I can’t begin to describe the elation that Missy and I both felt as we were finally able to watch all three of our girls sleep next to each other for the first time. As they were “napping” yesterday evening, we ceremoniously removed our hospital ID bands…
…and quickly treated ourselves to nice dinner.
As we ate, we began to reflect on the events that had taken place earlier that day. Rowan coming home from the hospital meant that Missy and I were officially outnumbered. Man-to-man defense was no longer an option for feeding and changing; we had to switch to zone coverage in our attempt to remain on top of their schedule. Yet soon the girls began to stir and we realized in that instant that our home lives would never be the same.
We have quickly found out that being a new parent is tough business with one child, let alone three. However, calling it work would be missleading. It isn’t “work” per se when the livelihood our our own flesh and blood is at stake. Day or night, they rely on us to provide every basic need for them: sleeping, eating, and diaper changing. Calling it work would be like calling it babysitting when Missy makes a Target or grocery store run; it isn’t babysitting when it involves your own child.
Our girls are becoming scheduled eaters. If we tried “on demand feeding” with them individually, I think we would officially lose our minds in 1.5 days. So as it stands right now, Sienna, Rowan, and Jovie eat and get a diaper change every three hours, day and night. In between these feeding times, they sleep. Well…their eyes are closed anyway. The whole time they make little squeaks and whines that force Missy and I to constantly check on them.
“Are they still breathing?”
“Are they too hot?”
“Was that puke or just a grunt?”
“Is something terribly wrong?”
Since Missy was spending the night in the nursery with the girls, she has gotten zero sleep. I have been getting up to help with the feedings every three hours, but I’m not going to lie…I’m not the most pleasant person to be around when I am tired. I’m good with all feedings from 9:00AM to 9:00PM, but the night feedings are a whole different animal. I begin to feel like Desmond Hume from Lost, only I’m not just punching a code of numbers into a computer. I stare at the clock projected onto my bedroom ceiling and count down until the next feeding, then hope the girls eat quickly so I can get a good two hours before the next round. I tell myself that it’s just a matter of getting into our routine.
Thankfully, we’ve had help.
Aunt Shannon and Mama Florer have been at our house almost the entire time since the first two girls arrived home Friday. Having the extra set of hands has certainly been a bonus. Missy and I have been able to catch up on *some* of our lost sleep during the day while they keep an eye on the little ones. They have also helped with the dishes and the cleaning so that our house hasn’t completely fallen apart.
Even though these girls have only been living under our roof for three days something remarkable has changed: I have realized that it’s not about me anymore. Something has just “clicked”. Whether it’s with the small things, like how to hold an infant child (before I had children it was somewhere between china doll and Waterford crystal) or with the big things, like making sure they have enough food, or are burped and swaddled properly before they are laid down to sleep again. I am quickly beginning to find out what this fatherhood thing is all about.
So what can you do to help?
Missy and I have been asked this a lot lately. Unfortunately, at least baby-wise, there is not much to do. The babies are still tiny (Rowan’s head is little bigger than a baseball), so before we left the hospital our nurses recommended that we keep the extra stimulation to a minimum, until at least their original due date. Sadly, I shouldn’t be expecting to play my guitar for them or bounce them around in my arms any time soon. All the holding and passing off and playing and making goo-goo sounds in their faces is, at least for now, out of the question. Even though these girls are rock stars, the reality is that if they were singleton’s, they’d still have four more weeks left to go in the womb. Right now what they need most is food and sleep.
However, there is still plenty you can do. Over on the Triplet Blog, the dinner calendar Melissa has set up for us has officially gone live. You can check that out here. Also, we have had some volunteers to help with the cleaning and other household duties…if you think you’d want to help out, just get in touch! Of course, you are always more than welcome to stop in for a visit, just be sure to text or give me a ring before you pop in (our house is small, and even smaller with three babies…so we need to be at least somewhat scheduled with visits).
As always, keep checking in for more updates…there will be plenty more on the way!