So, what does a day in the life of Henry, Jack, and Sophie really look like? Well, here’s a brief (ha!) overview. This post should keep you satisfied for a while. It might even take you a few days to get through it. It took me at least five to write it.
Let’s consider that the morning starts at 6am (although we all know it really starts somewhere around 1:30 or 2).
- 6AM: Triple feed! We currently treat this feed as a “middle-of-the-night” feed, because that’s how it feels when we’ve only been sleeping since 3:15. Everybody is unswaddled, lined up in their Boppies, and, with any luck, awake enough to eat but not so awake that they won’t fall back asleep. This is a delicate balance! There are no photos of this, because we are all (all five of us) pretty much asleep for the entire thing. Or at least the first thirty minutes!
- 9AM: Morning! Everybody gets up and out of their jammies (or nighties as the case usually is…sorry, boys), and ready for the breakfast redux. Then it’s time to get to work.
Some of us try to sleep through the 9AM feed too…
Ok, fine. I guess I’ll wake up for breakfast.
And so it begins.
Dishes done! (For the first time that day).
- There was a time not long ago when we didn’t have a dishwasher. There was a time not long ago when we didn’t have three babies! Either way, I’m glad we have both now. I obviously appreciate the babies more than the dishwasher, but I have never appreciated a dishwasher as much as I do now that I have three babies. We run it at least twice a day. What you see above is JUST what transpired overnight.
- While the grown-ups are dealing with the dishes, the trips are usually hanging out in a somewhat upright position in an effort to keep the 9AM feed in their tummies and off of our floor (or couch, or leg, or chest). This is what that looks like:
If we’re lucky, it looks like this for a while:
Often it looks like this:
Lately, it looks like (or sounds like) three babies crying pretty much all at the same time unless they are being held. Obviously there are no pictures of this, because with two grown-ups and three babies, we are outnumbered. We are just lucky that USUALLY one of these peanuts can soothe him or herself after whimpering for a while. As of this moment in time, I would say Henry is the best at this (thank goodness for the Cradle ‘N Swing!). I am praying I didn’t just jinx myself there. On Tuesdays, we’re lucky because Grammie is here. And even though we are still sometimes outnumbered three to two, she’s really getting the hang of holding two babies at once. Check it out!
- 12PM Before you know it, the dishes are done, and it’s time for lunch. No, not for us, for the babies. Eating lunch is becoming exceedingly difficult for the adults since we seem to be holding babies most of the afternoon (see above). But it is relatively easy to eat pita chips and hummus with one hand, so no one is starving. 12PM is round one of the doctor-ordered, extra calorie, special Preemie formula. Henry, Jack, and Sophie all agree on one thing: they HATE it. Because we’re evil, we throw their vitamins in their too. Let’s just say that I can no longer stomach protein drinks with whey powder. When you’ve smelt that stuff (or been covered in it!) on the way back up, yikes. You don’t want to see photos of this. There’s a lot of holding babies during this window too. Keeping them upright(ish) helps minimize the spit-up (or so we hear!) and it is, of course, a comfort.
Holding babies all day isn’t so bad except that you don’t get much else done. But who wouldn’t want to cuddle these cuties? Calling all cuddlers! If you’d like to cuddle a baby we’ve almost always got one to spare. Just let me know! Post-feeds are prime cuddle times.
Who could say no to this face?
- 3PM: Formula-feed round two. These poor babies! They hate it just as much at 3pm as at 12. Essentially we repeat the 12-3 cycle all over again. Once we think it’s safe (i.e. the coast is clear of spit-up), we’ll try for tummy time. This is usually a two-at-a-time activity.
But three CAN fit on the activity mat for now.
I’ll also probably try to tackle dishes round two at this point. This is made easier by the use of one of our carriers. We have four carriers. I know this seems excessive since we only have three babies, but hear me out. We started with the Ergo Baby because everyone says it’s great for your back, yada yada yada. It’s a structured carrier which makes it ideal for outings, and though we haven’t gotten to this point yet, the hope is that one adult could shuttle three babies around with the Ergo and our double stroller. I also wanted a cloth carrier, one that I could wear around the house and that would be a little more comfortable for all of us. Enter the K’tan.
Well, wouldn’t you know that neither carrier is approved for babies under 7 pounds? And the K’tan isn’t really meant for babies under 8 pounds. Even though we’ve all hit the 7-pound milestone by now, there was a while there where neither carrier would suit. So, after a bit of research, we got the Boba. And the Nuroo. The Boba is a wrap carrier (no photos yet, but I’ll get some), and it is suitable for babies five pounds and up. The Nuroo is a shirt designed specifically for Kangaroo Care. Where was this when I was in the NICU? Thanks to Nana for this find!
Henry and me in the Nuroo.
And doing dishes!
- 5:30PM If it’s a bath day, we’ll get going on baths before the 6PM feed. We have yet to figure out the best tub placement, but the strategy is pretty much the same. Baths are a one-at-a-time activity, obviously, so I am usually manning the tub while Will runs interference with the other two babies, getting them dried, lotioned, and dressed for bed. Jack and Henry have their “hair” combed (I use the term “hair” lightly here), but Will prefers a messy, just-ran-my-fingers-through-my-hair look for Sophie.
- 6PM is another milk feed, and boy are we happy when that rolls around.
When we’re done, we tend to forgo the hour of upright digestion (sorry guys, but some of the rest of us have to eat), and we try to get everyone settled into their crib for sleep.
Will reads a little “Harry Potter” while I try to get the living room and kitchen back in working order. We turn on the sound machine (ocean waves is the nighttime favorite), the projector (some sort of circus animal scene), and the Cloud B turtle (stars and moons EVERYWHERE), and we cross our fingers, hold our breath, and shut the nursery door.
The next four hours are unpredictable. It is rare that all three will settle down for this evening snooze, but it’s no use taking bets on who will refuse to sleep. It’s a different scene every night. Sometimes it looks like this:
And yes, every once in a while, it looks like this:
At some point during all this, we get the milk ready for the overnight feed.
- By 10PM: We are all ready for bed (for real this time). In fact, it’s usually around 9 or 9:30 that the rogue non-sleeper decides to finally conk out (see Henry’s first photo above, or the one with Sophie in the pink). Just in time for us to wake them at 10 to feed them again! Post-feed, we get the dishwasher going again, make sure everything is ready for the next three feeds, and get ourselves to bed. By 11:30, we can usually count on everyone to be asleep. It’s a good thing, because IF everyone behaves, in just two short hours (two and a half if we’re lucky) somebody is bound to be hungry again!