Saturday, January 30, 2010

3 Months

As I write this, the 3 little munchkins are lying in a half circle around me, cocooned in their swaddle blankets, secure in their Boppy pillows on my bed. It suddenly struck me that I should probably soak up this scene. I don't know how much longer they'll be content to be tightly swaddled, and safely stay where I put them.

Our swaddling days might be numbered given that our "oldest" - Ms Houdini - is already breaking out of her swaddle on a nightly basis. We routinely find her with both her arms stretched out above her head. Emma and Julia still flail and wake themselves up when we leave them unswaddled during a nap. They all fight when we swaddle them, but relax shortly after and sleep much more soundly when swaddled.

For the next hour or so, all will be calm in our household. And then, if I'm lucky, they will start to wriggle, squawk and grunt, fuss and fart, one by one. I've learned to stay ahead of the game by blissfully dreamfeeding them at night without as much as an eyelid flutter. If I'm unlucky, they'll all wake long before feeding time, and all at once - without warning - screaming in deafening surround sound that leaves me feeling as if I've just exited a rock concert, but without the feeling of elation.

My dh and I take care of them in shifts. Usually, I take the first half of the night while he sleeps, and then we switch. Caring for three infants with reflux often leaves me wishing I was an octopus. Even though I've learned to burp a baby on my lap while feeding another and praying for the third to not wake up yet, or to feed two who are lying down in their boppies and rock another, I inevitably need to "juggle" babies to get them all fed and settled, and always end up feeling like someone is getting the short end of the stick. It's hard to deal with these feelings of mothering inadequacy.

It's entirely manageable and joyful some days, and entirely, gutwrenchingly unmanageable and overwhelming on other days. If it wasn't for infertility and wanting these babies so badly and loving them as much as I do, I don't think I would have been able to find the joy in the little moments to the extent that I am. For that I am grateful as I know this too shall pass. Too quickly. Already, I've packed away the preemie and newborn clothes. Ada is leading the pack as she is outgrowing the 0-3 month clothes. She has moved on to size 2 diapers, but Julia and Emma are still in size 1. Yay girls.

I marvel at their development. Some days it all goes by way too fast, in a blur. In just these few short weeks, I have watched them become more alert. They are awake more frequently and their attention spans are lengthening. They have learned to hold their heads up and in recent days when we hold them upright, they have started to stiffen their legs and push back as if to jump. They now kick when they get excited (when their dad comes home from work) and we are seeing more deliberate smiles and facial expressions in reaction to our cues and hearing more coos and gagaga baby "talk." They are interacting with us, and it is the most amazing feeling to elicit a smile from one's baby.

Today, we had them facing one another in their bouncy seats and it was such a cool thing to watch their feet connect as they were softly "kicking" one another. They were definitely aiming and not just kicking randomly. I love that they're aware of one another.

Even though they sleep in separate cribs, I put them down in one crib every now and then for a nap. Julia was asleep when I placed her in the crib, but when her sister Emma, who was awake, joined her, Julia surfaced and just stared at her. They were quietly studying one another's faces when Ada joined the party. It was fun to watch Emma's head do a 180 degree so she could look at Ada. I imagine what they must be thinking.

They are tracking objects and us in a more focused manner than just last week. When they're laying in their boppy pillows on the couch and somebody walks by, their heads whip in that direction and their gaze follows whoever walked by. It's pretty cool. When I ask, "Where's grandma?" or "Where's daddy?" their eyes find the right person. I'm just amazed by them... daily... despite the exhaustion.


R.J. said...

Their development sounds amazing and I'm so glad that you are able to enjoy the small things when you do.

Alyssa said...

If they are breaking through the swaddle, have you tried the Escape Proof Swaddle?

See here:

We used this on DD at 10 weeks old (stopped swaddling previously at 2 weeks). She LOVES being swaddled at night and sleeps 6-9 hours NIGHTLY!

Try that!

Anonymous said...

I just love the mental image of them sitting and checking each other out and poking at each other with their feet! How adorable :).

I still love sleeping on my stomach with my arms down at my sides, and my mom swears it's because we were swaddled so tightly as babies (and we all loved laying on our stomachs - this was before the SIDS scare).

Sounds like they are doing great! Glad you're able to have some calm days in the midst of all the madness :).

Michele said...

Our kids hated being swaddled so much that by 9 weeks, they were done with them! They basically came home from the NICU and dissed the swaddling!

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Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are on track - a fast one! Cherish these early days....the snuggle and cuddle moments - a year from now (depending on the girls' temperaments) you gonna possibly have three Miss A's getting into every thing, tossing everything around....she's a little hurricane - destroys the house as fast as it is tidied up - throws her bottles "over-board" from her crib when she's done, refuses to sit in the bath...not walking yet but stands for a while and then launches herself forward - head bumps are frequent these days....and she's a real doll - actually a very good, placid little gal :)) I'm sure you'll "grow with them" as you all experience daily life together. It's gonna be the onlookers saying O MY "How on earth do they do it"......looking back you'll be so glad you did - so vasbyt....might still seem unreal and as though you're sleep deprived and the world is still some point you'll stand still and will have forgotten the extremely demanding days of being on call 24/7. Hugs, S

Kate said...

They sound lovely!