Despite the fact that we were not first-time parents, we were oblivious as to what life was going to be like with three new babies. It certainly wasn't something that we could have ever prepared for, but rather, one of those situations in life where you have no clue until you actually experience it firsthand. Everyone knows that one baby is a lot of work. Triplets and a toddler was nothing short of a three-ring circus.
During their first month home, I briefly nursed them before deciding it would be in everyone's best interest for me to exclusively pump. If you aren't familiar with pumping, I have only one thing to say about it: it's the fucking worst. It's a full-time job that requires a lot of discipline and dedication.
Even though I wasn't producing much, it was important to me to offer them what little bit I could. I would pump a half hour before every feeding around the clock. It was the closest I have ever come to feeling like a cow, but instead of having udders, I had nipples that resembled gigantic pencil erasers. As if my body hadn't been through enough already, my orangutan boobs were now being pulled and tugged on by an electronic device. I was moos away from belonging in a goddamned barn.
For a good two months or so, showering, teeth-brushing and eating dinner became a novelty. My days were consumed with bottles, diapers, laundry, crying, and any attempt to keep our house in functioning order. I had very little time or energy to spend on myself, and to be honest, I just didn't care. Personal hygiene took a backseat to projectile vomit and blown out diapers. Between their nightly witching hour and broken sleep, my ultimate goal was to just make it through each day without killing anyone and/or checking myself in to Betty Ford.
Despite help from my mom and mother-in-law several days a week, at the end of each day, I was so exhausted, I had no choice but to go to bed after their 7:00pm feeding. I'd set my alarm for just a few hours later in order to pump before their last bottle of the day at 11:00pm. Once everyone was changed, fed, burped and swaddled, we'd all hit the sheets and I would, once again, set my alarm for 2:30am to do it all over again.
Some nights, that 3:00am feeding was so brutal, the thought of it made me wanted to cry. Between making bottles, diaper changes, feedings, burping and reflux episodes, we'd be up for a solid hour (or more), back down at 4:30am then back up at 6:30am. Many of those nights, JR and I wouldn't even speak to each other as exhaustion had gotten the best of us and we were both running on empty. It was a classic tale of "what's better left unsaid," even though, at times, I know we were both em-effing each other in our heads. It was, undeniably, two of the most mentally and physically-draining months of my life.
Just when I was on the verge is slitting my wrists, the unthinkable happened. At just three months old, our long and tiresome nights had come to a screeching halt; all three babies were sleeping through the night. We had conquered the world, or so it felt.