Thank you to all of you who took the time to share your words of encouragement and advise! I want you to know that they mean a lot, and both Bjorn and I draw strength and encouragement from our faithful blog friends - and have since the beginning of this journey. Most of the little tricks and tips you've shared we're either already practicing or have tried and found not so successful. The few things we haven't tried, however, are going right into our bag of tricks to be pulled out and used during one of the next screaming sessions! I finally realized last night that I am going to just have to tandem feed them for that last feeding at night. It's a lot of work and super tricky, as they are both still using nipple shields, unlatch a lot, and just aren't very good nursers all around. However, since they are so upset at night (and also since they are starting to sleep longer, I think), they are nursing longer (30 minutes vs the usual 15) - and there is just no way I can keep one crabby baby entertained while her sister eats for that long. And even if they won't get quite as good a feeding together as they would if I nursed them separately, it's still a whole lot better than screaming non-stop for 30 minutes. Now, don't get me wrong, they still scream - after they're done nursing, but then I can get to them both and that just makes it a lot more manageable for me.
However, last night was another night of putting on my "one-man circus" for 4 hours straight, which is what I call all the walking, bouncing, singing, swinging, dancing, and making silly faces (all at the same time!) I do to try and keep them from screaming - or at least from going into cardiac arrest, which they threaten to do quite often. I also finally decided last night that I need to switch my shift with Bjorn for a few nights, since I am so exhausted and simply can't do it anymore. I keep thinking it will get better, and I sure like the thought of being able to go to bed at 3am (vs having to get up then!), so I have been hesitant. Plus, I've been doing it now for so long that I probably know what works for them best and might have a better chance of keeping the chaos as contained as possible. However, I've also been getting increasingly frustrated by being completely alone in dealing with it - because every night as soon as our help leaves or Bjorn goes to bed, the girls turn into completely different babies ... and if you've never experienced it yourself (and tried to contain their screaming for 4 hours straight by yourself), you just don't know what it's like. Also, it seems like they keep going longer and longer each night ... which makes it that much more exhausting. It's funny, really, because all I'm praying for after 3 hours of carrying my screaming babies around my living room, is that just ONE of them would go to sleep - because I feel I could deal with one screaming baby, just not two.
We'll see, Bjorn is working late tonight, so tonight is probably not the night to switch shifts ... and deep in my heart I'm still hoping for a better night - so I'll do it for another night and see how it goes (one can wish, right?!).