Sunday, June 1, 2014

Reflective Reflections

Several weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend of a friend who learned she is pregnant with triplet girls.  I had such a lovely discussion with her, but I know I helped her very little.  I could not remember what kind of car seat we purchased when The Trifecta were infants.  I could not remember where I found their triplet stroller.  And how did I select my breast pump?  I. Don’t. Remember.

After we hung up the phone I dissolved into a reflective state.  How can I help this “mommy-to-be-times-three?” So I started writing down some notes.
1)   Sleep. 

When I was on bed rest with The Trifecta I had the following real life conversation with Chris Jackson:

Chris:  What are you reading?

Me: A book called “Babywise.”  It’s all the rage.  It says here that babies should operate on a three hour schedule of eating, playing, and sleeping.

Chris:  What about at night?  Will we have to play with them at night?

Me:  Oh no.  We will set our alarm when we need to wake them up for feedings.  Then, after we feed them and burp them, we will put them back in their cribs and they will fall back to sleep.  I think that means we will have to set our alarms for 11 pm, 2 am, and 5 am.

Chris: That doesn’t sound too bad.

Me:  No, and just think, my Mom will be here for a couple of weeks after they are born to help us.  Maybe we can even take turns sleeping through a feeding.

Chris (kissing my insanely large belly):  That would be great.  I love you!

Me (kissing his head as he kissed my insanely large belly):  And I love you!

They did not sleep for the first six months they were alive.  My precious mother lived with us for 18 months.  Hire a night time nanny; even if it means living off of mac and cheese and those packs of noodles that college students eat.  I’m not even kidding about this.


(2) There are two N’s in triplet nutrition:  nursing and nuggets.

When the “mommy-to-be-times-three” asked me if I nursed, I hesitated before I gave my answer.  Nursing has become one of those ridiculous subjects in which we measure our awesomeness or catastrophic failureness as a mother. Yes, I nursed those babies for a year.  Did I mention my mother lived with me for 18 months and only left on the weekends to visit my father?  I had help, lots of it, so I was able to do what most triplet mommies cannot do.  Diet is a tricky subject, so let me just share my humble opinion based on zero research and the philosophy that I just want/need to keep them alive:

I nursed them for a year.  Fed them only homemade or organic baby food and milk for the following year, and then transitioned to a steady diet of Chik-Fil-A nuggets for the rest of their natural lives.  Oh wait, they don’t just eat nuggets, they also eat chicken tenders.  And Cheetohs.  And also cheese pizza. And crackers.  So I also feed them a lot of foods that start with the letter “c.”  
(3) You will experience highs and lows. 

I do not know how to describe this other than to share a personal experience from this morning.  And this afternoon.  And tonight.  And yesterday all day.

7:45 am – The Trifecta and I find ourselves cuddled on the couch reading a book about unusual animals from around the world.  We are discussing the countries in which the animals can be found in their natural habitats.  The Trifecta giggle as I describe strange and bizarre physical characteristics and feeding patterns.  “I am so good at this job,” I say to my brain, “I am so glad that I left my prestigious and high paying position as a school teacher to raise outstanding, brilliant citizens of the world.”  I pat myself on the pack in my imagination and let out a sigh of contentment and delight as we finish our daily nonfiction.
7:46 (and 15 seconds) am - Baby C yells at me and rolls around on the floor, kicking and crying, because I did not stack the pillows correctly for the couch fort.

7:46 (and 22 seconds) am - Baby B wanders into the backyard wearing nothing but her underwear and starts a one-sided discussion with the teenage boy who lives behind us.  After telling him that penguins do not urinate, but that they excrete white poop, she shouts at me to bring her book to her immediately so that she can show him a picture.
7:46 (and 26 seconds) am- Baby A reminds me that I haven’t made her an egg yet, that she has asked me 4 times to do so, and begins to refer to me as “Amy Jackson” in an attempt to drive home the message that she wants her egg.  Right now.

And so on and so forth. All day.  Every day.  For a really long time. Unless they are watching, “Octonauts.”  Then, things are quiet.
(4) Lots of good things will happen.

I never knew I could love so much.  I never knew other people could love me so much.  I never knew how good it would feel when I experienced the profound love other people have for my own children.  I never knew a lot of things I didn’t know I didn’t know, but I am figuring that out along the way.  And so will you.

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