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14 weeks today!

The triplets have hit the ripe old age of fourteen weeks today, feels like they’ve been with us a lot longer. It’s a big one for our little ladies. Things are also slowly improving for us grown ups.

Sunday night they were fed and down for 9.30pm. We got them a new light projector which fills the room with moving coloured stars, and also plays Mozart. They love music and the lights they are able to see from their cots. It seems to settle them beautifully. They went straight to sleep and went straight through til 6am.

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Hanging out with Daddy

last night was the same. After a really settled afternoon/evening they went straight down again for 9.30pm. Frankie now helps with the bedtime routine and loves being involved.

Having this couple of hours left free during the evening again, is like a little piece of heaven has returned to our lives. I can’t even begin to explain how good it feels to be able to rest again at the end of a day. To have a little freedom, a little peace and quiet. It’s been a long time.

I’m under no illusion that it can change by the hour. But for now it’s a making the most of soaking in the bath, taking the time to meditate and get back to consciousness again. The mental strain of sleep deprivation is an experience every parent knows. It’s no joke, there were times I felt I was verging on insanity again. If I am to succeed in my role as a father, I need to be awake and present.

There are so many little things I took for granted before the events of this year. Now it’s the little things I look forward to the most. Getting home from work , to my now not so little family, is still number one.

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Lacey with her beautiful smile

 

Back to the grind

When the triplets were born I took two weeks off from work that were spent mostly in the hospital they were born in. The plan was to get back to work and earn asap, Stacey’s Mum would then stay to help get them in a routine. After which I would take a weeks paternity leave when she left.

This weeks leave has been time I’ve looked forward to the most. It’s given me a chance to help out during the day, also strengthen my bond with them all. And a bit of a rest from my work has been much-needed. It’s also been important for us to find some normality as a family. As normal as it’s going to get now anyway.

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Bedtime hugs before they go down

I also got to be here for the health visitor appointment.  It was nice to hear such confidence in the both of us from her, and Stacey to hear the reinforcement of what an amazing job she is doing as a Mum in an extraordinary situation. She was surprised as to how advanced they are in their development already. We now get smiles, and coo’s from them, she also commented on how alert they all are.

Stacey is still managing to provide milk for all three. The health visitor puts a lot of our Babies development and growth, down to the calmness of Stacey and myself. A stress free environment is definitely one we all thrive in as a family. We are not perfect by any means, but we make all the effort we can to keep our home this way.

Their weights at thirteen weeks and three days were……

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Ava 9lb 12oz
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Lacey 9lb 10oz
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Blakely 8lb

It seems Blakely may always be a little smaller than her sisters, but other than size. she is as far advanced in development as her sisters.

So it’s back to work for me tomorrow. And for Stacey it’s her leap into days alone with the babies. Finding her feet and own routines. This is where our new life begins.

Stacey has also started a blog to document and share her experiences.

http://www.tripletmum.blog

Please take a visit and maybe leave a message of encouragement for her. I know full well she’ll make it work, but also understand the daily task of feeding and entertaining three developing babies. This week has been needed for all of us. lets see how it goes from here.

Also I appreciate all of you who take the time to follow our experience. I started this blog in the thick of sleep deprivation and triplet chaos. It has been a wonderful opportunity to stay sane, and also share what we’ve been, and are going through.

No matter how rough things get with a pregnancy, a relationship or starting out with a new family. And as apart as you may feel at times, you really are not alone. Be patient and remarkable things can happen at the other end.

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Cold coffee

There were times during the pregnancy when I would think forward to enjoying an afternoon, watching a couple of films on a Sunday with my family , chilling out with all the jobs done, and putting my feet up for a while. Catching up on some much-needed rest and rejuvenating a little. Just a free couple of hours to sit back and take stock, then march back into the stream of life feeling fresh and ready for anything.

I can report that this is yet to happen. Probably won’t for around twenty years now, by which point we will possibly then be looking after grandchildren. If Frankie starts a family. Although in recent weeks things have improved as far as sleep goes, triplets are game changers.

I think it was heading into the third trimester that I realised there was never going to be that free Sunday afternoon watching films like the old days, relaxing with my feet up. I almost resented it a little bit and needed to be aware of that, a little self-pity can cause big problems when a man starts down that path. There was already enough tension in the house.

Heres a typical day for me when they came home from hospital.

Wake up between 2am & 3am. It’s normally Blakely that wakes up first. I change her and pass her to Stacey to put on the boob. I then put music videos on the phone to keep me awake, while i tickle Stacey’s back which in turn keeps her awake. Then Repeat another two times.

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A feed can take any where between 20 – 30 mins. When one is fed, all are fed as it’s easier to keep feeds together.

I get back to sleep between half 3 & half 4am. Blakely usually then wakes again between 6 & 7am. I change a baby, get ready for work, maybe change another if I have time.

leave for work at 7.30am and work a physical job til 5pm

walk through the door, shower and cook dinner. Change babies before feeds, then help pacify babies until bath time around 10pm. Some nights I was able to get an hours sleep during the early evening. Depending how the triplets were behaving. Not often though.

Bath time and last feeds are usually done by midnight. Babies typically all asleep by 1 – 1.30am.

Get up between 2 & 3am and begin feeds again.

I need to add, this is also with three of us in the house as Stacey’s Mum was living with us. Without that help it would have been a lot harder, on Stacey during the day, and me during the evenings. I take my hat off to parents of multiples who have to do those early days alone.

At nine weeks and three days the triplets all slept through without waking for the 2 – 3am feeds.It was a massive milestone for all of us. That block of sleep was enough to begin to feel normal again.

If you have multiples, and you make a cup of coffee. Don’t ever expect to drink it while it’s hot.

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And if you get five minutes to yourself, enjoy it, if you can stay awake to do so.

 

 

Out of the SCBU & in at the deep end

The triplets came home on a Monday. They were transported one at a time by Stacey’s Mum, only because we only had one car seat at that point, due to delivery problems with the other two. I was back at work earning, so finishing work was exciting, there was also a sense of nervous anticipation.

There wasn’t any amount of mental preparation that would have me ready for the weeks to come. If you’re expecting multiples, expect tiredness, frustration, agitation, sleep deprivation, and lots of visitors with lots advice on the best way to do things. Your house won’t be yours for a good while. It’s just how it was for us. Our situation was anything but normal.

The set up at home for the triplets is a large travel cot in the living room that they all stay in during the day. At night they are positioned around our little bedroom in separate cots. As they were premature babies they did continue to sleep the majority of the time, so it did ease us into it a little bit. For a week or two at least.

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Their shared cot

The number one priority when they came home was getting them settled and continuing a strict routine. Stacey and her Mum did an amazing job settling them into this.

I found many things challenging in those early weeks. I found it difficult being at work with my newborns at home. Even though Stacey’s Mum had moved in to help,  I began to feel edged out.

Some of Stacey’s anxieties resurfaced and she began to resent that I got to go to work during the day, I remember her saying during a heated moment, that my life hadn’t changed at all. I began to resent that she got to go back to sleep after the morning feeds when I left for work, it felt like my tiredness was irrelevant. It was all just stress coming between us again.

We were both exhausted. Stacey from breastfeeding and tiredness,  and me from work and not stopping in the evenings. All the above was fuelled by sleep deprivation and stress. It was back and it was getting to all of us.

looking back, and it’s not that long ago, it’s all a bit blurry to be honest. It was tough going, there were times it felt it would never end. There is a dimension of tiredness you enter that fogs your mind, where you know your suffering mentally but become numb to it. It’s almost nice.

In the end I was just functioning. Some nights after the babies hit full term, we were getting a broken hour and a half sleep, then I’d drive to work with the windows down to stay awake. Do a full day, then home and repeat.

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You realise quickly that you’ll do anything for them. They are one hundred percent reliant on your presence

I never got resentful towards the babies though, I never felt a twinge of anger towards them. Knowing all I was doing was for my family, and that where we were wasn’t permanent, kept me afloat at times.

The grown ups in the house were not doing so great at times, but the babies were thriving still.

That was what was important getting through those first weeks. And we did get through.