take a shower, we successfully transferred her fully asleep onto my chest for another half hour and then got the girls up for the first part of their day. I'm not an advocate of bed sharing or co-sleeping, but damn I really loved dozing with a baby on my chest.
I really believe that we've done the right thing for these two particular babies at the right time. I think we caught them very near the beginning of their capability to learn how to go to sleep on their own and we taught them rather quickly. Minimal days of being ready but not yet knowing how to do it. I fully expect set backs, bad nights, and sleep regressions, but overall I think they've learned and will be happier and healthier children for having been taught.
In that same vein, I'm kind of surprised that Tina has been doing ok with it. Charlotte is doing a little better with the teething, she doesn't seem to be hurting as much, but she's passed the pain torch on to Tina. Poor thing. Yesterday she cried a real pain cry for the first time in I don't know how long. She was really hurting for a few minutes there and it broke my heart.
She took a nap on my chest on the couch yesterday too. I wish it could have lasted longer but Charlotte woke up from her nap and, well, that's how it is with twins. You have to put down the happy sleeping child and tend to the awake but bored or annoyed child. I'm doing my best to get in lots of cuddles, but it's difficult. K's days off require him to take naps because he has day 1 off, then day 2 has a 6pm-3am shift, then day 3 off before he goes on to work more standard hours for 4 days. He spends a portion of his days off taking naps so he can function and recover from the overnight shift. In order to multi-task, we've been having one of the girls take a long nap with him in the afternoon. They get some cuddles and sleep and I either get one on one time with the other one, or if she naps at the same time, I get a few minutes to myself.