Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sleeping Arrangements (part 1)

After spending 35 snuggly weeks together inside M’s belly, the trio had their first separation, thanks to the surgeon’s hand and the C-section delivery, as they were placed into individual humidicribs.

Their first several days were spent inside a Perspex box – the humidicrib (aka incubator) rugged up tightly with nasal tubes to assist their feeding. They later migrated to open Perspex cots – still small in size and still in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit).

Strange that these open Perspex cot cum-beds remind me of a kitty-litter tray as there is nothing inviting about them. Sure they’re practical for the attending nurses who do an amazing job looking after all the pre-natal bubs, but the ‘cots’ hardly scream out “comfort”! The bubs will just have to wait until they get home before experiencing a nice invitingly comfy cot.

Somewhere around the 37-38 weeks mark, the trio was released and we could bring them home.

The initial sleeping arrangement in our small 3 bedroom house was for the trio to be placed together in the one cot, positioned across the mattress wrapped in their blankets, with the cot sharing our bedroom on M’s side of the bed.

During the day, we had a similar set-up in the lounge with their day-bed (or should that be day-cot) where they would nap between feeds in the muted daylight surrounded by the noises of the house – the conversations, the phone calls, the stereo, the TV, the snoring of a sleep deprived mum who seemed to be constantly breast-feeding the trio and the curious ramblings of Saffiya, their big sister developing her vocabulary at the worldly age of 16 months.

We thought of setting up the trio like sardines and arranging them head-to-foot, so that when the two to either side looked towards their sister or brother in between them, they would be greeted with blanketed feet – though decided this would not be good for sibling eye-contact or for relationship building.

Mind you, when they were in the womb, it wasn’t as if they were laid in some neat arrangement – from what we saw of the many ultrasounds, the two boys were side by side (vertically as possible as the womb would allow) while their sister lay across the top, so perhaps it would matter little how they lay in the cot they shared. But we stuck with all three lying in the same direction; it was easier this way anyway.

As they grew and started to move about in their sleep occasionally wriggling out of their snug blanket wrapping, we moved them into individual cots and for convenience, the only room to accommodate all three cots was our main bedroom.

This meant some changes:

  1. It would be the end of their day-cot in the lounge as it was needed in the bedroom;
  2. Daytimes would now be spent on floor play mats and bouncy-chairs;
  3. Daytime naps would now be in their bedrooms – we were slowly reclaiming the lounge room as they began to have longer sleeps; and
  4. We had to move to the spare room (formerly the study), which was a tight squeeze for a queen-size bed, plus the bookshelves that had no other place to go.
We then knew that the house was no longer big enough for all six of us, but, we stuck with this sleeping arrangement for several months while we looked for a new home.

Eight months after the birth of the trio, we moved to our new house.

Despite still being only a 3 bedroom home, the rooms were much larger and we didn’t have to share our room with bookshelves – handy as it was for late night reading. Also, it meant we had our own room and the tribe was evenly distributed in the other two bedrooms – the boys in one and girls in the other – a much better sleeping arrangement for all.

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