― Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters
People have wondered why I haven't written about the Triplets the way I wrote about Sofi last year. I don't really have an answer except that I am not overwhelmingly sad this year. Writing last year helped me alleviate my anxiety and sadness about Sofi leaving. This year I am excited. Excited about what they've accomplished and about what their future will be.
I believe the saying, "everything happens for a reason". Most of the time it isn't clear what that reason is. The reason I was lucky enough to be given these children has yet to present itself. I'm keeping an eye out for it though.
Aspen was the first born, at 11:56 p.m., weighing in at a whole 3lbs 6oz. She came out fighting. She fought the nurses at every turn. She would have to be sedated in order for them to work on her. I can't tell you how many times she pulled out her own IVs. Seeing her with little patches shaved in her hair so that an IV could be put somewhere that she maybe couldn't reach it was heartbreaking. She came home after 6 weeks only to return to the PICU for surgery. She ended up back at birth weight after 2 weeks at home. I was probably more terrified at this than I was the first 5 weeks. While her temper could be SO frustrating I was so glad she had the determination and fight. I do not think she would have lived through this period without it.
She was a stinker from day 1 and took great pleasure in terrorizing Greer. She was often the boss in the first 5 years of life. The other 3 just kind of stood back and let Aspen take charge. I guess it was better than the fit that ensued if they didn't. She was the first to walk, the first to get teeth and ironically she was the LAST to speak. She and Greer had the twin language that people talk about. Greer would translate for Aspen on many occasion.
Aspen had the true awkward stage - so skinny and stringy hair, glasses too big for her face. She has turned into the most beautiful creature. She has beautiful curly hair and eyes that people would die for. She went from being the one that didn't talk to a state recognized Poetry contestant. She spends most free time with her head in a book. She has truly evolved into a completely fascinating person and I so look forward to watching her achieve many great things.
Parker was born 2nd at a whopping 3lbs 8oz at 11:57 p.m. He was in the worst shape of the 3. Statistically preemie boys tend to have a more difficult time than preemie girls and that was certainly true in this case. His lungs were not as developed as the girls' and he went immediately on a vent. He suffered collapsed lungs, a brain bleed and many other things as he spent his time in the NICU. He came home with Aspen after 6 weeks.
I started to suspect that things were not ok with Parker at probably 6 months. He had trouble holding his head up and had yet to roll over or attempt to sit up. At 9 months we saw the first of many specialists. It had to have been the most awful period. The first dr declared within 5 minutes of seeing Parker that he'd never walk, never hold a pencil. She told us the fair thing to do was to look at "institutional" living for Parker. It wouldn't be fair to our other children to try and raise him. I walked out of that appointment and never looked back. I knew that this boy was bound for greatness. I pushed and he pulled and somehow he's turned out to accomplish things that most able bodied people never even attempt.
At 18 months Parker had a tremendous grasp of the English language and was holding full on adult conversations with just about anyone willing to chat. He was/is pretty charismatic and you kind of get sucked in. I always attributed his verbal skills as a need based ability - he couldn't get to things physically so he had to be able to tell people what he needed.
I'm not sure at 18 months that I ever thought we'd see him run track or wrestle. Boy am I glad we didn't listen to that dr.! He has great ambitions for his future and I believe he's capable of conquering all of them. Keep watching ESPN folks, I gaurantee that one day you'll be listening to P call some sporting events, it may be dodgeball but it will be something!
Greer showed up at 11:59 p.m. and was all of 3lbs 4oz. She might have been the smallest but somehow she was the healthiest. She was born with this gorgeous bunch of dark hair and her eyes were deep. I swear you could see her soul when she looked at you. She never had a ventilator and had a feeding tube for only a couple weeks. She came home 1st at 5 weeks. She became Sofi's baby and was called Beer for quite awhile. Greer was not the easiest name to say for an 18 month old.
Greer was a very sensitive baby and as the toddler years crept up, Aspen put her to the test, A LOT. We always wondered why Greer didn't fight back and encouraged her to stick up for herself. We had no idea how this would manifest itself later. Let's just say that Aspen didn't see a lot of it coming.
Greer was a beautiful baby and child. As a matter of fact she looks exactly the same now as she did when she was 2. Greer is clearly the most social of the 3, people just gravitate towards her. We wondered when she got to highschool whether she would learn anything or just make friends. She's vice president of the National Honor Society so I guess she's learned something.
Greer surprised us in high school by deciding to play basketball and run cross country and track. It turns out she loves athletics. ( I know those of you that know me are wondering how that happened.) Her love of these things is shaping her future. I expect to attend sporting events for the rest of my life, first to watch my kids play, then to watch Greer coach and finally watching my grandkids.
I don't suppose I had any idea here just what the next 18 years was going to be. I'm ok with that. I may have run for the hills if I'd known. I'm grateful, a lot, that I was 21 when I had all the babies. We kind of lived by-the-seat-of-our-pants and somehow they've made it.
They've become speakers and runners and wrestlers but above all, survivors and I am truly blessed. I am so excited to see what their future brings. It'll be a walk in the park compared to their first 2 months of life. They are going to do great things and change people's lives. They changed mine 18 years ago... For the better.