Two years ago today my good friend, Joanna, came and visited me in the hospital. At that point all visitors were bright spots in my dreary days but Joanna wanted to get me out of my room. She didn't want me sitting there doing nothing (what else could I do?) - she wanted me to at least get out and see something! God bless her :)
So, she tracked down a wheelchair and we loaded my humongous self into it and began "walking" the halls. What a sight we were! She was a few months pregnant with her second child so she had a tiny little bump and then there was me - about 20 months pregnant with a singleton OR 8 months pregnant with triplets - looks about the same. We had to check out breast pumps so we went up a floor to the 7th floor of the hospital. That 7th floor also happens to be the maternity ward. And what did I hear? Teeny, tiny newborn babies crying.
Oh my word was I freaked out. Having 2 kids already I KNEW what was coming except for the multiplied times three part. I wasn't ready. I knew I wasn't ready. As much as I wanted the girls OUT of me I also wanted to keep them IN! Who was I to have triplets? Some strange person said that when women are blessed with multiples it was because God knew they could handle it. I thought that was true till it happened to me. What? There was NO way I was going to survive having three babies at once.
To say the least I was panicked. I had three days left till my scheduled C-section (unless they came sooner but by that point I was pretty sure they weren't coming out until I kicked them out!). Hearing those babies crying was the first time I began to realize that I was actually going to have three small babies to care for. At once.
Everyone asks if I was shocked when we found out it was triplets. The truth is it was more about denial. I did not believe for one second that I would actually give birth to triplets until that day. That day I heard the babies crying and I had no idea what I was going to do.
Of course you know the rest of the story - three days later my babies were born. Healthy and pink. Alyssa did have to be literally dragged out of me - they did NOT want to leave. Maybe they were as scared as I was!
And then those little stinkers beat me to the recovery area. I remember being numb - at least my legs were numb but the incision was already starting to hurt - and I looked to my left and there in a tiny bassinet were three sleeping babies. And what did I think at that moment? Thank God they are asleep!
I will never pretend that those days were easy. That I had no more days filled with panic - I remember having 2 just in the week since they were born - once when I was left alone with 2 babies in the hospital (and that was just 2 babies!!) and the other when I was trying to pump in the middle of the night on one of the two nights I was home and the girls were still at the hospital - I just lost it - I didn't think I could handle three at once!
You know what?
I was right. I couldn't but somehow, one day at a time - literally one feeding at a time I got through. My mom helped, other people helped but mostly it was me putting one foot in front of the other and getting through one day at a time.
So, as the girls approach 2 years I figured I'd list a few of the pros and cons of my past 2 years with triplets:
- naptime and bedtime - okay, I'm partially kidding - there are other things!
- giggling - there's nothing like a toddler giggling
- lazy days when I can just lounge on the couch and watch a good hour of Sesame Street or Hi-5 with the girls
- there is always someone to cuddle with - when one girl wants to be independent another takes her place on my lap
- on the same note - I can always get a hug! There's a lot less waiting for a good mood to come around - I just ask the next girl :)
- I never tire of just watching them play together - when they hold hands, when they "talk" to each other, when they share, when they toddle in a line - it never gets old
- I also never tire of counting them - may sound odd but I still have to pinch myself at dinner when I look around the table and count 5 kids! And to count three toddlers - it's clearly so amazing
- when they are being silly - all of them dancing together or copying Kaitlyn in whatever she is getting them to do - or when they are chasing Caleb
- watching them grow as individuals and as a group - two years ago these girls were faceless names - who knew what they would look like or what they would be and now they are individuals - they are "real" people and that has been so cool!
- looking forward to these girls growing together - going through times when they are enemies and best friends and when someday they are grown and share everything with each other - most days I wish I could be them!!
Cons (these are probably more obvious):
- my inability to hold three babies at one time has been magnified now that the girls are bigger and my arms haven't changed
- constant screaming over who has what toy - Julianna is temper tantruming right now because Alyssa has a recorder that Julianna really wants - Julianna is trying to "trade" a blanket that Alyssa doesn't want so she can take what Alyssa has
- screaming at naptime and bedtime - they are more knowledgable as to what it means to go to bed and therefore are protesting all the more
- the complete lack of ability to get anything done while the girls are awake - certainly nothing on the computer
- there are rarely any super great days by which I mean no one is cranky - with one child your day is based on that one child's mood - with 3 they all have to be in a good mood and that rarely ever happens
- there is a LOT of wear and tear on your body when you tote three kids everywhere - up and down the stairs, into and out of naps, into and out of the van (twice a day at least) - I can't believe I'm not a size 0!!
As I write this I'm surprised that my list of pros are longer then my list of cons which of course everyone knows there ultimately aren't any cons to having kids (even high order multiples) there are just rough days were you are bone tired and realize that you have no choice to get up and do it all over again. But for that the rewards are enormous and then somehow a minute turns into an hour turns into a day turns into a month turns into years and before you know it the unsurvivable is behind you. For me, two years have past and I can't help but look forward to so many more years to come.
And I can't end this post without wishing a special happy birthday to the Urech Quads and Sandrof Triplets who both turn 2 today!! If you remember the Sandrof boys are my girl's future husbands :) As soon as TLC slates a special for triplets marrying triplets we're there. As long as it's not triplets marrying triplets having triplets - ha!! But if that happens - their mamas can certainly help them out. I know I've learned a lot in these past two years and I have no doubt that my good friend Cherie has too.