I realized recently that my posts have become nothing more than whines/advice-begging sessions, and MAN. For my non-parent friends, these must be BO-RING. So here is some non-baby related news:
-I ran yesterday, and it was AWESOME. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I felt more human while running than I had for almost a year. I guess last August was the last time I ran with any regularity. I know I took a few runs in September, but I started the meds for my IVF cycle in early September, and the Lup.ron had me so wonky, I didn’t feel much like running for the first few weeks of the month. I know that sometime around my birthday (late September) was the last time I ran, so yesterday’s session was a long-awaited return to one of my favorite activities.
I set out with the intention to restart the Couch to 5K program that I used to start running in the first place (step one: run one minute followed by one and a half minutes of walking for 20 minutes), but after running 60 seconds, I didn’t want to stop. So I kept going. aI ended up running 15 minutes, walking 2.5 minutes, then running another 2.5 minutes, with appopriate warm-up/cool-down walking as well.
And well. It was great. My mile time sucked (11:35 per mile), but since I didn’t even expect to run a mile at all, I’m okay with that (for now). I have no intention of returning to athletic glory (hah. that would imply that I was ever a glorious athlete, natch), but rather to burn off the incredible stress of parenting twins.
If I haven’t said it in a while, IT’S HARD. IT’S REALLY FRICKIN’ HARD. (I have a delicately worded post regarding elective single embryo transfer rolling around in my head, but I haven’t yet figured out exactly how to say what I want to say, knowing that nothing we place on line is private in any way, and knowing how I would hate for either of my boys to read it some day and feel that I had in any way regretted their existence. That part is not true. Both boys are little gems, priceless little beams of brightness in my life and I couldn’t imagine my world without either of them. BUT. It’s hard. And I’m very lucky to be able to stay home with them, and to have had a ton of child care experience in my past, not to mention having the luck of having had a full-term pregnancy, but I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone who wasn’t sure what they were getting in to, or who had to do it while balancing a career, too, or who had seriously preterm babies, or who had a husband– or other family– who was less than helpful. So. Yeah. Hard.)
–Sadly, I can’t think of much else to say about my life as of late that does not somehow involve the boys. I’m sorry to my readers who (rightfully) find the baby talk boring. Someday, I’ll be able to talk about something else, I’m sure.
Oh, actually, I know! I’m reading a book about the Mayflower voyage (appropriately titled, Mayflower). It’s not usually my topic of choice, though most non-fiction is appealing to me lately, I suppose, but my mom left it here for me because she didn’t want to try to squeeze it in with all her other crap in the car on the way home. Anyway, I’ve been reading it in fits and starts while nursing, which explains why it’s been a couple of weeks since I began it and I’m only 100 or so pages in… Anyhow, it’s surprisingly good. Or I’m appallingly out of touch with what good is anymore, pleased to just have the time to read something not related to child development… Anyway, it’s interesting. I didn’t know, for instance, that the religious community that comprised half of the Mayflower’s passengers, while English, actually were located in Leiden (in the Netherlands, that part I knew, just not the city…) before hopping on the ship for their trans-Atlantic journey. Of course, that city is only of interest to me, because I know someone who just spent some time living in that city (Hi, R!), so I understand if that factoid isn’t of interest at all to anyone else…
And now, that is truly all I can think to say that doesn’t directly involve the babies…
So on to baby news:
-The boys had their two month check a couple of weeks early, because they needed to be seen for follow-up on the reflux issue. J.ack seems to be doing okay on th Zan.tac, but Henr.y will be doing a trial of the Pr.evacid, in spite of it’s ridiculously high cost. We just have to try something else, in hopes that it works. I really like their pediatrician, but I’m beginning to wonder if there might not be an allergy or food sensitivity at play here as well, because in addition to his strictly-reflux-esque symptoms, he also projectile vomits and has extremely painful gas/bowel movements. Sigh. How I wish he could talk and tell me what the problem is…
-They got their two month shots today, even though they are just a hair under seven weeks old. I was a little concerned about the number of shots given in one day, especially because they are on the small side for their age and they are also 2-3 weeks younger than the schedule accounts for. But, both babies seem fine for now. A little sleepier than usual, but after our night last night, it could be just because they didn’t sleep so well.
-Speaking of sleeping, our night routine generally works out okay for us, but their daytime nap schedule SUCKS. I have a couple of different books that address infant care/sleep patterns (No-Cry Sleep Solution, Dr. Sears, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Twins, Happiest Baby On The Block, Babywise, etc.), and they run the gamut from ‘You Are A Selfish Turd Because You Want To Sleep And You Should Never Have Had Children In The First Place If You Weren’t Prepared To Constantly, Endlessly Put Their Needs Before Your Own For The Rest Of Your Life’ to ‘You Are A Pansy-Ass Who Is Turning Your Child Into A Wimp By Coddling Them With All Your Pansy-Ass Attention’. And frankly, neither of those approaches seems right for us.
Pre-birth, I would have firmly placed myself in the Cry-It-Out camp. Logically, that method makes the most sense– help your child by allowing them to learn the skills to sort it out themselves. Help them become emotionally healthy by learning a little self-reliance. And I know plenty of healthy, happy, calm, well-attached children whose parents used the cry-and-check methods to sleep-train them. It works beautifully for plenty of people.
Naturally, as with all things, you kind of have to live it before you know what will seem right for you. Pre-birth, I would have considered myself a million miles away from attachment parenting. And I’m not anywhere near that now (I’d be curious how one would manage to successfully by-the-book attachment parent twins…), but I find that I have the strongest gutteral reactions to methods that sounded so right, pre-birth. I read some of these methods, and every cell in my body screams about how wrong it seems for us. For instance, the book that so generously allows a newborn one whole week of on-demand feeding, before expecting that wussy little crybaby grow the eff up and eat on a schedule already? As I said, that may work beautifully for many people, but it doesn’t feel right for me.
And then, there’s the book that relied on outdated studies that indicate all the DEATH you invite by co-sleeping (what with all the thousands of years of people co-sleeping, it’s a wonder our species survived at all if you believe the studies they cited for their statistics). Not to mention, of course, the whiny, clingy, emotionally-stunted, non-independent children you create by allowing co-sleeping. Granted, I was equally as put off by the notion in one book claiming that fathers can’t co-sleep with their children because only the precious, sacrosanct Mommy has the “instinct” to keep her from smothering her child. It may be that mothers are some percentage more “in tune” with their babies, but ANY human capable of keeping themselves from rolling out of bed at night who has the slightest interest in the welfare of the child can keep himself in tune enough to protect a baby overnight.
So yeah. Point is, you don’t know what will work for you until you live it. I can’t say I’m strictly in one camp or the other. I know that instinctually, it feels right to me to co-sleep with the babies. It feels right to breastfeed as long as the relationship works for us. It feels right to keep the babies close as often as is feasible. It feels right to foster dependence (I think shinejil wrote about it before, but seriously. What’s so great about independence? They’re BABIES. They’re supposed to need you. I waited a long time and went through some very unpleasant things to bring these babies into the world, and I’m supposed to convince them to act like tiny adults from birth? Just doesn’t jive with me somehow.).
Anyway, my advice here is for anyone considering becoming a parent to withold judgement on these methods until you are in possession of a baby. Read them, research them, etc., but try to not judge until you are living it. And don’t let anyone else tell you how things should or shouldn’t be. If it doesn’t seem right to you to breastfeed for three years, don’t let your hippie-friend make you feel guilty for giving up earlier than that. And don’t let your aunt/grandma/MIL/whomever convince you that extended screaming is “good” for your baby, if that doesn’t seem right to you.
Anyway, it seems the boys are moving on from the “sleepy” post-immunization phase to the “fussy” post-immunization phase, so I should wrap this up. Any books I should not miss that might be good for reading in bits and pieces? Any advice for laying the foundation for a decent naptime routine?