September 12, 2008
If anyone had told me that I didn’t know what a love affair or heartbreak was all about, I would have told them they were crazy. I mean, after all, four decades on earth has certainly qualified me to have had my heart loved and broken at least once. But as it turns out, they would have been right.
Every day that I have my babies around me, which is 24 hours a day, I realize that I now know what a true love affair is. And when you love, your heart is open to breaking. Though my triplets are only eight months old, I already feel time passing by all too quickly.
Once we began to emerge from the survival mode of caring for newborn triplets, the sleep deprivation wore off (at least enough to feel semi-sane again), and we settled into a routine. The babies started eating better, sleeping longer and smiling! I was thrilled when after a lengthy time that only my daughter had breast fed, one of my sons finally took to it. He developed a high pitched shriek when he wanted me, and of course, I obliged. I have been fortunate to avoid soreness in breastfeeding, and when my babies feed I feel an intense sense that all is right with the world. Sometimes I would fall asleep with them, other times we just giggled at each other as if we had a secret no one else knew.
This is why when, one day they stopped wanting to breastfeed during the day, my heart began to crack a little. They still do it in the middle of the night if I can catch them in a sleepy haze. Of course where I once felt that sleeping through the night was my goal, I now find myself checking their breathing and hoping they will wake up and want to eat a few hours after I fall asleep. They arrived so very early and unexpectedly, and experienced a myriad of medical issues, that I had feelings of my body betraying them for quite some time after they were born. I have overwhelming feelings that breastfeeding them is the last thing my body can give to them before they truly become separate.
They are all healthy now, and eating solids. This means they need me less. I have visions of “Mommy, I can tie it myself!”, and, “It’s ok, I can walk to the door alone”, that everyone warns me are just around the corner. But instead of borrowing trouble, I focus on today and how sweet they look and sound. And how I can still sit down to write this because they are not yet mobile. Oh how life will change again dramatically once they figure out how to follow me around! Perhaps I will have moments when I wish they wouldn’t. But in the end, I will have a mental string around my finger, reminding me how this love affair started, and how good it feels to know my heart can break because I know what love truly is.