Historical Note: The Battle of Pacifier Point is commonly held to be the turning point in the long-running conflict between the rebels and their Motherland. Prior to the Motherland's crucial triumph in the fields of Pacifier Point, the rebels were frequently seen exhibiting the behavior pictured below.
However, after their defeat, the rebels could be more easily subdued through the use of specifically engineered bits of rubber and plastic, as seen here:
Although the Conflict is ongoing, the Battle of Pacifier Point reenergized the soldiers fighting on behalf of the Motherland, and their war cry can still be heard throughout the land: "I'M DOING THIS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"
On Saturday, January 26, 2013, Charlotte was successfully quieted and dissuaded from a full-on meltdown through the use of a pacifier. There are an awful lot of milestones that have occured over the past 12 weeks, most of which I'm pretty hazy on the specific dates, but I will never, ever forget this past Saturday.
Like most parents, initially we were mostly against the idea of a pacifier. Nipple confusion! Overbite! NIPPLE CONFUSION!! Then we met Charlotte and Annabelle. Perhaps these girls have a stronger and more insistent sucking instinct than most babies, or maybe Colby and I are weak, but by the time they were two days old, we were begging the nurses in the Mother & Baby ward for relief in the form of a baby plug. Both girls accepted the pacifier, and were fairly easily calmed with it for the first couple of weeks of life. By a little over a month old, Annabelle was a raging pacifier addict, but Charlotte would have nothing to do with them.
It's not that her sucking instinct had waned, it's just that she preferred to "self-soothe" on my boob. We tried three or four different styles (of pacifiers, not boobs), but she would have nothing to do with them, and her screaming rage knew no bounds. For the past three weeks, I have been completely unable to put her down for a nap for longer then 10 minutes. She would fall soundly asleep in my arms, snoring and sleep-smiling, but the second there was a gap between us large enough for a slight breeze to pass through, her eyelids would snap open, she'd glare at me reproachfully, screw up her face and let loose a howl of unspeakable fury.
So. That was fun.
Then, this weekend I noticed that she was trying to stick the bill of her little duckie lovey into her mouth, and she seemed to want to suck on it. So, I grabbed Annabelle's spare pacifier, and stuck it in Charlotte's mouth. At first, she used her tongue to angrily thrust it from her person, but after a little persistence on my end, she started sucking. And then she fell asleep. In her Rock n'Play. ON HER OWN. And stayed asleep! It was nothing short of a miracle.
Things have gotten a lot easier in the past couple of weeks. I've been feeling more than a little overwhelmed by the responsibility for caring for two babies on my own for the majority of the day, but things get infinitessimally easier day by day. It helps that both girls have started smiling at us intentionally and responsively now, rather than just smiley muscle spasms. It's awesome to go get them out of bed or give them a big smile, and see that toothless, gummy, open-mouthed grin in response. We've even gotten a couple of little laughs out of them.
I'm also trying to get back out into the world of functioning humans. Last week, I took the babies to a doctor's appointment on my own, and had a friend over for tea. This week, I'm flying solo to another couple of doctor's appointments (at what point will I stop feeling like I LIVE at the hospital??), and meeting a couple of friends for lunch and coffee. So, basically, I feel like Wonder Woman. Oh, and did I mention that both babies are asleep right now? At the same time? Photographic evidence--check it:
Now, if only they could figure out their arms and stop spastically slapping themselves awake after 20 minutes, all would be perfect in our world.