Yesterday I discovered that some acquaintances of ours are pregnant with triplets. It’s a total spin out. The last time triplets were born in Toowoomba was over five years ago, but now there’s another on the way in less then a year! And I know the parents! And they live nearby! There’s a couple more amazing things, but I won’t go on, because I’ll let this couple make their own announcements about their exciting future. (Toowoomba is small place.)
Anyway, since I’ve heard this news I’ve had so much advice I could give them buzzing around in my head. I had never met anyone with triplets before we had ours. Except a lady at a museum one day while I was pregnant, and I had a very informative 10 minute chat which I still think about. I had some numbers for another triplet Mum. I hate ringing on the phone. It’s the introvert in me. I’m almost scared of the phone sometimes. So I finally got the courage up and rang, twice. And she was busy, and even though she said she would, she never called back, so that was it for me. I so wanted to talk to someone though. The most information I got was from reading blogs. Thank you triplet Mum bloggers! I had no links with Aussie triplet Mums. (If you are out there, let me know where you are! I’d love to connect!)
So, I thought I’d write some of my advice down. That way if you are a new Mum-to-be of triplets, or multiples, perhaps some of what worked for me might work for you. It won’t all work for you. It never does, you just have to pick and choose when it comes to parenting and advice. Of course this isn’t comprehensive, but it’s the first things that stand out in my head.
1. PRAY! The power of God is amazing. Pray, and get others to pray for you, that your pregnancy goes smoothly and that the babies are born healthy and similar weights. Pray that it’s not too painful and that you don’t get too big. I prayed for all these things, and God answered my prayers. I don’t think my babies would have been born at 34 weeks with weights ranging from 4lb 3oz – 4lb 13oz (I think) without some God intervention. And then once the babies are born, keep praying. Never stop. KC – I’m praying for you already also!
2. Do what your doctor tells you. If your doctor says stop hanging the clothes on the line. Stop. Get volunteers to help you. If he says stop doing the housework. Stop. Go to bed, get more rest. Just do it. I was able to stay at home right up until I had the babies. If you overdo it. You’ll end up in hospital. You may end up there anyway without it being your fault, so try to make sure that you stay our of there, or if you have to go on hospital bed rest, you do it with a clean conscience! Also listen to your body. If you are aching. Stop doing what has caused it. This is no time to be a superhero. There’ll be plenty of time to push yourself to the edge once the babies are born! Think of it this way. If all your babies live to be at least 80 years old, that’s a combination of 240 years worth of living, just waiting to get started within you! Don’t do anything to jeopardise their future!
3. Accept help It can be really hard to sit down and watch someone do your housework. You wouldn’t think so, but it really is. But accept the help when it’s offered. This also applies after the babies are born. Try to enlist help at certain times. I found if someone committed to getting the clothes onto the line on Tuesday morning and another person said they would take them off Tuesday afternoon, it would get done. If I randomly asked for help, sometimes it would get done, sometimes people would forget, because they have busy lives too. Get someone to co-ordinate the volunteers for you, it will be one less stress for you and having committed volunteers will help your home run smoothly.
4. Get older kids out of the house if possible. I have a great support network, so I was able to rely on family and friends to commit to times to take my boys each week. If you are a mother to older children, it will help you stay calm and rest if you can have breaks from the kids. I think I would have had the babies earlier if I didn’t get this help. You may also get someone to come into your home and help with the older kids while you rest. Make sure it’s someone who is thoughtful and really does make your rest their priority. Unfortunately for me, the days this happened I would end up with contractions every time by the end of the day from getting up so often to help the helper, and whenever I tried to sleep she’d let the boys come in and interrupt me. You may not want to hurt someone’s feelings, but this isn’t the time to put up with unhelpful helpers. I sometimes wonder if I might have lasted another week or so if I didn’t get those contractions after my ‘helper’ had been in the home.
5. Meal Baby Particularly if you have a family to feed, towards the end of the pregnancy ask for volunteers to start cooking night meals for you. Making meals started contractions for me, so I was so grateful for those who made meals for us during the last weeks. If you don’t have older children, talk with your husband whether he will need assistance with meal preparations. But definitely get people to help with meals the first couple of months after the babies are born. You will both be too tired to cook every night. Have a whole heap of frozen meals and easy to prepare meals (stock your pantry with packets and jars of food and frozen meat that you can throw something together in 15 minutes). My Mum still makes us a meal occasionally and she regularly makes baby food. It’s still appreciated! (Which is now no different to any mother on the planet appreciating a night off.)
6. Keep yourself busy but also rest. I was really disappointed how little I got done on bed rest. I had all these grand plans of things I was going to do. I found that I could only have limited computer time, because my stomach was so big it was awkward using the computer. When you are using the computer, it’s a great opportunity to find blogs (or forums, but I’m not a forum girl) that you find useful. Make connections with other people. Write comments on their blogs and establish a friendship, it can be helpful to have other multiple Mum connections even if you live on the other side of the globe. You can use my blog roll as a starting point if you like. I had also wanted to do more sewing, but lying down is better, I could feel the pressure of all the babies whenever I sat up too much, so I would have to stop. TV is good, although towards the end, the recliner wasn’t even keeping me flat enough. I read a ton of books. I was all caught up for 6 months ahead with my bookclub reading list. This was great because it meant I could still participate in bookclub after the babies were born, which is an excellent time for social interaction that just feels normal. Plus my bookclub girls were happy to come to my place for our meetings and cuddle babies throughout the night, so Alex got a night off too!
I think this post might be long enough for now, I’ll continue with tips for life after the babies are born in another post.
Does anyone want to add some advice? You may or may not be a triplet/multiple mama. Don’t feel like just because you haven’t had multiples that you may not have some good suggestions. I’ve had helpful advice from so many people. Plus, if you’ve been reading my blog, or other triplet mum’s blogs, you might just have some advice gleaned from there.
Are you a pregnant triplet mother? Do you have any questions? I’d love to answer whatever I can. Ask away about pregnancy, or if you answer before I do the next post, I might try to include it. (If I’ve already written the sequel, ask anyway, I’ll still see your question and be happy to answer or private message you.