Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

With our little “Cubs” about to turn one this weekend, I find myself continually marveling at what a difference a year makes. Flashback to early October 2008…

I was, for the most part, marooned in my bedroom, constantly in pain from the sheer weight of three babies in my belly and lamenting the fact that the world seemed to be passing by just outside my window. As I shifted and shuffled and tossed and turned and tried anything and everything to ease my discomfort, I was frustrated that I couldn’t partake in the annual pumpkin painting fun but determined that I would bake cupcakes for Ciara’s second birthday… which, somehow, I did.

In October 2008, I had to sit down to brush my teeth but couldn't reach the table when I sat down to eat dinner. I couldn’t wait to meet these babies but I was petrified that all the horror stories I heard might prove true… perhaps their lungs would be undeveloped or they would have vision problems or heart issues or worse. Perhaps they would spend months in the NICU – and I wondered how we would ever manage that nightmare with a just two-year old and not yet four old waiting for us at home.

And then, October 10th arrived and, miracle of all miracles, none of those horror stories proved true. With all three of our "cubs" weighing well over five pounds, my physical discomfort was instantly eased and my worries evaporated the moment I heard their first healthy, hearty cries. Oh, the cries. The delivery room sounded like a nursery… and, with three newborns heralding their arrival, indeed it was.

Against all odds, we were discharged from the hospital in just four days with all three of our new charges. We were welcomed home with fanfare, family and friends. And then, with the pregnancy, delivery and helping hands at the hospital behind us, our true journey began.
We were lucky to have a baby nurse assist with the night feedings for the first three weeks. And boy, did we relish the sleep we got then. What happened next is a bit of a blur. I know that we somehow managed to feed three babies eight times a day and two toddlers three times a day. On a good day, I think the dog got fed too. I know the bottles got washed, the laundry got done, the visits were made to the pediatrician. I know I managed to shower daily (well, almost!) and at some point, I even started to exercise in earnest. I know there were days, many of them, when I detested the sound of my own shrill voice by 9AM. And days when I had to swallow my pride and ask for help. And was stunned by the many ways that help came…

Dinners were delivered. The “big kids” were whisked away on playdates. Diapers were delivered. Encouragement was endless. Baby whisperers seemed to appear out of thin air on our doorstep. I’ll never forget a particular Sunday afternoon when I had truly just had it. It was hot and humid and after a full weekend of sleep deprivation, cranky toddlers and crying babies, I was wiped out. That’s when the “boys chorus”, as we affectionately call the deafening cacophony of three crying cubs ,launched into high gear. And, that’s when my neighbors and friends just marched right in the door, up the stairs and said “we’re here to help.” And help they did.

And so it is that we have survived the first year with identical triplets and a grand total of five under five. We’re keenly aware that our journey has only just begun and we’re truly looking forward to seeing where the road takes us. Happy First Birthday, little Cubs.