Monday, December 7, 2009

Look Who's Blogging

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!


  1. Wooo hooo! You are doing AMAZING with the breastfeeding and pumping. Way to go! Hooray for your support crew as well, they are so important.

    One day old, adjusted, wow! You WILL get there with the tandem stuff. Hooray for the encouraging LC. Wonderful weights, too!

    I hear you on the body stuff, though oh, lordy, you have way more enthusiasm than I! At 18 months out I still have issues with the abs and lots of extra skin. It is on my to do list (figuring out what to do first, and then perhaps doing it, ha ha) but so far not happening.

    I am sorry your oldest is struggling. So hard! She will sort through it all and be stronger because of it. The built in playmates (and/or minions) does eventually pay in dividends, at least at our house.,,,(its not all roses, but its better and a lot more fun now)!

    Take care! I have been thinking of you!

  2. Wow - just read your post (while pumping, of course!) and it was like a flashback to my life a few months ago! I also have BBB triplets (8 mths) and a preschooler, and have been pumping and breastfeeding since day 1. I'm here to tell you it does get easier! It is so much work and you will look backand think, "man, that was hard!" - but so worth it in the end. You are right that it would be near impossible without family support.

    One of my babies was a good nurser from the start, but the other two had horrible latches and I would say they didn't figure it out completely until they were 10 and 12 weeks old - ouch! I hated the supplementing with a bottle of expressed milk after every feeding, but that eventually ended too. I think it was a mistake for me to make them stick to a 3-hr schedule in the beginning - they were just so hungry in the evenings and that was miserable for my family to deal with (it's when I would grab a few hrs uninterrupted sleep).

    Don't stress the tandem nursing! It is almost impossible with tiny babies. Once they have a little head control it starts to become possible. There was a time I found it helpful when they would wake up hungry at night and had no ability to wait their turn, saved our household from the screaming, but honestly, I felt more like a circus freak and didn't enjoy it. I would (and still do) nurse one at a time when I could, especially once they got bigger and more efficient. In fact I just gave away my tandem pillow to a local mom-to-be of twins this week.

    Your photos are so familiar to me! The pump and the bottles of milk... My pump is still working, maybe only about 3 times a day now (but my babes just get one bottle each per day now) - but it's still such a security thing - I feel under pressure if we have less than 6 bottles in the fridge, and it kills me to use my freezer supply! Might have to start doing that as we head towards the 1-year mark though.

    Anyway I just wanted to encourage you, you are in the hardest stage right now and you are doing such an incredible job! You should be really proud of how well you are managing. And your daughter will be fine. She is going to gain a lot from the extra grandparent attention, and eventually the babies will become interesting. My son has taken almost zero interest in his brothers until they recently started to gain some mobility. The grandparent factor has been a mixed blessing, since my authority over what he does is diminished, but at least he is getting a lot of attention that I cannot give him right now.

    So hang in there, keep doing what you're doing, and I promise it will get easier!
    Good luck,

  3. Wow, I am impressed. you are doing amazing!! So pleased that all is well. Keep up all your good hard work, it must be so worth it!

  4. I vote for a post about #1, then another about #2, then #3.

    I'm sure the irony is not lost on you that you worked so hard to give A a sibling (or 3) and her reaction right now has been negative. Hopefully it will improve very soon. Remember that most parents with a preschooler and a singleton baby experience the same thing.

    I get the same lump when something happens to remind me that I probably will never be pregnant again. Sometimes I wonder if I'd feel the same way if I could have stayed pregnant longer; maybe if I was one of those women at 40+ weeks complaining and begging for induction (not that I ever would have complained, esp. after my preterm labor scares!) I would have felt more closure -- or maybe not.

    Thinking of you.

  5. Wow! Way to go! In your spare time (bwahahaha!) will you tell us what the lactation consultant said about how to soothe a baby fussy at breast? I think i need to know this for future reference. Obviously, no hurry!!

  6. What an inspiration! I'm so thankful you found some time to update as it's AWESOME to hear how well you're doing and your little family!!!

  7. Incredible, you are superwoman! I did the whole pump and feed thing with one preemie baby before and it drove me to the brink of insanity, I can't imagine what it will be like trying to keep up with the needs of all three- well now I can after reading your post. Good for you for sticking to it, I hope I can be half the woman you are!

    I'd be interested to hear more about your daughters adjustment as that's been a hot topic in our house with two preschoolers and three babies on the way. I'm hoping that the fact that there is already TWO of them and they are best friends that they may have a little better time with the lack of attention from mom and dad after the triplets are born but who knows. Either way I'm sure it won't be easy and I'd be very interested to hear how you guys are dealing with it.

    Congratulations on making it to their due date with what sounds like very few bumps in the road. It's clear sailing from here on out, right? *wink* Thanks for updating, we always love to hear what's going on in your crazy busy baby world!

  8. This is going to be short, but I was excited to see you post and wanted to let you know that I've read your blog.... All this looks exciting and crazy at the same time! Glad to hear from you and that picture is too cute!

  9. You are amazing there lady! And I love the picture of your boy nursing with his hand over his head! :)

  10. I am so in awe!!! Good for you for breastfeeding all three of them... I do have a pretty strong committment to breastfeeding myself, but I don't know if I could do it. I am thinking of you and hoping that every day it gets a little easier.

    One of the moms in our preschool found out she is carrying triplets after transferring three embryos during IVF. I sent her to your blog -- I hope she stops by to hear your inspiration!

  11. You are my hero! You will be my inspiration in a few weeks when I am struggling with BFing one babe. Kudos to you, your mom and Dh!!!
    It is crazy when you think about their adjusted age!
    I would love a post on all 3, but I know time is short. It was GREAT to hear from you!!!!

  12. Congrats :) It sounds like you are doing wonderfully!
    Thanks for posting :)

  13. You are giving me so much hope. We are expecting three girls this winter and I am extremely nervous about the premie/breastfeeding/sleeplessness. Also about the fact that my MIL is going to come stay with us for a few months to help (which is awesome) and how we're going to work out the division of duties. Any tips about what we will need her to do the most, how to manage time, etc? I don't know her that well, so it's tricky territory and I don't want to offend, but I also don't want her to take over my house.

  14. I have to tell you, yoga after a c-section... not so fun. My abs hurt so much!

    YAY on breastfeeding! I am so sad to be giving up the pumping but with it just being me at home during the day, I just cant do it and take care of two little ones.

    I am so glad to hear the munchkins are doing so well!!! Great news!

  15. So good to hear from you!!! YOu are such a rock star breast feeding mama. Your boys are so lucky to have a mom like you.

  16. so nice to hear how things are going. i've thought about you and wondered how you were doing/coping? i can only imagine what life would be like with a new baby times three. i look forward to your upcoming posts.

  17. I'd love to hear more about your daughter and how she's handling the new trio. And GO YOU! with the breast feeding! That's awesome :) I hope the time of easier feeding comes sooner than you think!

  18. Wow, what an amazing, awe-inspiring update! You're one busy mama!!! As I fully expected you would be. It's SO good to hear from you and to learn that the threesome is thriving.

  19. So glad to hear that the boys are doing well, even if breastfeeding has been a such an enormous task.

    I am so sorry that things have been tough with your daughter. I would love to hear more about that, or anything that you feel like writing about!

  20. So glad to read your update! Good to know things are progressing in the right direction (even though tough). Take care!

  21. Carrie, your day sounds just like mine. Pump, bottle, snuggle, sleep. Thats how it goes. lol. I wonder too, when can the pumping slow down? How often do you pump? Im trying every 2-3 hours. I have about 3 days worth of milk in my fridge at all times. The girls are starting to get the hang of nursing so that is good. Your post was very inspiring. I can do this. lol.

  22. Just wanted to say how touching it is to see your dedication to nursing. Great job!!!!!

  23. Great to read a post! I've been missing you;) So glad all is well!!!

  24. I am AMAZED at how you are feeding and are incredible.

    Very happy to hear the trio is doing well, and growing.

    Thank you SO much for your kind comment to my crazy news! We go back Monday for another U/S...I'm hoping for another great one.

  25. Well done you :D Fingers crossed for getting them all nursing!

  26. WOW! I just have one and I thought our BF struggles were alot to handle (poor eater led to reduced supply, so we were nursing, supplementing, and pumping for each feed for about two weeks. Supply back up, supplementing is gone, and all is so far so good). I'm sure you would think our schedule is cake compared to yours. Great job!! I too sent your blog to a friend with triplets who is working towards exculsive breastfeeding :) Oh, and I'd like to hear the LC tips for soothing if you don't mind sharing.

  27. I just posted a poem I wrote while my wife and I were going through infertility. 9 artificial inseminations and 2 IVFs later we conceived. Check it out and let me know what you think.

  28. Soooo glaad things are going so well for you and your family!!!
    Good luck on the weight loss! Dont get discouraged if it takes you longer than you'd like to look the way you want to. it took me a few months to lose the 60 lbs i gained, and it took 17 months all together to get to my current weight, which is 135 (i was 260 when i gave birth to them!!!!!) And after losing 125 lbs my stomach isnt anywhere near where i'd want it to be. These little ones sure take a tole on our bellies!! But of course, it's totally worth it!
    Anyways just wanted to stop by and say congrats again, and glad you're doing so well!! Remember, i'm here if you need any advice or just someone to vent to! We triplet moms need to stick together!!!

  29. This is way in your past but I have also been diagnosed with useless tubes and I am so inspired by your story. I will keep checking on your babies to give me hope. You are awesome to be breastfeeding all three and awesome to be blogging!

  30. late but congrats on the triplets!

    and that machine is a dream (but i'll have to return it in 4 weeks :( )