For the Love of Sleep
Who doesn’t resonate with that title? We are all mothers, right, FOR THE LOVE OF SLEEP ALREADY!!!
I write this feelin’ a little punchy this morning, going on less sleep than I recommend to all my clients, but only because I’m in big support mode for a couple of my clients. Right now my world is surrounded by mothers of multiples. Yes, I am being rocked by twins and triplets at the moment. Two sets of twins and a set of triplets, and I can’t imagine, for one second being the mother of either set.
An overnight spent with the triplets this past weekend has me reminding all y’all about the absolute necessity of hiring overnight support when you’ve got multiples. Not that it’s easy for someone else to juggle your babies overnight, but it does make sleep more available to you when you can hunker down and know you won’t be called upon unless things get a little hairy, which they did.
Let’s have a little recap, shall we? For some of you, this may be as good as birth control.
Baby C woke first and was restless. She took her bottle well and succumbed quickly to a gassy belly. I spent the next four hours (yes, I did say FOUR, and remember, there are TWO other babies involved in the evening) burping, tapping her bottom, bouncing her on the ball, walking with her, rocking with her, belly down on my thighs, belly high on my shoulder, doing bicycle legs, folding/unfolding her like an accordion, swaddling her tightly, bouncing her differently on the ball and everything but holding the sweet thing upside down by her ankles. She slept for about twenty minutes of that.
In the meantime Baby C2 woke, was easy, took a bottle quickly and self soothed happily and quietly in the Rock ‘n’ Play as I was working with Baby C.
During Baby C’s twenty minutes of sleep, I changed Baby C2’s diaper and put him to sleep in time for Baby M to wake up ready to nurse. Grabbed Baby C for more burping because now she was up and woke mama to nurse Baby M.
Mama nursed Baby M, burped and got her back to sleep for long enough to tuck back into bed and then get back up because gas was now the issue for Baby M.
So there we sat, together in the living room at 3 a.m. soothing babies. Mama woke dad and he came to take Baby C while she handed over Baby M so she could catch some zz’s as 6 a.m. (and my time to step out) was coming round the bend.
Dad’s got the magic touch with Baby C and had her down in short order while I worked with Baby M to get her soothed and into bed. We tucked both babies in, had a brief chat on the sofa about how he’d be up and getting ready for work if this was a weekday, and off to bed he went and off to switch their laundry I went.
Baby C woke again soon needing more soothing, then Baby C2 made another appearance to eat and have his diaper changed and decided it was time to be awake as well, so there I sat looking at his sweet boy with eyes big, wide and bright, feeling grateful it was just he who was up at 5:15. Tucked him in, tidied up the joint, set the video monitor in mama’s room and set out for home.
Indeed I was in need of sleep upon arriving home and crashed for a solid four hours, however, this mama doesn’t get that in each night I am sure of that.
So, for the love of sleep, you will want to do yourself a favor and find postpartum overnight support, especially if you have multiples.
About the Author
Nichi Hirsch Kuechle supports moms during pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond as a Parent Coach, Craniosacral Therapist and Birth/Postpartum Doula in Minneapolis. She publishes a weekly e-zine called Natural Family, which offers tips, ideas and resources for growing healthy babies. She also teaches a variety of live and virtual workshops. You can get Nichi’s New Parent Tool Kit, for free, by going to: http://www.MyHealthyBeginning.com.