Sunday, June 13, 2010

Checking in at the doctor's office

Being a triplet momma often elicits big reactions from strangers. Even without my kids present. I've gotten used to the idea of having triplets. As used to it as is possible, I guess, because it does still feel weird to use the word, "triplets." I just think of them as my 3 children, born minutes apart.

So there I was, presenting myself to the receptionist at the doctor's office. She asks me all the usual questions to confirm my identity. "My personal information is unchanged and my insurance number is the same. But there are a few new names on the card, in case you wanted to scan it again."

I hand over the insurance card.

She: Which name is new?
Me: There are 3 new names - my babies.
She: Wait. What?
Me: I have triplets.
She: YOU had triplets?
Me: Yes.
She: YOU?
Me: Yes. Almost 8 months ago now.
She (incredulous as she sizes me up): You BIRTHED them yourself?
Me (smiling): I did.
She (now elbowing her colleague to share her disbelief): Hey, SHE (pointing at me) had T.R.I.P.L.E.T.S?! Can you believe it?!

Now I have all 6 employees behind the window staring up at me, asking questions simultaneously. I answer them all, and then drift away on a cloud of ego-stroked bliss.

The girls' development at seven months

The girls are all starting to sit up, but they are not able to sit unassisted yet. They laugh out loud - easily and frequently - and it's just the best sound ever. It melts my heart. Of course, they think their parents are a riot. We pull faces, play tickle games, make funny sounds as we touch their noses and blow raspberries. Any game that works with anticipation is just the ticket.

In general, getting belly laughs and giggles now is so much easier than two months ago. It's bliss! I love love love this fabulous stage.

They light up when they see my husband or I and what could be better than that? They are totally okay with being picked up and held by our friends, but they definitely keep tabs on my whereabouts, which is so cute. They're starting to be a little less sure around people they haven't met or seen in a while, so we're seeing a few quivering lower lips every now and then. It usually just takes a quick reassuring expression from me or them just catching sight of me, for them to settle down and enjoy the interaction with the "new" person.

Ada finally rolled from stomach to back and once she figured it out, she couldn't stop doing it. They all go to sleep on their tummies because of reflux, but when they aren't tired enough, they'll flip themselves over. This usually goes along with a ginormous grin observed out of the corner of my eye as I'm trying not to make eye contact. Sometimes there's a giggle for special effect, and a fabulous, "Look what I can do! I'm so totally adorable. Come on, pick me up!" expression.

We resist the urge to interact when they're going down for a nap, but I often walk out of the nursery, close the door and then crack up because the cuteness factor is simply off the scales.

Julia and Emma are rolling both ways now. They're not able to roll multiple times yet. Emma almost did it yesterday, but then a toy distracted her and stopped her in her tracks. Our littlest is the most mobile of the three. She has been making crawling motions and will get her one leg under her and rock, but then doesn't know where to take the movement. She scootches after toys, and is quick as lightning when it comes to snagging toys away from in front of her sisters. Emma has been tummy "surfing" in circles recently. She completed two 360 degree circles in the spate of a few minutes.

We often joke how true it is that kids would rather play with the cardboard box than their toys. They love the shadows on the walls, the tags on their toys, bouncy seats and Boppy pillows, and playing with their own fingers and toes!

On that note: we have 3 little toe suckers now. Eek! I know it's a developmental milestone when they find their feet and can bring their toes to their faces, but yikes. I've even caught them suckling on one another's toes, which is just one more wonderful benefit to being a triplet: 30 toes to suck on!

I often find them holding or touching one another's hands, faces and hair. Those are the sweetest moments. There is, of course, lots of accidental slapping of their sisters (darn those fine motor skills), accidental face poking and scratching, but for the most part, they're as gentle as they can be at this age.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

It Finally Happened

Imagine that: a good night's sleep! All 3 girls slept through the night and we did too. No waking, no fussing, no feeding, no nothing between 11 and 7. Not a peep!

And miracle of all miracles: both Dh and I slept straight through too. Usually, we're anticipating their wake cycle and struggle to go back to sleep despite being overtired. Dh thought I was up with them and I thought he was up with them. It took us a while this morning to realize they had slept through the night.

I was so uncomfortable during the IVF cycle and pregnancy that there was no sleeping through the night. Therefore it is the first solid night of uninterrupted sleep in more than 14 months!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Out & About

We've been getting out much more often, which is phenomenal. The girls love it, and I get a sanity break. It is a heck of a lot of work to pack, load, unload, feed, diaper, load, unload on my own when we're on the go, but I manage. Whenever we venture out with the minivan, I'm exhausted by the time we're home. But it gets easier the more we do it.

Going out for walks around the neighborhood is much easier and faster. We regularly go on a 2 mile hike on a nearby trail. It used to be a railroad track, so it's not too uneven with the stroller. Just a good enough shakey shake to help them burp!

We participated in a parade recently and it was awesome. I mean, we're a freak show anyway with the triplet limo, so why not flaunt it? There were lots of exclamations along the lines of, "Triplets? Awesome!" or "Look, cute babies!" and "Wow, triplets!" Wonderful, supportive shouts of "Yay for the mommy!" which was just magic to hear. I loved seeing the crowd's reaction and my husband had a video camera pointed at the crowd so we could capture it for posterity. My face hurt, I was smiling so much.

The girls get tons of attention whenever we head out, of course, because who can resist a baby? Any baby. And 3 of them, well, that's just 3 times the magnet.

I've learned to embrace it rather than resent it, since they'll blend in soon enough once they start walking and we ditch the stroller. I realize spotting triplets is a novelty, and I would probably have reacted the same way if I suddenly encountered a set of adorable triplets.

We're lucky in the sense that we haven't had too many awful comments and that not a single stranger has attempted to touch the babies. There are often very strange and quirky questions, comments and responses that amuse me. People are clearly caught off guard and then say the funniest things. The best one from yesterday, "Are they REAL triplets?" I just laughed proudly and said, "Yes!" But it left me wondering: real... as opposed to?

Since we were in a huge parade, I knew people would be taking photos and I was sort of trying to be okay with that. The only annoying encounter we had was when a woman walked up before the parade as we were crossing the street and without even making an attempt to talk to us, she just put her cell phone camera in their faces to take a photo. I purposefully stood in front of her, made a face, and said in an offended tone, "No. Please don't." Ugh. Thankfully, she retreated and said, "Sorry." I think people don't realize in that moment that these are my children, not some oddity. She had kids with her, and I'm sure she'd be mortified if some stranger walked up to her, randomly pulled out a camera, and took close up photos of her kids! Sheesh, people.

On a happier note, there was a surprise bonus: we spotted 2-year old triplets in the crowd during the parade! The mom was waving like crazy to get our attention. LOL. And afterwards, a woman came up to me to tell me her best friend was 10 weeks pregnant with triplets. I gave her my contact details to share with her friend, and I hope she reaches out to me. It's so scary in the beginning when you have no idea what the outcome of your pregnancy will be. If she contacts me, I'd love for her to meet our kids and hopefully, that will give her some encouragement to see how they're thriving now.