Well the plan started to unravel from the moment we decided to wake them up to start their massages. There is a reason they say don't wake a sleeping baby and tonight we found out why. The same reason we adults don't like getting woken up... it sucks! Although I will say that if someone woke me up to give me a full body massage, I don't think I'd complain all that much! But the babies just weren't having it. Instead of making them feel all warm and fuzzy and good they pretty much hated every second of it, which is odd because the last time we did it they LOVED it. But this time they were cringing and squirming and making faces like they licked a rotten lemon. So we swiftly wrapped that up and got their baths set up (another thing they love) and in quick succession wash, dried and dressed them. Swaddled them up tight and fed them. G and I were fighting to keep our eyes open during the feeding process and couldn't wait to get some sleep, however short and precious that time is. But lo and behold there was River and Riley as wide awake as ever. Somehow our plan backfired and the twins were now completely alert and wired! We brought them into the bedroom with the lights off and their sound machine on (we play soft sounds of rain near their crib so it's not uncomfortably quiet for them at night), put them in the crib an proceeded to get ourselves ready for bed. But River wasn't having it. Wake him up from a deep sleep to pull his clothes off, rub his body and dunk him in water? Oh he'd make us pay. And that he did. He whined and cried in his usual River way and Daddy stood at the end of the crib, talking softly to him and stroking his hair. After a while he got him to calm down a bit and within a half hour he fell asleep.
As I'm getting into bed I notice Riley's little face on the monitor (which always looks kind of creepy at night because the camera has night vision so you can see their faces clearly in the dark but their eyes look black and almost evil) and her eyes were like saucers. I always feel so guilty going to bed while either one of them is awake because then they are just laying there in the dark all alone. I know it's something I have to get over if I ever want to get sleep myself, but it still makes me feel bad. Usually when they are awake (if River isn't crying) they chatter and it sounds like a barnyard coming from the crib with their various newborn grunts and chirps. But thankfully I was able to fall asleep fairly fast.
Sure enough only two hours later River woke us up with his mouth siren, an hour earlier than he normally would for feeding time. So G jumped out of bed and tried soothing him, but to no avail. So he picked him up and walked around the house with him until he fell asleep again before putting him back into the crib. As he did so, he tip-toed away and quietly climbed back into bed saying, "I got him to go back to sleep," to which I replied, "oh just give it a minute." Sure enough the River alarm went off again moments later. Feeling frustrated and exhausted I jumped up and put his pacifier in his mouth and pulled his blanket tight around him, the top of it holding the pacifier in place. When I got back into bed G asked, "what did you do?," referring to River having stopped crying. Trying to be witty and make light of my frustration I responded with: "I smothered him with a pillow."
We got maybe another half hour of sleep in before round 2 started up. By then it was at least a little closer to feeding time so I just gave in and began the process of warming bottles and getting them changed and fed. Rather than going the usual 4 hours between feedings (which starts from the time they BEGIN drinking, so by the time they are fed and upright for a while to stave off reflux, it's only 2 1/2 hours or so until the next session), this time Riv was hungry an hour early again. How could this be!? He finished his last bottle completely and only 2 hours before!! It was G's turn to feed them so he got up a little extra early for work and took care of them. It's nights like these that really test your patience (and your sanity!).
So we're going to have to revamp our bedtime routine to find something that works and keeps them awake after their 7pm feeding until their 11pm feeding, to which then they'll hopefully be tired enough to stay sleepy through the night, even after the 3am round. Pshaw... Mission Impossible? Maybe so. But I'm sure as hell not giving up on trying!