After having my twins, a well meaning (read: somewhat unhelpful and now that I think about it possibly delusional) midwife, told my hubby and I that baby monitors were a completely unnecessary, modern convenience that worked mainly to stress out new mums. Dear hubby really took this on board. This laissez-faire pact to be a monitor free family was also supported by the amount of money we would save given the fact that buying a baby monitor with multiple cameras for multiple babies is actually quite expensive.
So, truth be told, we survived the twins infancy and subsequent toddlerhood reasonably well without a monitor. Along the way I silently convinced myself that there actually weren’t any viable options for monitors with enough camera extensions for twins. Who was the delusional one again? I think it was just to make myself feel better that I could barely step foot outside the house while the twins were sleeping, even to collect the mail, without hot footing it back as fast as my little legs would carry me just in case one of them had started crying, thus initiating a domino effect whereby the other twin would in all likelihood wake and start crying too. And, let’s be honest, probably shortly followed by me. I think at one point I actually became even a little smug about being a monitorless mum. Look at me with my carefree attitude to motherhood, free of the shackles of modern day mummying. I’m calm, relaxed, chilled even. Baby monitor? Pffft. What for?
When our third little human was on the way, I was the first to pipe up that I would need a monitor. Eenie and Meenie are nothing if not outdoorsy kids and there was no way, I said, that I was going to be able to yoyo back and forth from engineering giant duplo train track metropolises, rescue racing up and down the driveway and acting as referee for “ready set going” on the lawn, in addition to monitoring baby sound levels inside.
And what a monitor mummy I have become! I now wonder how I actually survived the twins babyhood without one. Sometimes I find myself hovering over the monitor screen staring down at the black and white image of my little sleeping Miney, scrutinising whether or not I can actually see the rise and fall of her chest as she sleeps. Along with this hyper awareness of my littlest babies breath has come my nightly check ins of the twins before I retire to bed. I know I can’t be alone when I speak of standing over my kids beds, iPhone torch illuminating their faces as I stare down at their little torsos until I am doubly, triply sure they are, in fact, still breathing. Sometimes I have to go back in just in case what I thought was the sound of their respiration was actually the mistaken sound of my own breath instead. Just to be sure. And yes, yes, I’m also that mum that has been known to lunge forward and put a hand on their chests to physically feel that they’re breathing if I can’t actually see proof of it. I’ve accidentally woken them up more times than I can count. A divine friend of mine who I discovered by happenstance, does the exact same thing, calls it doing her nightly ’rounds’. I was more than a little relieved to discover I was not the only crazy paranoid woman sneaking into her children’s rooms at night after they were asleep and squinting down for lengthy periods of time at her newly acquired baby monitor.
In fact, even more reassuringly, maybe we’re all like this!