Tuesday, July 03, 2007

All by ourselves

Kate called me at 4 p.m. today through tears.
"Your Mom just left," she said, and then the phone line went silent and all I heard huffs and sniffs.
Mom was our lifeline for a month, giving us what I liked to call Twins protection.
If Jayden was begging to go outside in that wonderful, paitent way toddlers are known for, Mom could take a baby or take him out back, and all was well.
If Andie was crying and Allie was throwing her usual "I want to be held" snit in that wonderful, paitent way infants are known for, Mom could take Andie or Allie and all was well.
If it was 7 p.m., Kate could go to bed, and I could battle the twins with Mom and two bottles. If it was 5:45 a.m., I could sleep in, and Kate could battle the twins with Mom and two bottles.
And all was well.
Now she's gone.
And we're alone together.
This comes at a time when the newborn stage is wearing me down like an old man's dentures. If they weren't smiling now just a little at a time - which is crack to a parent of a newborn, as it's sometimes the only thing that keeps you going - I think I would be going beserk.
Last night, I got home at 5:45 p.m. and found out Jayden hadn't been fed yet and was hungry. Mom and Kate were both feeding babies. This is one hard thing about my household right now is not only does Kate need me to hit home running and ready to corral chaos, she demands it, like I have no right to want to relax for 10 minutes because I got to spend the whole day at work. And honestly? I don't blame her.
So after all that, I ate takeout Chinese, fed Jayden, got him into the tub, got him into bed at 7:30 p.m. and I need to put together another tournament wrap-up for Pokerworks. Time to get a little work done, right?
Andie cries, and then Allie cries, and then Jayden cries, and then Andie cries. Kate's upstairs taking her well-deserved bath and getting ready for some well-deserved sleep. Andie calms down when Mom takes her outside.
I start to write again.
And then:
• Allie cries from her carrier.
• I put the pacifier back in her mouth for the 83rd time that night.
• It falls out. She cries again.
• I pick her up and take her back with me. I lay her on my lap all snuggled up in the corner of the couch. She's in her blanket. She's smiling. She's happy.
• Five minutes later, Allie's not happy.
• I switch position after position. Allie's not happy.
• Kate takes her for a few minutes and I try to write. I write some.
• Kate gets the bottles together and goes to bed.
• Mom feeds Andie and mumbles something about a bath and bed. I pray Andie stays down.
• Allie cries again.
• I pick her up, walk her around and wrap her like a Tootsie Roll.
• 45 minutes later, she goes to sleep.
• I finish the story.
• It's 11 p.m.
A little poker — there's no way I can go to bed after that — and I crash.
• Babies are up at 2:45 a.m.
I get Allie again. I look down and notice a chunkier face and a bit happier disposition.
The newborn stage doesn't last forever. It's replaced by cherub and smiles and maybe even a little cooing.
Then why does the bridge to that stage seem miles away?


Kris said...

Mom doesn't want to stick around for another 3 or 4 years? =)

I was a post too early... so I'll say it again... it gets better... before it gets worse... before it gets better... remind me when the worse part stops again? =)

BadBlood said...

You're doing great man. Parenting is hard and twins is quadruple the effort. Not that I'd know, I can only imagine.

Years from now you'll look back on these days and smile.

And it will be worth it.

Stacie said...

You could not pay me enough money to sign up to voluntarily live through the first few months with twins again. The wonderful part was really wonderful, but the not sleeping part was less than great. And I don't have a toddler. All of which is to say that I am sympathetic but advice-less.

Butch Howard said...

Post Partum Doula

Find one that can cover until the twins are sleeping through the night. Kate and you getting good sleep at night makes a world of difference in managing during the day. Many insurance policies cover them.

My wife is a Doula and I would recommend her, but travel from Atlanta might be a bit much.

If you cannot find one, contact Sheryl at Angels On Call and maybe she can get you some references in your area.

Claudia said...

No two ways around it, this is an extremely challenging time. Like Stacie posted above, you couldn't pay me to relive the first few months with twins. I'm not going to trot out that old chestnut, "it gets easier," 'cause cynic that I am, I don't really believe it. You trade one set of difficulties for another. What it does get is more enjoyable.

Hang in there, you guys are doing a great job. Making it through is enough!