four-pacifiers

Having spent so much time recently with our daughter Libby, who recently had quads, we thought it would be fun to share with you what her life has been like. What follows is her description of “a day in the life of a mom with quads!”

People ask me every day what a day in my life is like now that we have had five in two years.  Mimi, Mac, Fitz, and Yates are six weeks old today, and Grey is 25 months. The days are crazy, and I feel like I start a stopwatch when my feet hit the floor in the morning and I don’t stop it until I climb back into bed at night and then only for a brief couple of hours!

5:45 p.m. — Check the clock. Good work … an hour and twenty minutes for the quad’s feeding this time. (We feed at 4, 8, 12, and then start over.) The babies are getting more efficient and so are we, and it feels good. Uh-oh. I see a full bottle sitting on the shelf. Shoot! We forgot to feed one of the babies, and we just got them all tucked back into their cribs.  Poor Fitz, I wondered why he was screaming!

6:00 p.m. — A friend delivers dinner. Thank you, God, for a supportive community!

6:25 p.m. — No time to sit and eat. I have to laugh instead of cry. I never had “baby brain” after the birth of my first daughter, and I prided myself in easily getting back into the swing of things with a well-structured life. This time it’s different.  My brain is disintegrating by the minute. I forgot to feed Fitz, I found a  baby bottle in the trash can,  a baby’s hat in a different trash can, I carried Mimi around and set her down to nurse but then forgot where I had put her or what I was doing with her. We can laugh about this … right?!

8:30 p.m. — My in-laws stop by to check on us. We’re in the middle of the 8 o’clock feeding. I have to stop my father-in-law from eating the breast milk in the freezer. He has it confused with the homemade lime ice cream my neighbor gave us.

9:30 p.m. — A very brief dinner with my husband. NO, it isn’t quiet as two monitors are going off on the counter and we are wondering which child we hear tossing and turning.

10:45 p.m. — A final visit with my pump, a note written with instructions for the night nurse — God bless this woman. She is truly a gift, a lifesaver! And off goes our light!

2:30 a.m. — The alarm jars me out of bed to pump again. I do it as fast as I can so I can grab a few more hours of shut-eye. The nurse feeds the babies all night, and I just pump. (Whew!)

5:30 a.m. — Pump again. The Medela Breast Pump is my new best friend!

6:00 a.m. — Debrief with my night nurse on how the babies did during the night.

6:30 a.m. — Exercise briefly while my husband entertains our two-year-old. If I don’t do this, I will go stark raving mad. I blast worship music in my ears and prepare body and soul for the day ahead.

7:30 a.m. — All hands on deck as Grey needs help with breakfast ,and we must prepare the bottles for the next feeding. Woops. Our black lab, Otis, hears the babies beginning to squeak and goes to investigate.

8:00-9:30 a.m. — Feed babies, change diapers — again. One day we counted, and our guess is we changed about 45 diapers a day! Just counting gave us a laugh. And we cheer a lot — especially for good burps, drained bottles, and sometimes even for nasty poops. The loudest cheers, though, come from The Wiggles on DVR, our best method of distraction for Grey while we feed babies. I am tired of the Wiggles, but I’m not sure we’d survive without them.

9:45 a.m. — Pump again! Even though I’m nursing two babies at the same time, I still have to pump to keep my milk supply high enough to keep nourishing four growing appetites.

11:00 a.m. — Mom and I pick up the playroom, as it has gotten strewn about with burp clothes, dirty diapers, bottles, and two-year-olds’ toys and markers. We race the dishes to the dishwasher and the laundry to the dryer as we try to get out in the yard to play with Grey, all while carrying around the monitor to make sure we can get back up the stairs to calm a fussy baby. There is time for a quick lunch for Grey, and then it is back upstairs by noon to begin the second feeding session, which is interrupted about 1:00 with getting Grey down for her nap. After spending all that time with baby bottles and nursing, it just seems cruel to have to go pump again, but my best friend is calling. There is time for a quick lunch for myself, and then the dryer is buzzing, the phone is ringing, and Grey is beginning to stir from her nap. Before I have time to finish my coffee from the morning, it is time to begin the 4 p.m. feeding, followed with pumping and then playtime with Grey until Daddy comes home and is thrown into the circus with us. Dinner, bath, story, and bedtime for Grey bring us full circle back to the 8 p.m. feeding and pumping session all over again.

Do you wish you hadn’t asked about my day? It does sound busy and tedious and monotonous, and believe me, I feel like it is all those things …vbut it is more than that.

It is a miracle, it is a joy, it is a gift, and it is an incredible honor to have the responsibility to raise these children for the Lord.

As long as we laugh on this adventure and take it one day at a time, we can beat the clock and have fun doing it together with a divine purpose.