Hon, please indulge me. It doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for me to say how grateful I am to be a mom, how proud I am of my kids or how much I love them. But, what I want to do today is spend time with all of them so this post is the prologue to the story of the last 18 1/2 year of my life.
(I can’t take credit for all of the photos. Some are mine and some aren’t.)
Baby A was only 2 pounds 9 ounces at birth and stayed in the NICU for 6 1/2 weeks. Despite being tiny, she could breath on her own (the tube in her nose above is a Gavage feeding tube). The nurses said she screamed loudly and a lot, which demonstrated how developed her lungs were. One nurse took to carrying her around on her shoulder to calm her down. As I scrubbed up before entering the NICU to take my smallest triplet home, one of the nurses, referring to my baby, said, “When is that mother going to get here already?” The mother bear in me came out when I answered, “I’m here!”
Proud mama (and papa) moving our firstborn into her dorm room for freshman year.
Baby B was the largest triplet at 4 pounds, 12 ounces. In the NICU he was considered a “feeder and grower” and was able to come home after 10 days. His colic lasted until he was 6 months. In an effort to deal with the colic, we switched to a non-dairy formula causing him to smell like a potato! He was such an affectionate baby, he’s meld into my body when I rocked him. As a toddler, he was the ringleader of the games “Let’s Smear Our Room In Vaseline,” “Let’s Step In the Diaper Rash Ointment,” and “Let’s Shred All Of The Audio Tapes Our Parents Made Of Our First Words!”
Proud mama (and papa) attending an ROTC Army event at our son’s university and seeing him in his dress blues.
Baby C, 4 pounds 4 ounces at birth, was allowed to come home after 12 days. She had no problem sharing a bassinet with her brother and the two of them would contentedly stare at each other. But when Baby A came home from the hospital and I laid her down next to her sister, Baby C howled with displeasure as if to say, “Who is this baby and what is doing here? I had to either lay them head to toe or put my son in the middle. Hon, I am here to tell you that birth order dynamics are thrown to the wind when it comes to multiples. Baby C established herself as the “oldest” (that’s a euphemism for bossiest) even if she was born third. She had the world’s best belly laugh and, if I could have bottled it, I’d be writing my books on an island in the Caribbean right now!
Proud Mama (and Papa) have known our daughter was artistic since she was 3 years old. Her self portrait is stunning!
Hon, do you know what was strange about holding an 8 pounds 6 ounce newborn? She was the same size as our triplets were when they were able to sit up! Our Plus One was an easy, go-with-the-flow child who was happiest when she was surrounded by her family. Many people have asked if she was accident, to which I replied, “No, she was very planned!” More people have said, “Wow, that’s a lot of kids” to which I replied, “Four was always my lucky number.” And countless people have said, “You had triplets and then another one?!” to which I replied, “She’s G-d’s gift to me!”
Proud Mama (and Papa) shed tears at our youngest’s “Moving Up” ceremony, but still celebrated the start of a new chapter in her life.