I have now been home with the twins for 3 weeks and although I have been blogging regularly about the experience, when I reread these posts I can see that it may seem that I have this twin’s thing under control. So I thought it may be a little more real if I share with you what 24 hours (not a day as we are literally up for 24 hours!) is like in my house at the moment. The best way I can describe it is like a zoo. I am living in a zoo. I may be dressed each morning but there is very little sleep; a lot of bodily fluid in places I would have never thought even possible to get bodily fluid; a lot of mess and noise and while I am enjoying the experience it is pretty full on. So here is a day in the life of me and the Burrell-Smith twins just so you can see that my house with 2 small children is just like yours – nothing glamorous or supermum about it.
I will start at the beginning of a new day and by 5-6am even if the twins are still sleeping my boobs are about to explode so I will either get up and pump using my friend the Avent PUMP which I love more than my partner right now or feed one of the twins if I can. I take turns during the day breastfeeding the twins as I only get enough milk for one at a time, and I do express often as the feeding process takes a long time, and juggling work means I don’t always have the 2 hours to feed unfortunately. While I am feeding I make a cup of tea, some toast, put some music on or a podcast and I oscillate between falling back asleep myself or answering emails, checking social media and texting with one hand. I am also trying to send messages to my partner upstairs to please go and get me a coffee, which happens, occasionally.
By this time, the other twin has usually woken and in between/while bottle feeding this baby I will pop on a load or two of washing that has accumulated in the night (see example!) and also try and get the bottles from the overnight feeds sterilised. I like to have the night’s mess cleaned by 7-8am each morning.
Once or twice a week I make it to a 30 minute gym session or up to the coffee shop for a much needed caffeine hit. Whether or not I get out depends on a lot of variables – if my partner has to rush to work; how many hours sleep I have got; where the twins are up to feeds wise but I try and make it a goal to be showered and out the door by 8.30/9am on most days.
Back to the house or out of bed. Another load of washing is put on and hung out and I try and write an article or blog or two at this time as it is when the twins are most sleepy. I also try and drink a bottle of water at this time to help with breast milk making.
The twins will usually stir for another feed and I will have either expressed milk if I am heading out for lunch or expecting visitors. Or I will sit for the hour with a little trashy TV on and feed one of them myself or listen to their Dad on radio while I am also trying to eat something nutritious.
After lunch is the most important part of my day with the twins as it is this time I will either get a great sleep with them, or I won’t. A good afternoon nap means that I will be able to power on until midnight, a bad sleep or none at all means that it is going to be a very long evening. This is highly variable. One of twins gets quite colicky so may be very unsettled and then sometimes they are out cold – there is no method in the madness.
The craziness begins again. Chances are there is more washing to hang out and more bottles to be cleaned. On a good day Chris will get home by 5pm and help me with another round of feeds while I try and steal another hour’s work.
Dinner and bath time. On a good day dinner, the next day’s lunches and the baby’s will be bathed by 6pm. On a bad day this may blow out until 8pm. If Chris and I are on our own things are pretty streamlined and much easier with another set of hands to hold a baby. When we have help or my parents over, things can be a little more social over wine and nibbles and a little more chaotic, 2-3 x each week.
Having a partner in the media means that the 6pm news is a must watch and usually the twins will sit with their dad and watch TV while I will do a little work. Dinner is usually something simple – cutlets, fish and vegetables or a roast or pasta dish that has been prepared well in advance so we do not spend any extra time on food prep.
The twins are surprisingly quiet at this time which means I will do work or watch one of our favourite TV shows and spend some time expressing milk for the twins before the night shift.
This is where things go hay wire. Between 9-1am the twins are a nightmare. Some nights Chris will let me sleep for an hour or two before mid-night so I am ready for the night shift, or if we are both really tired this is a tough time when small tummy’s are upset and the twins just want to be held. This is where we do the hard yards as there is a lot of spewing and hunger which means much time is spent changing sheets, reheating bottles, running loads through the washing machine and rocking baby’s to soothe their sore tummy’s. If I am up I will watch a recorded movie or listen to podcasts to try and pass the time in a positive way even though often I end up crying from exhaustion and begging the twins to go to sleep.
Most days unless I have my amazing mum to give me respite 1-2 nights a week I will be up with the twins trying to get them down. This involves a long convoluted process of feeding, burping, propping up, getting into bed, vomiting and starting over. This can go for as little as an hour or 4 hours to 3am like it did last night (yawn).
Most nights I will get 2-3 hours’ sleep at this time. If I get 6 hours a day in total I can function. If I get 7-8 in total I am fine. If one baby is unsettled I might take them with me to try and get a few hours of sleep in. The twins know this because they never make their Nanna do this. She gets them down every time. Not long after this my boobs will be about to explode again and off we go with another day and text messages upstairs to go and get me a much needed coffee! As I said, glamorous
it is not.
Sure they seem cute here but they have kept me up most of the night!