Something happened in the past 3 days.
It's taken a long time and becoming a mother has been a very clinical and medical experience for me. The transformation started with years of doctor's appointments and hormone shots which led to a multitude of ultrasounds and monitoring equipment, finally ending with incubators and feeding tubes. When the triplets were first born I found myself shuffling like a zombie down the hospital halls at 2 and 4 in the morning to deliver their milk - that was my "mothering". I was able to delicately hold them, but only while hanging onto every word of the nurses - fearfully staring at the monitors and avoiding the wires and tubes hooked up to their tiny bodies.
When the boys came home I did not know how to act. I even asked the pediatrician, "what's appropriate interaction?" as he looked back at me with a confused face. Finally I loosened up with every kiss on the head, baby-voice conversation while changing their outfits, and swaddle before bed-time. Then during my visit with Charlotte I realized "it happened". While I held the miniature bottle up to her mouth, Charlotte opened her lids and we made eye contact. With tears streaming down my face I whispered "Hi sweetie...it's me. I'm your mommy."