Sunday, August 16, 2009

Things Are Getting Tougher

The boys are now 7 1/2 weeks old, 1 1/2 week adjusted and things are starting to get to be what people told us they'd be like. For the first 3 or 4 weeks they were home it was pretty simple to be honest. We had our 3 (or later we made it 4) hour schedule. Each boy got 30 minutes to be changed and fed. There were very few issues during that span and the worse it got was sometimes it would take an hour 45 minutes to get through a rotation because somebody was slow.

My mom is still here and she has been a Godsend. She's enabled us to rotate out between the three of us and it went a long way to making those first few weeks easy. You could do a shift with one person allowing the other 2 adults some much needed sleep, the boys rarely were awake at the same time.

That has changed within the last week. They are staying awake a little longer now and James and Michael are getting a real nack for squaking.

We've been reading a lot for months on the best ways to get through having triplets but they all pretty much say the same thing, the first year is hell. I never thought we'd avoid it but a week or so ago I did think that maybe we will be able to get through it without killing each other.

Well, nobody has died yet but we are all starting to get more and more tired, more and more cranky and the "discussions" are getting more and more heated. As the boys seemed to be able to spread their feedings out a bit we decided to go ahead and start the "sleep training". Everything we read said this could take about 6 weeks but we went ahead and started it off this week.

We all knew it would take a bit but at the same time I think each one of us thought our boys are great, they'll get this real quick like.

Put them down at 6:30 or 7 and they should sleep until about 7 AM is the ultimate goal. Maybe you'll have to feed them once in the middle of the night.

Well, we aren't even close to that. We started with that schedule but it never panned out. We'd put them down at 7 and they would just squak for what seemed like ages. One of the keys to sleep training is crying it out. None of us are very good at that.

Since I pull the 5 am shift on workdays, I would go to bed around 9 just so I wouldn't have to hear the cry it out portion of the evening anymore. Well, the boys were still wanting their 2 overnight feedings and it wore Angela and my mom ragged. They were responding to the severe whales from each child so instead of a nice 1 1/2 shift, one would cry one hour, the other an hour and a half later and in the middle of that the 3rd one would start. Then about 10 minutes later baby #1 starts again.

It was brutal. My 5 am shifts were turning into 4 AM shifts as Angela would finally get to bed about 3:45 and then a baby would start again and I didn't have the heart to wake her up and say, hey, you still got an hour left on your shift.

We moved their bedtime to about 10 the past couple days and I think it has helped a lot. Now we only have one overnight feeding and so far it's been at about 4 hours - so around 12:30 or 1 since we would do their last "daytime" bottles at about 8:30.

I say that and the reason I'm doing this blog now is because I'm waiting for them to cry as I'm taking the late night shift because both Angela and my mom are just beat. Ryan went 6 hours between feedings. The other 2 almost 5. That's good news as progress has been made but it meant I've been holed up in the nursery waiting for feeding time since 12:30 AM. It is now 3:11 and I just finished that round. Well, kinda I need to wait a minute and then try to burp James again, I never did get him to do that. Oh yea, I may need to feed Michael a little more, he hit leadoff at about 1:15 AM and only ate 2 oz, he may want some more any minute now.

I can't speak for Angela but I'll try when I say I think our frustration comes in when we just don't know what to do. We know what the end goal is, we just aren't sure how to make it work with our boys and our issues (they don't seem to want to eat more during the day so that they are full at night and we get tired, so playing with them between feedings during the day sometimes is nearly impossible.) It makes things difficult and then Angela and I start barking at each other. Or, I bark at her and she cries is more like it.

I think she's also frustrated with trying to breast feed. No matter how hard she tries, she just can't produce enough for 3 kids. She told me today she's able to get 2 feedings for each boy every day but that's about the extent of it. We are about to pull the plug on this and return the breast pump to the hospital - it's taking too much out of her.

I get frustrated with the fact that I haven't quite made the connection with the boys that others seem to have. I can't tell them apart. I cheat, I know who gets put where and what they are wearing. But if you stripped them naked from their chest up and did a shell game on me, it would take me awhile to ID them. I can't just see one and go, oh, that's James.

Most people that walk in here can, I can't. It's frustrating.

The thing that makes me laugh about this long rant and all the ones I've posted on this site in the last few months, we haven't seen anything yet. It's only going to get worse.

That's ok, once I get some sleep I'm sure we'll be fine but for now things are a bit tough is all I'm trying to say.


  1. Bob and Angela~ I have been thinking a lot about you guys and the boys! I know things are hard right now, but remember you guys are a team. Don't sweat the small stuff (hard to do with no sleep). The boys look great! Try to get some rest and things won't seem quite so bad. I am just glad you guys have such GREAT family support!

    Shelly Davis

  2. We did just like you... went to a 4 hr schedule not long after coming home from the hospital, but we eventually had to force them back into a 3 hr schedule during the day before they would stretch their nighttime feedings. Lack of sleep is so tough on mommy and daddy!

  3. You guys are doing a great job and don't let yourself think that you aren't. I remember that the first and only time my hubby ever yelled at me was during the first month after the boys came home. It's tough but you will get through and it will soon be a distant memory. There will be new challenges but you will be more comfortable in your parent role by then and it won't seem nearly as daunting. Triplets are a lot of work but I really believe that we were all chosen to have them because we are just crazy enough to laugh our way through it. :)

    Melissa Downing
    Mom of BBB triplets