OK, I’ve already written one post about things that terrify, a.k.a. concern, me about being a mother of triplets. I thought even though I’m exposing my vulnerabilities and fears, this is a good post to make. For a few reasons.
a) Hopefully I can obtain some valuable advice from those who have been there done that.
b) Alternatively I can establish some relationship/solidarity with those who may be in the same situation
c) Let other pregnant Mum’s who happen to find this site know they aren’t alone.
d) Be informative for those who don’t have multiples, but are interested in some of the thought processes of multiple Mum’s.
e) Obtain prayer from those individuals who believe in the power of prayer and pray into certain situations where divine help will be the ultimate solution.
f) I think it will be really interesting to return to this post once I’m an experienced Triplet Mum and comment on what I found worked and which fears were unnecessary.
Mostly, the first post was about things that were directly effecting moi. Today I thought I’d extend the list talking about some of the more day to day aspects of having three newborns/babies/toddlers/children/teenager/grown up children all at once. Although, I think I’ll just start at the beginning and focus on my eminent concerns of newborns/babies.
Before I continue, I’ll comment on one more self centred thing that makes me rather anxious – it’s rather obvious. What is going to happen to my body before these three little beings make an appearance in this world? The mass, the stretching, the bulk, the physical strain it is going to be. Yikes! I am shuddering at the though. The worst thing is that I can’t do anything about it. I just need to wait and see what happens…
Anyhoo: Back to the likely hurdles that are going to make life, well, uh, interesting with the babies.
1. Their Birth Day
I am praying so hard that I don’t have pre-term labour. I would really like to reach 35 weeks. (For the babies sake. As I’ve said, what I will feel like at this stage of pregnancy is another issue!) At this stage my doctor has said if I go the distance, we’ll plan a caesar for 36 weeks. It’s my motivation for keeping life slow, although it certainly isn’t easy with the two boys. But I also want to delay hospital bed rest also, so that is also motivation. We just want to do whatever it takes to keep those babies in the womb as long as possible so that they can have the best possible start to life.
With my past two children, I have been fortunate enough to be awesome at breastfeeding. In fact, an older lady once said I was a great cow. Hmmm. Not sure that this was really a compliment, even if she may have meant it to be. However, if you ignore my similarities with the bovine, I’m hoping that I’ve been good at this particular female gifting for such a time as this.
However, I don’t presume that things will necessarily go smoothly. I know while some mothers have no problem with one child, it’s no guarantee for others. Should I start having trouble, I have decided there is only a certain degree that I will stubbornly persist before I can get it right. I think you can have this luxury when you are only dealing with one child, but when you are operating with all the other competing factors that triplets will bring, I will have no hesitation in eliminating this problem and proceeding straight to formula. (Even if it makes The Accountant weep with the inevitable increase in the budget.)
Should things go well, my current plan is to feed two at once, and have one baby being bottle fed breastmilk. I plan to rotate the babies, so that every third feed they will have the bottle. That means 2 out of 3 feeds that get an under the arm snuggle with Mummy. I have to admit, that with my previous two, I never expressed. I just always worked any trips away from my children around feeds. So, I’m a little bit nervous about the whole breast pumping experience, because the one time I briefly tried to, I did not find it a pleasant experience. Suppose you get used to being ‘milked’. I’m thinking of hiring a hospital pump at first since I’m doing some heavy duty regular pumping. I would like to pump after each feed. Friends have also given me pumps, so I guess it will be a case of working out which one suits me the best. If pumping is too much effort, I’ll drop the breast milk bottle and substitute it to formula. I think it will be still be fine for the bubs to be getting formula every third feed.
Also, with singletons you have the luxury of breastfeeding when out and about. I’m supposing the easiest way of dealing with feedings when I’m not at home would be to bottle feed at least two. I’m not expecting to be out a whole heap, especially at first. It would nice to not be completely housebound. I would still like to make occasional trips to valued activities like my monthly bookclub, church or to do things with the boys.
I like routines. Most of the time. When they suit me. We have routines in our family. It’s good to. They create order and security. They can also create rigidity and inhibit spontaneity. So, one of my routines is to regular break from the routine. And up until now, this style has suited our family.
During the first few years with triplets, I’m imagining we will need to be more rigid in maintaining routines. It kind of scares me. Not only could I feel a bit inhibited, I’m kind of really bad at maintaining them long term, so I’m bound to break from the routine at some point, and it’s the consequences that may result from my actions that is worrisome.
However, I’m hoping that it will happen infrequently enough that the triplets also learn to deal with spontenaity, as my other children have.
The top of the list for more precise baby routines is sleeping and feeding. Up until now, I have labelled my feeding as “Feeding on demand with rules”, which I’ve been told is not really feeding on demand, because that demands no rules. With my previous two babies, I have been able to pro-long the feeds so that they were at least three hours apart. Of course if the baby was so upset that it was screaming and hyperventilating, I’d give them a snack. Or I’d be lenient when they were sick, or if their routines had been interrupted and they needed the comfort of a breastfeed. But generally I fed when they were hungry and looked like they wanted a feed sometime after the three hour mark.
With sleeping, I let the babies establish the pattern. When they looked sleepy, I would put them to bed. Generally they worked out a routine that suited them, and as they got older their sleep patterns would adjust and I’d work with them. It means that they didn’t go to sleep at the same time everyday, but at a similar time each day.
As I said, this has worked for me. People who love routines love that they can plan when they are out, or when to do things, because they know the exact time their baby goes to sleep. I preferred being able to have babies flexible enough that if I wanted to do something at a time when they normally slept, the baby could deal with the interruption to the schedule and make up the sleep some other time, or sleep in the pram, etc.
Because I think the method that would most suit living with triplets would be to have them all feeding and sleeping at the same time, (fingers crossed), a strict routine will need to be in place. I just hope this sanity saver doesn’t drive me insane.
4. Fussy Babies
J Boy and Toddler T, were generally pretty good babies, with not too many issues. I am hope, hope, hoping and praying that we don’t have fussy babies who constantly cry or have allergies, reflux,cholic or other ailments that make newborn life even more difficult than no
rmal. Please God! Completely healthy babies (who learn to sleep through the night early would be a bonus) will equal blessed babies, and a blessed Mummy! (Daddy, and brothers also!)