Friday, May 16, 2008

A glimmer of light

We have had some rough times* here in our household lately. The babies were sick and then went straight into teething hades. Elliott had not woken up one time in the middle of the night since we've brought him home (not true of the girls). Four times in the last week he's woken up with the softest, saddest little cry. We knew immediately his new teeth were giving him trouble.

These second sets of teeth have been much more difficult than the first. I had even thought to myself a few weeks ago, "Our babies don't seem to be bothered by teething; they are not going to have as much trouble as other babies." Ha. Bitten by hubris again. Everyone has been rather uncomfortable for a good week now. It seems Lucia and Elliott have had little tooth buds right at the surface for a week now. Everyday I think they will bust through. Tylenol helps the best. So does rocking and loving.

Other than your babies not feeling well, which hurts your heart, the hardest thing about illness/teething is what it does to your schedule. A household with multiples relies heavily on schedule and routine. On top of this, I love schedule and routine. With this round of teething, the babies have not been eating all their feeds. This throws off the feeding schedule. Adaptation becomes key, and adaptation is not easy when you are sleep deprived and stretched thinner than you'd like. For example, Mazie has been eating only a few ounces of her last feed of the day (around 6:30 pm). She got in the habit of waking up in the middle of the night for about a week. So, I got in the habit of nursing her. Not a good idea. The thing about habits is that if they are more detrimental than beneficial, they have to be broken. So, to break this waking-to-nurse-in-the-middle-of-the-night habit, we started giving her a dream feed, 3-4 ounces around 10:00 before we go to bed. And, then, when she did awaken at 3:00 in the morning, I knew it wasn't that she was hungry, so I'd rubbed her back until she settled back into sleep.

Things are starting to look up. I feel like Elliott and Lucia are feeling a little better. They are all starting to sleep through the night again. They are taking more of their feeds. Hopefully we will soon be back on track and on the schedule I cling to so tightly with both my hands.

*It is evident that I always feel the need to clarify that I know our "hard times" are not really hard times. There is something within me that won't let me even type such phrases without explanation--to myself and sometimes to you. Maybe I should just refine my vocabulary and choose words that are more fitting. I don't want to just write about the "perfect" little glimpses of our life, but give a rounded picture of life with two mamas and three babies. But H and I are well aware that while we are up twice a night, wiping noses, and running a baby to the pediatrician, there are lots of families who are dealing with no sleep, flushing ports, and running their children to oncologists or nephrologists or some other scary-ologist.

This life with three babies is not always easy, but it is more wonderful than we dreamed it would be, and we are so glad to be here in this life with them. We give thanks for where we are.

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