Browsing Category: Motherhood

Routines in the White House :: Bedtime

The other day my grandfather was asking me about our bedtime routine, and I realized that most people probably have no clue what daily life entails with a 2 year old and triplets.

There are two ways for bedtime to go down:

1) I do it by myself (which sometimes happens when Matt is working late and my mom isn’t here helping)

2) Or I have help {My mom comes over on Tuesday nights, when Matt is busy loading the trucks for the week}

The process is pretty much the same both ways, it’s just that one way results in a slightly less exhausting and slightly more peaceful ending {and that result is not contingent on whether anyone else is here or not}.

Sleeping Babes copy[10]
6:30-7:00 Dinner time
: Ave and I (and whomever else is here) sit down and eat dinner. Sometimes there are babies playing or screaming (they then get bottles, propped, while we eat) and sometimes babies are sleeping.

7:00-7:30 Bath time: If I’m alone Ave showers by herself or takes a bath, depending on if the babies need baths too.

If I’m alone {or my mom is here} and they need baths, this is where I get my workout, because it’s in and out and up and down with 20lb babies in hand. Ave goes in the tub, and I bathe each individually with her. If babies don’t need baths, then they proceed to play or have bottles in the living room, while I do the necessary things with Ave in the bathroom.

If Matt is home, then one of us showers with Ave and if the babies need baths we hand the babies in one at a time to be showered {which is the preferred method of bathing}.

7:30-8:00 Bottles, Books and Prayers: After everyone who needs to be scrubbed is scrubbed we all head upstairs.

If I’m alone, I get Ave dressed and she runs around playing or doing whatever upstairs while I get the babies dressed, bottled {if needed}, and into their cribs. Once they’re down {and hopefully content} Ave and I go in her room, where we read a couple of books, say prayers, and then sing a few songs, before she climbs into her bed. Of course, just as we’re getting in to bed there is the usual “I need to go potty” request.

If my mom or Matt is here, then I deal with Ave while the other person takes care of the immediate needs of the babies’. If someone needs extra attention, I’ll help with the babies while Ave continues to play or run around crazy {which is the more likely thing — We say “stop jumping on the bed, you’re going to hurt your brother/sister” quite a bit}.

Usually, everyone is in bed by 8:15-8:30, then we/I come downstairs and get things cleaned up from the day and dinner OR we collapse on the couch and watch a movie.

And THAT is what an evening routine is like in the White House!

A Body Worth Loving {coming to terms with the postpartum body}

Coming to terms with the postpartum body doesn’t come as naturally as it should. Awhile ago, Lisa-Jo Baker posted about loving your post-baby body for the sake of your children, especially daughters. Lisa-Jo responded to my comment saying:

“TRIPLETS??? Girl, your body deserves a medal. You should break out into song every time you see it in the mirror. Your body is a HERO!!! Give it something delicious right now. For reals.”

And I do.

I think quite frequently about my body and what it accomplished. That my body was just the way God designed it to be, for these three precious babies to have been born as healthy and as big as they were, despite being 6 weeks early; to have been able to avoid having a c-section.

I look at my stretch marks that go well above my belly button and the skin that hangs below where it should definitely have stopped, and I’m in awe of it. That these three babies were cradled in there for months. That these babies were born with no health issues, despite having been sharing a womb with 2 others.

Then I look at my body the way the world does, the way we all judge ourselves: I see a flabby stomach, that still looks like there could be a baby in there when dressed; I see arms that are much too soft, particularly for lugging 4 kids around all day (at 14, 18, 19, and 30 lbs each); I see thighs that rub and have their own tributaries of stretch marks, without thinking that those legs are strong and able to run after these kids, up and down stairs countless times a day.

A Body worth loving coming to terms with the postpartum body

I think to myself, “You weigh the same now as you did just before these three kids were born” and I hang my head in shame. Knowing that an over abundance of cookie dough, avocados and cheese, and a lack of true exercise are the cause of it.

I waver, back and forth, between loving this body that has brought forth life 4 times in 2 pregnancies, and despising the “curves” that I have yet to figure out how to dress in a flattering way. When I figure out how to love this body 24/7 I’ll let you know, but I somehow think it’s going to involve a lot more time with God and a pair of sneakers.

My Mother Letter

{I wrote this during my freshman year of college, September 2000}

It is the common person who doesn’t receive mass amounts of glory for the accomplishments and risks taken in his or her lives, but it is these uncommon stories that are the mark of something incredible. I speak of the admiration I have for my mother, the decisions she has made, and the life she has lived.

My mom has never received the proper amount of recognition, respect, accolades, you name it: I have failed that part of my duty as her daughter. At nineteen, after two years of college, my mother had decided to drop out, wanting to get married and start a family instead. I have often belittled her decision. She has told me that college had held no meaning for her, that her calling was to be a wife and a mother.

My Mother Letter @JessicaMWhite.com

I have always held this decision of her’s in two lights: Fear and awe. Fear, because {sometimes} I understand and sympathize with how she felt some twenty years ago. Awe, because I find it inspiring that she had so much faith in her own future. She now tells me that my decisions are my own, and not to be afraid of what the consequences may be. I often wonder if she ever regretted not having finished college. I asked her once; her response was “Why should I regret it? I have never been happier, even through the hard times.”

“Hard times,” I always found it humorous when she said that. Since we moved from Glendale, NY, fourteen years ago, we have had nothing but hard times. Growing up I never remember being deprived of anything; vacations, clothes, birthday parties, or toys.

As a cure for our “hard times” my mother and father have been entrepreneurs: My father comes up with the new business idea, my mother supports him. Their most recent business venture is a butcher shop with a small restaurant in Delhi. My mother had a secure office job for the past twelve years and quit because she had wanted to be with her family, working in our store.

I see my mom come home from a thirteen-hour day, exhausted, and still she cooks dinner, cleans, does the laundry, and pays the bills. Many times I think a lesser woman would leave, not able to handle hard work combined with the stress of more month than money. I think, “I wish I could be as strong as she is.” I know that I am the lesser woman who would have ran from the hard times.

Another risk my mother has accomplished was her decision to home school my younger sister. In our progressive times home schooling is becoming more and more popular. My brother and I both attended public school; which is why her decision was a shock. My mother had been going to college to be a teacher before she dropped out. I find it amusing to see how things happen; she gave up teaching to be a mother. In exchange for that she became a teacher to her children.

Running a home and a store, sometimes it’s difficult for her to set aside time to teach my sister. I tell her, “Send her to public school, it would be easier.” She agrees that it would be, but she’d be letting them both down, my sister and herself. My sister is now in third grade and I can see how she has benefited from my mother’s decisions and persistence.

I now see the strength and beauty behind my mother and I wonder if I could do as she has. I admire the things that she has done. Sometimes it is hard to see her strengths, because I am blinded by what society labels as “weaknesses.”

 

~*~

So this Mother’s Day….Mom, thank you for being you! For being a wonderful example of a wife and mother, for admitting your imperfections and helping me on my own path along these journeys.

What letter do you long to write to a mom or perhaps your Mom?

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If you’re looking for a heart-warming and tear-jerking gift for the “mothers” in your life, get them a copy of Mother Letters. This sweet collection of letters will draw you in, encourage you, and help you not to feel so alone in one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs there is.

Henry, James, and Elanor’s Birth Story

As I’ve been told, “It may not be easy for you to get pregnant, but the Lord certainly blessed you with fast, easy deliveries”.

a Natural Childbirth Story of Triplets at 34 Weeks @JessicaMWhite.com

12/21/11 – Wednesday

I felt fine all day. My MIL came and gave me my second betamethasone (steroid) shot. I organized with her that on Friday morning she would take Ave so that I could get presents wrapped and a few things done around the house before Christmas Eve. In the afternoon I made pizza for our dinner that night, but didn’t eat much. Ave went to bed and all was as usual. I joked with Matt that I was going to wake him up in the middle of the night, to tell him my water broke.

12/22/11 – Thursday

I got up to pee around 12:40 or so….every time I get out of bed I always think about my water breaking, for the simple reason that that’s what happened with Ave. I went pee, stood up, and felt a squish feeling (kind of like a wet finger in a balloon)…very tiny, nothing much. Then I started trickling and it stopped, then some more and stopped. I just kept saying “No! No! No!” over and over. I grabbed a towel and went in our room, threw on the lights and told Matt, “I know I was joking about telling you my water broke, but umm….I’m serious it did”.

I just stood there on the verge of tears shaking. I couldn’t even dial the hospital, Matt had to call them and tell them all that was going on. They told us to come on up. A few minutes later they called us back, “We just looked at your chart. We want you to drive to O-town, they’ll transfer you via ambulance to AMC: Are we doing a vaginal delivery or a c-section?”; “Umm, I don’t know”; “We’ll talk when you get here.”

I just laid in bed while Matt talked to people. Then we called my parents (6 times before someone answered) and told them we were going and bringing Ave to them. We got to their house around 1:30 and left Ave with them.

We got to O-town around 2am. They took me right in. The doctor who delivered Ave was on call; she checked me out, they put the babies on the monitor (they are not equipped there for triplet pregnancies), and started IVs. I was having minimal contractions, but nothing that was even registering, and my cer.vix was still closed. We were there for about an hour before they were ready to transport me.

We got to AMC around 4:30. I’d had 3 contractions on the ride up, but nothing that was much. More like my stomach grumbling with hunger pains than contractions. As soon as they got me in a room at AMC they started me on the monitors, another IV. There was no noticeable contractions so they figured I would just hang out at the hospital until I actually went into labor (a few days?).

At 5:30 a doctor came in and actually checked my cerv.ix, which was now 4cm. It was looking like baby B (Ellie) was engaged and had pushed baby A (Henry) out of the way. We were just hanging out in the room, contractions getting a bit stronger. It was hell….they wouldn’t let me out of the bed or eat or drink because of the possible epidural and not knowing if we would be having a c-section or not.

We met with another doctor around 6:00am, Dr. K: He was AWESOME! If I could have him deliver all of our kids I would, he was that great to work with. He came in and checked me, then started talking about a vaginal delivery. He was telling us about his experience with multiples and breech extractions, how he felt completely comfortable with doing this (even without an epidural). We spent about 20 minutes just talking to him.

He is the reason why everything went so smoothly and we had a vaginal delivery. He recommended having the epidural to avoid the general anesthesia in an emergency, and in the event someone didn’t move the way they should and he had to manually extract a baby. It was agreed that I would have a minimal epidural dose, because I was not at all keen on it, and Dr. K didn’t really feel it would be necessary.

At 7:30 he came back in and checked me and I was already 5-6cm and the babies were moving down. They were waiting for a c-section to get done before they started prepping me, but my body was not going to let them take their time. He suggested starting the epidural ASAP; by 9am I had been tapped and they started a slow drip 15 minutes later.

{ Getting scrubbed in and ready to deliver these babies }

They started pytocin around 9:40 or so since my body was doing everything it was supposed to but my contractions weren’t keeping up with the rest of my body (probably because of the epidural).

By 10:10 they had wheeled me into the OR and I was scared…I’ll admit it. Here I was having a vaginal delivery of my babies at 33 weeks 6 days: This was not where I wanted to be, not what I wanted to do, and I was still {kind of} freaking out about a vaginal delivery.

I wanted a vaginal delivery, but it really rather worried me, because I knew all that could wrong. We’d scheduled a c-section because I was much more nervous about going through with it than I wanted to admit. It was kind of a “nice idea”, but not something I expected to have happen.

Dr. K got everything prepped, I moved myself over to the OR table, he got situated and turned away to prep something else. My favorite MFM was there as back up, Dr. J, then in walked Dr. C (the one who had wanted me to reduce the pregnancy and got mad at me): I looked at Matt and said “watch the personalities”.

Dr. C immediately started taking over, getting ready to reach up in, and pushing Dr. K out. Thankfully, Dr. K looked at him and said “I can do that”. They looked down and Henry was already crowning. Dr. K yelled out, “We have a head!” and everyone flew into a tither. Henry Charles was born at 10:20 am.

They waited a few seconds to see if B would pop down, but nothing was happening. They did a quick ultrasound which showed that the next one in line was breech and not moving down. I had 3 doctors all reaching up my hoo-haa and pushing on my stomach, trying to move babies down (I was VERY glad for that epidural….that happened with Ave’s delivery too, but that was one doctor, with tiny hands, for a few seconds).

At 10:26 they finally got a grip on James Matthew and pulled him out feet first. They had to go back in and pull C out…Elanor Susan was born at 10:28, feet first.

Henry Charles

Born at 10:26 am, weighing 4lbs 13.5 ozs and 19.2″ long


James Matthew

Born at 10:26am, weighing 5lbs 3ozs and 17.75″ long

Elanor Susan

Born at 10:28am, weighing 4lbs 9.5 oz and 17.75″ long

Henry immediately let out a cry when he was born, I burst into tears to hear his little voice above the doctors and nurses. James didn’t make a peep until after they had suctioned his mouth, and then only a small whimper.

Elanor didn’t do anything…they immediately whisked her away since she was struggling to breath and after a few minutes of several people working on her she was finally breathing better. I briefly got to see James and Elanor before they whisked them out of the room. I never even saw Henry, because the OR wasn’t big enough for 3 NICU teams.

I asked the nurse if I had any tearing, which I didn’t (I did with Ave, but she was 8lbs 4.5oz). Afterward, they got me completely cleaned up and moved back to my room. It was just time to wait now. Dr. K came in and de-briefed me about everything. What was interesting was even though we were all annoyed with Dr. C’s intervention (he ended up leaving immediately after they were born), Dr. K was very professional: We all KNOW Dr. C is a great, skilled doctor, particularly with vaginal births, it was a blessing to have him there in case something happened. He’s just not very personable.

Thursday night I just sat in my hospital bed, completely in awe. We couldn’t have planned or asked for a more perfect arrival of our little ones! We knew God had a plan all along and that it would be amazing, but to see how it all played out was just mind blowing…I’m still struggling to wrap my head around it.

Dr. K was such a blessing, we never even discussed a c-section. I really just followed along with his opinion and advice. He knew from my chart that I was interested in a vaginal delivery, but we never really discussed whether it was an option or not.

I do think, that if it wasn’t for him, I would most likely have had a c-section (as that is what my MFM would’ve felt comfortable with): I am beyond thankful I didn’t. I googled Dr. K Thursday night, he’s only a 4th Year Resident: He’s already a phenomenal doctor! {Yes, I will admit it, I think on some level I have a definite crush on him…it didn’t hurt that he was rather cute too :-) }

The entire experience was MORE than I had hoped or even thought it could be. I had my favorite MFM there, Dr. J; I had 2 doctors that were awesome and I absolutely loved; a nursing staff that was fantastic throughout the delivery. I had my husband there supporting me and taking pictures (he actually got better pictures this time than with Ave’s delivery).

If I had gone even a week or two more then I seriously think a vaginal delivery would’ve been out of the question. Also, Ellie had only gained 3ozs since our last growth scan 10 days earlier…it was time for them to come out. It was just an absolutely INCREDIBLE experience.

I will probably be forever in awe of God’s absolute and total control over every single detail of my labor and our babies’ safe delivery. Every single detail was worked out down to the absolute perfection of every tiny detail. Our God is BEYOND awesome!

{ Our first family picture: Christmas 2011! }


You can also read my natural triplet birth story at RedeemingChildbirth.com