David and I haven’t been away from the babies in 539 days…or since they were born. (We did take a very short overnight, two weeks after they were born and still in the NICU for a quick breather. But I was hooked up to my friend, the Pump, every two hours so you can imagine how crazy that was!) I haven’t been away from them for more than four hours. Ever. I have been entangled by three babies 24/7 for 18 months solid. Because of our breastfeeding schedule (which I l.o.v.e.), nobody has taken one or two and left me with “the baby.” I’ve eaten, slept, dreamed and breathed baby x 3 for the past year and a half. And I have loved it. Of course there are times I’ve been touched out (every day!) and times I thought I would go crazy (or am I already?!). But for the most part, I have loved every minute of it. I had no idea I would love it this much. But everyone needs a break every now and then. The stress of having three babies with massive wants and needs is exhausting. Keeping up with them, breastfeeding them, changing 18 diapers a day, putting three babies in and out of cribs and high chairs and car seats and strollers is a serious workout every day (I might suggest it to Bob and Jill on The Biggest Loser!).
And the work never stops when they sleep. I joke that I traded in my full-time job at the office for a full-time and part-time job at home…which any mother can probably attest to. But somewhere in there fits my husband. My amazing husband. My husband who has given up all hobbies. My husband who sadly watches the weeds take over our yard and joyfully changes another diaper instead. My husband who empties the dishwasher so I can throw another massive load of laundry in. My husband who has been every bit as important in this breastfeeding journey as the babies themselves. My husband who tirelessly serves because I cannot do this alone. My husband who prays on his drive home that the Lord will help him serve his family. This man. I love him. So it was time to work out some time away for our anniversary. Yes, yes. This fabulous event was February 5. (Three years and three babies. I promise they’re all legit.) But part of the challenge was how to get away since we are still breastfeeding. I’ve had many suggest to me that I would be fine for an overnight. And I probably would. But then, my body is producing milk for three babies, not just one, so the ramifications of this might be very un-pretty and potentially final for our babies’ love of milk. (To give you an idea, collectively they drink less than 18 ounces from a sippy cup a day. A toddler supposedly drinks about 32 oz a day. This means that skipping just one breastfeeding could have backed me up with a good 24 oz, caused mastitis, tanked my supply, etc. A little different than skipping a feeding with one baby. =) So after I worked out the logistics of how to make it happen, we scheduled it for a weekend in early March.
But it was not to be. My mom got sick, the babies got sick (with their first ear infections – which I got rid of naturally!!!) and then my mom pulled a muscle which means no holding babies. After a week of non-stop fussing and crying and whining and clinging from three sick babies, you better believe I was ready for that weekend!!
So we reschedule for the next weekend! Only….my mom got called in for jury duty. No biggie, who really gets picked for jury duty??? My mom. And of course it wasn’t a simple traffic violation. Oh no, it was a murder trial. A week long murder trial. (If any of the family for the defendant is reading this, her vote didn’t even count. She ended up being an alternate. Boo.)
Let’s try for the next weekend, shall we? We shall. Leading up to the first “try” I was counting down the days on Growing Up Triplets’ Facebook page (have you “liked” us yet??). At this point, I wasn’t allowing myself to believe it might actually happen. But it did happen! I was so excited to finally get away and
take a nap spend time with my hubby!
The plan was for me to nurse the babies after their morning nap and head out. Of course getting away by yourselves still takes massive efforts when babies are around, even when said babies aren’t going! So it was after 1pm by the time we left. We headed down to the Grand Bohemian (David had racked up some serious rewards points so we cashed in). We checked in and took a nap. No lie. And it’s also no lie that I heard Noah crying during that time. All the way in our downtown hotel. He’s that loud. (Not really.) We woke up (sadly) and headed to the mall (aw, thanks, Love!) and did some window-shopping (who are we kidding, we have kids – not money!). And then headed home. Wait…what?!?! Yup. We were staying close by so that we could go home and I could nurse the babies before bedtime. I wasn’t up for dealing with skipping breastfeeding for 24 hours but I was up for skipping one feeding – in the morning. I was also concerned with how they would do without that calming time with mama before bed. If one gets set off, more than likely both of the others would join in. Ever heard three screaming babies? It’s a massive undertaking for David and I to get them settled down if they decide they want to do this (three babies, two parents) and can take a really long time (and I can nurse them!). We can get two settled down but the third is still out of control. Lay the two back down and rush to get the third and…nope. The other two start up again. (Are you seeing my hesitation in leaving them yet?)
I nursed and was out of there in 45 minutes. (Mama ain’t messin’ around!) We headed to dinner which was super yummy!! (I’m not sure which I was more excited about: 24 hours of meals I didn’t cook, a nap and sleeping in, or all that time to myself with David – not shared with a little booger…or 3.) We took dessert back to the room and watched all the shows we don’t get at home since we don’t have cable (how boring are we?!).
The next morning we slept in. We.Slept.In. I never knew that 8am was considered sleeping in, but it is!!! And it was wonderful. We got breakfast and watched more tv and checked out. I was so refreshed and relaxed and that was exactly what I was hoping for! Because when we got home, it was chaos, of course.
I remember when I was single and my bestie, Kristen, and I would go away for a study retreat or something. Upon our return, I would watch her three blondies come running with excited shouts of “mommy!” And I thought how sweet. I want that. And then moments later, reality set in as life inevitably swept her back into her role as fight-breaker-upper, bottom-wiper, meal-maker, and spill-cleaner. (Kristen, my respect for you was massively greater in those moments – did I ever tell you that???) So I was preparing my heart. Praying and asking the Lord to help me to love the little munchies who were “intruding” upon my 22 hours of R&R. And He did. I happily left them with my parents and didn’t miss them hardly at all…but was eager for them when we returned. I love it! And wow, what great reports we got! There’s benefits to needing two people to care for them as this means they got nearly one-on-one attention the whole time! Mom and Dad, thank you! We are so grateful! And David, it wasn’t Mexico but it was wonderful. I love you more every day.
And, just for fun, please enjoy the debut music video of the Sweet Pea Band:
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