Pregnant With Triplets: What It's Really Like Bringing Them Home
You're pregnant with triplets and starting to think about what it's going to be like when you bring your three newborns home from the hospital. Experienced triplet moms share their advice and some funny anecdotes to get you through!
Most of your friends have one baby -- at a time. If you're pregnant with triplets, though, you may find that you just can't get the advice you want from your friends and family.
Want to know the real deal? Here, two moms of multiples weigh in on what it's really like to bring home not one, not two, but three newborns at once. Colleen Whalen of Sudbury, Massachusetts, has five-year-old triplets, one girl and two boys, and Michelle Feudo of Framingham, Massachusetts, has 10-year-old triplet girls. Both moms share their sage, often funny, advice for bringing home three babies and how to cope during those first few weeks.
How Do You Bathe Three?
"We barely bathed them ... ever," says Colleen. "Like, maybe once every three weeks in the beginning, and then only when we were feeling guilty about it – usually after a conversation with a mom that was giving her baby a lovely and relaxing lavender bath each night before bed. I was so nervous about dropping one of those wet, slippery babies on the floor that we put the little, plastic bathtub on our living room floor and sat on the ground to bathe them."
Sleep Where You Can
"We were so confused and sleep-deprived the first couple of nights that my husband and I were constantly dozing off and then waking up startled, thinking there was a baby on top of us," says Colleen. "The first six weeks, I slept on the couch, my husband slept on the love seat, and the babies slept in their car seats in a little row right in front of us on the floor (I swear my pediatrician knew). We literally moved into the living room – it was like a baby factory, and we only left to make food or shower."
Get Into a Routine of Feeding
"We (mostly me) obsessively measured how much they ate at each feeding — like down to the drop (as if the milliliter measurements weren't small enough!)," says Colleen. "This was consistent with my approach to making bottles as well, with lots of double- and triple-checking how much was in each bottle before the baby started drinking. Forget it when we had to start mixing the formula ourselves: Does this look like one unpacked, level scoop?"
Michelle says you grow into the routine, chaotic as it is. "When you're pregnant with triplets, you don't realize the challenge it will be to keep them on the same feeding schedule," she says. "They were all on different formula 'recipes,' based on their weights. We had to label bottles by kid, and it was crazy.
During the day, I was a bottle-making ninja. I could assemble nipples to lids, mix formula and throw everything together faster than a bartender could make a cocktail (which was highly desired at the time, but not possible since I was pumping)."
Write Everything Down
"I don't mean the cute scrapbook stuff you plan when you're pregnant with triplets, I am talking about things you might not be able to recall with three babies screaming in the middle of the night – like who ate what and when, diaper activity, etc.," says Colleen. "This will be helpful for your peace of mind and for those helping you. Make helpers write stuff down too!"
"Keep a log of feeding times and diaper changes for each child," says Michelle. "When you're tired and are feeding multiple babies multiple times a day, it becomes very easy to mix up who you fed and when and who's had regular urine or bowel movements. These logs are especially helpful when you talk to the pediatrician, and they're also pretty funny to look at years later when you can't believe you survived it all."
Keep It in Perspective
"Those first few weeks seem never-ending, but they really do fly by," says Colleen. "People ask us all the time how we did it when they came home. My husband and I can barely remember, joke that we've blocked it from our memories – but really I think it's because, in the grand scheme of things, they are only tiny for a short time."
Michelle agrees. "The years really do go by as quickly as people say, and you can never get that time back," she says. "Nothing can replace the quiet snuggles or soft lullabies that only a parent can give, especially during those first few weeks. Translate the love you had for them when they were in your belly to tender kisses and gentle hugs when you finally get to hold them and bring them home."
Be sure to also check out 10 Things to Know About Newborns. And if you need an extra hand with your new little ones, hire a nanny on Care.com.
Laura Richards is a Boston-based freelance writer and the mother of four boys including a set of identical twins. She has written for numerous parenting publications and is the president of On Point Communications.
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