So we are just coming off a really tough week. A week where at times I wasn’t sure if I could cope. There was a feeling of hopelessness which scared me. My little ladies are now over five months old and my son is 21 months. All four are incredible, thriving, cheeky monkeys. However, it is winter and along with the grey skies, we have suffered with continuous sickness. This seems to be the running theme in my life at the moment. Every evening from about 4pm the crying or tantrums will start. Could be all four or just one but that ringing in your ear every night is not easy to endure. It eventually ends when all settle at about 10pm but could go on for hours after that. For over 20 weeks there has been some sort of cough, cold, chest infection to contend with. I feel like all I do is complain and I’m bored with it. I would say I am a positive person and just get on with things – but this week it got to me.Being depressed or feeling low is not something I am usually and it scares me when it happens. Thankfully I am able to get myself out of it. But I feel for those who can’t. My exasperation can be fixed and my days can get better. A day of no rain or simple routine and I can bounce back. I think my optimism can get me through but this was one tough week! Everyone says enjoy it when they’re little however I can’t help but wish I could fast forward some of it.
Then on Saturday it was all put into perspective when my little boy nearly drowned. We had gone to the park to feed the ducks. Red was in his buggy, strapped in and feeding the ducks (and himself) with bits of bread. I turned to look out into the water for a split second and by the time I turned around all I could see were the wheels of the buggy. He had toppled into the water. I jumped in to get him out and because he was strapped in, he was trapped underneath. The buggy has a fleece cover to keep him warm and this along with the whole buggy got sodden in water which meant I couldn’t lift it. I managed to turn the buggy sideways so he could breath and all I saw was a pair of hands reach in to lift him out. The water was about 3 feet deep so he had been completely underwater. At the time autopilot kicked in – get him out, strip him down and wrap him up. Get him home! That night I just kept replaying it over and over. What if?………. No can’t even go there!
Thats when I realised that this too shall pass. It will get easier. They will put the heart across me on a regular basis. All I need is a smile, a giggle to make me realise that I am blessed and thankfully I get loads of those.
So it’s been a while since I last posted. Seems that every time I sit to write an update I get distracted. Today I feel lucky to have some time to write. Myself and Abu were on route to swimming when it was agreed between us that coffee and a bagel in a warm cafe sounded better (pouring rain). We were very late anyway so we have mitched off. I’m just waiting for her to wake up. Oh she’s stirring…….
Since my last update a lot has happened. We had another round of Bronchilitis in the house, vomiting bugs appeared and everyone has started teething. All of which isn’t much fun but on the plus side the girls are all so bright and alert. All of them are starting to roll. Won’t be long now before they’re all on the move. Now that WILL be interesting! They have the most wonderful smiles and light up when you chat to them.
I have decided to take all four of them off dairy in a hope to clear up their chests. I went to my doctor last week and we agreed that it’s the best option. All of them seem to be prone to snotty episodes and it can help. Fingers are crossed! Once they’re off it for a few months, it can be reintroduced gradually. Red doesn’t seem to have any trouble with drinking Almond milk and the girls should get used to the new formula in time.
Red’s conversation has come on leaps and bounds. He has now discovered to art of a joke. It’s so wonderful when your son can make you genuinely laugh. He’s also great with the girls. Here he is with Frankie, reading her a story.
In the last couple of weeks I have also had to say goodbye to a very special person, my grandfather. Unfortunately he was sick for quite some time with cancer. He fought it every step of the way, not wanting to leave my grandmother, but the beast won. It’s tough to say goodbye to someone who was so significant in my upbringing. I have a bank of wonderful memories of being a kid with him. I can only hope to keep up some of his traditions. He was an amazing storyteller and brought us on magical adventures up the mountains. By the time I was pregnant with my first boy he was already suffering from dementia. This meant the same conversation needed to be repeated. I would visit him with my boy and he would say ‘what a beautiful baby!’ And quickly follow with ‘who’s the father?!’ So I would explain on a regular basis what I had done. He loved babies and really was amazing with Red and the girls. In latter months he was scared of holding them, in case he dropped them, but you could rest them on his lap. A couple of days before he died I went to visit him the hospital. We had a lovely sing song of Pardon Me Boy and I told him about my four children. We will miss but hopefully I can keep some of his traditions going.
Its one of those classic cliches that is used many different occasions. ‘Don’t run yourself into the ground’ is another. But no one can prepare you for how overwhelming triplets and a toddler can be. The last weekend was my first real test and I like to think I coped okay. Just don’t think any further than a day ahead!!!
My wonderful family situation works like clockwork…….. As long as everything and everyone is okay, its a pretty smooth operation but any hiccup and oh sweet jesus!
So the week was always going to be tricky. My minder was away and i had arranged a patchwork of helpers for the week. I thought i was doing great, all problems solved until Saturday morning and all let loose again. Weekends are the hardest part of the week for me. I am generally on my own with all four children both mornings. Feeding the girls takes about 2 hours so coupled with my son this can be quite a stressful time.
My mum had agreed to take my son for the night and I knew that he’d have a ball. I was looking forward to some quality time with my ladies. By lunchtime I noticed that Francesca was struggling to breath. At about 4pm she had started to pant. Straight away I knew this was not good. Her temperature was fine, she was alert and was feeding well but the breathing was now very labored. Your maternal instinct kicks in. Brought her to the hospital where she was admitted with Bronchilitis. Apparently this is very common at this time of year but obviously dangerous when baby is under 7 weeks old. The doctors were being over cautious but i was happier with that than going home and something serious happened!
So, single mum of four required an army of help! I have to say sleep depravation was the worst because it meant I wasn’t thinking straight. I had a lot of great offers to step in but I really wasn’t able to focus. As result of our night in A&E I was a bit of basket case. Post pregnancy my health has not been 100%. I have struggled with high blood pressure, migraines, swollen gums, etc etc. I am in need of a good dose of multi vitamins and iron! As the title of this post goes…. this is not a race, its a marathon.
I have recently started trying to spend one on one time with each of my kids. This is actually quite time consuming but wonderful. Each has their own personality and ways. Its great when I get to know them individually. Its also really important that my son knows i haven’t disappeared on him. He is like a different child when we hang out on our own. Although the girls are very young, already they are full of personality and need one on one time. Having help around me has allowed this alone time, I am lucky to have it but would have it no other way. When my son doesn’t get this attention he acts out. He has occasionally hit and bitten me. All classic signs of wanting you. I try not to make too big an issue of it and am just very firm about not allowing it. We have a time out step in the house. He has had to sit there on a couple of occasions. Usually for a minute to let him calm down. Once the minute is up, he quickly says sorry and gets back to playing. Its turned out to be really effective and I am conscious of not over using it. Children like to test boundaries every once and a while but I’m consistent.
Its a juggle parenting four with plenty to keep you busy! My next challenge is to structure my week better. Just like babies, I thrive on routine.