7 Week Old Triplets

Seven weeks old and it feels like the reflux is getting worse, not better. In fact, we have identified that they do not have only reflux, but also colic. The most tell tale sign of this is that they have been waking up in the middle of a deep sleep, screaming in pain. Poor little vegemites. They find it very difficult to burp after feeds, which doesn’t help the situation. At the other end of the scale, they constantly let very smelly firecrackers go down in the nappies, and doing so can hurt their tummy. And they are still vomitting.

It feels that the medicine is doing nothing, however when I started cutting back on it, I found that it must be helping, because they started vomitting even more. They have now also started on a wind remedy we concocted by a local chemist. It’s rather famous around these parts in the parenting world of colicky babies. It has helped a little, but not solved the problem. The reflux meds need to be given twice a day and the colic med before each feed. I’m hopeless at keeping track of it all. I am really bad at remembering to give/take medication, plus I get even more confused trying to remember which child I have given what medicine too. All with a scrambled baby brain – Aaagh!

Also they have conjunkyvitis. (J Boy terminology!) So they are supposed to have eye ointment for that three times a day. Missy has it worst and has given it to the other two boys who have it a little, then it looks like it’s gone, but then it’s back again. T-Star also contracted the gunky eyes.. Now at the conclusion of the week I have it. Now I am really, really bleary and red eyed!

The weeks of sleeplessness are also taking their toll. Especially since the hours of sleeping has decreased this week.

See! I told you I am tired! Proof beyond doubt.

The triplets are wanting to be held more and more, because that is where they are most comfortable. The problem is that they almost always outnumber the adults in the house. Therefore, you settle a baby down after holding it for a good stretch of time, perhaps half an hour if they are lucky, and then put the baby down in order to pick up the next one who has inevitably started crying. No sooner than you put the baby down, it will wake out of a deep sleep insist it wants to be held still. If you could just pick it up and cuddle it straight away, it might settle. However most of the time you are still trying to settle another baby, who kicks around disturbing it’s sibling, and before you know it, you are holding two squirming babies. The other adult who probably has a quiet baby at this point will point the quiet baby down to take help out and take a squirming baby. A few minutes later the quiet baby is no longer quiet … Do you see the vicious pattern? When all three go to sleep it is a very, very happy moment for all concerned!

3am, and finally all three are asleep! To get them to that stage on this particular night I had to prop them on a corner pillow and let them all snuggle in together. They like doing that when they are really uncomfotable. Well I thought they did. In this picture it looks like Joey is distinctly trying to get away from Missy. Either that or he’s sick of her snoring. (She really does snore, so unladylike!)

The babies are often taking up until 11:00 or midnight before they settle down enough for all three to be in bed asleep. Then Alex and I stumble to bed. Sometimes we still need to shower because we haven’t had a chance to before then. Lately my single brother and single sister have been hanging with us during the evening and hold babies, it’s a big help having a third baby held rather than doing the juggling routine.

My brother and sister posing for the much sought after “Holding all three triplets” photo.

The babies will then have two more feeds normally at around 2 or 3 am and 4 or 5 am. I try to go back to bed after the early morning feed to maximise sleep. This will often mean I will get up as Alex is leaving, so by the time people arrive I’m still in my PJ’s and I quite often don’t get a chance to eat breakfast for several hours. I’m not very good at skipping meals, never have been – I get starving! Breastfeeding three babies only makes me more ravenous! On the positive, the triplets are getting quicker at feeding. It’s normally taking an hour to 1 1/2 hours instead of 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.

Of course, this is all not half as bad as it reads. Because even if you are holding babies for hours, and not having any rest in between feeds, you still are holding a gorgeous little child. So I tend to push my tiredness aside as much as possible, and just enjoy holding my child. If a baby is crying, it becomes a challenge to try and work out what’s wrong and try to make it stop crying. If I can focus on this, I don’t get frustrated and worked up about thinking my child is in pain. That helps both of us stay calm and solve the problem/enjoy the solution sooner.

Also we try to enjoy the social encounters that come our way. Of course there is always people coming into the house to help out, so we get to have lots of nice conversations with them while nursing babies. Or sometimes I deal with babies while they do my ironing/housework. That’s always a bonus! I have still been so appreciative of people bringing meals. When I have spent the entire day holding babies there has often been no ‘free time’ to do simple things like cook for my family. So it’s been good that people are so kind to keep delivering meals for us 7 weeks on. The meals slow down next week, so we’ll start to devour the freezer contents that people have also often left us with. So grateful!

At the start of their 7th week, the triplets met my uncle, aunt and cousin.

Don’t you just love the triplet’s lairy duds? A friend bought the pairs for them in London. Th

e pants were still a little big for them. I just wanted them to be worn in case the weather got too hot! 

Can you tell that my uncle is my Dad’s brother? Dad was so ultra proud showing off his triple grand-babies.

We’ve also got out a bit this week. Firstly I took the triplets up to kindy for J Boy to show them off to the class. It was so special for the proud big brother. The kids all thought they were pretty great, as did his clucky teachers and not to mention the other Mummies!

Such a proud big brother!

On Sunday the triplet’s had their 3rd trip to church. It is a challenge getting to church, but our spiritual life and our relationship with God must always be first priority in our family, so wherever we can we try to honour God by worshipping him corporately as a family. Sometimes we don’t make it, and we know God is OK with that some weeks also.

Then it was my birthday! In the morning, we took the triplets for another show and tell session. The boys go with my sister’s Nanny to a storytelling session at a local church every Monday morning, so I brought them there so the boys could show off their new brothers and sister. There are a group of older ladies who help out on these mornings. At one point a whole gaggle of old ducks were crowded around Missy adoring her, so she decided to respond and flash them a dazzling first smile!

Luckily I looked up in time to see it. I had been telling the triplets that the race was on to see who smiled first. I had also instructed them that first smiles were for Mummy. Rebellious daughter.

After storytelling the big boys had a play with their cousins. I met my mother for a lunch at a local restaurant with the triplets. I just wanted to get out of the house and do something a little special. It was a bit ambitious. We had to eat holding a triplet and one the owners held the third prooving we made a wise choice going to a restaurant that we frequent often. She mustn’t have minded too much – she gave us a free garlic bread even so! A lady from a nearby shop rushed up to admire the triplets and brought up some cute money boxes as a gift for them – very kind!

We had our family around and our family friends around for a great evening of Indian food and fun! The positive of having people around is that there always is ample arms to hold babies!

There’s normally at least one baby awake at night. Here it’s Chook celebrating Mummy’s birthday with the big kids. 

We ended the week spending the day with Grandma and Grandad. We got pest control to come and spray our house. I know it’s safe, but I still didn’t want the babies to be around the chemicals until the fumes died down. So instead we hung out at my parents place. Turned out to be a good thing. The babies were really unsettled, so for the most of the day there was an adult around to hold one, two or often three babies at a time. We didn’t get home until late because it was my nephew’s first birthday so they ended up coming over as well for a swim and a family party and birthday dinner.

So, what has been the highlights of your week? Have you had/have a reflux/colic baby? Found any magic remedies? I’ve tried a gazillion things, I’ve got a few more alternatives to try before throwing my hands up in the air and admitting defeat. I’d be interested to hear if there’s any remedies I haven’t heard of!

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  1. What a great, long post! Well done.

    As for my reflux remedy? Time. That doesn’t help when you’re possibly staring down the barrel of some more unsettled weeks. But they will get better in time.

    We did medication (nexium) and it worked pretty well. We also raised the head of the cot with little foot rest things that you get at the chemist. I still use those for when Lucy gets a bit of asthma.

    And our slings were a lifesaver. If you don’t already have one, I’d be happy to loan you mine. Then you could wear one and hold one. Or two!

  2. slings do sound like a great idea. i wish we had one with my daughter. she was SO fussy from 4-10pm until nearly 4 months.

    so, i’m curious, is it summer weather there? we are starting our winter/ snow (live in USA) and it never occured to me that might be the case. just wondered from your note about the trips wearing the new pants before it gets too cold.

  3. Thanks Jodie. I’ve been given several slings/Baby Bjorns. I have scolosis though and find them uncomfortable, so haven’t really tried them. Maybe I should give it to the carers though…

    Sanders: Yes, it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. Although this year it’s unseasonably cold. I can’t believe I wore my flannie jammies to bed last night! Normally you wouldn’t be putting long pants on babies during the days of November at all.

  4. Love all the photos, Caitlin! So adorable – but I’ll join you in praying their reflux and colic issues are swiftly resolved. Are those striped pants by Hanna Andersson? If so, they should last you a good while! We had several pair that were handed down through the sibling ranks. Maybe the triplets can bequeath them to a cousin one day! Hang in there! (Sorry for any confusion – I deleted and reposted to correct my typo!)

  5. Beautiful pictures! We dealt with reflux with 2 of our little ones…the meds seemed to help a little and with one, who wouldn’t nurse. we mixed 1/2 expressed milk and 1/2 special formula for colic (Nutramiagen) and it went right away!

  6. The highlight of my week? Reading your post! I recognised your wonderful kindy teacher – I only met her that once though, the night I met you!

    Reflux and colic – ergh. I got less frustrated when I did some research and found that only air in the tummy can be burped up, and some things are anti-foaming agents to help with that (they make little foamy bubbles pop and turn into a bigger burpable bubbles) …

    … BUT …

    … not to expect the same medication to help with ‘colic’ – (wind pain). The Wise Word is that air in the stomach can’t enter the intestine – it will be burped up instead. Air in the intestine is created there through the digestive process and can only be helped by working the bubbles out the other end (massage, along with kicking and crying, I guess).

    So I stopped getting so mad that “colic” medication wasn’t working for intestinal pain. The research said that the only medication that could work for intestinal pain would be smooth muscle relaxants, and when I read the potential complications of relaxing smooth muscle (little hearts can be affected, eek!), I was all cool with massaging out the air and waiting until things got better … sigh.

    But what wonderful little blessings you have there! I pray for more sleep for you all, very soon!

  7. My mothering conclusions were that doctors don’t know anything more about babies’ behaviour than they did 500 years ago (with “colycke” being just as common then) and that current medications give patchy relief, at best.

    It’s hard to tell what helps when they keep puking up their meds!

    And one thing babies are good at is change. New rules every week or two.

    Hang in there, you’re doing everything right, and you love them so much! Things will be completely different in a few months. (I know that’s a long long time.) Keep on keeping on, you wonderful mother.

  8. Colic just means “Dr. doesn’t know what’s wrong.” Usually it’s the reflux that makes them so “colicky.” Our triplets were the same way, and it make things, much, much harder.

    You’re doing EXCELLENT, Caitlin! It sounds like you really have a hold on things, and I like your honesty about the struggles so far. Because it is a struggle. BF is even more impressive!

    I love your posts and looking forward to following you! Also, I added you to my blog roll 🙂


  9. Oh reflux just sucks!
    For our twins it got lots worse before it got better… and it took us a while to sort out the right medication for them and all the other little things that helped… or at least made me feel like I was doing something to help!
    For us sleeping in baby hammocks (we bought one and made one ourselves) helped a lot… meant I could rock both girls to sleep and they lay in a good position to help their reflux.

    It does get better… I promise… just hang on till it does and take all the help you can get. You are doing great!

  10. Hi Caitlin,
    I have no idea how you are still functioning enough to write this blog, be positive and have such beautiful photos. Your amazing and I will pray about the reflux and colic. Just last week one of our pastors had a tumor that disappeared after prayer. A miracle, just like your three! xx Kirsty

  11. You are doing an amazing job! I can’t imagine trying to juggle 3 babies, 2 older children, husband, a household and everything else. I will be praying for the reflux issues. I am so amazed, it looks like you are doing a great job even if you are a little tired!

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