8 weeks

For my husband and me, these are the most trying times of our lives, and therefore the relationship (we’re still honeymooners!). We’ve spat back and forth from frustrations of the moment, but no serious issues have arisen. We’re blessed, and our relationship is stronger than ever. I’m a very, very lucky woman! He always helps when I need it, and works incredibly hard to support us. If there were an award for best father-of-triplets, he’d win it.

I say this after we spent the weekend alone with the triplets for the very first time. It was SO HARD and completely exhausting for both of us. But, HELL YES, WE DID IT! You may say “Psssh”, but until you and your partner spend an entire weekend with newborn triplets, keep quiet! Imagine locking yourselves up in a cabin all weekend long…just the two of you…and 3 newborns. You only see each other when you wake the other up to take over care of the babies, who are hungry, crying, pooping, and needing constant attention…the ENTIRE time. Uh-huh. Not so sexy, is it? You need a darn good partner.

I receive lots of  emails, and I’ll be honest to help others. Everyday I think I’ll loose it. Somedays I do. My whole world of thinking about baby care has changed. You can’t do it like you would with a singleton. People will make you feel like you suck as a mother and a parent if you don’t do it the “right” way, which, of course, is impossible with triplets. You go through your days feeling like a failure at the most important job of your life. I don’t know what the “right” way is, but I’ve heard enough to know I’m nowhere near it. The other day, all three babies were crying at the same time. I rotated them among my arms (I only have two), the bouncies, the boppies, the cribs, the swings, the rock-n-play, the tucker sling; I fed, changed and swaddled them, too. Still, they all screamed about 3 hours straight. At one point I stood in the room of screaming babies and cried right along with them. This must be why triplet moms are so sensitive about child raising…what are we to do???

What do you do when baby cries for no reason? People tell me it’s okay to let baby cry. Uh-huh. 1 minute is a very long time to hear a baby cry. I’m completely confused. My house is covered in baby books. Yes, I’ve read them, taken the advice, tried the methods; you name it, I’ve done it. But what I couldn’t understand was…why is advice SO extremely conflicting? Then it hit me…duh…personality (yeah, that field of psychology I’m working to get a PhD in). Big lesson: No single method works for all babies, because babies are different from one another. One may need to cry for a while, while the other should not. After all this confusion, I’m using what works for us, and discarding the rest. I’m still confused, and everyday we change something.

Now I’m blending methods. I don’t demand feed, and I don’t feed on a strict schedule. Everyone eats about 4-5 oz every 3 hours. All babies weigh around 11 lbs.  Finally, they’re sleeping at least an hour between feedings during the day, and more at night. I feed about every 4 hours at night, from 7-8pm to 4-5 am. After the 7pmish feeding, it’s 9pm by the time everyone is down. Some sleep until 11pm or 12am. Then they’re back into bed by 1:30 or 2am. They make it until 3:30-4am. Someone usually stays up. After that, feeding continues every 3 hours. I have a feeling getting them to sleep through the night is not going to be easy.  Still, I think their ability to sleep has a lot to do with the tucker sling and rock-n-play (in addition to their weight); they keep the boys with the most severe reflux elevated. Between all feedings–except the 11pmish feeding–someone is usually up and needs attention.

Emmy and William smile now. Jackson I tried to make smile the other day, but then he started crying!! :)

15 comments

  • Jason says:

    Awww. You’re so sweet. Made my day. Lucky lady? Lucky guy… ;-)

  • Julie3SD says:

    Wahoo on surviving the weekend alone…I knew you two would, but doesn’t it feel good to have survived.  Definitely a marathon relay & great to have a good teammate.  My doula is reading post today & suggests formula change or mylecon drops for endless fussy/crying – maybe gas?  She just taught me the ‘wing swaddle’ to tuck in arms & leave body/legs free.  Its really helped the fussing when they’re just tired & flailing, but can’t get to sleep. 
    The thing I like about triplets is that few people can judge me – unless they’ve been there/done it.  And even then, kids are different.  Hang in there & keep up the great work!!!

    • Esther says:

      thanks, Julie! The nanny does that wrap – halfway around their heads. I’ve tried the gas drops. We’ve been changing formula alot, and now use one scoop of AR formula with one scoop of gentlese. 

  • Natascha says:

    Esther and Jason, I have been reading along here and last week when I read you were going to spend the weekend on your own, I knew it was going to be tough.  Congratulations on making it through in tact and loving each other even more.  I have twins, and I will never forget how hard the newborn months were.  I felt like I was doing something wrong all the time, too.  It seemed like neither of my babies liked to sleep, much less at the same time.  I was exhaused for months.  My husband and I would constantly say to each other “it must be so easy to have just one baby!”  I wanted to kill people who told me “sleep when they sleep!”  As if I weren’t wishing I could but knowing that I needed to feed myself and occasionally bathe.  :o)  We had super colicky babies, too, and we’d exhaust ourselves with doing the 5 S’s, etc.  My father in law lost it and told me I needed to get them some medicine for the colic, as if I were neglecting them.  Good times!!!  This is a really difficult time and I’m sure you are doing a tremendous job.  In a few months you’ll be able to get them to sleep through the night, and then you will start feeling whole again.  Natascha 

  • jasa says:

    It sounds to me like you’re doing is exactly right. <3

  • Caitlin says:

    Sounds to me like you are doing things exactly right! Because it’s exactly right for any baby that nothing is perfect. Great revelation about books etc. The skill of parenting is figuring out what works for your own baby/babies. No one knows what they need more perfectly then you. I can remember after my first baby being stressed out that I wasn’t doing what the books said. My Mum told me to chuck out the books, because the baby couldn’t read the book, so he wasn’t following the rules either. I didn’t throw out the books, because I too took the eclectic approach taking some advice and not others. It’s what I intend to do once the triplets arrive also. It’s extra hard for you with the reflux. Good thing you’ve got such a great hubby, admire you two greatly!

  • Mommyandkai says:

    Hi Esther,

    Great job Jason.  Having a wonderful husband makes all the difference.  I am so happy that you two are such a happy couple.  As I read your blog I hope our upcoming trio will be more relaxed like my husband.  Our two other sons are pretty wound up like me.  If at least one was calm it will help.

    I am so sorry to hear about the crying.  It is so hard. Lets hope they are getting it all out this month and next month will be full of smiling little ones. I keep telling myself it will be tricky and there will periods where I will feel like I cannot do it.  I keep saying even at its most difficult it will get better.  By 6 months they will find a rhythm and the house will be happier.  I know that is hard to imagine.  Give me 4 weeks and I will be crying, confused and begging for advice.  

    I am happy to hear all 5 of you made it through the weekend.  

    I have been meaning to mention something we learned about reflux.  Our pediatrician referred us to our local Children’s hospital.  They fitted them for wedges which held them at a proper angle and insurance covered them at 100%.  It sounds like you are having problems getting in to see the pediatrician, maybe ask them to call a referral as soon as possible and you could get all three wedges.  

    I am thinking of the 5 of you often.  I wish each of you the best.  I love your blog and the realism it gives me.  

    All the best,

    Kari

    fraziertriplets.blogspot.com

    • Esther says:

      thanks, Kari! I’m going to look into those wedges for sure – they definitely need to elevated to sleep. I hope you get enough help. If you’re not a person who needs to be in control, then help is what you will want the most. Then you can actually sleep. :)

      • Mommyandkai says:

        Hi Esther,
        I am extremely controlling.  I still think in the back of  my mind I can do it all.  I think having folks in the house even relatives is going to drive me a little crazy.  I have lined up 14 postpartum doulas who will volunteer 8-12 hour each.  I still hope we don’t need the help, but that might be delusional.  How is sleep going?  I hope the little ones are sleeping more and in turn you and your husband are too.  All the best to you guys!

        • Esther says:

          Well, your life as you know it will never be the same. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is welcome as many people into your life as possible. It helps you, and they will never forget their experiences with caring for your triplets. You’ll never be closer to your family, either. Sounds like you have 14 days of help. I think you’ll need more, but it depends on the babies and how little sleep you need to get by. :)

  • Michelle says:

     Hi Esther, 
    I am still amazed at how small the world is sometimes.  Caitlin is in Toowoomba which is an hour from me.   And am still amazed you have been here as well.  I have never been over the western side of Australia but maybe worth a vacy there sometime in the future.
    Also want to mention a ‘medicine’ I used for my son’s colic.  It is called ‘Infant’s Friend’ and is made locally here.  Not sure if you can get it in the states.  But I have to say that while nothing truly fixes, this certainly was of great benefit in helping him to settle.  There was a marked difference in the nights we used it and the nights we didn’t.  And from memory it was all natural with nothing nasty in it.  Worth having a look at the website as probably a comparable product there.  Michelle

    • Esther says:

      Michelle!! Thanks for the tip! I will look into the medicine. Of course, colic just means, “doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong”.  I think it’s reflux most times, but it could be personality too, I guess. 

    • Caitlin says:

      My sister (with 5 kids) swears by Infants Friend. The chiro was more successful then Infants Friend for my windy baby. It’s definitely worth a look, and it’s cheap. Been great ‘meeting’ Michelle! Love small world scenarios!

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