Things That Terrify Me About Having Triplets

OK, so maybe the title of this blog post is a bit sensational. Before you all worry about my state of mind. You could probably replace the word “terrify” with “concern”, because while there is some underlying sense of terror when one considers life with triplets, I do know that I will make it through it all, and I know I will have happy and healthy children at the end of the day.

I am actually quite a resiliant woman, and I know that sense of confidence that God has given me is going to be stretched to the max, but I know it’s going to get me through. That and the help I’m sure I’m going to receive from family, friends, and most importantly, Divine intervention!

OK, so now you know I’m not running around in circles, hands clasping my head screaming, “Why Me?” Here are some of the things that I think about once I’ve woken up at night and gone to the loo (again), or the little things that keep popping into my head that I am trying to be prepared for. I’m actually grateful so many things are running through my head. Forewarned can be forearmed. I know once I am in the midst of a situation, things won’t always go as planned, but at least I can be somewhat mentally ready. 

1. Having 5 Children 5 and Under.

In fact, that doesn’t sound half as scary as the four children that I will have under 2 when the triplets arrive. People have been saying to me, “At least you aren’t a first time Mum, that will make it easier.” Um, Yes and No. For sure, I will have more of an idea what babies do, and what I can do for them. Having the steep first time parent learning curve eliminated will make life easier. Having said that, I know what babies do when you have them one at a time. There will still be a “Having 3 at one time” learning curve. Also, I still have 2 other children that need lots of care, attention and nuturing – not to mention the fact that they still need to be fed, played with, bathed, behavioural issues dealt with, potty trained, begin school (January), etc. etc.

Already it makes the pregnancy much more difficult. Unlike triplet mother’s who are doing it for the first time, I don’t always have the luxury of sitting down when I’m tired. There are other bodies that need me, so my aching body needs to keep going. I’m fortunate to have great family support, so I do get to rest, however as much as people help out, kids just need their Mummy’s sometimes, especially when they are also going through huge life changing situations. This new family configurement is obviously effecting each one of our lives – BIG TIME!

2. Lack of Sleep

I can well remember that haze of sleep deprivation that one has to exist through during those busy newborn months with all the nightime feeds and interruptions. Multiplied by three, I can only imagine the stupor I will be living in. And unlike with my first child, finding moments during the day to snatch a little cat nap while the baby sleeps, is going to be a challenge.

Thoughts also for the poor Accountant, who is going to have to be on call even more than before. He needs to work the next day too. (Not that I won’t be working, but I don’t need to present myself as competent as he will…)

I’m reading all sorts of books at the moment of how to establish routines so the babies might be able to get into a pattern of feeding and sleeping at the same time. I know that babies often don’t always comply with the advice that is issued in books though. As with all these things, I can only arm myself with the information. Discovery of how it is going to work in our household will not occur until once the babies arrive.

3. Housework

I have admitted regularly to my status of total non-domestic goddess. So, obviously if I’m not very good at it with two kids, what is my house going to look like once there are five residing here?

Now, this is one area that lots of people have offered to help me with. And believe you me, I am completely grateful for these offers and I will be accepting them! I also know that this can’t last forever. At some point in time I’m going to have to deal with being responsible for home maintenance all by myself. And this is where ‘concern’ probably doesn’t adqueately express my emotions at the thought, then I really can use the word, “terrified”!

If you are a full blown “Messy” such as myself, you will know that keeping the place clean, can sometimes be the easy bit. It’s really not to hard to clean the toilet, vacuum the floors and clean the bathroom. (Well, it will be hard to do that with three newborns…) It’s all the clutter that I accumulate, by not putting things away, that makes my house the complete disaster zone. Of course, the obvious answer is “Just put it away”, and to the “Cleanie”, it sounds so simple.  Not so for the Messy. Where do I put it away? How do I have the time to put it away? I’m about to use it again. I can’t seem to find time to tidy all the previous mess in order to start. Yes, they are excuses, and these are all things that I can work on. But believe me, these are things that I’ve been working on my whole adult life, in fact, remembering my childhood bedroom, I’ve been trying to improve in this area my whole life. When you have the tidy component of your brain missing, this is one of life’s biggest challenges.

4. Lack of Privacy

Like I’ve said, we have lots of offers for help. I am so incredibly grateful for this and I intend to accept these offers with extreme gratitude.

I know that this is likely to get overwhelming at times. For starters, refer to point above. My messiness is going to be completely exposed. I do have a secret hope that this might be enough to inspire a reformation in my life. However, in the meantime, it’s going to be embarrasing. It’s already been embarrasing, I’ve had people in my house recently and it’s always a mess. You know you are losing your dignity when your book club is about to arrive in half an hour and you choose having a quick little sleep rather than that desperate last minute tidy up.

People tell me I shouldn’t be embarrassed about this. As grateful as I am that people are not being judgemental about me, it is still embarrassing. I know the standard I would like to maintain, and my houses appearance is nothing like that. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think it’s all bad that I am embarrassed. This is an area that does need to improve, and it’s not going to if I become complacent.

Having been a stay at home Mum for over 5 years now, some of my favourite days are the stay at home days, where we don’t go to any groups, visit anyone, or venture outside our own property. If we all want to blob around in our PJ’s, we do. For some Mum’s who are extroverted, this drives them crazy. However, I can exist quite happily talking to only children until my hubby comes home.

Luckily for me, I’m not a complete introvert, I actually scored right in the middle of introvert/extrovert when I had my Myers/Briggs profile done. So, at least I’ll generally be happy enough to see people. The Accountant is an extreme extrovert, so this won’t worry him too much either. It could be much worse if we were highly introverted.

5. Being Stuck At Home

OK, so I know this seems to contradict the last heading, but life often is a contradiction.

As much as I like to stay at home, I also like to get out and about. (Remember, I’m equal parts introvert/extrovert). Getting out and about is just not going to be the same once the triplets arrive. In fact getting out is pretty close to ending as it is, since I get tired after about an hour of shopping. It’s a tragedy.

Shopping, is a good example number one. I love it. My boys are generally well behaved in the shops, (I alway

s schedule visits to the toy departments, this will generally keep them happy), so this is something we do at least once a fortnight. It’s easy to have one child in the pram and one child holding your hand or the pram. It’s very orderly. Even by the time I do venture to the shops, it’s going to be different. For starters, I won’t have the same anonymity that I have now. A triplet stroller is kind of bound to get some attention. And the likelihood of three bodies being content, even in the toy aisles? I don’t have high hopes.

Even general trips to playgroups or the library are going to require a lot more time, preparation and organisation. Taking all my children to other people’s houses will also mean keeping an eye on three little bodies creating havoc (particularly when toddlers).

Going to cafe’s or restaturants? This is another favourite activity of mine. I shudder to think of the implications, once they are walking. And can you imagine us vacating a table that has had three babies feeding at it? Oh the mess!

The town we live in is called the Garden City. We have a multitude of beautiful parks, gardens and wonderful playgrounds. My kids love it when I take them to play. Sadly, this will need be so spontaneous anymore as Toowoomba does not have any playgrounds that are fenced. (Sore point, the multiple birth association has been trying to rectify this for years, but the request is constantly refused.) There’s no way I’ll be able to take the children to play without re-inforcements.

So, I think this is the start of the list. We might leave this as a ‘to be continued’. Mainly I’ve touched on how it’s effecting my life. I also have several concerns on the day to day “how to’s” of life with triplets.

So, any words of advice for me? Remember, I know I’m going to make it, I’ll be fine in the end, but any practical words of wisdom will be filed away for future use. I’m especially interested in anything you multiple Mum peeps have to say. I don’t often hear from you, but I know you must be out there! I’m sure you have a wealth of wisdom you can share!

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  1. I would have moments of being terrified when I was pregnant with my two and these are our first. I can only imagine how you feel expecting triplets and already having 2 older children. Triplets seems so much more overwhelming to me than twins. I know since the twins were born Jeremy and I have been on overdrive, your whole world revolves around these 2 little ones. We have hardly had any time to process let alone think about being stressed. The help from friends and family is amazing! I don’t know what I would do without them! It is nice to know I was not the only one who had moments of being terrified while being pregnant! You are going to be an amazing Mom to your 5 little ones!

  2. I feel quite emotional when I read your last post. It is very honest. The thing is there is nothing anybody can say or do to make it any easier – especially those of us who have never experienced what you are experiencing. The unkonwn is absolutely terrifying and consumes every bit of space in your brain especially late at night. I have been and will be praying for you. You are a very resilient person and you will manage. And those days where it is all just goes to pot you will just write off and start anew the next day (even with minimal sleep).

    It must be cathartic, in a way, to get it all out and write it down on your blog and I am sure helpful to those who are experiencing similar journeys and have similar concerns running through their head.

  3. I don’t have any personal advice as I don’t have triplets but I have good friends back home who had twins and then shortly after got pregnant which was not planned! I know that was huge for them but I do remember the mother having some great help from a hired nanny. Also she was a great believer in ‘handling only once’. So when getting the washing in from the line, folding it as getting it in. When handling a piece of crockery, put it away instead of leaving it on the bench till later. That kind of thing. Its always stuck with me and has helped me with my 3 children and I hope it might be of some help to you 🙂

  4. Oh my – where to begin…The hardest part for me was the sleep deprivation. You will need help. If hubs can’t help make sure you have others lined up. I did the night feedings all by myself and had someone ( usually my mom or family member) come over in the afternoons to baby sit so I could take a long nap. Try to do this until your babies start sleeping longer stretches at night. Sleep is your 1st priority. Because lack of it is bad for your health. I will e-mail you soon – because there is too much to put in this comment box. HHT

  5. Thanks everyone! Debbie, that reminded me, I got an email for this site ages ago and had forgotten to record it on this page. (duh!) Problem is solved: But if you missed it:

    Catherine: lovely words, thanks.

    Emily Sue: Yep, have plenty of friends that would go to the park with me. Still won’t be able to pop into the parks when the kids ask on the way home from somewhere, but it won’t be forever. One day they’ll be responsible enough to not play with traffic.

    Jus: Great advice! Ta!

    Whitney: Bet you are doing awesome!

  6. That comment about the park wasn’t from me… but hey, nice to be acknowledged! 😉 I think you’re amazing. If I were in your shoes I’d probably be curled up under the bed in a foetal position (as much as that is possible with a triplet-heavy tummy). Your positivity, even in a post about what terrifies you, is inspiring.

  7. Hi Caitlin! I have 2 year old triplets plus two older boys who are 6 and 8. It was terrifying in many ways facing the thought of adding three babies to our already busy family, but everything worked out. Reading about all the assistance you get in Australia makes me want to move there! We have no family within 500 miles- my husband and I did all the night feedings together. I guess we liked our money better than our sleep! 😉 I used to worry a lot about how messy my house was- after a while, you just have to let it go. I now leave all the messes until the babies go to bed, then the big boys and I make a game of seeing how fast we can pick everything up. It usually takes about 20 minutes to put everything in order and then I reward them with a treat or some video games. Having triplets is crazy (and no, I still can’t take them to an unfenced park alone), but it is an amazing adventure. Good luck!

  8. Hi There and Congrats!
    I am a blessed mom of 6 including almost 3 yr old triplets and run our local Triplet support group. I’ll try to give you advice based on what we did and how some others in our group have survived! And you will!

    #1 Breathe
    #2 Trust God w/ ALL of this
    #3 Find a local support group for multiples
    #4 re: the privacy part. It was a process for me to let others in and clean up after me. It will stretch you but it is a good thing. I laugh when people say that I am organized. They can say that because they have NOT seen my home. And I laugh because I’m thinking who? me?? But honestly, I am a different person since our babies came. I had to plan ahead and get things ready to survive. This will come. But you will have to let some things go. And if my upstairs toilets get done once a month. I’m good!Or if they get wiped down fast…I’m good. I’m still learning about clutter.

    Sleep: I would say the first two months are critical to have in home help (I had one extra family member during this time) I would try to sleep during the 11pm feed, while hubby and family fed babies, then I would do the 2am w/ help and sometimes on my own after a few weeks. This allowed hubby to get the zzz’s he needed. I would sleep when babies slept and even w/ your extra little ones needing you w/ family help you will need to do this initially. If you love having breakfast w/ your little ones then do that and then go sleep. Your kiddos will adjust.

    If your babies have NICU time they are already on a good schedule! I preach keeping them on that schedule. It works out great.

    Go!Go!Go! My biggest salvation (other than help) was our snapNgo stoller. To be able to leave babies sleeping was huge. But they grow quickly and w/ how close your kiddos are, the greatest investment would be a quad stoller. I’m thinking the ABC would be good for when they are little. But my friend loves her Runabout for sure and they are almost 3. I had a foundations quad stroller for awhile. You can email me w/ questions on that one. Buy used for sure! Go on craigslist and multiple sites. I believe the more you get out the more the babies get used to it and like it. Makes for good travelers.

    I have info on my blog under triplet tidbits for Expecting multiples. Some info is from quad moms. Pop on over or email me, I’d love to chat.

    Very excited for you this is an amazing blessing! Hugs!

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