So I got the idea for this post last week sometime, but it's never been more fitting than now. As I mentioned in another post, everyone got three shots Thursday. We had them on Tylenol for the first 24 hours and we were pleasantly surprised by their reactions which seemed minimal. Well, starting around 2am Saturday night that assessment went out the window!
Oy! Being a mom is hard. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we had any illusions that we were going to have it easy. And I don’t think our expectations were too far off base, but still, being in the thick of it is hard. I found this blog post, 10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood last week and then someone posted it on my Facebook timeline and I think the author hit the nail on the proverbial head more than once. In fact, I bookmarked the post on my phone so I can go back and re-read it periodically. The blogger, Karyn Thurston, starts her list with 1. You are going to suck at this parenting gig and be awesome at it at the same time, all the time. This is sure is true. Rationally, I know we're doing an awesome job, especially considering that we have not one, but three tiny humans depending on us. I mean they're all being fed, changed, and loved on daily which is awesome enough! But there's nothing quite like a fussy baby (or three) to destroy your confidence in your ability to be a good parent! That feeling when you know they've been fed, have a dry diaper, and aren't in obvious pain but are still crying and you can't for the life of you figure out why or how to make it stop is pretty defeating. We're sure hoping we can attribute the past 24 hours worth of inconsolable fussiness to the vaccines and that this isn't a "new normal" for us because if it is, I'm not sure we'll all survive. Saturday night around 4am I camped out on the floor of the nursery so Michelle could get a little sleep because Avery was inconsolable and Isaiah was also having trouble giving in to the idea of sleep. So I had Isaiah in the Rock-n-play and tried putting Avery in the vibrating bouncy seat, but Avery wasn't having it. I ended up with Avery in my arms and a foot keeping Isaiah rocking slightly. Eventually we all fell asleep for an hour or so until the next feeding time.
The next point from the 10 True Things blog post that hit home was her fourth one: "4. We have got to stop telling people that things should be easy and painless. We live in a culture that equates ease with value -- the easier it is, the better it is; if it hurts you, something is wrong. Reality check: sometimes things that are hard and painful are also really, really good." I'm not even going to pretend that there is anything about raising triplets that is easy and few things are painless, but it is still pretty great. There was nothing painless or easy about crashing on the nursery floor Saturday night though honestly, I can't really say there was anything good about it either, except maybe Michelle getting an hour of sleep! But there are painful moments when you can see the good through the pain, like knowing even through those painful tiny mouth latches we sometimes get from the girls that it's amazing that our bodies are providing all the nourishment they need right now. And those fleeting moments of eye contact, the new baby smell of their heads as we snuggle, and the sleepy smiles all go a long ways towards reminding us of the value in all the hard stuff we're slogging through.
And the last, and probably most important, point I think Karyn made in her 10 True Things blog, was number eight. "8. The most important thing to get for your baby is not a Rock n' Play, nor a good set of swaddling blankets, nor a high-end stroller. The most important thing to get for your baby is a village. Your village will keep you afloat." Our village is most definitely keeping us afloat. I don't even want to think about where we'd be without our village. Just today Fran dropped off another bag of Trader Joes goodies and some soup and then played outside with Humphrey. And tonight Michelle's mom, Denise, is really saving us by volunteering to take on "monitor duty," going in to soothe babies between feedings so we can maximize our sleep and hopefully recover from the previous night and day. The gazillion loads of laundry Hope and others have done are key to keeping things running around here; I bet Hope can't even count the number of diapers she has folded in the last six weeks! Sure, there are some naps when I think the Rock-n-Play and the swaddling blankets are clutch, but really they don't compare to the village. So to all of you in our village, both those who have helped so far and those who will help over the coming months and those near and far, thank you...thank you for keeping afloat! And please, keep the help coming. We can't do this alone!!!
Here's hoping that this new level of fussiness is temporary and that the number of "three fussy babies at the same time" days are few and far between. So far tonight is going much better than last night which bodes well for tomorrow. (well, technically that's today. It's confusing when you're writing in the middle of the night!) This picture seemed appropriate for this post!