Its been an entire month we’ve had the triplets at home, and it seems forever. The novelty has clearly worn off. The excitement has died down. And everyday is more or less a grind. My husband and I have been working non-stop at feeding, bathing, diaper-changing, and soothing the girls. ALL our girls, including our toddler, Livia. She’s two and all big sister but two-year olds alternate very quickly between toddlerhood and babyhood. Seeing her sisters wail to get attention, she figures she will do the same, and we have had many trying days teaching her that screaming is not the proper way to ask for help. After several painful and heartbreaking trials and errors, we found that approaching her screaming, shouting, wailing and whining with a calm and composed demeanour worked best. When she’s not trying to behave like a baby, she is in her big sister mode and wants to help out. So far she’s been very enthusiastic about diaper-changing. Not actually doing it but standing there and going yuck, poo poo. Despite the smell, she always runs to the diaper changing station to say yuck, poo poo when we are changing someone. She’s also enthusiastic about bottle-feeding, but hasn’t quite gotten the hang that one needs to tilt the bottle upwards for gravity to work on the milk. And she’s pretty enthusiastic about feeding her sisters solids. A few times I caught her trying to stuff food into their mouth, which is why she cannot be left alone with the triplets even for a bit!
We also learnt that parents of multiples never have a hand free. It seems that I’m always in a situation where I am feeding one kid, reading a book to Livia, and patting another kid all at once. Its not always this busy though. The triplets still sleep a lot and when that coincides with Livia’s sleep, the house is all quiet, peaceful and calm, and that is typically where I either get sleep or do some cooking. I am sick of eating take-out and slowly returning to simple home-cooking. I do have one guilty pleasure which is at night, around 10pm when everyone is asleep, including the husband, I have some chocolate chip cookies and watch some trashy TV.
Postpartum blues also sneaks up every now and then. For me it doesn’t stay for short or long periods, rather it appears in burst of moments. Like for example today, I noticed that each time I held the girls in my arms they looked very gleeful and contented and I started tearing. I felt heartache that I could not give all my girls undivided attention. I could not just hold one the whole day. I had to constantly rotate them, and once one is fed, I had to immediately put her down to feed the next in queue (whose probably wailing her eyes off by the time she gets her milk). I am such an avid follower of attachment parenting that not being able to hold them consistently and respond to their cries immediately really makes me feel like a failure. I eventually snapped out of my depression, took out the Moby Wrap and re-learnt how to use it and took turns carrying the girls in it. It was only about 45 minutes I held each one, but it made me feel a lot better, plus I was able to get chores done while having the girls be close to me. There’s probably going to many more times postpartum blues is going to get the better of me. Medical experts now say that postpartum depression last 2 years, rather than just the first three months.
I also finally discover that love indeed multiplies with more children. I’ve always wondered if parents love one child more than another. And probably some parents do, as sacrilegious as it is to say that. I do, however, often joke around about how my favourite child of the day is the one who sleeps the longest. But the fact is while we are indeed torn about dividing our attention, we really do love them all the same. And I am very aware it sounds so very cliche.
I’ve also been thinking very hard of ways for my husband and I to bring the girls out, even if its just a short walk around the block. That is as soon as this stupid haze clears. I thought I could carry two in the Moby Wrap but it seems they have gotten quite chubby and its impossible, so that means we can only baby-wear one each, and the third has to go in the Bugaboo Bee. I thought of purchasing the Bugaboo Bee wheel board to attach to the stroller so that Livia can stand on it like a skateboard and not feel left out. Or we can give her the play Mei Tai I got her so she can babywear one of her dolls and feel like she’s one of the adults. We’ve been encouraged to get a double stroller which is a good idea, except they don’t typically fit into the boot of most taxis and where do I put the babies while I am trying to put the stroller in the boot. Right? So we might give that a pass. I’m still not giving up trying to fit two into the Moby Wrap but there is a lack of instructions on how to do this. Well, when we finally accomplish our first day out as a family of six, I’ll write about how it went. The haze is too bad right now to bring any of the kids out.