Hi! Remember me? I used to have endless hours laying on the couch with no one but my Bloggy friends and Wi-Fi to keep me company, and nothing to do but update my blog with frequent worries and musings. Not so with three precious newborns and a darling yet wildly jealous preschooler; the times, they are a-changing.
What do I do all day, you ask? Aside from the bit of sleeping, snacking and trying to spend some time with our daughter, I am doing two things:
... nursing (here is my view)
... and pumping.
This amazing contraption has given my babies an abundance of breast milk and allows me to pump in less time than if I didn't have a hospital grade model. I LOVE IT but sometimes, I wish the babies could take all they need without the seven times daily pumping sessions.
Without the unwavering support of my mom and husband, I would NOT be able to nurse and pump as much as I am. As of now, I make more than enough milk for the babies and have to freeze some each day, which is an awesome feeling. It takes about 30-45 minutes to work with one of the babies at each feeding and pumping is usually a 20-30 minute operation. Without my mom who does ALL the laundry and bottle washing and fixing, this would not be doable. Without my husband's commitment to breastfeeding, this would not be possible and I am very thankful to both of them. If I was alone all day or even most of the day, I would have thrown in the towel, I think. So the wonderful thing is I pump often and make a lot of milk for my boys.
The whiny, grass-is-greener thing: I wish they were ready to nurse exclusively, eat until they were full whenever they were hungry, and be able to tandem nurse. This is an unrealistic goal for many triplets at this age because despite their birth date being 6 weeks ago, they are 1 day old, adjusted, and have about the maturity of a baby born YESTERDAY. It is hard to not to rush the process and to trust that one day they will all be more efficient nursers.
I met with an amazing nurse lactation consultant from our NICU and she was incredibly encouraging. She gave me some wonderful tips on how to soothe the frantic baby who won't latch on, how to ensure they all get enough practice, but mostly, she cheered me on for the efforts and time invested and reassured me that in a few months, we should be where we want. Not only is it easier for me, but it should allow me to nurse two at once while one is given a bottle of breast milk, making it easier on the other adult here and certainly easier on my daughter. Also, less bottles to fill and wash and prepare, and less pumping for me! One of the most frustrating things is I have to go off to pump after a feeding, which is when the babies are most likely to be awake and extra cute.
As for my recovery, I was given the "green light" to exercise and the other things they "ok" at your six week visit today. I am thrilled that I can start Pilates and cardio (although these boobs preclude running!) because this body is flabby. Although I've only got 8-ish pounds to lose, the abs are stretched, the behind is saggy and I can't wait to feel some sore muscles after a good workout again. The effects of triplet pregnancy and months of bed rest need to be counteracted ASAP. I know the extra skin that is residing in my midsection needs a bit of time, but those transverse abdominal muscles better watch out- I am determined to flatten something out, and goodness knows, it will not be my breasts anytime soon.
My daughter and I brought a big box of homemade cookies and nuts that my mom and I have been working on to the nurses and doctors at our MFM clinic. We were met with lots of hugs and showed off pictures of the little guys. I spent so many weeks there, getting to know the sonographers and nurses, Dr. P and a few others, and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to them. We were all a bit teary, and we promised to bring the boys in when it is not 20 degrees in Seattle.
I remember feeling the same sadness about the graduation visit from the fertility clinic, but even more intensely because I know I will never be pregnant again. Just typing that makes me pause and swallow a lump in my throat. One would think that after a pregnancy like that, I'd be thrilled, and I am, mostly, but the feeling of my children moving inside me is one of the most magical and I will mourn the fact that I won't feel it again. Four children makes our family perfectly complete, but it is strange to know with certainty that we are finished having children since we have spent the last two years trying to bring one into the world safely. To switch from the trying-to-get pregnant mindset and the trying-to-stay-pregnant mindset to the no-more-children one is a shock to my heart, and requires some adjustment.
The boys! My love for each of them separately and the three of them together is more than I could have imagined. Their personalities are so fun to observe and without one of them, something would truly be missing. I am so thankful they are all safely here, growing and thriving.
As of last night (yes, I rented a scale):
Seal: 7 pounds, 6 ounces (CHUNK!)
Lion: 6 pounds, 7 ounces (my daughter's birth weight)
Elephant: 7 pounds, 3 ounces
Their growth is amazing everyone- all those cookies I am still eating are going to good use, I suppose. (That is what I tell myself at night when I have another biscotti.)
I promise another post within the week. What should I write about next? My mind is mush and I need prompting and direction!
1. The hardest part: my daughter with her broken heart and demon-like behavior
2. The boys' personalities and quirks
3. What our days and nights are like
I am getting good at typing/scrolling/reading while pumping, so I will try VERY hard!