Summertime

Well summer has arrived and it’s been a very welcome break from constant illness, dr and hospital visits.

The tinies have, touch wood, not had a single ear infection since June. I think we are onto a winner with this season!

If only I could crack sleeping in the heat. Mine fight it like little demons.

The best tip I’ve received is paddling pool just before nap time and wearing wet vests, worked like a charm! I tried wet muslins, they work if your babies are of the non wiggly variety. The wet top idea was so good I used it myself. Top tip- don’t answer the door to the postman!

Other good tips include a bottle of frozen water (or several) in their room. Lots of fans to blow the air around.

Still living the dream with outdoor activities, painting, bathing, eating… you name it and we do it in the garden. God help the neighbours when we potty train…

 

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Things people say

IMG_7892Well today we all went to pony club, a treat for big brother… he loves having an audience.

We were advised, no fewer than 20 times, that we “have our hands full”. This wasn’t the most popular comment, “I don’t know how you do it” was trotted out, as if on repeat. To which my inner voice shouted everytime, ‘nor do I random stranger, I just get on with it’, whilst saying the same old platitudes, “oh you get used to it” and ” we take it one day at a time”.

But hey at least that day passed with no one telling us that they’d rather be dead than have triplets or that they’d have aborted them. Often folk don’t seem to think before they speak. Although in all honestly I CAN see where they are coming from, it’s not easy. I certainly wouldn’t change it, but nor would I have chosen it. After all I only have two boobs and two hands, once that extra baby is thrown in there it all gets a bit insane!

Mentioning insanity brings to mind some of the other corkers that I’ve heard…

“Were they all born at the same time?”

“Did you have a lot of sex?”

“Do they cry at the same time?”

“Do they sense each other?”

“Do they have the same dad?”

“Were you expecting triplets?”

“Do they run in the family?”

These last two questions seemed completely bizarre to me. Until one day it suddenly clicked that it was a polite way of asking if we’d had IVF, which we were asked more than you’d imagine. Some triplets are an accident of biology, some are an accident of science. Both are natural and amazing occurrences.

I’ve even been told that it must be easier than a singleton, as they entertain each other. To which I replied “No, toddlers really don’t entertain each other”. But the lovely comments are the ones I hold onto, people who tell me how blessed I am, that I am incredibly lucky, what a joy it must be, and of course those who tell me how slim I am! I particularly love those people who tell me I’m far to slim to have triplets.

Often people tell us that their families; 3 under 5, twins and a toddler, 3 dogs ūüėā, are all the same as having triplets. Whilst I don’t deny that these scenarios all have challenges and are difficult, I would disagree that they are the same. It would be nice if we could all agree that our lives are hard without needing to denigrate others difficulties. I have friends with singletons where I think they definitely find things harder than I do. I’d certainly never say to them that my life is harder than theirs. Our job as mums is to support our children, if we can support other mothers then we should. Being a mum is hard, it’s even harder when we aren’t allowed to find things tough due to our own circumstances.

Camping triplet style

IMG_5157Camping …. with toddlers ….

these two things sounded like a good combination; like peanut butter and jelly or strawberries and cream. They actually went together like narcolepsy and driving in the fast lane; everyone’s overtired and you dont¬†know what’s hit you until¬†it’s too late.

I would highly recommend it, if you’re a masochist or happy for your tiny people to still be awake and dictating terms to you at midnight, or worse, just one of your tinies to still be awake at midnight. I’ve since been told that the only way to achieve simultaneously sleeping small people is with a blacked out pod in the tent.

I think that next year I’ll skip the blacked out pod and go for blacked out mummy instead #WhoDrankalltheGin

Mummy of mermaids

IMG_5158.JPGMaybe all that time I¬†spent¬†in the paddling pool while pregnant has had an effect?I think they rather suit the scaled look…

These three really love¬†their baths, maybe it’s the scarcity of baths round here, maye it’s the plethora of rubber ducks and bath toys¬†or maybe they’re just water babies?¬†Either¬†way we¬†usually only manage 2 baths a week. I’ve clung to the advice given in hospital that washing too often is bad for their skin.

Baths are so much easier in the summer as you don’t have to get everyone dressed as soon as they’ve had their wash. In the winter I often long for a bathtub just so everyone can go in at once.

Now that the summer has returned we can all wear fewer layers and return to our garden baths, or at least the girls can.

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I wish I could have my baths whilst laying under the trees;  watching the birds and butterflies go by through the haze of bubble bath. But alas no one would think that my tushie was cute if I strolled about the garden as nature intended… it is a pleasure reserved for the smallest amoungst us.

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Sometimes I dream about using a big water butt in the garden (which could warm in the sun) with¬†one of those big metal tubs. Very ‘darling buds of may’. So¬†that I too could have the¬†pleasure of¬†a bath al fresco.

Midget madness

I once heard someone say that they lived in a house run by¬†the tiny army they made themselves… ¬†need I say more?! Oh ok I will.

We still only have one bona fide toddler round here, but even so it is bedlam.

I thought I had this under control, we have songs for¬†tidying up, songs for washing faces etc. ¬†But¬†bit¬†by bit these sweet babies are¬†starting¬†to show the ‘free spirit’ that all toddlers embody!

Cries of ‘come here please’ result in a swift exit the opposite direction.

Calls of ‘please pick that up’ are met with stubborn eyes.

Requests¬†like¬†‘give that toy back to her’ are met with floods of tears.

Statements such as¬†‘stop thumping your sister’ are countered by taking¬†a¬†prone position,¬†¬†flailing arms and legs and wailing.

Suggestions that ‘kitchen cupboards¬†can’t be picked up’ are met with all of the rage that a tiny human can employ!

Roll on teenage years.

Milk mamma

The thing about multiples, because they are born too soon, is that the newborn stage lasts and lasts and lasts. This is probably great if you adore the tiny baby stage. For me they were pocket sized for far too long.

I was desperate for them to grow and do things, besides making strange little dinosaur noises and crying. It was simply a longing for them to do the same things as my¬†friend’s younger babys; smiling, sitting, laughing, rolling,crawling and walking.

Now they have most of these milestones under their (still) tiny belts. Not only that but¬†they’ve¬†also turned into little toddlers. ¬†I find that I’m quite nostalgic for those old days.

Back in the day our littlies had taken so long to do anything of note that I often felt I was a milk machine who doubled as a poop scoop!

Periodically the girls went¬†through growth spurts/ developmental stages. On these occasions there would be a constant screeching throughout the house, and it wasn’t always me.¬†¬†2 babies would be on the boob whole¬†the other screamed for milk. ¬†Then I would¬†swap a boob baby with the screamer. Henceforth the¬†newly removed boob baby would then become¬†the screamer, and so on.¬†One¬†dat, inbetween bouts of bleeding ears, ¬†I¬†phoned a breastfeeding multiples helpline. They¬†kindly found a counsellor¬†who had breastfed her triplets (now in university). Just talking to someone else who said I was doing everything possible¬†(talking to screamer, singing, bouncing in a chair etc) made it more bearable!

Just in case your thinking of breastfeeding your small person or people, however many, it is doable. The¬†above was just a few blips in an otherwise chilled (but boring, as you’re stuck on the sofa), time.

There are certain things that will aid …huge amounts of sheer determination and good advice (I used websites, fb groups and tamba’s helpline).

Practical things  you need when breastfeeding;

A wee before feeding commences, comfy clothes, remote control (god forbid songs of praise comes on when you’re stuck on the sofa!), box sets, pillows, snacks, drinks, patience.

I also found that night feeds required headphones and YouTube or a kindle.

The tinies are home…. and so it begins

I am writing this retrospectively, funnily enough, I didn’t find I had a lot of time when they girls were small. So I may struggle to accurately remember things from that sleep deprived period.

One thing that springs to mind was the iron that the girls had to take. It¬†made one of our triplets really struggle to poo. In turn that caused her to cry (a lot, and she had a really awful high pitched cry¬†that cut through you like a tiny chainsaw), she also got a hernia ‚ėĻÔłŹ

Neither the GP, me the HV could give us advice about¬†this. So every day we rubbed¬†her tummy, bicycled her legs and generally tried to ‘encourage’ things. However, one night we decided to have a curry night, yum yum in my tum.

Through my milk the curry took almost immediate effect on her bum. What a relief, for her and us.

However, there was also an effect on her sister whose nickname is Mitty. After after she projectile pooed on HM Hubbie, not once but twice, he coined a new nickname- it rhymes with Mitty, so you can probably imagine what what it was.

 

 

 

 

One month in

After a ‘busy’ month of moving to not one, but two¬†hospitals,¬†as¬†the levels of care became lower, we then spent another few weeks concentrating on skin to skin and getting the girls onto the boob. Without family ¬†it would have been impossible – I was unable to drive for 6 weeks because of the surgery. Mum’s and my sister kindly drove me in and waited around all day with me. Yawn fest for them!

Just learning how to handle such tiny babies, manage all the wires and monitors and take them out of their incubators was a mission in itself.

I’ll¬†be honest here- ¬† if I hadn’t needed to take milk in every day and give skin to skin then I could have easily left my little people in hospital. Sorry if that’s upsetting to you, but it’s how I felt at the time.¬†I was shocked that bonding didn’t just happen. ¬†Later I¬†thought that being told¬†at each scan that there was a new worry may have contributed. Guess I was¬†trying¬†not to get¬†too attached to the growing babies. Even when they were born I was scared at how tiny and fragile they were.

Spending every day day at the hospital and every night expressing milk was exhausting. ¬†Despite struggling to bond we¬†were looking forward to getting everyone home as soon as we could, I thought I’d get more sleep when they came home!!!

My husband often referred to this time as being like having a horse¬†in full livery stabling. They were looked after, but they weren’t¬†really ours.

Our older son worried right up til the day we all came home, that night was the first time in months that he slept the full night through.

At last the family was together.

We have babies

Had my scan on Thursday and as I laid there someone dropped in and said “we have three cots, it’s going to be today.” ¬†This was amazing news as we’d been in a standoff since¬†Monday, when they wanted to deliver and immediately transfer two babies 2¬†hours drive away. I had a pregnant prima Donna moment, stamped my feet and told them that I’d hold them in ¬†until they had enough cots for us to stay together so they could all have¬†my milk and skin to skin cuddles.

So C-day had arrived….. and at 3:00 I was wheeled into surgery. ¬†I cried when they did the spinal- just in case it killed me. I cried when they wheeled my first tiny person past me. I cried when I told my husband¬†who she was. We had named¬†them while they were safely tucked away in my tummy.¬†I cried when he showed me his videos of each of them. I cried that night while surrounded by other people’s babies when I¬†hadn’t met mine. Generally I cried.

Every couple of hours I buzzed the nurses and asked if I could visit the girls yet. Finally at 5¬†am I went awol, grabbed my slippers, my drip¬†and my husband’s hand and off we went. Never has 150 yards been so far, but I was so glad to see my ugly, beautiful, skinny ladies. After a very quick visit I trundled¬†the loooong and painful way back to bed.

When, at 8 am, the nurses finally said that I could visit the girls in intensive care I came clean, which made their eyebrows shoot up faster than I could eat a jelly bean!

Before long I was having my first cuddle with Tabby.

 

 

 

 

 

Waddle is the wedding

Well at 20 weeks (6 months) I was FAT!

Not only was I fat, but we were also about to hold our wedding blessing. Before you say it… No; it was not a shotgun affair. We married very quietly the year before; just us in jeans, boyo and two friends… No politics, strife or stress! Maybe I should explain that hubbie is a widower and boyo is my stepson. ¬†So my poor hubbie has two families of in-laws!!¬†

¬†Hubbie, or The handyman (as I call him), has had an interesting life; I think that if you wrote his autobiography the publishers would insist it was billed as a fiction. An awful lot has happened to him…. Boat builder meets equine vet, they open livery stables and vet practice and marry, then one expects the happily ever after bit. However, over the course of the next 2 years they have a baby boy, she feels a bit tired, is diagnosed with cancer and within 3 months she’s dead. He keeps the livery yard going and brings up his son, then another 2 years pass and he meets another woman (me), stuff happens, they get married and have THREE babies at once!¬†

Foolishly I felt I hadn’t had a ‘proper’ wedding, ¬†so I decided to have a blessing and hog roast in one of the hay fields behind our place. Thought it would be simple and cheap…..ha….ha….ha. Famous last words.¬†

It was a lot of hard work ¬†(at times I wished I’d cancelled it, as was suggested after we found out about the triplets).

The night before the blessing a terrible storm tried to steal away our marquee. ¬†The little gazebos, where we had racked the beer kegs, tried to soar through the skies like ugly white eagles (no beer was harmed). Then, as these things like to travel in three’s, the gears in the hog roaster went caput. ¬†However, our amazing family and friends came together to save the day. Even the rain clouds beat a retreat to leave us with a beautiful blessing day.

Thank f*ck for that!

 

BTW I’ve already told HM that he’s never getting as divorce because I’m never going through a bloody wedding again!¬†