October Twenty-Eighth, Two Thousand and Fifteen
Here's what twelve bottles looks like. This will get us through half a day. Hilarious.
A couple of days ago we brought Sadie home! One down, two to go. We were actually supposed to bring Martha home as well, but she had an 'event' over the night - a quick bout of baby apnea. Very common, very minor.
Not a big deal, Marti, don't worry about it. You're the first to disappoint me, but it's fine.
She'll be home tomorrow, likely, so we've been given the chance to 'ease the transition' and work our way up to three. So, how did the first night go with one simple, content baby?
This perfect, sleeping, feasting angel that we knew from the hospital snuffled and sneezed her way through a dark eternity. Took thirty, forty minutes to finish her bottle, not the ten we were used to at the care unit. And it turns out it's difficult to sleep yourself when a wheezing, snorting, premature daughter is a foot from the bed - every time you hear her throat get caught, or her nasal congestion, or - worse - nothing, the heart races and there's nothing to be done until she's checked on.
This is not a good way to start triplet life. To be fair, it would have been easier if we just let her do what she wanted, but we’re trying to stick with the routine imparted by the hospital. Every 3 hours we change, then feed, then burp, then bed. However, for us to get two hours of interrupted sleep we need to ensure that the whole process takes, at most, twenty minutes per lady. I was able to get Sadie 'down' in 25 minutes once, but she didn't really go to sleep so it doesn't count.
This may be horrible. I must re-calibrate and realize, again, that this life is not mine. For the next several months, sleep is a privilege, not a right. Besides, I'm on parental leave now so it's not like I have a job to go to. If I'm shuffling around like a corpse it affects no one. Coffee up and trudge on.
And, most importantly, don't get lazy or complacent. We have to look hard at the routine we're setting, find the fat to cut, and increase efficiency any way possible. Our job is to be a 24 hour nurse between the two of us. How hard can that be?
Last night thankfully went somewhat better than the first. She wasn't as snuffly and grunty, but she's still definitely not sleeping as well at night as she does during the day. I suspect her fledgling circadian rhythms are off, particularly the cycle from 11PM-2AM. She just doesn't really sleep during that time.
However I leaned into it last night, and it was far from unpleasant - I had gotten about 3 hours of sleep before that shift, and simply sat downstairs with her, watching Community and sipping red wine as she fed. Afterwards, put her on the chest and played some video games. Ain't so bad.
Anyway, this is all getting shaken up later today as we're bringing home another baby, one Martha Erna Taronno. Daytime Sandy is enthusiastic about this. Nighttime Sandy is apprehensive.
So, let's reflect on one.
When there's no work, no band and just a single baby it's a pretty darn easy life. Ozzie's in care for the days, and Gill's been recovering in bed, so the daytime feedings have been just me and her. Yesterday I played her namesake song for her during the 2PM feed. Leaning against the wall, holding her, listening to John's beautiful vocal performance. Felt like a moment.
(Side note: I'm aware it's a bit odd to name an infant after a song called 'Sexy Sadie'. Not to mention it's actually a disillusioned Lennon's furious diatribe against Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. But really these songs weren't chosen for the lyrics. For me, they were named after the melodies. 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Martha My Dear' and 'Sexy Sadie', truly three of my favourite pieces of music by those young boys.)
It's been nice getting a feel for this tiny human as she slowly develops. A generally calm and peaceful baby. Surprisingly strong - nearly ripped my chest hair out the other day. Cries for the briefest moment and usually needs to slowly work her way up to it. Can be soothed easily - never cries without a reason. A bit more forceful and squirmy than her sisters. Rocking a pretty good double chin. She's a beautiful baby, and it's been lovely spending time with only her.
To be completely honest, I can't say that there is a deep parent/child connection yet. I mean, with the first born they explode and reshape your world utterly, and you are devoted immediately. Or at least so it seems. I suspect there may be a novelty factor that pushes things along until actual, deep love takes over.
And with these girls, I certainly see that they're beautiful, and I want to hold them all the time, but I'm not yet... obsessed with them. And I think this is normal. But the 'easing in' of love is rarely talked about.
This may even explain some post-partum in mommies. It is expected that you have a cosmic connection with your new nugget - you see other people acting that way, and of course you expect it of yourself. Then if you don't quite feel that way immediately you start to wonder what's wrong with you. And down the anxiety spiral you go.
But it's nothing to worry about. Love grows.
Part of it, perhaps, is because babies themselves are a work in progress. They're gradual. Shaped like humans, with eyes and ears and noses and genitals, but every sense, every emotion, is primitive at this point. Animalistic, even. And growing up is a slow arc towards humanity. My little Sadie is looking around with the same eyes that will soon be able to catch and interpret the tiniest facial micro-expression, but right now it's all just smooshy shapes to her, broad-strokes of shade and colour. Her neurons are firing, but with no language or meaning yet. Just impulses that can only be expressed as 'cry' or 'sleep' or 'suck'. Motion and primary moods with no oversight from the neocortex. It's pure in a way - no illusion of free will, no ego, no real consciousness yet. Just action and reaction. Every baby is a microcosm of evolution, and watching it happen is like watching the hour hand. You never see it move until suddenly it's midnight.
As I clack away on this laptop, Ozzie is sauntering over to say hi. He's kind of giggling, saying 'maaaaam, maaaaaaam'. Don't know why. He's a smart little weirdo, don't always know what's going on in his head.
And now he's standing in my lap trying to eat my hair. Maaaaam.
WAIT! He's being a sheep! You are goddamn adorable, kid. Sorry I don't have the wherewithal to always be playing with you (right now you're kind of crappy at playing anyway. Full disclosure.)
So, in short, we've not at all mastered two kids. Bring on Martha!