Or, lack of.
It's surely no news that babies bring lack of sleep. I've mentioned before that ours have awful trouble - not so much getting to sleep as staying asleep. And I knew that when we brought them home that I would be horribly sleep deprived. I used to have nightmares about it, literally - I would dream that I had to get up because my baby was crying, and then wake up for real and think 'phew! At least that's ONE good thing about having no children!' and snuggle back down.
So I was kind of prepared for the fact that I would never sleep again. What I wasn't prepared for was how it would affect me. When I've been sleep deprived before (exams, long hours at work, a thesis to write, etc etc) I've been upset, irritable, weepy and headachy. But this time... it's different. Instead of all that, I just feel like.... I'm fading away. To use a photoshop simile, I feel like I've had my opacity reduced to about 30%. I'm still here, but I'm feeling pretty...wispy. And.... unable to finish a sentence, or a thought. Or... something. (While in this weakened state, I will admit that YES I have probably been a bit too harsh on sleep-deprived new-parent friends in the past for some of the things they have done / said when I have been in particularly difficult phases of childlessness. Dangit, some of them have been crazy-insensitive, but I'm beginning to realise that hey, they were probably being equally rude to everybody - it's likely that the others just had the good sense to ignore them. I'm already freaking out a bit about who I must have already offended by both omission and comission in this twilight, catatonic state. Everybody, probably. If that includes anybody reading this, I'm really really sorry).
Anyway, this cannot continue. J has a job. I still have one or two friends left. They are waking up every HOUR. And since we've been home, their sleeping has just got worse and worse. They will only sleep on the bottle, or on my chest, and they are waking up, SCREAMING fit to shatter glass, then taking 1/2 oz and going back to sleep. Sometimes in the night they are genuinely hungry, but more often they just want to suck themselves back to sleep. And wow, I had absolutely NO idea how the whole twin-thing would just be a synergy of disaster in this area.
If someone else had written this post, say, four months ago, I would have read it, clicked my tongue and said 'oh well, adopted children, you know, I guess they are going to have sleep difficulties and you are just going to have to suck it up because of, you know, attachment and stuff'. And I'm sure that sleep and attachment are related. But I've begun to realise that other things that affect attachment are the ability to a) stand upright without wobbling b) play with my children on the floor without accidentally slipping into a coma c) have the energy to do all that attachment-therapy type talk that I memorised while I was waiting.
Oh yeah, and apparently bad sleep is at least as bad for the babies as it is for us. Worse, actually. And that's what tipped the balance for us.
(No, really, really).
We've bought this book (actually, we bought a few but this seems the best)
and we're going to sleep train them.
I know, I can't believe it either.
It feels like an admission of failure, even though I'm absolutely certain we're doing the right thing. I guess (like so much of the rest of this blog) I'm writing it down here because it's such an unexpected thing for me. Maybe rather than an admission of failure, it's an admission of 'maybe I didn't really know what I was talking about after all'. I'm sure it won't be the last.
But hey, did you see the bit where it says 'results in less than a week?' I'll keep you posted!