Usually, the first question that pops up when someone sees us pushing our bus of a stroller is:
Q: Oh wow! What are they?!
A: Now I should really answer this and say something silly like "they're puppies!" just to throw people for a loop but I refrain and tell them that we have 2 girls and 1 boy. In my defense, I really try to dress them very girly and very boyish so people can tell them apart. I was kind of hoping that the pink car seats versus the green one would help but apparently not.
Generally, after I tell them that we have 2 girls and a boy, the next question I get is this:
Q: Are they all identical?
A: Again, I could be a smarty pants here and inform them of the anatomical differences between boys and girls and that it's completely impossible for boys and girls to be identical, but again, I refrain and gently explain that all three are fraternal, meaning that there were three separate eggs (thank goodness none of those decided to split!)
Naturally, the next question that comes to mind is this:
Q: Are they natural?
A: Aren't all babies natural? Anyway, I usually don't hold back in telling people that I took a fertility drug called clomid for one month to help with some fertility issues. I was super hesitant at first to take it, but after talking to many, many people, a few doctors, and doing my own research, I decided to take half of the prescribed dose one month and WHAM!! Triplets! Considering the low dose I took and how fast it all happened, the doctors still have told me that I might have been more prone to having multiples in the first place. Triplets occur naturally about 1 in every 8000 births, but with fertility help, it's about 1 in 750 or so.
Continuing on with my conversation...
Q: Were you expecting triplets?
A: Absolutely not! We were shocked at the first ultrasound! I'll never forget that moment!
Q: So whose family do they run in, your's or your husband's?
A: Ok...this is a little lesson for everyone out there who doesn't understand multiples or has never had it explained to them before. First, if someone takes fertility, it doesn't really matter if it's a genetic predisposition but I still explain this to people. As of now, scientists don't believe that identical twins has anything to do with genetic predisposition...it's simply a freak thing that happens when an egg decides to split. Fraternal twins can be a genetic thing...that simply means that if your mom or grandma has fraternal multiples and you are a girl then you may be predisposed to having them...if your a boy and your mom or grandma has fraternal multiples, don't worry...the guy's family history plays no role in the possibility of multiples since you don't have any eggs:) Make sense?
Q: How do you do it? I could hardly do it with one!?
A: Lots and lots of help! I don't even pretend like we could have done this completely on our own! I know people do (somehow!), but I don't know how they get through it! More power to those people who do it all alone without family help and support! We couldn't have done it with out them! Not just that, but we've had nurses coming to help us a few nights a week so we can get some sleep...otherwise we would have been constantly running on about 4 hours of interrupted sleep and believe me, it seriously takes a toll on everyone since 2 people really have to get up to feed them in the middle of the night.
Q: Is there a hotline or something you can call to get advice and help about parenting triplets or do they just send you home with them?
A: I kind of have to laugh when I get a question like this (maybe not worded exactly like this but similar) because when I really think about it, society has a lot of confidence in people when they actually let you take home three babies (or one for that matter!) and don't give you a manual or anything to reference to help you figure this whole thing out. Instead, you're just stuck sitting there staring at these babies (or baby) and have no idea what you've gotten yourself into. As many of you know, parenting is an evolving art...it changes from day to day. You have to be able to adapt to your children and take things in stride. We've had some really frustrating days, but it's all worth it when your baby snuggles up on you or smiles when they see you!
Q: Do you ever have to do it all by yourself?
A: Up until this point, there have only been a handful of days where I've been alone with all three babies, but from Thanksgiving until the 12th of December I will have to do it without some sort of family help.
Q: How do you do it?!
A: Routine, routine, routine! I don't think I could get through the day without having some sort of routine laid out for them. My general rule of thumb is that the babies eat, play and then sleep. For those of you who have read Babywise, that's kind of what I follow...to an extent. Here's what a typical day might look like:
6 a.m. - Babies all wake up and all get changed and fed...believe me it's better this way than having one up and two sleep another hour or something. That rule about never wake a sleeping baby does not apply in this house!
6:30 a.m. - I pump.
7:30/8:00 a.m. - All of us go back to bed for a nap...me included.
9:15 a.m. - All of us wake up, diapers and clothes get changed
9:30 a.m. - All three babies start eating...I do kind of feed them all at the same time. I sit on the floor amidst a sea of bouncy chairs and just take turns feeding two babies at a time.
10:15 a.m. - Playtime. I put all the babies on floor mat gyms things and let them kick around. Their new favorite toy is the exersaucer.
10:30 a.m. - I pump.
11:00/11:30 - Babies go back down for a nap, I make my lunch, fold some laundry, wash all the bottles from the day so far (6 of them!), make any extra bottles for the rest of the day that might not have been made the night before, let the dog out, if I'm lucky I'll take a shower...and before I know it the babies are up again.
12:30 p.m. - Usually someone tries to wake up around now so I end up getting them out of their crib and carrying them around with me or I put them in a swing until I get my chores done.
1:00 p.m. - Babies eat again
1:45/2:00 p.m. - Playtime again.
2:30 p.m. - I pump again.
3:00 p.m. - Nap time for babies, snack time for me.
4:30 p.m. - Babies are back up and eating again.
5:30 p.m. - Dinner time scramble...at this point Brian is probably home and we're scavenging through the fridge trying to think of something easy to eat.
6:00 p.m. - Babies might take a cat nap here...if they don't this is generally cranky time:) My favorite time of day - ha! I'm pretty sure God makes babies cranky at the end of they day to test our patience.
6:30 p.m. - I pump.
7:00 p.m. - Bath time starts...this is crazy and deserves it's own blopic (blog+topic=blopic)
7:30/8:30 p.m. - Anytime between 7:30 and 8:30 we start feeding the babies dinner and finally they go to bed generally by 9.
9:00 p.m. - Brian and I finish any dinner that we didn't get to eat earlier, clean up the kitchen, wash all the bottles, clean up all of the bibs, burp rags, and full, stinky, diaper filled trash cans, take showers, let the dog out and play with her if we can, fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, etc...this list never ends.
10:00 p.m. - Sit down and relax if a nurse is coming...if one's not, then we measure out all the breastmilk and make bottles for the next day (it looks like a science experiment is going on over here when we pour out 18 bottles and fill up our fridge!) and then go to bed.
10:30 p.m. - I pump
11:00 p.m. - Nurse shows up! Best feeling ever! We go to bed and sleep until 6:30!
12:00 a.m. - Feed the babies whether they are awake or not (aka a "dream feed") and then cross our fingers and say our prayers that the babies sleep until about 6. This is generally wishful thinking as someone usually wakes up because they have a wet diaper, are hungry or need their pacifier. This is probably the hardest thing about multiples...they don't all sleep at the same time or wake up at the same time during the night so just letting one go while the other wakes up is not really an option. We feed all of them regardless in hopes to prevent an unnecessary wake up!
4:00 a.m. - Bryce usually wakes up madder than a hornet because his diaper is about to explode...he pees a lot in his sleep. I only note 4 a.m. since it's pretty typical and predictable...some people are probably asking why we don't change his diaper when we feed him at midnight and it's generally because he will wake up at midnight and think it's time to party - ha!
5:45 - 6:00 a.m. - Our day starts all over again.
Whew...I'm exhausted after just writing that! Needless to say, everyone who steps foot in this house generally leaves exhausted...there's always something to be done and never enough time to do it! Here are some recent pictures:)
Our office turned "playroom"... and the babies current feeding station. This is my set up when I'm home alone feeding all three babies. Vida likes to join in on the action too!
I needed a minute so I turned them towards the t.v. You gotta do what you gotta do!
Happy, full and content and getting ready to go down for a nap!