Archive for October 25th, 2008

How Hard Could it Be?

I know I haven't been blogging much lately.  There have been a lot of Jewish holidays in the last month that have gotten in the way of me being able to blog.  But life is back to just it's normal craziness now, so I should be back to somewhat normal blogginess again.

We recently had the pleasure of having a couple over for dinner who is expecting triplets.  We had such a good time, and we got to show off our awesome babies, which is always fun for us.  Most importantly, I hope that we were able to pass along some of the experience that we've collected over the past year and a half through my pregnancy and through parenting these three beautiful babies.   I remember how hard it was to find out I was expecting triplets – it was the last piece of news I ever wanted to hear and I didn't react to it well.  Worse, we got a lot of negative response from people about what we had in store for us on the other end – doctors, friends, strangers. I was terrified of what was coming.  This couple is finding their experience to be similar (though thankfully they aren't hearing the same negativity from their doctors that I heard in the beginning).  Their friends are telling them how hard life will be – that they'll never sleep again, that the husband won't ever be able to travel for work again, that life as they know it is OVER. 

While I acknowledge that life after triplets will never be the same again, I would argue that life after any kids is never the same.  Your priorities shift, your lifestyle shifts, your dreams and desires shift. 

That being said, our lives are not OVER.  We still have fun.  We do sleep.  Frankly?  Life with triplets is an awful lot easier than I ever thought it could be.  Yes, it's a lot of work.  But it's not nearly as much work as I'd imagined it would be.  Even in the beginning when life was all about feed-a-baby, change-a-baby, feed-a-baby, change-a-baby, feed-a-baby, change-a-baby, pump, lather-rinse-repeat, it didn't feel as overwhelming as I expected it to.  Sure, we had moments when we were so tired we would have done just about anything for an extra hour of sleep, but I'd be willing to bet that most parents of singletons feel the same way. 

Seriously, I'm not trying to say that parenting triplets is easy, but the fact of the matter it's all we really know.  We didn't get to know what parenting the J-man was like until he was a year old, so the only babies we've ever had are the triplets, and so they are our only baseline.  Since it's all we know, it's really not that hard.  Seth and I both work full time.  We've got a five year old in kindergarten who has his own activities and appointments.  Seth's gone on business trips, I've survived and done just fine.  We watch movies together (mostly at home, but it's together time).  We've even managed to go out together a couple of times.  We have babies that go to bed at 6:30 like clockwork every night.  We do the things we want to do, we prioritize the things we have to.  But we haven't given up everything.  I'm on my synagogue board, the board of the local parents of multiples club, and I am working with the nurse educator at my local NICU to develop a parent volunteer program.   Seth helps me find time for all of these things and I do my best to help him find time for the things he wants to do.  Our lives are most decidedly NOT over.  I do more now than I did before I got pregnant.  I am more involved in the community than I ever was before.  No, my life is not over – it's just beginning.

The thing is, I was terrified to have triplets.  I thought my life would be over.  I thought it would be too hard.  I thought I would never get out of my house again.  I thought I wouldn't be able to breastfeed.  I thought I wouldn't be able to bond with my babies.  I thought I wouldn't be able to spend time with my children as individuals. I thought I wouldn't be able to go back to work.  I thought I wouldn't be able to sleep ever again.  I thought I wouldn't be able to see anyone ever again. I thought I wouldn't have any fun or enjoy my children at all.

I was wrong about all of these things.  The last year has been so much easier than I ever thought possible.  (I'm sure I'll feel differently when they're teenagers, but that would have been hard even if they'd been different ages.)

Best of all, I've met some of the most incredible women and families in the world because of being a triplet mom – and I feel so lucky for that.  And tonight I got to see some of them, so I'll blog more about that next time! 

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