A few days after the babies were admitted into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), the doctors told me that there was a slim to none chance that all 3 babies would be released from the hospital, on the same day.
The babies needed assistance with breathing, had feeding tubes because they didn’t know how to drink from a bottle and had to mature a little before coming home. All 3 babies were having what’s known as bradycardia (low heart rate). It’s very common in premature babies and something they should eventually stop having. Jhem (Baby B), also had very bad reflux. After she would drink her bottle, her heart rate would drop and the milk would come shooting out of her nose and mouth, while she’s trying to catch her breath. This was the scariest thing ever. They had to be monitored around the clock. In order to be discharged from the hospital, each baby had to go 5 days without any bradycardia and no other problems. If they had one “brady” episode, it would buy them another 5 days in the hospital.
Every single day my husband would drive me back and forth to the hospital so I could be with the babies. I was recovering from the C-section and could barely walk from the pain, plus I was still very weak from carrying the triplets and the toll it took on my body. Driving to the hospital every day was becoming exhausting. Some days I slept at the hospital just so I could be with the babies all day and so my husband could be home to take care of the house and our two older children. The best part was seeing my babies but I wanted to be in the comfort of my own home. The constant alarms going off and the bright lights made it so hard to rest. Who was I kidding? I didn’t get to sleep much at all. I was up every 2hrs pumping and breastfeeding around the clock, getting into the routine of changing, and feeding each baby. Even when I would go home I could still hear the loud ringing from the alarms in my ears. I felt like I was being pulled in so many directions. The babies needed me, my older kids needed me and I needed me.
The Big Day
September 13, 2018, after 29 long days in the NICU, I got the call I hoped and prayed about. All 3 babies were being discharged from the NICU at the same time. God is so good!
I felt like I waited for this day forever and couldn’t wait to get home, but now the day has come and I didn’t want to leave the hospital. I’m not gonna lie, I was scared. For the last month I’ve had the help of the nurses, to help change, feed, and keep the babies on a routine. The babies were hooked up to monitors so if anything went wrong, the nurses were there to intervene. Being a NICU nurse myself I knew what to look out for but all of that went straight out the window and my brain was on “mommy mode”. I, myself still wasn’t 100%, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I suffered Postpartum baby blues with my first child. How was I going to manage at home with 3 newborns plus my 2 other children? How would my 4 year old son adjust to not being the baby anymore and having 3 new sisters? I had help of course, but taking care of my kids were my responsibility.
My new life as a mom of 5 was about to begin!
Home Sweet Home
Finally, we were in the comfort of our own home and our first night together as a family of 7. I still felt like this was all a dream as I looked at five children that all belonged to me. It was time to put on my big girl panties and start my mommy duties.
The only way the house was going to run smoothly was by sticking to a strict routine. The older kids already had their daily routine. The babies were on a schedule from the NICU so I tried my best to keep them on it. Waking them up and feeding every 2-3hr which felt like every hour. I had to change each baby, pump (20-30 mins) feed each of them which took like 15-30 mins each baby, and burp them. By the time I was done it was time to start all over again. My husband was also very busy. He had to take the kids to school, help with homework, after-school sports and took care of me as well. By 3 months old the babies were sleeping through the night, I was able to sleep and started to feel like a normal person again.
To breastfeed or not to breastfeed, that is the question….
Never in a million years did I think I would be able to breastfeed triplets. I breastfed my first two kids for a few months and gave up, but this time around I wanted to give my babies what was best, even if it was 3 babies I had to feed. Breast is best right???? WRONG! A fed baby is what’s best. Don’t get me wrong, breast milk has the mother’s antibodies and has great nutrients in it for baby, but honestly, I was losing my mind trying to pump and breastfeed 3 babies. Who was I trying to fool? Pumping around the clock, not sleeping at all because by the time I finished pumping it was time to wake them up and start my “routine”, watching what I was eating but didn’t have an appetite because I was still pretty sick from the whole pregnancy. I was a complete mess myself. I was exhausted and this was draining. It was much easier when they were in the hospital because I would just pump and bring the milk to the hospital and feed it to them. Now they were home, and I had to do it all by myself. Plus they were starting to drink much more and I couldn’t keep up with the demand. After 2 months of exclusively breastfeeding, I stopped. I needed to be healthy and sane for my kids. As long as they were fed and happy, that’s all that mattered to me.
After a few months of being home, everything started to fall into place. The older kids were such a great help and adjusted very well to their baby sisters and the demands of the babies constantly needing me. I involve them in everything, so they won’t feel left out. Don’t get me wrong there are some days where I ask myself how do I even do this and get so stressed out but I have the best support system. My family, in-laws, and friends are always there to step in when I need a hand and a break for myself. It’s important to take time for yourself. I’m still working on that.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Comment below and let me know how your experience was the first time you brought baby home.
Until next time,