Breastfeeding Triplets

It’s World Breastfeeding Week. To acknowledge the importance of breastfeeding, I thought I would relate my story of breastfeeding triplets.

The breastfeeding journey started immediately in hospital, I’m thankful that all the midwives at my hospital assumed I would breastfeed and were very encouraging with getting the whole process underway. I know this is not always the case, so I was fortunate there. I had decided while I was pregnant that I would like to breastfeed, I wasn’t really sure how this would happen, so I read up as much as I could find on the internet about breastfeeding triplets, it wasn’t very much and I think even since I’ve had them, there is already a lot more on the internet now as well as Facebook groups for Mums (or Moms) breastfeeding triplets which can be very helpful. I had somewhat of a plan in my mind but when I was in hospital, the midwives actually suggested a much better routine, so being a flexible person I happily adjusted my plans.

I’ve already written in more detail about Beginning to breastfeed the triplets during the first week, so feel free to go and check that out. I’ve decided to give a broad overview in this post of our experience breastfeeding triplets for 14 months. This is just my experience. Everyone’s breastfeeding journey will be different, but if you are pregnant with triplets, be encouraged that it is very possible!

Initial Feeding Cycles
For the first four months, we managed to breastfeed exclusively. The first few days in hospital we needed to give them formula, but as I’ve explained in my first post, once they began breastfeeding, they took to it really quickly. By the time we left hospital, the babies were breastfeeding in four hour cycles. They only did that for a few days, and then they slipped back to three hourly feeding sessions. I was pretty well constantly breastfeeding. It would take around two hours to feed all three babies. In that one hour before they next feed I would rush around, going to the toilet, grabbing something to eat or if it was night time – sleeping! I was so tired. During the first few weeks I was averaging four or five hours sleep, and all of that was interrupted.

breastfeeding triplets
Jayden and Toby tandem feeding together for the first time. 

Reflux and Cholic
The babies also had bad reflux, so they often would find it difficult to get to sleep. They liked to be held in an upright position, and most nights Alex and I would be holding all three babies between us until 11pm at night. As the weeks progressed, they got better at sleeping for longer stretches, and got back into waiting 4 hours in between feeds after 11pm. When the first baby woke, I would get up, feed that baby and then wake the next two if they were not already awake and feed them. The ideal was for me to wake them to feed them, because when they woke up altogether hungry and waiting for a feed, Alex would also have to get up and hold a crying baby while it waited for the other two to be fed. I was so grateful for his help, but I would feel bad for him too though, because he needed to work the next day, and accounting requires you to be switched on all the time and he had to remain alert with also suffering severe sleep deprivation.

Breastfeeding triplets
Alex holding 1 month old reflux and colicky babies. Can’t you see how tired he was?

Single Feeding vs. Tandem Feeding
Some triplet Mums say they need a third boob. My kids and I only needed one boob really. Right from the early days in the hospital the triplets and I all agreed that we hated the breastfeeding pillow. I hated how big, bulky and awkward it was. I really felt like I was a walking hot dog stand/milk bar with it wrapped around me and protruding.  “Fresh milk, get it here. Roll up, roll up and nuzzle on in to milk on nipple.” I never got used to it.  As young as they were, the triplets began to display sibling rivalry when they were on the pillow. They would often pull off and look at the other baby, (not common behaviour for newborns!) they would wriggle and fuss and generally not settle. I decided that feeding them one by one would work better for us. It of course was more time consuming, but they were so much more content feeding individually, and I quite liked spending that one on one time with each baby. If two (or more) babies were really hungry at the same time I would drag out the breastfeeding pillow and we would all endure it because you have to put up with inconveniences when you are starving hungry. Over the months I worked out that if I held one baby as if I was feeding normally and then tucked the other baby under my arm in a football hold with a cushion propped under him or her, it was a tandem feeding compromise. Especially once we got older, it was even more rare to feed more than one at a time.

Feeding Routine and Record Keeping
Our method with feeding was to feed Baby A the right side, Baby B the left side, Baby C both sides and then pump afterwards to try and get a store of milk. Then we would rotate everyone so they all had a go at the different breasts and getting the hind milk and the fast flowing side. In the first couple of months, I began to get a nice little stockpile of expressed milk. This was useful particularly at night when two babies woke at the same time so Alex could feed one and go back to bed. The only thing was that we never knew when that would happen, so we still had to thaw it out before he started feeding. We had a little stockpile, but it was hard work getting it, so I didn’t want to use up EBM (Expressed Breast Milk) unless we really needed to.

I had a great little book that I bought from the US and a friend sent it over for me. That way we could keep a track of which baby needed which side, it gets confusing after awhile, especially when you are heavily sleep deprived. (You can buy the book I used here at Just Multiples)

Breastfeeding triplets
12 week old triplets. Life was just starting to get more of a rhythm.

Supplement Feeding
When we went to the paediatrician for the triplet’s four month old check up, Toby wasn’t gaining enough weight so she said we should start
supplementing his feeds and give him the breast still, but top him up with some extra formula at the end of each feed. I didn’t really want to, but I decided that I didn’t want my baby to be hungry just because of my pride. I was already taking motilium to increase milk supply, and I didn’t think I could do much more to increase what I was already producing.

Toby seemed very happy to accept the extra milk. He always had the weakest suck, and he seemed quite happy to accept the bottle. (They were already familiar with bottles because of having EBM in it.) A week or two later I noticed that even after the other two had drunk their fill from the breast, they still seemed hungry, so I tried giving them extra milk, and they guzzled it down and started putting on extra weight. By now, I didn’t have any extra milk to express after feeds and didn’t have all that much milk when the final baby fed both sides. We started feeding the third baby both sides and then breastmilk and rotating them so every third feed a baby would get the majority of their milk from formula.

Toby very abruptly stopped breastfeeding at 11 months. He just didn’t want anything to do with the boob anymore and wanted his bottle instead. It was a bit of a shock. By this stage they were in a good routine with breastfeeding. Once they were older, every third time a baby would have formula and they would still rotate having left and right breasts. By that stage we were down to two breastfeeds in a day, morning and evening. Because it had all worked out smoothly, I didn’t think I would finish breastfeeding until at least the 12 month mark. But Toby had other ideas. Since he has always been the smallest, he is probably the last one I would have chosen to finish first. However, right from the start, he was always the child that found breastfeeding most difficult, particularly latching on in those first few months. I don’t know whether he always got less milk then the others?

The other two finished feeding at 14 months. Once they were over 12 months, I thought I would just continue while it felt OK. Especially they were a little smaller than other children their own age, even though there was nothing to be concerned about. When they were 14 months, I went away overnight with some girlfriends. I took my pump with me and expressed and Alex had some EBM to feed each of them while I was away. (Even though Toby finished feeding at the breast, he still received EBM regularly.) When I got home we were at a child’s birthday party and after that we raced over to a park for the local Carols by Candlelight. I breastfed Jayden and Imogen during the carols, but they didn’t have a good feed because they were distracted. It turns out this was their last feed!

Breastfeeding triplets
Waiting for the Carols by Candlelight to start the before Jayden and Imogen’s final breastfeed!

The next day we were very busy and at the end of the day the children were tired and grumpy and not wanting to be held so I put them into bed with their bottles, thinking they were fine while I was away anyway. The next day after that, they were asking for bottles at bedtime, and I realised there really wasn’t any need to feed them. Because they were used to bottles, weaning was a non-event for them. (Weaning them off bottles was another story.) I had been growing tired of breastfeeding and it just seemed like the right time. A part of me wanted to have one final feed when I knew it was a final feed, but when I offered, the two of them weren’t really interested, so I decided it was far less of a drama to run with what had naturally happened! The oddest thing was that I had no problems whatsoever with weaning, unlike the older two boys where my breasts were very painful after finishing. It was ironic, because I didn’t ever breastpump, or even own a pump before the triplets. Now that I did have one, and still had children using a bottle, there really was no need to use it. I expressed a few times with the pump, just to leave some milk in the freezer, but I was getting very little milk even then. Maybe that’s why the triplets were happy to stop, they may not have been getting too much in the end anyway.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to breastfeed triplets. It was relatively easy for me, (apart from the physical tiredness) and I’m grateful for that. Others have not found it easy, but have persisted and have successfully breastfed for extended periods of times, so it’s definitely worth giving it a hot shot. Read my friend Jennifer’s breastfeeding story at Growing Up Triplets if you want to hear how one woman’s persistence paid off when breastfeeding higher order multiples. Jennifer has also just launched an e-book, so that is going to be a great resource for HOMs. Some HOM’s would like to breastfeed also, and like so many women, it really doesn’t work out. Those women need our love and support also.

I find it such a comfort that my babies were able to receive those extra nutrients and antibiotics from breastmilk. Do you have a breastfeeding story?

Linking with Essentially Jess

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8 week old triplets

The triplets have this thing going on where they have a good day/night then it will be followed by a bad day/night. I suppose at least they are consistent. But the bad days mean that you spend the good days recovering. It’s totally full on. They normally need to be held until around midnight. You just can’t put them down, when you do, they scream and scream. Of course then you do the whole round robin thing. Hold one baby for as long as possible until you need to pick up third neglected child. Console neglected child until the consoled baby becomes neglected child and starts campaign to for a bit of alone time. Round and round it goes… We do hold two or three at once, but often they aren’t able to settle down because one starts wriggling and wakes the other up. The wriggler then finds it’s comfortable position, falls asleep. Meanwhile the baby who has been freshly awoken needs to wriggle to find new comfortable position, in doing so, wakes baby who has fallen asleep – yep, you guessed what happens… Merry Go Rounds, that’s what our lives resemble right now people. Merry Go Rounds. We continue to go round and round doing the same thing repetitively.

Someone get me off!

The only drawback of escaping the merry go round, is I just know it’s going to be replaced by the roller coaster. Oh yes I do know it. Just you wait.

Enough complaining because there are plenty of things to be excited about this week. For instance both Jayden and Toby have started smiling. Meanwhile Imogen is really perfecting this art and starting to smile for even longer. Even long enough for me to catch a blurry moment with my camera. I’ve already blogged about it, but gosh, since you asked, I’ll show you another one.



After Alex and I spent all Saturday trapped holding babies we were more than willing to take advantage of my brother when he showed up for Sunday lunch. After eating pizza, Alex went and mowed the lawn while Jonty and I dressed the Christmas Tree. The bare tree had been sitting there all week, driving Jonty crazy with the desire to adorn it. Unfortunately I just could not find a minute to trim the tree. Anyway as my brother jiggled this baby and that baby for 2 hours while we embraced the Christmas spirit.

We then further embraced the spirit of Christmas by deciding to go to the local carols by candlelight that evening. The triplet stroller got it’s first outing! We bundled all the kids into the car. My brother followed in his own car with our stroller. Our stroller actually can’t even fit into our car, Buster. The Accountant is starting to realise that a van might be in our future. It is not a happy moment for him. He has always declared that he would never own a van.

The night was fantastic. The babies laid in the pram very happily, then fed and were content being cuddled by Mum, Dad and Uncle Adrian. The only near catastrophes of the evening was that we almost lost each of our big boys. Firstly Trent decided to follow another mother taking her kids to the toilet. (Unbeknown to the Mum) Luckily we realised he wasn’t in our group, just as he was disappearing over the top of a hill, so we caught him in time. I shudder to think what would have happened in such a big crowd of thousands with a 2 year old walking by himself. I didn’t think that I would need to worry about 5 y.o. Jonty.

Not so. Halfway through the evening I noticed that Jonty was missing. Just as we were starting to panic a friend appeared with him. She had been standing with a security guard that Jonty had walked up to asking for help. Phew. So glad it happened this way. She recognised him and brought him back to us! Somehow Jonty, (he doesn’t know how, in the clueless way of a child), just wandered away during the middle of the service. So strange. So scary.

But, at the end of the day, we were so glad that we got out of the house and enjoyed a beautiful family evening with half of the city! Gotta’ love Christmas.

During the week we had new in home carer begin. For a few reasons, the lady we originally got didn’t work out. It has been a bit stressful, however we now have two carers coming 3 full days and 2 half days instead of 2 days. It has made such a difference, Alex instantly remarked how less stressed I was, so that must be a good sign! Both ladies have been fantastic and the boys love them both. Even better sign. The triplets are enjoying the extra arms to hold them throughout the day. Happiness all around!

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How Can I Help A Multiple Mum/Mom?

It’s Multiple Birth Awareness week, so I thought I would suggest ways you can help Multiple Mums. Since my triplets are two years old, I’m sure there are more ways you can still help as they get older as well. If you have older multiples, please leave further comments below, I would love this to be a resource for those who are hoping to help out but don’t know where to start.

Mothers who have multiples, or higher order multiples are very busy people. If we weren’t aware of the fact, we would soon become aware, because most people you meet say, “Oh, you must be very busy.” And I flash them my widest smile, (if I’m not in the middle of trying to keep my child alive and away for the traffic,) and say, “Yes, yes I am!”

Since we are so busy, and most of the time, we are very grateful for all forms of help, I thought I would share 8 ways you can help a multiple mum. You know, just in case you were wondering how to. If you weren’t wondering how to and you know parents with twins, triplets, or God help them, quads, quints or beyond, keep reading and be inspired. (Although many of these suggestions would be appreciated by any mother!)

1. Hold A Baby
I know that it’s simple, but seriously, it can be such a big help! Of course, proceed on this one with caution, because like any parent, multiples are cautious and often reticent to let strangers hold their babies. So please, don’t swoop in and grab. But if there are more babies crying then a mother has arms, ask sweetly if you can help. If you are good friends with the multiple Mum you might be surprised how often you can be of assistance by doing the very easy and delightful task of holding a bub. Examples of times that I have found this useful have been at church on Sunday’s. When there are people I know around me, I am more than happy for them to scoop up a little one who is making too much noise and hold and distract them. When the babies were very young and unsettled with reflux my wonderful book club used to hold them all evening while they slept. It was like a little holiday, especially for my husband who would retreat with relief for a child-free evening.

Book club after the babies were born.

2. Hold A Child’s Hand
Of course, a variation of the above topic. Once the multiples are a bit older, if a mother looks like she’s struggling to keep children in one spot, volunteer to hold a hand or walk with a toddler. Now the triplets are two, they are getting better, but it can just be so challenging walking them to places.

Walking into kindy is super challenging, sometimes I would really appreciate a little assistance as I shuffle past holding three hands at once and keeping an eye on the Kindy boy. At the moment, when we are out, I hold two hands in one hand and one in the other. Unfortunately Jayden is insistent that he holds hands on his own. I’m trying to work on this, because it’s not very fair, but it’s so hard when he doesn’t get his way and has dropped to the ground in carparks and other public places having a tantrum!

3. Take the Multiples Older Sibling(s) on a Playdate
If you are doing something with your children, and think you could squeeze in one or two more, offer to the multiple Mum to take the big kid(s). Sometimes, life just seems so easy when only the multiples are present, because big kids can really make like difficult sometimes with their own set of needs. Plus, especially while the multiples are young, the siblings of multiples really do miss out on activities just because Mum is so busy. So just going to a park can be a rare outing for multiples and their siblings, so don’t underestimate how much it will be appreciated by the Mum and the kids!

I have a friend who regularly offers to take Trent for playdates with her son. Trent relishes these times. He also goes over to his friends Nana’s house on other occasions. He now calls her Nana also and talks non-stop about the things they got up to in her backyard! Even if you are an older person who is able to take a Multiple’s sibling away for a few hours, they will have fun!

4. Cook Meals or Bake
I’ve mentioned before that cooked meals are so appreciated in our house. We regularly had people rostered and cooking meals every night before and after the triplets were born. It was such a relief when I was too big to stand for very long and then in those early days when all I was doing was breastfeeding  day and night. In those days it was hard enough to get time to eat myself let alone find the time to feed my family.

Multiples are tiring for Daddys too. The early days. Look how tired The Accountant is. The price of being a great (and hands on) Dad.

5. Clean/Iron/Garden
When you have young multiples, finding time to do even the mundane jobs can be complicated. I’ve spoken about my Ironing Lady, our pastor’s wife who has been doing our ironing for over two years now. Seriously, not having to worry about that chore, makes so much time for other things and for spending more time with the children. If you have a few hours spare, why not drop by a multiple Mum’s house and volunteer a few hours to clean. Or head out to the garden, (or send an able bodied man around), because especially in the early days, the garden will most likely be in a state of neglect. I’m getting to the stage now where I’m wanting to plant vegetables again. I already had one attempt, got everything weeded and planted. Then killed it all. It’s been a few months since that attempt, it must be time to try again!

6. Invite a Family with Multiples Around to Your Home
I am on quite a few Facebook pages with Triplet Mums around the world. It regularly comes up that people are hurt because people no longer invite them to their homes for meals or even the children miss out on being invited to parties because there is so many of them. Parents who have multiples still need to socialise, and it’s good for children to get out and about also. I know that it is daunting having a large family around, but if you ask, most families would be happy to bring various elements of the meal with them. Or, meet each other at a park for a BBQ if you fear that your home just won’t cope with too many little children.

Plus dining out gives the multiples an excellent chance to learn appropriate etiquette! And in this instance, what better way to
learn it over a milkshake and sprinkle bun!

7. Don’t Pity Us
Don’t tell a Multiple Parent, “I’d shoot myself if I had triplets.” Seriously. I’ve had someone say it to me. Don’t say, “Poor You”, “Should I send you a commiseration card?” or  “I’m so glad I don’t have triplets”, (Insert twin, quad, etc. …), “I’m glad I’m not you.” Once again, all been said to me. Us Multiple Mums love each of our children dearly. Our multiple children make our life richer. So if you do pity us, be helpful and say nothing.

If I wasn’t a Multiple Mum, I wouldn’t have this moment. And it’s priceless.

8. Give Them A Spa Voucher – Or Offer Babysitting Services
I haven’t had this happen to me, but I can’t tell you how many times I fantasized about it happening in the first year. I was seriously sooooooo tired.  I had visions of being whisked off to a luxurious 5 star day spa and wearing a fancy bathrobe before having a full body massage, facial and a spectacular makeover.  Of course these fantasy getaways were handed over with full babysitting services provided for the children. I also dreamed of having a weekend away with my hubby, and happily that happened February last year. (Beautiful two days. Thanks honey. And Grandma’s babysitting services. xxx) Now I know that most of us can’t afford to give away packages for a whole day away, but maybe if you have a friend who is a multiple Mum, (especially with babies) you could get a group of you together, throw some money in a hat and then babysit the kids together. (You know, safety in numbers!)

Mummy and Daddy out for dinner.

Another variation of this would be to just offer babysitting services so Mum and Dad could go out to dinner or watch a movie together or some other sort of date. Especially the Multiple parents that don’t have extended family nearby. (Or if you are extended family and haven’t been called on, try offering!) Having multiples is stressful, so more than ever cultivating a marriage brings stability to the family.

For the record, I will still accept vouchers for a pedicure at someplace like this…
image credit here

So, do you think you could do any of the above for a multiple Mum? Are you a multiple Mum yourself? What have you found (or fantasised about) really helpful from others during your multiple journey?

And if you are on the triplet, pregnant, babies or just want to reminisce, you my like checking out my reflections on Things that once terrified me about having triplets.
Or Advice for Surviving With Newborn Triplets
Or Advice for mothers pregnant with triplets

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Breastfeeding Triplets – The Beginning

Breastfeeding triplets is a task I accomplished and I’m extremely proud of myself and the babies for doing it.

Feeding my tiny, beautiful six week babies was precious. They were so tiny and fragile, yet they had an inbuilt mechanism to instinctively seek nourishment from me, their Mummy. The first baby to feed was Imogen. I was cuddling her on her third day of life. I had heard that premmies mostly take awhile to learn how to feed and their first experience is often just ‘nuzzling’ around the breast. While I was holding her, she just looked like she wanted to feed. I wasn’t sure whether I was ‘allowed’ to let her nuzzle, (sometimes you get like that in special care!), but the nurses were busy, so I thought I might let her anyway. Lo and behold, as soon as she went near the breast, she latched right on and started sucking effectively. Clever little girl! When the nurses came by they were amazed to see her sucking away.

Feedling little Miss Imogen

After that, I gave the boys a chance to feed the next time I held them. They were also champion little feeders, although Toby, the smallest of the crew, didn’t have a very strong suck for the first few days. He still did very well, better than a normal premmie of his age. Imogen was definitely the best feeder.

One of the babies biggest challenge was staying at the nipple. I’ve got quite a large nipple, so a supersized nipple was not really great for a premmie mouth. I had to really stroke the babies chin and get them to open their mouths really wide before they attached, otherwise they would just slip off. Because they were little, they would tire out very easily if they couldn’t attach in the first couple of turns. I was desperate to keep them awake long enough to breastfeed so that they didn’t have only a formula feed through the tube attached to their nose. Not only did I want them feeding well, I also needed the extra stimulation of their mouths to help me bring in more milk. I definitely produced more milk when they fed compared to when I was just pumping.

By day 5 I tried twin feeding for the first time. It was an amazing feeling having two babies drinking away at my breasts. Once they were all settled and attached that is. It was a bit awkward before then. I had used the hospital’s breastfeeding pillow. I hated it immediately, and I never did grow to like it, even though it was a necessary evil,especially at the start. The babies were so tiny, and they kept falling down and getting stuck in between a little gap in between my body and the pillow. I used to fold up nappies or blankets, stuff them in the holes, then I would cover the vinyl pillow with a bunny rug or towel so it was not so cold and uncomfortable for the babies before trying to get them to attach. It was quite a routine even before the babies were ready. The midwives were great at giving me helpful hints and tips on how to do things, and laughed with me about how silly the breastfeeding pillow looked. (Still didn’t help me feel any less like a goose when I had it on.) One of them joked that it looked like a hotdog stand. That’s pretty well how I felt, like it was Mama’s Milk Bar. There were two midwives there the first time helping. One was helping to show me the position to put them on, making sure they were attaching from that position and helping the babies to latch on. The other nurse was also giving hints, but was changing babies, and getting them ready to feed. At one stage I had a midwife either side of me trying to get the babies mouths to stay on the nipple and not slide off. There really is no dignity during that period after childbirth! Once they were attached in sucking well, the feeling was euphoric.

Feeding Toby and Jayden for the first time.

I ended up taking Motilium the entire time I breastfed. It is a drug that is often used to combat nausea, but it also helps increase the milk production in lactating mothers and is safe for the babies. I had enough milk for two babies, but I just needed a little bit of extra help to push the milk up a little bit more. There were times that I wished that I could just make the milk without assistance, but I figured it was better to receive that bit of extra help then to lose the chance for my babies to breastfeed.

In those early days, it felt totally demoralising at times trying to get the milk levels up. It started in the middle of the night the day that I had the cesarean. I midwife woke me up saying that we needed to start trying to get some milk for the babies. I had always wanted to try breastfeeding, but I hadn’t really considered how I would need to start the process while the babies were still in humidi-cribs. So, it was a complete surprise to me when the midwife literally started milking me! She hand expressed colostrum straight into a cup then took it down to the special care nursery. This happened again first thing in the morning and then after I had a shower (Ugh. The memory of all those yucky firsts…) I was taken in a wheelchair to see the babies. I think I started hand expressing in the special care nursery then. I’m so glad that in the hospital I stayed, it was just presumed that I would try to breastfeed. I’ve since discovered that this is the norm, and a lot of women are told they won’t be able to. I would have fought to at least try to breastfeed if I had been met with opposition, but I’m glad this is a battle I did not need to fight during a very full on time anyway. Plus, the midwives were able to give me a lot of hints and tips that I did not know. I had tried to research how to breastfeed triplets, but there was very limited resources available.

Hand expressing during those first days could be completely demoralising. Because the babies were not at my breast, the milk was not flowing as readily as it had with my first two babies. I never had the feeling of the milk coming in with the triplets. It was always a struggle. This was a surprise because I had no problems whatsoever feeding my two eldest children. I found the midwives could often get more milk than I could, so I would often let them hand express after I had tried. I can remember seeing the little medicine cup with three mls in it. It was less then the milk the two other mothers had expressed, and they only had single babies who born on the same day as the triplets. I can remember thinking that I may as well slit my wrists if I didn’t get more milk next feed. (I wasn’t literally planning on carrying the thought out, but it was my lowest moment where I just felt completely depressed.) And then my tiny minuscule amounts of milk would need to be shared times three. The midwives assured me that even such a tiny amount was good for the babies and still giving them extra strength and antibiotics that could help them grow and give them protection. Luckily the milk production did pick up.

My precious view.

Once the milk started to increase, I started expressing by using the hospitals pump. It was still small amounts. After we tipped the little bit of milk (maybe 20 mls) into the needles to be used with the feeding tubes, a nurse would get a needle and would suck every last drop from the side of the bottle, and then she would get every last drop that was stuck in the express pump too. No drop was wasted. “Liquid gold” is what I was told repeatedly by several different nurses. Especially when it was shared three ways. Every drop mattered.

While I was in the hospital, the babies were feeding three hourly. It normally took me two hours feed them, and then I had an hour ‘off’ until the next feed. I had asked for a room change because my room was right outside the nurses station so it was very busy and I needed the sleep. My room change was the closest room to the special care nursery, so that was very convenient to not have very far to walk. I tried to sleep in between feeds as much as possible. I didn’t have very many visitors in hospital. I love getting visitors in hospital, so it felt a little odd, but it was also a little weird because this time I had no babies to show off. Only close family were allowed two at a time into the nursery. I was able to sneak a few friends in if they came at the right time when the nursery wasn’t busy. The reality was that I was in the special care nursery so much, that if I had more visitors, I probably would have missed them, plus I was so tired, so it was a relief to have a rest in between feeds.

One of my biggest regrets was not being able to stay in hospital a day or two longer. I was very emotional one day and told the nurses that I wanted to stay longer, because I knew that as tiring as it was getting up throughout the night, it was helping increase my milk production. The nurses listened, and then rang my insurance company to get more time. They did approve an extra two nights, but the nurses advised that I should use one of those nights at the end of the babies stay in special care for a rooming in. This is when Alex and I would have stayed overnight in hospital with the babies, but would have the luxury of pressing the buzzer if we needed assistance during the night. It would be like a practise run. At the time I didn’t see the usefulness of this, and I said as much, but the nurses were very insistent that it was crucial and very necessary. So I stayed the extra one night and then went home. I never did use the second night. Later I was talking to the special care nurses and discovered that it wasn’t crucial and that many experienced mothers didn’t use that night. I should have talked to the special care nurses that I had built a relationship with and knew more about premmie babies then the ward nurses. We received so much help and advice during our time in the special care nursery, and not being a first time mother, we were more than ready to take the babies straight home rather than staying an extra night.

I’m still mad that the nurses would consult the insurance company rather than doctors. If I had my normal doctor, I would have felt free to talk to him. However, if you remember my birth story, my obstetrician was away and then his replacement went fishing the day the babies were due to be born so there was a third doctor who delivered the babies. The second doctor was lovely, but I was feeling to shy to directly ask to stay in hospital for longer. I did hint at it every time I saw him, and I really wish that I had been more direct. Finally on the last day he approved me to stay the extra night, after the nurses had talked to him and told him what the insurance company had said.

Insurance companies should not run hospitals. I only say all this in case another soon to be Australian triplet Mum is reading this. If I were you, I would speak to your doctor, hospital and the insurance company prior to admittance about the length of stay. I was very grateful for the time I had at home while the babies were in the special care nursery, I didn’t want to stay in hospital the whole time. I just wanted to stay a little longer and work on getting the supply up before I was unable to breastfeed the babies overnight.

Anyway, I’m sorry. I’ll end that rant.

Once I had more milk and the babies had started feeding, my routine was to feed each of the babies one breast each. We rotated the order that the babies were fed. That way they each got a chance to get the most milk during the first feed. If one baby was always fed third, he/she would have been normally only getting the leftover dregs. I always have one breast that flows better than the other also. That was the golden breast that all the babies preferred, so every third breastfeed they got a chance to have the full flowing liquid gold! After I fed all three, I would express. This helped increase my production. It also meant that the hospital had a stockpile that they could use if I wasn’t there for a feed. I always tried to miss one feed overnight and let them use the stockpile of EBM (expressed breastmilk). Having those extra few hours to sleep, I was assured by the nurses, helped increase the milk production, they really did know best, as it worked! I also found this valuable when I went home while they babies were still in hospital. This was really a chance where I got extra rest, even though I was still getting up to pump throughout the night and brought little containers of EBM into the special care nursery the next day. Whatever EBM the nurses didn’t use got frozen. When I was discharged, another mother of a single baby born the same day as the triplets was also going home. She went home with a great big box full of EBM. I had a miserly four containers!

When I was no longer an in patient, I would go to hospital in the morning, Alex would drop me off on his way to work. Then he would come into the special care nursery after work. He would say hello to all the babies, and help with any feeding if the babies needed any top ups with formula. It was only just before I got home (after I had started taking motilium) that I had moved onto exclusive breastfeeding the three babies. Then we would go and pick up the older two boys from Grandma and head home. We were so grateful during those busy days that helpful women from the church had been making us meals. It would have been far too exhausting to make a healthy family meal after arriving home, sometimes after 7pm.

Daddy feeding Jayden

While I was at the hospital, the babies were still feeding three hourly, until the day before they were discharged when they moved to four hourly. Most times it took 2 hours to feed, change, express. During the hour between feeds I would eat, read a book (a luxury for me) and sleep. The midwives were j

ust obsessed with getting my milk production us as I was, and my favourite midwife was very insistent that I sleep. I can remember her marching me into the family room one time when I had an hour and a half break before the next feed, handing me a blanket, pointing to the couch, pulling the curtains and telling me that she would wake me when the babies were ready to feed. I was very grateful for her, I slept so easily (Normally I am a person who never sleeps in the daytime unless I’m sick), and Dee woke me up at the very last moment when the babies were all changed and ready to go. Hey presto, the fountain flowed freely after the sleep, so it inspired me to really concentrate on getting more rest to allow my body to have maximum energy to do it’s superpower and make milk! I also drank litres of water to help boost milk production.

So, that’s how I did it in those early days. It was a good start and I was able to continue breastfeeding until they were almost 14 months old. It’s such a good thing to be able to breastfeed your babies, and I’m glad that there is a lot of encouragement in Australia to do so. This is my story. There’s a little bit more information on how I breastfed once I got home here. The more I come in touch with women who breastfeed, the more I know that every mother has a different story. There are certain rules to follow such as attaching the child to the nipple. However, there are many different styles, so it is a case of a mother finding what works for her. Even within the triplet community, different mothers tackle how to order the breastfeeding different ways. Some feed all at once on their own twin feeding then single feeding. I preferred to have someone on hand to change and pass me babies and fed them one at a time. Nobody is right, nobody is wrong, you do what suits your own capacity.

Being so little when they started life, I’m sure that the health benefits for the triplets having breastmilk really did assist them to a great start in life.

What is your breastfeeding story?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess

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Things That Once Terrified Me About Having Triplets

Last year I wrote a post outlining some of the things that really frightened me about the prospect of mothering triplets. So, I have to say, I really had a pretty good realistic expectation of how it was going to be. I knew it was going to be hard. And it was. I knew there would be much joy. And there is.

Since the triplets are now one year old, I thought it would be good time to go back and re-cap on how it has been. If you want to see my original post, check out Part One and Part 2 (I’ll only address Part One today.)

1. Having 5 Children 5 and Under.

Oh man. It’s been tough. But wonderful. I just look at the five kids some days, and marvel that they are mine.  It just seems normal having them all around. I sometimes wonder why this is a big family. I just couldn’t imagine life without any of them, and having lots of kids around is our normal.

It did make it easier with the babies, as I had expected, having been there done that before. As with any mother who has 2+ children, you can just apply what has worked before and move on from there. My sister once made a comment that I seem more relaxed with five than I did with one. Perhaps it is true. Sometimes first time mother’s feel overwhelmed by me and they question why they find it so hard when they only have one and I have five. I try to explain, that I too found life difficult when there was only one child. 

Having said that, I’ve often thought how much simpler my life would be if I did not have to deal with the older two kids and could just work according to the triplet’s schedule. Dealing with the behaviour issues with the older two is a constant juggle. At the moment we are struggling with T-Star being rough with the babies. He throws things at them, hugs them too tight around the necks, picks them up and throws them and rolls around the floor holding them while they scream desperately trying to escape. People have chuckled as they have heard me say things such as, “Don’t stand on the baby please.” And I understand why it is a funny statement to listen to. (Once it has been verified that the baby has survived the ordeal.) But my goodness. It’s so frustrating trying to teach a two year old gentleness, especially when the lesson does not interest him in the slightest.

J Boy has own moments when he has had mammoth tantrums that have needed to be addressed. This will than put out the whole routine of the home, which will result in screaming babies which only escalates the tension in the home. Also, because this is J Boy’s first year of full time schooling, we have found homework a real challenge. This is such a disappointment to me. The teacher in me was so looking forward to doing homework with my kids. I’m afraid some days it can only be described as hell. It doesn’t matter how many fun ideas I try to implement, J Boy refuses to participate in the spirit of frivolity when learning. I have to push aside my own agenda often and just let him read the flashcards, because he would prefer to do homework in the ‘boring’ way rather than participate in the alternate games I have suggested. But even still, there is great wailing, moaning and gnashing of teeth from both of us before homework is accomplished. (For the record though, I still believe in it. The exercise of practising learned work really does help a child consolidate his/her learning and help increase achievement and confidence.)

Then there are other issues. The triplets get a lot of attention and the boys will often be ignored by some people. The triplets get things given like lots of baby food, milk, clothes, even today there were smash cakes for a photo shoot. (Can’t wait to share that one with you!) The boys don’t want the things like baby food or baby clothes, but they do notice that the triplet’s have been given something and they have not. Luckily they are very loved boys and do receive attention from many people, so they remain confident and (generally) well behaved boys.

2. Lack of Sleep


I have never experienced anything like the level of sleep deprivation I have endured throughout the last year. When they were newborn, it was common to only get four hours sleep, and that was interrupted sleep. I can remember wistfully thinking that all I wanted was to sleep more than two hours without being interrupted.
3 weeks. Sleeping newborns, so precious. Never through the night though.

I was right about it being hard to cat nap through the day also. When they were young, the same rule applied. They would need to be fed in three hour cycles. That normally only left one hour before the next feeding session began. And if you wanted to do anything for yourself like pee or eat, your time was reduced. And ther

e was also other children to consider also.

I didn’t like going to sleep during the day, and found it very uncomfortable to just say to whoever was in the house that was what I was going to do. I did do it. I probably should have done it more. I wanted to. I would often spend a feeding session pep talking myself that I needed to just get a power nap in, even if it were only 20 minutes. And then I didn’t. If I were to do it all over again. I don’t know if I would improve though. It’s just the way I felt and sometimes I would prefer to be tired rather than uncomfortable. That’s just the way it was.

Alex was an amazing help, and I truly don’t know how he functioned at work some days.

As for the books I read before I had the babies on rigid sleep routines which would help them to sleep through the night earlier. 


It maybe works some people. But it didn’t work for me. One year on and we are very almost (fingers crossed) at the point where they are sleeping through. It has been a ridiculously long process. Much longer than the first two children. Which is the ultimate irony. If I was going to chose the worst sleepers of my five kids. Probably wouldn’t have chosen the triplets! Oh well, you deal with the hand you are dealt.

Update: Since writing this, at 12 1/2 months the babies started sleeping through. Hip hip hooray!

3. Housework

So this has been either as bad (I imagined it to be pretty bad!) as I thought it would be or surprisingly, quite often it’s heaps better than I imagined. 

I have been so embarrassed from time to time when people came to visit because there was (is) just stuff everywhere. But to be truthful, I can remember being embarrassed for the same reason before multiples as well. The biggest difference I’ve found in my current situation is that when I know people are coming, I do what my friend Belinda defines as a Panic Clean. (Go on read her post. It’s a brilliant little phrase she’s coined up, and she gives some helpful hints on how to Panic Clean well.) Most of the time I used to make my home fairly presentable before people came around. (So long they didn’t open closed doors.) These days, the Panic Clean, well …. often you wouldn’t really know it happened. It often still looks like chaos when people arrive. Or it really didn’t happen because the kids interrupted me so much. Or it happened too early and got messed up again before people arrived. Sigh. 

Normally I try to throw things out of the way when I take photos, to make it look a bit tidier than it really is. Or take the shot from another angle. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Like this shot taken in the playroom on the weekend. The playroom is often such a mess it’s difficult to walk into it. Oh, and in case you are wondering what’s happening in this picture. Missy is mad at Joey for taking her chair so she is in the process of trying to reclaim it. (She eventually sat on him.)
In the early days, it was almost a hopeless cause getting housework done. I died a thousand deaths when people came into the house, (even if they were coming to help), especially after the weekend. So often I literally didn’t have time to do anything. The only way it got done was thanks to a lovely older lady who volunteered to come in once a week and clean my house, and the paid help that we had pitching in. According to In Home Care guidelines, the carer is only allowed to clean up after children. I justified this to the co-ordinators that it was to include things like sweeping, mopping and cleaning the toilet after the boys (Yuck. Boys make such a mess.) After all, it is the kids mess. We are also very lucky that Miss Rachael is a tidy person. My Dad always said it makes sense to staff your weaknesses. In my case, being a “messy”, I sometimes just marvel that Rachael walks into our house and half an hour later it is remarkably tidier. It makes everything instantly seem a bit calmer. Although I’m watching carefully, I kind of don’t know how she does it, because I just can’t seem to replicate it. It just illustrates that because of the extra help, it can certainly be better than I thought.

When I’m left to my own devices, things go pear shaped quickly. It also doesn’t help that when I’m on my own I often have five kids and often if the babies are asleep, the boys start demanding attention. This is justified. It’s only fair that children get as much as their mother’s time as possible. Throughout the year, T-Star in particular, has watched a lot of TV. Sometimes it’s the only way I can get anything done. It’s always my goal to counter-balance the screen time and give him other opportunities again. Alternatively sometimes if I’m on my own with sleeping babies, I choose to ignore the housework and do things (like blogging) that I feel guilty doing when other people are around. 

In many ways though, the triplets are helping me to be more organised, even in the cleaning department. I’m more aware of keeping on top of things. You just have to. Catching up is almost impossible.

4. Lack of Privacy

I’ve coped with this better than I thought I would. If I’m feeling frustrated, I just paint a picture in my head of what life would look like if I didn’t have the extra people around. It helps me get over any feelings of frustration pretty quickly. Like I said above, having people around has often made things better than I expected.

Miss Rachael when she first begun working with us.

Of course, I do really wish sometimes that it was just the kids and I. I think about all the fun things I did when it was only J Boy and I in the house. We played hard building block cities, roads all around the house, making hospitals, and doing grandiose box constructions of castles, crocodiles and space shuttles. Play got less extravagant when there was another baby in the picture, but with five kids, I really try to play as much as I can with them, but there’s always so much to do. And absurdly, even though I’m grateful there is someone with my kids and keeping them very happy so I can get much needed tasks done, sometimes I just can’t help but feel a little jealous. I would always prefer to be playing with my kids rather than doing jobs! I sometimes worry that they will love me less because maybe I’m ‘not as much fun’, or I ruin it all by having to discipline them, but then I have to kick myself out of self pity. I know I’m the Mummy, which includes the good the bad and the ugly. There’s always going to be a bond with my children and I, and because I work at strengthening that bond we’ll always be close, even if I am busy in the meantime. And because life is full of contradictions, I’m grateful that I have help around the place, because often it means that I am able to play with my kids more because someone else is doing that task for me.

Or sometimes, no kids, just myself. I have had many daydreams about being sent away to a day spa and receiving massages, facials and manicures. Heaven. Alex and I have decided that when the babies are all weaned and sleeping through the night we will have a little overnight getaway, leave the kids with Mum and Dad, (Mum has also conscripted my sister to come over too for re-inforcements!), and we will have some time to ourselves to dine elegantly and SLEEP UNINTERRUPTED! (Hopefully in a swanky hotel room.) You don’t know how often I have thought about this. Must anticipated overnight stay ever.

5. Being Stuck At Home

We do spend an awful lot of time at home. I don’t mind much. I’m a homebody at the best of time, (50% introvert) and because there has been so many people passing through the doors, the 50% extrovert in me stays satisfied.

I do feel sorry for the triplets sometimes. Like the time I took them to the park and they were acting like cats who are placed in a new situation. They were so cautious and wary of the grass and when they hit a new surface like sand or dirt they would freeze and cautiously assess the new situation. As they are now getting older and the weather is getting warmer, they are starting to get outdoors a bit more. Which has the disadvantage of three little bodies diving bombing and trying to rush out to fresh air and freedom when the door is opened.

Being stuck at home all the time means sometimes you have to get creative when finding new places to have fun.

They also are starting to need the extra stimulation of alternate activities. It’s very hard though because to go to playgroups, etc. They are always scheduled in the mornings. Right during their daytime sleep. It takes a day (sometimes two) to get over any outings. (For instance, Mondays are always a fall out day around here from having gone to church on Sunday.) Then there’s people coming and going at set times that we have to work around as well. It makes life very complex.

Me time is now often when I have been able to sneak to the grocery shops without T-Star. Having people around does mean that grocery shopping is easier for me than most mothers with five kids because I will often leave them with a carer and head to the shops by myself or with one or two kids. I do sometimes yearn for the days of old though where I could dilly dally around the shops with a child in a pram for half a day (or more). I miss browsing and being able to shop for myself. I now shop like a man. I go into somewhere, see it and buy it. No looking at another store. Speed shopping I call it. Surprisingly this type of shopping means that I can spend just as much money (if not more) as I did after all my carefully considered purchases of old, even though I’m shopping a lot less. 

I’ve never gone shopping by myself with the five kids or even with just the triplets. There’s two reasons. Firstly there’s almost always someone around the house, so I would be a glutton for punishment if I took all the kids with me when they could be looked after at home. Secondly the triplet stroller is so ridiculously heavy that The Accountant has advised against me using it. He probably doesn’t want to pay for extra sessions at the chiropractor. I’ve got scoliosis and sometimes get a bad back just pulling a double stroller in and out of the car. The few times I’ve attempted to fold it up, I’ve failed. It’s very sticky, rusted in a few spots (the one drawback of an awesome 2nd hand deal) and I can’t remember which lever to pull and fold out where.

Can you remember something that terrified you? How did it work out for you? As expected, better or worse?

Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog On Tuesday)

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Newborn Triplet Photos – The Family

So, I’m a bit all over the place at the moment with my posting, but it’s just a case of doing a post when I have time, and I just don’t have the time to post methodically at the moment.

Today, I thought I’d continue sharing some of the professional photos by Salt Studios when the triplets were newborns. Already I’ve shared some of the triplets together. (See here)

Now I thought I should share some family pictures back when the triplets were 5 weeks old. I love J Boy’s expressions – so cute. When T-Star has his cheeky little grins. Also so cute. And our teeny tiny triplets. So cute. Of course.

We have every reason to be the proud parents!

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Breastfeeding Triplets – Starting a Routine: Reality vs. Expectation

This is a post that I have wanted to write for a long time. This morning I saw a “Mom to Mom”, (or Mum to Mum in my Aussie vernacular), blog hop about Feeding and Scheduling for Multiples. It’s the perfect motivation I need to finally write about the topic.

When I was pregnant with the triplets, I had some ideas of how I might breastfeed the babies. I was prepared to change should it be necessary, but I had to feel prepared within myself by having some sort of mental plan, even if it was to be broken. I’m flexible like that, and I changed my plans very quickly while the babies were in hospital after talking to the midwives and finding out what worked best for me. What I didn’t take into account, was that The Accountant was still wanting to carry out the original plan, and his mentality wasn’t as prone to change plans.  That was one hurdle we had to jump in the early days. I had The Accountant prepared that he was going to have to bottle feed all throughout the night and mentally, he was ready to do it. As it turned out, I was fine breastfeeding all three babies in one session, but if all were awake at the same time, I needed his arms to hold a waiting baby. The Accountant could see how tired I was and could feel how tired he was, and just wanted to give them a bottle. I wasn’t prepared to give them formula at the start, especially when I had enough milk. I knew that once I started feeding them formula, my production would decrease, so I didn’t want that to happen. It also seemed pointless expressing a feed before (like my original plan) because in reality it didn’t save any time. I could understand how it was frustrating for The Accountant getting up in the middle of the night and just holding a baby. He felt like he was doing nothing. Of course he wasn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. It just took awhile for us snapping and fighting with one another before we worked out that it was our different mentality to following a plan. Generally, when Accountant’s follow a plan, there is seldom reason to deviate from the original plan. Once we had recognised this and had a discussion of what we needed from one another, it got a lot easier. Once again it was proof that communication is vital within a marriage.

The early days. A tired Accountant, on the home front job, holding babies.

I had thought, (and if you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you may remember me saying), that I planned to twin feed two babies then express a bottle for the third baby. I thought I would rotate the babies so that one baby would be getting an expressed bottle from the previous feed at the same time that the other two were breastfeeding every third time.

What I didn’t take into account, was that this would not be timesaving in any way, in fact it would be longer if I needed to express and feed the bottle by myself. And with multiples, as Finn McMissile says, “Time is of the essence.” I had been basing this on the fact that my first two boys took at least an hour to feed each session as newborns. In reality the triplets would take 30-20 minutes each. I find I don’t let the multiple babies muck around as much. It’s straight down to business when there is mass feedings! A midwife had advised me that the best way to go would be to feed two babies one side each and feed the third and last baby both sides. I was doing this in hospital and continued when I got home.

I had also expected that I would introduce a very tight schedule feeding at particular times in order to cope with feeding three babies. I was rather dreading this. I had trialled this when J Boy was a newborn and hated it. It just wasn’t my style.  I found that I tended to resume a similar pattern of feeding to what I had done with the first children. I would give them a full feed, and then try not to feed them again before they had made the three hour mark. Of course sometimes, they were desperately hungry and this didn’t work. If they were sleeping, I never woke them, but would feed them when they awoke, so if they chose how much longer they would go over three hours.

Before they were allowed to come home from hospital, the triplets had to have a four hour feeding schedule. They went from three to four hours quite easily in the special care nursery. I was pleased, and very keen to continue feeding four hourly when I got home. I had fed four hourly with the big boys, and had watched friends feeding three hourly and thought it was incredibly draining (and that was with one baby!) It just doesn’t take very much time for three hours to roll by, at least with four hours, you have a little bit of a chance to get something done in between feeds.

Within a couple of days, one by one, each triplet started sliding back into the three hourly routine. I tried to convince them otherwise, but they strongly disagreed. It was easy to give into their demands when you looked at how tiny they were. I figured extra milk, especially when it’s split three ways, would probably be helpful to the little darlings anyway.

In order to breastfeed triplets, you do need to mentally prepare yourself to exist on very little sleep. You need to mentally be committed to it, and continually think of how this is benefiting the babies, and to a large extent push your own feelings to one side. After all, it’s only for a time. The season will pass, and you must remind yourself that eventually them and you will be able to sleep throughout the night once again. (8 months later, and I’m still hanging onto this concept!!!) Even with the quicker feeds, breastfeeding was often taking 1 1/2-2 hours per session. That left me with 1 1/2-1 hours sleep. In the evenings the babies were very unsettled, reflux made sure of that. We were often not getting to bed until anywhere from 10pm-12am. Most evenings I was averaging a total of 4 hours interrupted sleep in the early days. (Sometimes more, sometimes less.) This still happens occasionally, but it’s more likely for another reason, such as currently the babies are sick, so they are waking more at night. Sometimes I would catch a nap in between feeds during the day if I were really exhausted. Most of the time I didn’t feel comfortable doing it with people in the house, even though they were there to make the burden easier. It’s a really weird feeling leaving someone in your house and just going to bed.

The early days. Even though I had a house full of people, my hair wasn’t done, no make up and trademark bags under the eyes.  People would always comment with a note of amazement that I was still smiling. It was a statement that I still find baffling. Take a look at that angelic face combined with the feeling of utter contentment having a tiny baby sleeping and snuggling into you and tell me that’s not worthy of smiling.

I’ve got plenty more to say on this topic, but I think this might do for now. If you are a mother, can you remember (or are you currently in) the newborn mother’s haze of sleep deprivation? What did you do to cope? Are you a rigid sched

ule feeder, or do you prefer to have a bit more flexibility?

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The Triplet's Birth Story – Part2 – The Actual Births

{Read Part One of my birth story to see how the day began.} 

Walking from my room to the theatre was crazy. There were people everywhere, and they were all there for us. Once I was in the room, it was also crowded with people just for us. Today, the triplets and I were the superstars. There were comments about the dramatic weight loss program I was about to undergo. Then I Had to sit on the bed and bend over as the epidural was given. “Bending over” with three babies in my belly was hardly bending over, more like “leaning slightly forward”. Thank goodness it was obvious it was working working as my legs started to go numb.

The anaesthetist was talking to me and making sure I couldn’t feel anything. Alex came in and gave me a nervous smile, but he also looked excited. I was just scared by now.

When they started cutting it was such an odd feeling. The whole pulling and tugging and fiddling was all a bit surreal. The doctor and his attending surgeon were concentrating hard. The nurses and all surrounding were watching with great interest. As the doctors were fiddling around doing doctor things, I began to feel really sleepy. I told the anaesthetist who wasn’t phased and said it was only natural, there was a lot going on. I can remember thinking how entirely ridiculous it was that people were cutting me open and reaching into my insides, my three children were about to be born, and I just wanted to roll over and have a snooze.  Before long everyone was leaning forward in interest and the anaesthetist, who had our camera, was poised, ready to shoot the action.

I felt it as they tugged Triplet 1 free. He had been head down and was very ready to be born.  
Triplet One is born

I was disappointed because I had expected to see the baby immediately after he was born. However, straight away the doctor handed the baby straight to the nurse who quickly took him straight from the room. I can remember watching that nurse disappear, trying my best to see what my baby looked like. All I could see was the top of his tiny head.

As soon as he was out of sight, I started concentrating on what was happening with the next baby because a lot of tugging and pulling was going on there again.
When T2, my breach baby, was born, the doctor held him up ever so briefly, (as in mere seconds). Even still, it was so wonderful to see him. He was then rushed away by a nurse and once again I tried to watch him for as long as possible.
The Birth of Triplet Two

The next bit was the most uncomfortable of the whole proceedings. The epidural only had effect up to around my belly button. Unfortunately T3  had firmly wedged herself under my ribs. She was lying transverse across the width of the top of my stomach. I said that I could feel it, and instantly I was given more drugs to alleviate it. I could still feel it, so a bit more solved the situation. It was then very uncomfortable as they tugged and pulled and pushed quite strenuously. It felt like forever – well at least 10 minutes anyway.

In reality there was 3 minutes in between the first baby being born and the last. The boys were both born at 1:23pm and the little lady at 1:25pm. Later I questioned the nurses about the accuracy of the time. “I’m sure there was several minutes between the boys,” I explained, “And it was a very long time with Missy, at least 10 maybe 15 minutes is what it felt like. Are you sure the times are right?” The nurses assured me that these times would be correct. They said that everyone is automatically programmed to look at the clock immediately when the baby is born. Sure enough, when looking back at pictures of their births, I can see the nurse turning around, checking the clock. The time is the exact time recorded on their birth certificate.
Triplet Two is born. (See the nurse at the back looking at the clock?)

Finally my girl was safely in the world. Now that all three were out, Dr. K must have been more relaxed. He held Triplet 3 up say

ing, “Here she is. Hello Mummy. Hello Mummy.” As he was holding her up, he had her little hand and was waving it at me. I can’t remember why but I didn’t think it was funny. But I did like seeing my little girl.

Triplet Three enters the world.

Once the babies were born, Alex went over to where they were weighing and checking them. He said hello to all the babies and told the nurses their names. We had already decided upon the names for the babies according to where they were situated in my womb.

I was on my own as they finished whatever they were doing on my stomach. The doctor commented that my stomach muscles and had been completely separated from being stretched and that I would need physio to repair it. I was still really sleepy, so as they were busy at work and since Alex wasn’t around I succumbed and had a bit of a doze. 
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The Triplet's Birth Story – Part One

Last year, while I was in hospital after having the triplets, I continued writing my pregnancy journal. I left Week 34 as a cliffhanger. I fully expected to finish the story in the following weeks. How wrong I was. I had expected to write the story while the babies were in the special care nursery, but they were so healthy they got out so much sooner than expected. So here is the beginning of the tale, better late than never.

The Triplet’s Birth Day – 7th October, 2011

I woke from a nice deep sleep at around 2:00 am on the 7th of October. I had been given some sleeping tablets, but had been told that I wouldn’t sleep through labour with them, I’d wake if anything started getting more intense. Once I woke up, I realised that the contractions had gotten stronger, so I rang for the midwife, like I’d been instructed. Turned out the midwife couldn’t come to me because she was literally in the middle of delivering another baby. A few messages were run back and forth between rooms, and then I was left alone. I wasn’t concerned, because nothing was too painful. It was a very busy time in the maternity ward that month apparently. In the two days that I was admitted, including my babies, 18 babies were delivered, which made the October quota of babies born at St. Vincent’s 32, for the month.  (A lot for the private hospital in our city.) The midwives theory was that it was exactly 9 months after the floods. They said that their ward always got busy after natural disasters or extended periods of blackouts. We had experienced both in our community 9 months prior. (Not that either were responsible for our triplets birth!)

I slept on and off until Dr. Mac visited me around 7:00 am. He basically said that I was very close to delivering, but we didn’t know whether it was a matter of hours or a matter of days. His advice was to monitor the dilation of the cervix, and to act immediately if it started to advance beyond  3cm.  He then noted that he was going to take the rest of the day (Friday) off, and that he also was not rostered on over the weekend, so he would hand me over to the care of Dr. K. I was starting to feel like this was patient pass the parcel.

Dr. K came to visit me about an hour later. He didn’t seem to be as confident as Dr. Mac that the labour would last days, but he was still leaving the decision up to us as to whether we would choose to have a Caesar straight away, or take our chances waiting.

About another hour later, after a shift change, a new midwife came to check on me. She sat on the side of my bed with her hands placed gently on my stomach, just feeling. She was surprised by the amount and frequency of the contractions. Her advice was to have the babies during the day, since the weekend was about to begin and it would be more difficult to muster up an operating team required for an emergency Caesar for triplets.

We agreed. I had delivered T-Star in around 2 hours from the start of the first contraction. And with J Boy, once my waters broke, I delivered him also in under two hours.  So it was safe to say that Alex and I were already nervous that once this labour progressed into anything serious, we may not have time to assemble a team before babies started dropping out, (in the case of Triplet 1, who was head down and right at the exit ready to go) and the others getting stuck and distressed (Triplet 2 was breach and Triplet 3 transverse).

Another phone call and we all agreed to schedule a Caesar for that day. 1:00 was booked and a crew was quickly assembled. Everyone seemed to be on standby as it was. They had been expecting me for quite some time in the maternity ward. Nobody had expected that I would avoid hospital for as long as I did. When I appeared on Thursday night, everyone was on high alert.

There wasn’t too much more to do than wait. The time went very quickly. We took some last pregnancy snaps, got dressed in my very becoming hospital attire and become extremely nervous.

About an hour before the triplets were born. I have to say, this dress is very flattering. It doesn’t  seem to reflect how large my stomach really was. To gain perspective, look at how I’m positioned in the doorway. Admittedly though, I didn’t get as large as I thought I may. Pregnant triplet ladies – take heart, it may not be as bad as you think.

Lordy! Did I get nervous! I think by midday I was ready to push all three out whichever way they were facing! I have to admit, I stayed nervous throughout the whole procedure, and I wouldn’t call it entirely pleasant, it was all rather surreal. However, I don’t mind one bit that I had the Caesar, especially when I look at the angelic faces of my three little miracles. And of course I’m very grateful that I didn’t go with my ir

rationality and damage all four of us trying to bypass the surgical option!

Finally after incubating three little people for 239 days it was time for them to make their appearance in this world. Their life had started at conception 34 weeks and 1 day ago, now it was time for them to leave the mother ship and begin living their own existence. 

Read Part 2
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Triplet Newborn Portraits

So. Now I shall skip right to a non-writing post.

In fact, I can’t believe I hadn’t done this earlier. Back when I got these photos done in November ’11, I really wanted to share them with you all. However I also wanted to give them as Christmas presents, so I decided not to share publicly so that the gift recipients would be the first to see them.

Now that Christmas is well and truly over, I’d love to share my tiny babies with you. Here they are, 5 weeks old. At the time, Missy was 2.9kg (2.1kg born), Chook was 2.7kg (2.2kg born) and Joey was 2.5kg (1.8kg born).

I’ve got lots of different photos to share, but I will share them gradually over a few posts putting them into categories. Here’s the first installment: The trio together.

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