The days and weeks are flying by, and in just two short weeks, my babies will be two. TWO!!!! I cannot believe it.
When I was pregnant with them and for months after, I couldn’t tell anyone I had triplets without stifling nervous laughter.
It seemed so . . . unbelievable. Surreal. Laughable, really.
I remember when my mom and I had a rare lunch away from the hospital while the babies were in the NICU. She told our waitress that I had two-week-old triplets. I nodded, laughed nervously, and then waited for it to seem real. For months after I had the babies, I couldn't bring myself to say I had triplets because it just didn't seem real.
I think it takes a long time to process news like triplets. It was just five short months from the day I found out it was triplets to the day they were born. I know people deal with much bigger news than that in a shorter period of time, but wow, five months didn’t seem like enough time to prepare for their arrival or wrap our heads around the idea that we’d suddenly be a party of 8.
Now that they’re almost two, most of the time I can tell people I have six kids, and triplets, without laughing. I can whip out my phone and show them videos and pictures and tell them funny stories about my crazy, busy little toddlers and their big sisters. I can answer questions from curious strangers without feeling completely uncomfortable. It has all become fairly routine to me.
Am I sad they’re turning two and not really babies anymore? I don’t know. I don't think so. Having three babies is a completely different experience than one. You don’t have the luxury of snuggling with one baby and rocking that baby to sleep every night. You don't have the luxury of extra time, period. The pace is frenetic, and the phases are so intense that it’s hard to miss them once they’ve passed.
At the moment, I am enjoying the fact that certain things are now easier for me. I can take them to the gym and they can all walk in themselves and wave bye-bye as they head into the gym nursery.
They can tell me “love you, mama.”
They can usually tell me what they want. They can sing, dance, and entertain each other. Sometimes I wonder if they know where one ends and the next begins, because even though they’re very different individually, they also see themselves as a unit, too. They look out for each other (especially Abby). They love to be together, and they want to know where the third baby is whenever one is not with them.
Just last night I was up at 1 a.m. rocking them because they woke each other up and all wanted to get out and be together. All three of them had laid claim to a small piece of my lap and had settled in together as I rocked them, their heads bumping every five seconds. They didn’t seem to mind. They're used to being together, in each other's space. Eventually we found a lovey for each one and I got them back to sleep. Morning came fast for me, and, with it, three toddlers jumping around in their cribs shouting to each other, laughing and playing.
It may have taken almost two years, but I can now say it is no longer surreal. What’s more surprising is that there was ever a time when they were NOT part of our family, like all my older girls too. Now, I think to myself: of course you’re here. You were meant to be here all along, just like your big sisters.
That said, every once in a while I do still laugh when I say I have six kids, including triplets. But these days when I laugh, most of the time it's not a nervous laughter of disbelief. It's a joyful, happy laughter about how crazy life can be and what a wild ride it's been for the last two years. I think the best is yet to come, too.
Elizabeth, Ruby, and Abigail