Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Day in the Life with Triplets (by Meghan)

Wow!  I can't believe it's only been a week since we've written. -Scratch that...another week has gone by now.  We didn't get a chance to edit pictures so here we are a week later still trying to publish this post!  It feels like an eternity in some ways and it feels like just yesterday in others.  It's weird how that happens!

Well let's start with the most important thing first: We made it! (Through a week and a half with no live-in grandma help.) Not by ourselves that's for sure!  We have had a lot of support this week from friends and family near and far.  We received a large food delivery from a church group which was set up by a fellow triplet mom.  Then our dear friend Sarah and the wonderful Hubbard family set up a food delivery program online.  Sarah had been asking me for a list of people to send it to and I hesitated for a long time because I didn't think anyone would want to send us food.  And I sometimes feel very guilty accepting all this support.  I don't exactly know how to explain it.  I feel very, very appreciative, but also very guilty.  Anyway, the other night we had a surprise delivery at our door. Pizza from our friend Tara at Mt. Eagle.  I can't say I've ever been that big of a fan of pizza.  We usually order it once every few months.  But that pizza was amazing.  The time it saved not having to make a plate and warm something up.  And, the best part is I could easily hold a baby while eating with the other hand.  I think pizza might be our new favorite food!  :)  Then yesterday Jeremy got on the site and saw all the people who are sending us food.  I couldn't believe it.  If some of you are reading this, thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!  I never knew how difficult it would be to find time to grocery shop and make something to eat.  It is such a blessing to have food just show up at the door. We are truly grateful!

As many of you know, this week was particularly rough because we were on our own without moms (grandmas) staying with us helping around the clock for the first time since Sophia came home on October 14th.  We had a lot of local family members come over to help us make the transition.  Shallee (my cousin) and her daughter Kylie actually came to stay for a few nights to help with the dreaded night shift. Once they left we had to cover all night on our own.  As you can guess, this was not a week of much sleep for us.  I actually fell asleep while I was NG feeding Isabelle and spilled the syringe of breast milk all over!  That was a rude awakening! Thank you Shallee, Kylie, Aunt Mary, and Kelly for chipping in and helping us take care of these sweet girls!  Thankfully we have finally hired a nanny to help. I thought since I was staying home we wouldn't need a nanny, but as you see below I was in for a rude awakening.

Every time I'm the one posting I try to tell it truthfully.  Whether it's scary outcomes that could result from Izzy's surgery or worst and best case scenarios.  So, I do want to just share for a moment how hard this really is...what life is really like for us with triplet infants.  I have to really make an effort to get myself into the shower every 3-4 days. Many days it gets to the late afternoon and I realize I haven't brushed my teeth. I haven't left the house in three weeks accept for doctor appointments. There is always a baby who is fussing and needs to be held.  None of my time is my own to watch a show, or return a call to a friend, or go to the bathroom, or exercise.  I'm sure having a baby is an adjustment for any first-time parents, but having three, and one with special needs, is a monumental life overhaul. I have to say I did have a little bit of an adjustment period when I needed some time to accept that. Now that I have,  I'm enjoying every minute (Wait a minute! That's not true...I'm enjoying many moments, but there are rough times too.) Every day I am in awe of their growth and so sad it's another day I'll never get back again.  At the same time I wish they would just hold their bottles already so I could feed more than one at a time!  Time is so fleeting with infants who seem to change every moment. We are so lucky!

Let me fill you in about our day starting in the evening.

6:30-7:30 pm - Feed Izzy
7:30-8:00 pm - Give Maddy meds and feed Sophia
8:00-8:45 pm - Feed Maddy (She needs to be held for at least 30 minutes after eating, but sometimes she needs to be held for hours.  It just depends on the feeding.)
8:45 pm -  All kids are down in bed and sleeping  
9:00 pm - Give Izzy her meds
9:30 pm - Hook up Izzy's NG feeding.
9:30-11:30 pm -  The rush is on...I rush to get pumping and ready for bed so I can sleep a little bit.  Usually by the time I tidy up, get ready for bed, and pump it's between 10 and 11.  Jeremy rushes downstairs to get bottles ready for the next day, washes bottles from that day, tidies up a bit more and then comes up to bed.  He tries to get a bit of sleep.
12:00-12:45 am - Jeremy feeds Maddy and adds more milk and resets Izzy's pump.
2:00-6:00 am - There is no break until morning. The pump goes off, the monitor alarms (usually for no reason!), Sophia cries for her pacifier, Maddy spits up and screams her head off until you come in and hold her for a while, Izzy cries because she needs a diaper change, Sophia cries because she needs a diaper change, Izzy pulls out her NG tube, Maddy's crying because she's constipated, Sophia needs to be re-swaddled, the reasons are endless!
3:15-3:50 am - I wake up and pump.
4:00-4:45 am - Feed Maddy and reset Izzy's pump
5:00-6:30 am - Each morning I think today will be the day they'll let me go back to sleep.  I lay down and start to fall asleep and the second that happens someone starts crying. I've timed it...it's usually about every 10 to 20 minutes someone needs me so at some point I give up and hang out on FB on the iPad in the nursery, helping as needed. 
7:00 am - Bring each girl downstairs as they wake, put them in the swing and hope they'll be content and quiet while you run upstairs to get the others and try to scarf down a bowl of cereal. 
7:30-8:00 am - Give Maddy meds and feed Sophia.
8:00-8:45 am - Feed Maddy
9:00 am - Give Izzy meds
9:30-10:30 am - Feed Izzy
10:30-11:00 am - Pump
11:30-12:00 pm - Feeding frenzy starts again! Get meds for Maddy and feed Sophie. 
12:00-12:45 pm - Feed Maddy
12:30-1:30 pm - Feed Izzy
1:30-2:00 pm - Pump
2:00-3:15 pm - get s#*t done
3:30-4:30 pm -  Feed Izzy
3:30-4:00 pm - Feed Sophia
4:00-4:45 pm - Feed Maddy
5:00-6:00 pm - Try to feed ourselves and bounce around helping/holding fussy babies
6:30-7:30 pm - Feed Izzy.
7:30-8:00 pm - Meds for Maddy and feed Sophia
8:00-8:45 pm - Feed Maddy and we're back up to bed.

Do you see all the overlap?!!! Izzy's on an every three hour schedule while the other two eat every four. So, no matter how we arrange the schedule there are some feedings where there is a lot of overlap and some where they're eating every hour for three hours straight.  Maddy's reflux is horrible and makes her a very high-maintenance baby.  Each feeding with her takes at least 45 minutes and sometimes she needs to be held most of the three hours in between each feeding. Then there's sweet Izzy.  She usually takes about an hour to feed.  We start off with the bottle and then NG whatever is left.  She's a very slow bottle feeder and she cries and spits up if the NG goes to quickly.  Thankfully Sophia takes 10-15 minutes to feed and can burp and go down to her bouncy five minutes later if we need her to. We're so thankful for one easy baby, but we have major feelings of guilt because we spend so much more time with the other two. Hopefully as the others grow we'll be able to equal out the attention a bit more!

In the few hours of down time, there are so many tasks to fit into the day: washing bottles, making bottles, bathing babies, showering ourselves, eating, laundry, folding and putting away laundry, going to the doctor, calling doctors' offices and Early Intervention for appointments, sifting through the obscene amounts of paperwork that we get from bills, to insurance explanation of benefits, write a blog post, return calls to friends and family, grocery shopping, diaper and other necessity shopping, sleep, feed our poor neglected kitty, kitty litter, breast pumping.  If we have fussy babies all of these things get put on hold until we can find a free moment.

Needless to say, while it may be possible for one person to take care of three babies, it is not possible for one person to take care of these three babies. Thank goodness we finally hired a nanny!  I have sad feelings about this too.  I really want to do this myself, soaking up every second of their lives and not sharing it with anyone but Jeremy and close friends and family. For now though, I need to accept the fact that I need help.  Hopefully, as they grow, that will change or at least lessen as time goes on.

We've taken some great pics this week.  We'll leave you with them.  Sorry some of them have been revealed on FB already.  I couldn't wait to share!

Happy New Year everyone!

Meghan

Izzy's meds before bed


Maddy's meds in the morning and evening


Giving Maddy her meds


This is just after a couple of hours of "triplet life"


We had to move Maddy to the Rock 'n Play on the left.  That's her monitor over there.  On the right, is Isabelle's pump.


The nanny with Izzy



Meg and her girls


Madness on the Mat!


Maddy, catching some z's




Sophia, lounging with her Wubbanub


Izzy, working up her stamina


Sophie, figuring out what's happening with Baby Einstein

6 comments:

  1. I am going to read tyhis every time I think "I never get a minute to myself with my twins" (5 weeks old). Don't feel bad at all about needing a nanny. The important thing is babies get fed and mommy gets some rest. They will still know who mommy is and you won't always need so much help. I am so happy your family is all home now and I hope they continue to grow and thrive, and maybe start sleeping longer! My twins are still on an every 3 hour schedule too and it's exhausting. My first son slept through the night since birth, and having two babies up every 3 hours has been an eye opener! Or really, a "fight to keep your eyes open"-opener.

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  2. I hear ya mama!!!! I've had a rough night so far and I havent even gone to bed! Pumping right now and then off to get the bottles ready for tonight. Mine are 4 1/2 months adjusted, born at 25 weeks and im so exhausted with help! Feel blessed that you have found a nanny to help you! there are days when every part of my body hurts :) it does get a little easier when they start discovering their hands and being entertained by toys. Hang in there.

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  3. Wow -- this brings back memories. A lot of them. I'm not quite sure how we survived, but we did. :) Hang in there! Before you know it, you'll be sleeping and all this will be a distant memory, until you read a blog post like this and it all comes flooding back. . . .

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  4. You guys are doing an awesome job! Having some help is what's best for your family. When you have help, you and Jeremy are taking care of yourselves. By taking care of yourselves, you will be able to better care for your girls. That was one of the most important lessons Paul and I learned when our twins were infants. I, too, wanted to do it all by myself, but once I accepted the help I was so happy that I did. I was a zombie and wasn't able to experience and appreciate the precious moments with my young children until I had some help caring for them.

    We got a lot of help from family and friends. I truly believe that they were very important for us to have made it to where we are today.

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  5. Wow....just reading that made me tired! You are doing a wonderful job, and it is all going to get easier (eventually). Our trips are now 2 1/2 yrs, but I somewhat remember those early days...I think the exhaustion makes the memories a bit hazy! Hang in there. Your girls are beautiful!

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  6. irst off I LOVE that you put in the good and the bad and the challenges and blessings of caring for triplets and especially one with special needs..that is awesome!!

    Second, having multiples and one that has a lot of the same challenges as Izzy I know about falling asleep with the NG tube and the pump dinging and so, so many other things.

    I also know how hard it is to finally just admit that maybe a little help would be nice..it is not forever but it will help you out so much...you are doing great and are there to watch and enjoy the moments and THANK Heavens for I-Pads!!!

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