Stories of Settling with Twins at Tweddle

Stories of Settling with Twins at Tweddle

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We are grateful to mum of multiples Judy, for sharing this wonderful story.

“We were so excited when our 6-week scan showed us two distinct amniotic sacs with two tiny babies growing.  My joyful sobs kept shaking the ultrasound wand making the image all blurry.  At 16 weeks, our ultrasound technician said we ‘couldn’t have planned it better had we tried’ then he told us we were having both a boy AND a girl.  We were learning all we could about twins from our local Multiple Births Association of which we had quickly become members.  We were grateful to carry the bubs to 37 weeks, the designated full term for twins, and delivered by a planned caesarean on the advice of our doctors.   The babies were the most beautiful I had seen – completely different and each the best there could ever be – I reminded them daily.  I might be biased.”

“Our first 4 months were a blur.  We had been warned we would be overwhelmed with all the work and none of the sleep, which was true but we found it really doable.  The bubs had been sleeping through since about 3 months. We were so proud.  Then when we had to release from their wraps in case they rolled over, they stopped sleeping through.  But we were still doing fine.”

“With the twins I never got into the habit of rocking them to sleep – not possible – so I would hold each of their hands – one in each bassinet, then one in each cot – and squeeze and shh shhh them til they were both sound asleep and then slowly creep out of the room.  They would wake several times during the night and I would do the same thing again.  My son would usually wake from losing his dummy and would fall back to sleep immediately when it was replaced.  Whereas my daughter would sleep more soundly but once disturbed would become alert and take a lot to get back off.   The worse combination of events then was lost dummy – baby boy cries – baby girl wakes – dummy replaced – baby boy straight back to sleep….1.5 hours later baby girl finally back asleep. I was still doing ok, til about 10 mnths.”

“At 10 mnths I was exhausted.  The babies had rejected dad settling, so I was doing two day naps and night time settling plus overnight, taking ages to get them to sleep, and then going in multiple times to resettle.  We didn’t have grandparents around us, and we didn’t really get a break.”

“We started to ask all and sundry about sleep training.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  I didn’t want to start til I knew I could go through with it – but I didn’t quite get how the training worked.  I was told by parents of singletons that you can’t train twins in the same room. I just didn’t know how to tackle it.  I was excited when we got a referral to Tweddle but we were on the waiting list, no guarantee in the next few months…..our fingers were crossed.”

“Then the magic call.  Could we go in next week.  It was the babies’ first birthday and I couldn’t think of a better gift for them.  I was very nervous, but excited to be in a fully supported environment with people to work through the day AND the night with you.  It was wonderful to meet the other parents and babies from 4 months to 2 years knowing that every one of us was there because we didn’t sleep, and our babies didn’t sleep, and we were all in it together.  We set our goals which were to learn and practice the techniques of ‘responsive settling’ so that 1) the babies would learn to settle to sleep with Dad again and 2) the babies would be able to fall asleep WITHOUT holding my hand.  We knew that was a first step to independence and self-settling.”

“As with so many things you seem to go backwards before you go forwards.  They were very sleepless nights.  But it was so amazing that when I stepped out of my room to go to the babies, there was an expert ready to support and guide me any time of the night.”

“By Wednesday I wasn’t sure we had achieved anything at all, and I was ever so confused about things, but by the end of the week we really HAD got Dad doing settling! And I no longer had to offer my hand.  I was amazed and so grateful.”

“The next steps to independence took a few months.  It was another case of making a decision and biting the bullet that I would leave the room while they were awake, wait a bit if they cried, then go in and settle, and then leave again while they were awake.  I made a follow up call to Tweddle to get the support I needed and we were off again.  Having family around at Christmas helped.  We all tuned into what the babies were doing and decided when to go in to settle them.  Just after Christmas they both slept through for the first time.  Life got sooo much better.  We knew they could do it.  They knew they could do it.  So we felt much more confident.”

“A few months later we faced what we knew would come. Starting childcare was a bit unnerving for my daughter who needed to be reassured we were around more.  And getting colds and tummy bugs from their classmates meant lots of nights awake with fevers, and coughs.  But we had the training, had done it ourselves, so we just make the decision to put it into action again, and our sleep through babies return to us.”

“We are ever so grateful to Tweddle for their support.  I would have swirled in a sea of confusion to this day without their intensive help and clear messaging.  We get to enjoy our twins so much more now that we are all more rested.  And having twins is just the best thing ever!”

Happy Multiple Births Week!

Judy

Visit the Westgate Multiple Birth Association

Visit the Australian Multiple Birth Association

 


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