Seven weeks with triplets
Well, all five of us have survived the first seven weeks and things continue to go remarkably smoothly! The babies have continued with their four hourly feeding routine and they are scoffing their way through one tub of Aptamil every three days. If they carry on like this they will be absolute monsters in a few weeks and at nearly £10 per tub, we will be totally skint! I wondered if you could buy milk in bulk from the Internet for a reduced price, but after a bit of research it seems that the government will not allow distributers to provide any kind of discount on newborn milk because it promotes bottle over breast! Well Mr Cameron, I’d love to see you breast feed triplets exclusively without the help of any kind of formula supplement for the first year of their lives. Why should mothers who physically can’t breast feed exclusively, for whatever reason, have to suffer the financial burden just because a group of clueless individuals decided that mothers who bottle feed are somehow not giving their baby “the best”? It makes me so mad! I ended up buying bulk from the supermarkets that offer discount on your first Internet order and ended up saving myself about £30 so far.
Lucas now weighs 8lb 1, Harry is 8lb 11 and Oscar is 7lb 14. They are ridiculously long too and are nearly out of their newborn clothes already. We were given some lovely outfits, but we have only just started to dress them up when we go out visiting people, otherwise they just live in their sleep suits. I think if I had one baby to dress I would make the effort to put on their fiddly little tops and pants and socks (that never stay on), but with three I’m just happy that they are wearing any clothes at all!
They are now big enough to fit into their Just For Bums nappies (which start from 6lbs upwards) and I can honestly say that they are the best nappies I’ve tried. They are the only nappies (and I’ve tried all of the big brands) that have never leaked and I’ve been using them for 4 weeks now. The boys look so cute with the little turtle/duck design on the front. When speaking with other mums, the thing they liked most was the fact that if their baby grew out of the nappies mid-way through the box then they can take any unopened packs back to Kiddicare for a refund by using their “take back service”. They can also be delivered to your door every month so you don’t even have to remember to order them and you don’t need to worry about lugging the brood to the shops in bad weather. Fantastic!
I used to look forward to Friday and Saturday nights when John and I would go out with friends and consume far too much alcohol…now I look forward to Friday and Saturday nights so that I can have a full six hours sleep whilst John does the 2:30 am feed. Life is very different, but very, very good! John and I work as a tag team and if one of us is flagging the other is happy to pick up the slack, especially as we have now developed a propping technique (with the help of bean bags) where we can feed two or even all three babies all at once…it’s a bit like spinning plates, but it works! We can now change, feed and burp all three babies in an hour and a half if we’re on our own or within an hour if there’s two of us. We have had unbelievable support from our family and friends, whether it’s changing a baby, cooking dinner for John and me or just watching the children whilst we have a snooze.
Before the babies were born I contacted the local colleges to see if they had any trainee nursery staff that needed a placement and Tresham College said that they would try and place a student with me. Well, we struck gold and I now have Sophie helping me every week on a Monday and a Tuesday from 9:30 am until 4:30 pm. It means we can get out of the house, go to various baby clubs and everyone stays (relatively) sane. She will be with us until June and I’m hoping to get another student placed with us on a Thursday and a Friday from March. It’s amazing what you get if you ask!
We have the health visitor come out to us every week to weigh the babies and the surgery sent the doctor out to do their six week check up, which made life so much easier. It’s nice that they appreciate how difficult it is getting three babies out of the house, let alone to an appointment on time. I can see how new mums could fall into the trap of not getting out and about and staying in pyjamas all day as I feel like I want to do this every day! But I know that a shower and a bit of fresh air is what we all really need. I really have to psych myself up to get the babies out if the house, but the more I do it the braver I feel. The process is fairly painless now and I have finally worked out how to get the buggy in the car without bruising myself from head to toe…but we really need a bigger car!
We always attract attention with the monster buggy and people like to stop and have a chat with you, but a 15 minute trip to Tescos can easily take an hour! Some of the most popular comments are “you’ve got your hands full”, “are they all yours?”, “were they natural?” and just “wow!” Sometimes I would love to come back with witty comments, but I just think that people have no idea what to say when they see triplets and they just can’t imagine what it must be like. The only time I feel a bit defensive is when people stare at them and say things like “oh no!” (that has happened twice now), “I don’t envy you” or “Jesus Christ!” as they stroll past. I usually just respond by saying, “actually, they are brilliant and three times the fun of a single baby, I wouldn’t change a thing”. And I mean it. It is lovely how people are just so willing to talk to you and a long quiet wait in a supermarket queue can turn into a full blown conversation whilst you wait to pay for your mountains of baby milk and wipes.
The health visitor always asks me how I’m feeling and how I’m coping and I can honestly say that most of the time I take everything in my stride, but like most people I have my wobbly moments where I feel so tired I wonder if I can die from sleep deprivation. Sometimes I worry I should be interacting with each baby more (though I have no idea how I could physically do any more without splitting myself into three). I read in one of my books that a 1983 study revealed that a mother of six-month-old-triplets expends an average of 197.5 hours per week (out of a possible 168) between herself and paid/volunteer assistance, on the care of her children and home. This did not include a time allowance for the mother to bathe, dress (does putting on slippers count?), sleep (what’s that?) eat (ready meals), relax (HA!) or talk with her partner.
The health visitor reassures me that the babies will demand what they need from me and they will not be under stimulated…what happens when they all demand different things at the same time though?
I have managed to squeeze back into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes (yippee!) and the stretch marks have started to fade now with the help of my Palmers tummy butter. I had a few wobbly moments where I stared at my ‘interesting’ new look in the mirror with horror, but I look at my three little tinkers and think, “totally worth it”.
They are all starting to develop their own little personalities and they are all starting to reward us with their little gummy smiles and coos. Oscar is very lively and loves to have a chat and a play. Harry is happiest with a full tummy and lots of sleep. Lucas is very expressive and quite sensitive, but they all love big kisses and cuddles.
Right, I’d best dash. There’s bottles to wash, bums to clean and babies to play with.