Triplets – 6 weeks on

I can’t believe it! There is no crying! Surely not?

Yep. I just stopped to listen again. No crying. And I’m not holding anyone to achieve this. It’s amazing.

Mind you, it’s not all bliss I hear. The stupid neighbours have their music blaring. I’m not impressed. I’m that sleep deprived and have enough agro in me that I’d go over and complain, but then I’d lose valuable blogging time. But oh my goodness, it’s tempting. My sleep deprived brain doesn’t need to endure the heavy thump of bass and drums and rubbish music.

So as a special reward to me I’m jumping on to do a blog. I’ll write until I’m halted. I’ll try not to leave mid sentence, but if I do, I know you’ll forgive me. Because I’m determined to post this – incomplete, unedited if necessary. I’ve got to at least do some updates.

Nope. Can’t do this.


OK. The neighbour’s music has been turned down. He was friendly enough about it. Totally worthwhile being the annoying, pesky, complaining neighbour. Playing the ‘newborn triplets are living next door’ card really works a treat. Got to laugh as I was approaching the neighbour’s door I saw The Accountant rushing next door also. I thought he had also had enough, but when I got home I discovered that The Accountant just was being protective. He got nervous when he saw me charge out of the house to approach a strange man. (Yes, sadly we don’t know those neighbours, we’ve tried, but they haven’t reciprocated. We’ve lately decided that if the taste of their music is indicative of their personalities, it’s no loss.) Surely I wouldn’t have come to any harm, he’s a soldier after all. Ummm. Yes. The Accountant certainly is wise.

It’s nice to have your man want to protect you in any case.

So. To update you on other incidences apart from our neighbours.

The triplets turned 6 weeks yesterday! They are beautiful, and cute, and cuddly. We love them to bits.

Wearing the glad rags Great Nana gave them – back in the day when sleeping was a more popular pastime.
Chook (red) Missy (pink) Joey (blue)

They also all have reflux. This is not fun – for them or us. The result of this condition has been a fair amount of crying. We are now onto trying out our second type of reflux meds, since the first didn’t appear to be working. I’m not sure how effective the second lot has been either, to tell you the truth. We’ve also had our chiropractor around to visit and treat them all. (How obliging is he? I kept trying to get in there, and he volunteered to come to me instead. It’s totally worth staying somewhere long enough to have built a relationship with your practitioner.) Anyway, I’m not sure how helpful that has been either. At least I feel like I’ve been doing all I can. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in for a follow up appointment soon enough. However, yikes. It’s going to cost a pretty penny paying for all three at once. I didn’t have to for their first visit – it’s always on the house. I think I ought to qualify for a chiro frequent flyer card and get a free visit every ten visits or something.

For the last few days, the triplets have decided that life is much better when they are being held. It’s lovely holding them, it really is. But holding three babies, for hours and hours in a day. It be a bit tricky at times. Our second son was like this. But it’s so much easier when it’s only one baby. The issue is as well, is that when you put one baby down, there’s often another baby who starts crying. So your arms are never empty. There also is the issue that the baby that you have just put down, who appeared to be in a deeper sleep than Sleeping Beauty will almost instantly wake up and start screaming the moment it leaves your arms.

I’ll just post another photo at this point. Just to remind you how super cute they all are. Just so you know it’s not all a trial, and they are totally worthwhile.

This is the day that the triplet’s reached 40 weeks gestational age. Time just keeps swinging by. Sorry, bad pun. Sometimes living with an acountant can do terrible things to your sense of humour.

 I have been feeling so sorry for Toddler T of late. Having just turned 2, he’s practically still a baby himself. J Boy has kindy as an outlet. J Boy also loves playing on his own. T-Star is more social, loves the outdoors and loves excursions. But whenever people are in his house, there’s practically always a baby glued to an arm. The poor love has to create his own fun, which normally is no fun at all, because Mummy is always being annoying calling things from the couch, to not touch all the interesting things left on the kitchen bench, or he’s climbed up on something and fallen off because there was no one to intervene in time.

Herewith ends the update. Joey says so.

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Triplet Portraits – Bits and Pieces of Modesty

This week I got Salt Studios to take newborn portraits of the triplets. It was lots of fun, there was a combination of sleeping babies, crying babies, feeding babies, piddling babies, funny face babies and ‘so cute they melt your heart’ babies.

I can’t wait to see all the final products. In the meantime, I asked the talented photographer, Andrew Coates, if he could send me a few pics from the day so I could include them in an invitation to the babies dedication next month.

Being a very obliging photographer, he did. However I had to say even though they are completely adorable, it made me gasp! Two of the three images have my children’s gender on full display! The beautiful image above was a full length shot. Completely gorgeous seeing their little chicken legs. However, the boys were able to cover their parts with strategically placed ties. Poor Missy was left completely exposed. I couldn’t help it, I’ve cropped the picture. It really doesn’t feel right to crop a professional image. I felt like I was defacing a piece of artwork. You know like putting some fig leaves over the statue of David. So, I’m thinking of asking Andrew to crop and photoshop the other images in order to keep me happy and give my kids a bit of modesty.

What do you think? Does it matter for newborns? Am I being a prude? (If so, The Accountant is also!) But don’t you agree with point one? My threesome totally melt hearts.

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Introducing My Family

Let me introduce you to my family. It’s hard to fathom that we are now a family of seven plus one canine (and a few guppies).

Travelling into the hospital during the early days to feed the triplets, The Accountant would drop me off on his way to work. The first day we got in the car together, both of us had a sense of
déjà vu. There was once upon a time when each morning and evening we would travel into work together and when we got home, there was no one in our little home apart from us. I remembered all the trips to and from town when I thought lifetime of infertility was a very real possibility. I remember countless discussions, tears, obsessing, prayers and wondering whether we would ever have children.

And here we are. Jeremiah 29:11, a scripture that has long been stored in my heart is so true.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I never would have imagined in those days that we would have not only just one – but five children! And that three would be triplets, no less!
I am a blessed mother indeed.
He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.
Psalm 113:9

Without any further ado, let me introduce you to the major contributors of my happy heart. **

Alex – Otherwise known as “The Accountant”
Alex is my first and only love. We were married in January 1998, and what a life we have lived together! We have grown up together, travelled, laughed, cried, fought, talked (and talked, and talked), become parents, and fallen more deeply in love with each other (after the fights, not during) as each year of our marriage progresses. Methodical and precise, with a touch of caution – like any good accountant should be, Alex also has a quirky and engaging sense of humour. He loves being around people and socialising. Alex is a sensational father. His patience with our children is as unending for them as his unconditional love. I love him with all my heart.

“Bronco” – “The Dog”

In chronological order – our next ‘family member’. In the spirit of every purebred Labrador, Bronco is a super friendly dog and the best of family pets. He doesn’t mind at all when children roll all over him, pat him profusely, drag him around the yard or even take food from his mouth. (Well, he does mind that, but he’s too well mannered to do anything about it.) He will do anything for food, and he will eat just about anything offered to him. He’s even so obliging to try and chomp on the clods of dirt and sticks the boys feed him.

“J Boy”

My firstborn entered our family in July 2006. J Boy is an energetic boy loving life and enjoying playing and spending time with family, especially his cousins. J Boy loves construction – from earth moving equipment to constructing with toys such as Lego and blocks. Even though he loves being around people, J Boy enjoys his own time and will be satisfied for hours playing on his own. He has a very strong personality which isn’t always easy to parent. However this strength of character will become one of his greatest assets one day, because as his will is lovingly molded and he grows, his determination and persistence to stand firm in his beliefs will help him in so many areas of his life.

T-star” – Formerly known as “Toddler T”, and prior to that “The Baby”

Another bundle of energy, T-star will melt any heart because he so, so, so cute! Born in November 2009, this little guy is so loving and nothing beats his excitement when he greets people he knows and loves, running up with great excitement making all types of excited exclamations! The T-star is our outdoor boy. Nothing warms his little heart more than traipsing around the backyard exploring. He is also very I.T. savvy. He watches carefully and learns how to operate DVD, CD’s, microwaves, phones, etc. He also employs this method of learning to get into child locks over the house. With his inquisitive nature, this knowledge and access to all areas is of great satisfaction to him.

“Joey” – Otherwise known as “Triplet 1” or “The Blue Triplet”

This little Aussie baby is happy to snuggle up secure in his loving arms, just like a joey kangaroo snuggles in it’s mother’s pouch. Illustrating size is no barrier, Joey was smallest, but first triplet to make an appearance in this world. Born at 1:23pm. little Joey weighed in at 4lb 2oz/1895g. He was 43.5cm long with a head circumference of 31.5cm. Joey is a contented baby, although he can certainly let his opinion be known if he feels strongly enough about something!

“Chook” – Otherwise known as “Triplet 2” or “The Red Triplet”

“Chook”, (An Australian word for chicken), was our ‘big’ baby. Weighing in at 4lb 13oz/2205g after he  hatched. Despite his impressive size, he did need assistance with oxygen for the first day, whereas the other two did not. Before long he was at the same development as the other two. Also born at 1:23pm, Chook was 46cm long with a head circumference of 32.5cm. He appears to be the most laid back of the triplets, fairly content to let the world just drift by. So long there is plenty of milk and cuddles, you can’t really ruffle Chook’s feathers.

“Missy” – Otherwise known as “Triplet 3” or “The Pink Triplet”
Our ‘youngest’ child, born at 1:25pm, 2 minutes after the boys, Missy is our only daughter, and the fairest of them all. She weighed in at 4lb 6oz/2160g. measured 43cm in length and had a head circumference of 31cm.  We suspect our little girl is no shy retiring violet, she already has displayed quite a feisty little personality! She seems to rule the roost with the triplets, being the most vocal and also constantly jumps the breastfeeding queue, waking up before the boys regularly to get first dibs at the breast. You can already tell she is perfectly equipped to grow up in a male dominated household and will probably be classified as our ‘pink boy’.
** These are not the real names of my children. You know, in case you were wondering. I’d love to share their real names with you, but not everyone who is on the internet is as nice as you are I’m afraid.
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First Days/Weeks with Triplets – Living in the Moment

Let me begin this post by saying I’m sorry that there has been a drought on blog posts. I’m not saying sorry because I feel the need to apologize for choosing to place a lower priority on blogging during the triplets first days. But rather, I’m genuinely sorry that I haven’t been able to write. I love writing and blogging and would dearly enjoy writing all the details of what has been happening. Plus it’s always fun sharing with you all what is happening. I hope any regular reader’s stay tuned for when (hopefully) the posts become regular once again.

Having said that, because I’ve missed writing in this blog so much, I’ve chosen to sit down for a little moment to write. To do so, I’m ignoring the fact that it is mid-morning I am still in my sour milk encrusted PJ’s, with bedraggled bed hair and bags under my eyes.

Sure, having triplets has been busy. But of course I expected that. If I didn’t expect it, I wasn’t listening to just about any person who has talked to me during the past nine months who has informed me that I would be busy! To keep with the theme of ‘Caitlin’s Happy Heart’, let me admit, that indeed my heart overflows with happiness as I adjust to living with three extra kidlets.

The secret to my current state of happiness is choosing to live life in the moment, conquering the more difficult aspects of parenting 5 children and savouring each of the many sweet moments and milestones as they occur.

There certainly is much to be daunted about mothering triplets. Instead, I take each experience as it comes, stay positive and enjoy that very instant and celebrate all the joy it contains.

So, in lieu of a full update, let me briefly share with you some of the moments that has made my heart soar above the plains of my life sing the joyful melody of a contentment and fulfillment.

1. The groggy moment I was briefly introduced to my babies in the operating theatre.

2. Holding each tiny hand as they lay in their isolettes and then holding each child for the first time.
    Having a heart overflowing with pride and happieness the first time I held all babies at one time.

3. Seeing the triplet’s two big brother’s absolutely in love with their new siblings. Gently stroking their  
    little bodies and plastering them with kisses.

4. Watching the faces of my loved ones – friends and family, as they lovingly interact with my babies.

5. Celebrating each achievement as the triplets progressed through the special care nursery until they
    were ready to come home.

6. Packing our new little babies into our (now very full) car to take them home with excitement but

7. Waking up the morning after the triplet’s first night at home, knowing that we all survived, and it
     wasn’t even as bad as we may have expected!

8.  The inexplicable sense of pride we have each time the babies are weighed and prove yet again that
     they are beating all odds and growing at a rapid pace.

9.  Bringing our babies to church and celebrating God’s goodness with our church family. (Who have
     proven to contain many members of our triplet’s adoring entourage.)

10. Witnessing my darling husband interact with our five children and having his never ending support,
      assistance and devotion to our family.

I always remember my Dad often quoting a preacher as we grew up. “Life is attitude. Attitude determines your altitude.” It is a lesson I am grateful that I learned and have been able to apply in my life. For the many high points in these last three weeks, there has also been plenty of low moments  and struggles. I choose to focus on the positive side of each experience and to not dwell on the more difficult moment, handing it over instead to my Father God. I am finding that if I accept God’s help, I will get through the hard times. This leaves me with extra time to enjoy life and soar during it’s glorious moments, filling my memory bank with multitudes of beautiful remembrances.

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Week 34 – Triplet Pregnancy Journal

Week 34
The week started with a phone call from Dr. Mac’s receptionist. He had to perform an emergency Caesar so she wanted to know if I could come in immediately to replace my appointment that was scheduled later in the afternoon. Dr. G. Has gone on holidays for 3 weeks, so Dr. Mac was to look after me in the meantime. I knew he is a very competent doctor, (He’s been my sister’s dr and many friends go to him and equally adore him), and I really liked him, but I was wanting to hang out for 36 weeks when my own doctor was back. There is a certain security of having your own doctor.
So, after receiving the call, I scurried into the doctor’s office. Mum drove me because I’m just not feeling comfortable driving now, even though I do for short trips, because I can still fit behind the wheel. (Hooray I didn’t think I’d be able to!)
I left the appointment feeling nervous.  The doctor had initially felt my stomach and had declared that my uterus had pretty well reached capacity and I could be quite close to going into labour. Once I was talking to him and told him that my 2nd child had been delivered in around 2 hours after the first contraction, you could almost hear his doctor alarms going off. He made me go back and did another examination and found I was 3cm dilated and had bulging membranes. He thought the labour would not be far away.
I had to go and get a blood test, and then went home. I stopped on the way home at a local gift store and bought some presents for The Accountant’s cousin, who has also just had a baby and for a party J Boy was going to on the weekend. When I got home, I started getting things organised, because despite my still wishful thinking to go further, I also kind of knew in the back of my mind that my time was running short.
I wrote a blog, got the presents ready, and wrapped another Christmas present. (In an effort to be organised, I had already bought most Christmas and birthday presents for the rest of the year before I was 20 weeks. I’ve gradually been wrapping them to save myself a job once the triplets come home. I then had a long sleep. When I woke up I had light contractions happening, so I lay in bed hoping that like other times they would disappear. When The Accountant and the boys came home, I didn’t get up and greet them like I normally do, but stayed in bed, still not feeling well. I got up to have dinner with the family, but really couldn’t sit for very long. Once again, I had a feeling that the time was drawing near, so I got things organised for J Boy’s Kindy day the next day, but quickly got tired, so went and sat down. By then I had to acknowledge that the contractions, although not terribly painful, were gaining in strength and getting more consistent. I told The Accountant that I thought we should go into the hospital and get checked out. We both showered, I finished packing my hospital bag and called Mum to look after the boys.
We went into the hospital where the midwives monitored my contractions. The triplets were moving a lot and contractions were definitely happening. The doctor was contacted and I had to have another examination, which found I was still 3cm dilated. With this news they decided that although labour could progress further at any moment, or I may continue to hang on for hours, or even days. The Accountant went home to bed, remaining on high alert, and I stayed in hospital.
The next day was going to be action packed and very memorable.
A 34 week photo before The Accountant went to work.
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Week 33 – Triplet Pregnancy Journal

I know this is going backwards a little (all the way to last week!), but I haven’t had time to write anything more yet. Hopefully will do soon. I wrote this the morning before I went into labour, I was going to proofread it and post, but didn’t really get around to it! Anyway, it’s the final chapter of the pregnancy before they started coming. Stay tuned for more details!

Week 33

Slow start to this week. All pretty uneventful, which was good. I was very happy to get to Monday. Having the boys around from Friday-Saturday is very tiring, even with Mrs. S’s help on Friday and Daddy doing most of the boy’s entertaining over the weekend. (Daddy has been great though, I stay in bed most of the weekend and the kids just interrupt occassionally.)  It hasn’t helped that this time Toddler T has been unwell. I always enjoy Monday when the kids disappear with my mother and sister and I have a good quiet rest!
J Boy and The Accountant went to the shops during the day on Saturday and camping in the backyard of a friends house on Saturday night. I was just getting to exhausted trying to keep up with Toddler T. In the end I had to get Mum over to help. It seems I can’t be left to supervise my own children anymore! The almost two year old tantrums, exasperated by snotty nose, glassy eyes and temperatures didn’t help. J Boy’s behaviour hasn’t been up to scratch either. J Boy is quite resistant to change. I think he feels it in the air. We’re doing everything we can to feel secure and confident about the changes that are about to occur.
I didn’t stay at home all day Monday. I had been horrified to see my regrowth in recent photos, so went to the hairdresser to have that attended to, since I’m sure that it will not get any easier once the triplets are here. I’m glad I didn’t leave it any longer. Sitting in the chair for that length of time, (I even moved over to the lounge chair in the waiting area for awhile) was my absolute capacity!
During the early hours of Tuesday morning I woke up feeling pins and needles in my legs, and they were a bit more swollen. I was a little worried about the blood pressure situation, so I went up to my local GP’s the following morning to get it checked by a nurse. It had returned to an acceptable level. A urine sample showed that some protein, but not enough to be too concerned about.
The last day of this week was another ultrasound to monitor the triplet’s growth. While they are all within an acceptable range, I would really like to see Triplet A grow a little more as this little one is a pound lighter than his identical sibling.
So currently their growth is approximately (the sonographer kept stating a disclaimer that there needs to be room for error as it can be quite hard to obtain some measurements to get this data):
Weight in Pounds
Weight in Grams
Percentile for Gestational Age
Triplet A (ID, L. Side)
4lb 6oz

2311 g
Triplet B (ID. R. Side)
5lb 6oz
2440 g
Triplet C (Fraternal)
5lb 4oz
1971 g

The fraternal triplet still has a thick luscious head of hair that has grown in length since the last scan. The poor little identicals still seem possess limited hair. Just as well baldy babies are still super cute! I should know, I was one!

(Afternote: Thank the Lord I did colour my hair then! At 34 weeks and 1 day my babies were born. And let me tell you – it took awhile before I had another hair appointment! Keep reading here for Week 34)

(PS 2. The fraternal triplet didn’t really have any more hair then the boys as it turned out! In fact all three babies have less hair then the eldest two did! And the weights were generous too. Turns out we had Triplet A: 4lb 3oz, B: 4lb 8oz, C: 4lb 13) 
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The Triplets are Here!

On Friday October 7th at 34 weeks and 1 day, our triplets arrived! We welcome to the world our two identical sons and a beautiful daughter. I’ll look forward to continuing to share the journey of their birth and lives with you when I have time. For now, I just thought I’d drop a quick line and let you know they are here and beautiful! The babies are doing incredibly well, and we are truly thankful to God for each one of their lives.

Daddy and the ‘Big Boys’ with little sister on her first day of life.
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Triplet Pregnancy Journal – Week 32

Week 32
Another major milestone has been reached! Up until today, if labour was to begin and unable to be halted, I would have had to be transported to Brisbane via ambulance with a midwife, or if the babies were born here in Toowoomba, they would have been flown to Brisbane in a helicopter. 32 weeks marks the point where the facilities here in Toowoomba will be able to cater for premature babies.
Also, the survival rate for the babies is now excellent. There is now a 98% chance they will make it and there is a significant decreased risk of long term complications resulting from premature birth.
I don’t know whether it was the relief that I had reached this milestone, (that’s Mum’s theory anyway), but I also felt a surge of energy this week. So I started the week by having a coffee shop date with my friend and her beautiful kids. One of my amazing friends  allocated Thursday mornings to doing something with her boys and Toddler T. Because it’s school holidays this week, J Boy and her Princess were included. We went to an outdoor coffee shop. The children had a wonderful time riding the little bikes on the verandah, running around the grassed areas with the free range chickens and playing on the rockers and sandpit.
I had a lovely time eating cake and watching my selfless friend hop up and down like a yo-yo sorting out all the childish dilemmas. Such a long suffering lady!
I was nice and tired after that, so I went home and had a quick sleep while the kids went and played elsewhere. The kids returned and we hung out for the rest of the day doing quiet activities, the quietest of which was Trent sleeping. Jonty played with his toys, we watched a DVD together. It had been awhile since the boys had just been at home with me for awhile. By 4:00 they started to get bored. I let them outside and lay down on the couch because even though the afternoon was low key, I was starting to get tired. I kept checking the boys. They did not want to come inside, I was too tired to make them, so they played out in the yard until 6:00 and I got Alex to chase their little, dirty, cold bodies inside.
Friday was another home care day. It started with the co-ordinator coming to visit to make sure everything was OK with Mrs. S. This all went smoothly. The day already was easier than the week before. It’s inevitable that the days where the children are at home are going to be more tiring for me. I did get a good rest in the afternoon though when Mrs. S. took the children to the park and library.
Throughout the day I my head and body really began to ache. By the weekend it was apparent that I’d picked up another bug. So over the weekend I struggled with a virus. With regular doses of paracetamol and lots of rest I was feeling much better by Monday morning.
I had been really disappointed on Saturday night that I had to miss out on one of our good friends 30th birthday party. I was really hoping to pop in for an hour or two. But being sick and exhausted it would have been foolish. As I sat at home by myself I was feeling over being so socially isolated. I’ve had people coming and going from the house, but I just felt like getting out.
So on Monday morning, after Mum had taken the kids to her house, I decided to pop down to the pool (only a few minutes from our house) and say hello to some of my friends that I knew were down there taking their kids for a swim. I stayed there a bit longer than I intended, but loved catching up and having a good chat. I went home and had a sleep – only to wake up discovering that while I’d been sitting in the sun, I had paid no attention to my fair skin. I woke up with burning knees. I looked down and discovered I had two small patches above my knees red raw! I felt so foolish! With lots of applications of aloe vera it took at least three days for the burning to settle down!
My favourite pictures at the moment. My friend is 38 weeks pregnant, and I am 32 weeks pregnant! And the prize for the biggest tummy goes to moi!
That evening I went around to Mum and Dad’s for dinner, my aunt and uncle were in town, visiting from Melbourne. The big occasion for their visit was my grandfather’s 93rd birthday the next day. For his birthday we had a family lunch then went out for dinner that night.
Unfortunately, I then found out the wisdom of my previous anti-social behaviour. That night I ended up having to go home before the meal was served, I was sore and exhausted. I was incredibly stiff and sore for the next two days, just from sitting up longer than usual.
I felt a bit silly for overdoing it. I was also worried that I’d go into labour and it would be all my fault. I had a dream that I went to hospital and started going into labour and got a big lecture about my foolhardy behaviour when the doctor and nurses saw my crispy red knees!
Thankfully I was able to rest up after my ‘exploits’. The final doctor’s appointment of the week went well. The babies hearts still beating strongly. The only concern was that my blood pressure was borderline high at 140/90. Dr. Gibson thought I should make another week, but said we are going to have to monitor it.
So, more rest for me, and more books. Bedrest for me has consisted of sleep and copious amounts of reading. I’m tending to average 1 ½ – 2 books a week, which has been the best pregnancy kickback I get! I suppose the next chance I’ll get to do this much reading will be in my retirement!
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Pregnancy Triplet Journal – Week 31

Week 31
This new week started with a slight bit of drama. I woke up not feeling comfortable. As I started to move around I was getting several painful cramps. This got worse after The Accountant left for work and while I was making J Boy’s kindy lunch I was getting painful (not severe) contractions every ten minutes or so.
I went and lay down on the couch, but they continued. Luckily Mum came early to pick up J Boy for kindy, because she was able to dress the boys, and help pack the kindy bag, since I hadn’t got around to that yet.
The contractions continued, they weren’t bad enough to make me concerned that I was in full blown labour, but I rang the doctor’s office straight away at 9:00. The receptionist told me Dr G was in surgery, so she would contact him and get back to me. She rang back in a few minutes saying to come straight into the hospital and have them monitored in the labour ward.
Mum went and dropped the kids off and then came back and picked me up. During this time, the contractions started to ease. During the trip in they pretty well disappeared.
I was taken into the exact same room that I had given birth to J Boy in. A trip down memory lane that I certainly didn’t want to repeat that day! I was hooked up to a machine which monitored the babies heartbeats and my contractions. It took a bit of patience on the part of the midwife to find the three heartbeats. The fraternal triplet up the top didn’t make things easier by constantly squirming around and knocking all the monitors off! There were some minor contractions recorded, which didn’t surprise me, because I couldn’t feel anything anymore. (Apart from the babies moving.)
Dr G came in dressed in scrubs and decided to take a fibronectin test. This test can be a predictor as to whether labour may begin in the next two weeks. It’s most useful result is a negative, because that will pretty solidly indicate that unless some outside factors are introduced, (like if I decided to go water skiing) the onset of labour is very unlikely in the next fortnight. Unfortunately I had a positive result. This result isn’t as useful, because it is not conclusive that labour will begin in the next two weeks. Dr. G treated it as a fairly useless result. For me though it was a good motivator to really take things easy since there was a higher possibility that I could be delivering pre-term babies in the next two weeks. The positive result also prompted my first hospital stay for threatened premature labour for observation and ‘to get some rest’ I concluded that hospitals are not restful places at all with nurses coming in, uncomfortable beds and rock hard pillows that prevent sleep. I hardly slept at all that night. However, I had no further contractions, several checks of the babies heartbeats were all satisfactory so I was relieved to be allowed to go home.
When I came home it was Mrs S’s first day doing In Home Care. It was stressful for me. Coming home from hospital, I was tired and wanted to maintain the level of sleepless rest I had achieved that had helped the contractions cease. However, since Mrs. S is still settling in and getting to know how to do things, and Toddler T was very clingy, I was getting up and down all day. I was exhausted by the end of the day and having contractions once again.
At least I know at this stage that they are Braxton Hicks and not early onset labour. I had some Braxton Hicks with Trent’s pregnancy, but nothing as constant and intense as these are. The concerning thing is that I never know when or how they will turn into actual labour. Since I had a 2 hour labour, (from the first contraction until delivery), with Toddler T, I’m very conscious that I need to get to the hospital as soon as possible so we can halt labour if possible. Or worst case scenario, be ready to have an emergency Caesar.
It was the Carnival of Flowers over the weekend. The Accountant took J Boy and Toddler T to see the parade. They came home happy and full of stories. I had a very restful day at home.
I’ve had a few stretch marks start appearing on my tummy. I knew it was likely, but I was still hanging out hoping that maybe I’d avoid them. I only had one tiny mark from the previous two pregnancies, so I’d been lucky up until now.
 On Monday, I completely forgot that I had a doctor’s appointment. I was thinking the appointment was on Tuesday, the day I normally have appointments. It was re-scheduled for the next day. Things are going well, but hearing that contractions are still occurring and that I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure down below, Dr. G expressed his doubts that he will get to deliver the babies. It’s awfully disappointing, but he is going away on a holiday for three weeks. It will be in between weeks 33-36, a highly crucial time for us. Dr Mac will be filling in, and I know he is an excellent doctor, but there’s nothing like the security of having your own doctor deliver your baby.  I told Dr. G that this would be a shame and that we’ll wait and see, I might be able hang on. He said he’d love to do the honours, but it would be truly miraculous if I went that long. I agree with him, it seems very unlikely. But I also know that there have been so many miracles occur, right from conception, that it is possible. I read a great quote the other day. “I’m a realist. I believe in miracles.”
31 weeks
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Being a Triplet Mum: The Persistant IVF Question…

“Oh! You’re having triplets! Wow.”


Then the inevitable question.

“So, did you do IVF?”

Of course there are many ways that people ask this question. Most are not subtle.

Or there is what I consider a more hideous variation of the question.

“Are they natural?”

I know what they mean, they’re simply asking if I had assisted reproductive technology. But it makes me feel that if admit I did IVF I’m saying, “No, my children are unnatural.”

My children aren’t unnatural.  The egg and sperm weren’t joined in the traditional manner, but at the end of the day it was a bonafide egg and an absolute au naturale sperm. Surely these two natural ingredients can create a natural child. Just because a scientist briefly helped in the union of said sperm and egg, doesn’t create synthetic people.

It’s strange that it bothers me. I can understand people being curious. I would be too.

Although I don’t think I would have asked a complete stranger two seconds after meeting her. I would have been worried that I was being rude. (And I think I would be right in that assumption.)

And as much as I’m getting used to the question and trying to find the best way to answer it, it does feel confronting. I need to find a good answer, because from what I’ve heard, I won’t stop being asked it after the kids are born.

I was always very open telling people that Toddler T was an IVF baby. To me, the journey through IVF and infertility is always connected with my pregnancies. People’s responses when hearing that Toddler T was an IVF baby were compassionate. Their words/unspoken body language changed as they recognised that this pregnancy/baby was a child who was long desired for and one that his parent’s were willing to go to considerable emotional, financial and physical effort in order to bring him up in a loving family.

I guess this illustrates why the IVF question now bothers me so much. People’s words or unspoken body language now express an entirely different sentiment. When I admit that they were IVF, all of a sudden there is a knowing look, a nod and a dismissal that this news is a little less exciting than it could have been.
A classic example was an old duck who worked, of all places, in a baby store. I was enquiring about triple strollers. Once she heard the I was having triplets, she started to fish for information beginning with the thinly veiled subtle approach.

“Triplets? Was that a surprise?”
“Yes, it certainly was.”
“But did you know you could have triplets?”
“No, I didn’t think I was going to have triplets.”

At which point she decides she needs more information and abandons the so called subtle approach.

“But did you do IVF?”
“Yes I did, but I never thought I would have triplets.”
Triumphant nod, as old duck has obtained the information that she sought.
“Yes, but you caused it to happen. Having three babies that is. They aren’t natural.”
“Well, when we did IVF we were hoping for one more child in our family.”
“But you didn’t put one egg in though. So that’s how this happens.”
“We only put two eggs in and one egg split, that’s why didn’t think we would have triplets.”
“Oh.” Body language changes to indicate that somehow the fact that we didn’t insert three eggs makes this somehow more acceptable.

I leave the store, (Without buying anything), feeling annoyed with myself that somehow I felt I should justify my choices to this complete stranger who obviously has no idea about IVF or infertility or multiples.

Let alone, the woman did not know that it’s impossible for a woman to get pregnant with triplets with IVF alone in Australia. In our country, you can’t legally use two embryos until you are over the age of 35 and at a decreased chance at achieving a multiple pregnancy. And two embryo’s are normally the maximum you may put in. I don’t think people understand that to have a triplet pregnancy in Australia there has been another factor rather than just IVF that has intervened.

I should note that there are many people, strangers and friends alike, that have heard the news and have celebrated it with us. They have talked about how it will be exciting (but busy!) to have three babies and what a blessing it will be. My church family particularly has been very supportive and right from the start been sensitive in the questions that are asked and celebrate the miracles that are growing within me.

I don’t mind so much people asking about conception if they know me well enough. I’m an open person. I don’t mind talking about IVF. And sometimes people are asking for personal reasons because they are contemplating/doing/have done IVF or know someone who is and want to hear about my experience. If a stranger was to say this to me when asking about IVF, I wouldn’t mind sharing my story one bit.

I need to remember also that most people aren’t meaning to be rude, they are merely curious.

However there are some factors that the curious public need to remember when they ask these personal questions to mother’s of multiples.

Firstly, just as a side, the parents who have conceived multiple babies ‘spontaneously’, get sick of this question also.

The parents who have received assisted reproductive technology have most likely been on a huge journey emotionally. They desperately have wanted children and have been willing to go to a lot of time, effort and money to achieve this dream. You don’t know what each individual journey has consisted of before reaching this joyous pregnancy. Often before they have become pregnant there have been multiple miscarriages, failed IVF attempts, many, many failed attempts at using fertility medicine, operations – to sum it up, there has been heartache, pain, sense of failure and devastation, before one day there is a happy moment of a positive pregnancy test. And then there is a second moment during an ultrasound when two or more babies are found. Even despite any initial shock, parents who have been infertile are normally overjoyed and determined to provide the best possible life to the children they thought they never may have.

There are reasons why parents have carefully deliberated over (in consultation with doctors) before placing more than one egg in during an IVF cycle. Either they do not have the funds to keep repeating the process of IVF until they achieve a pregnancy, or there have been failed attempts so placing more than one embryo gives a better chance at achieving a pregnancy. Most people would probably be very surprised to find out how many people have placed multiple embryo’s in the woman’s uterus during an IVF cycle and then have had no babies, or only one baby.

In any case, any mother that has the miracle of life being formed within her needs to hear comments that are supportive and uplifting. Most pregnancies have an element of challenge as women have all types of auxiliary issues to deal with it – from physical challenges, hormonal fluctuations or tiredness. So please, by sympathetic when you ask questions to any pregnant woman, including mothers with twins, triplets or more. And if
you are really curious, bite your tongue, unless you are given an avenue to politely ask, “Are they IVF?”

What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think mother’s of multiples are being over sensitive? Have you felt awkward being asked if your children were IVF? If you are a mother of multiples, do you have a good answer when strangers ask if your kids are IVF?

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