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 Everything Triplets

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I don't believe that tired old saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle."  At times I do have more than I can handle.  I'm just grateful that people are placed in my path to help me along the way.


I'd just like to thank all of the parents of multiples who visit this site and this page.  Having triplets is a challenge sometimes (most of the time) and when it gets really tough sometimes and I think I'm going to lose my mind, I remind myself that there are so many more out there who are in the same boat, battling the same madness even as I'm battling mine.  It's that thought that gives me the strength to go on when it becomes overwhelming.  I take a step back for a moment and remind myself how truly blessed I am and what a noble task we as parents of multiples undertake from the moment they are conceived.  So, thank you for being out there.  Really.

THIS IS MY TRUTH:
The information on this page is triplet life as I see it, and may not reflect all triplet families. 


Theme of 2006:
How are we going to babyproof that?

Theme of 2005:
Boy, we have our hands full!

Theme of 2004:
Riding out the storms.


Instant Celebrity

Here's my video of our "instant celebrity" experience.

and

Here's the McKenney family's experience.

Both videos offer very different takes on the same type of experience.  But both videos demonstrate the very real sensation of instant celebrity that comes with having triplets.


Confessions

I must confess, in the exhausting first year with the babies, I've done some really strange things.  Lack of sleep takes its toll.

  • I've dressed Max in pink very girlie pajamas and had him completely dressed before I noticed what I had done. Sorry, Max!

  • I've laid one baby on top of another in a crib. 

  • I've poured coffee into a baby bottle.

  • I've poured formula in my coffee.

  • I threw away a baby outfit in the diaper pail and never got it back.

  • I spent many months wandering around my house, going from room to room trying to figure out what it is I was getting ready to do.


My Triplet Card

 

This is a copy of the card I keep with me to hand out to strangers who speak before they think. I created and printed these myself. (Only handed out to the meanest spirited folks.  I don't use it anymore.)


B.T. & A.T.

(Before Triplets & After Triplets)

Before triplets, a great restaurant was...

  • one with good food and great ambience. 

After triplets, a great restaurant is...

  • one loud enough to drown out our noisy crew

  • one with enough space to accommodate a triplet stroller

  • one that brings food quickly

  • one that will definitely have three highchairs available to us

Before triplets, spending time to myself meant an hour curled up on the couch with a good book.

After triplets, spending time to myself means spending five luxurious minutes in the shower.

Before triplets, getting dressed up meant fixing my hair, donning a nice outfit.

After triplets, getting dressed up means getting into anything that's not PJ's and doesn't have a stain or two on it.

Before triplets, a wonderful evening was a nice dinner and a movie.

After triplets, a wonderful evening is getting the little ones into bed and still finding the energy to watch an entire movie without falling asleep on the couch.

Before triplets, rest and relaxation was an afternoon at the beach or a canoe trip on the river.

After triplets, rest and relaxation is a trip to the bathroom.

Before triplets, we thought our lives were full and busy.

After triplets, we know our lives are full and busy.

But, who's complaining?!


Fun facts about the Rhoton babies...

In the first month that they were at home:

  • We fed them approximately 745 bottles.  Here's what that looks like:

  • We changed about 750 diapers.

  • We got about 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time and were awake for about 1 hour every three hours - averaging about 4 hours of actual "sleep" per night.


Being a parent of triplets means:

Never having your spouse come home to a messy house and say "What have you been doing all day?"

You don't need to leave the house to have a playgroup.

You get to be an expert at dividing things up three ways.

You see three of ANYTHING, ANYWHERE and you think "triplets."


Just Kidding...

I said the other day to someone, "This afternoon I was a mess.  I had poop on my shirt and a booger on my arm.  And, for ONCE neither was from me."

It's a joke!  But I did have the boogers and poo thing.

Wonderful comments we've received about our triplets:

"That's amazing!"

"Oh, my gosh, they're beautiful!"

"What a blessing!"

"That is the most darling thing I've ever seen."

"What a wonderful family you have!"

"How wonderful."

"You won the baby lottery with those."

"God must have thought you'd make wonderful parents to give you three babies at one time."

"I believe that babies choose their parents before conception. How terrific that three babies chose you at once." (This comment was made by a Mormon woman I passed in Wal Mart.)

"I know the bible says Thou shalt not covet, but I can't help it. Your family is so beautiful!" This comment was made by a woman at the mall who was walking with her SIX children aged 11 and under - all of them beautiful, all of them well-behaved, and all of them with wonderful smiles on their faces.


Things NOT to say to a parent with triplets:

"I had three kids in three years.  That's just as hard as having triplets."  Nope, not the same!

"I have one really difficult kid.  She/he is just as much work as triplets."  Nope, not the same either!

Anything that has to do with "triple trouble."  Kids pick up on that pretty quickly.

"You poor thing!"  Not even.  We're so happy to have our children. They're a blessing.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you see a parent with triplets:

Remember that you are probably the 26th person that half-hour to stop and ask questions, make comments, point, stare, follow, stalk, touch or otherwise interrupt. 

Please don't be offended if a parent with triplets just keeps walking and isn't in the mood to "chitchat" about the kids.  The clock is always running and if all of the kids are happy, it's a guarantee that it won't last for long.  An even greater spectacle than having triplets is having screaming triplets.

Please acknowledge older siblings.

Please keep comments short, simple, and pleasant.

Absolutely NO questions about conception.  Do you share your sex life with strangers?


More Observations

Is it a Twin thing?

It's sometimes not always apparent to distinguish between learned behavior and what is inherent, but I'm starting to see some things emerge that are more than coincidence with the girls.

  • Both girls got their first tooth within a day of one another.

  • Both girls developed the same need for a security blanket on the same day and unfortunately favor the same security blanket (we're getting another one).

  • Both girls, more often than not, have poop at the same time.


Time Distortion

While raising children, time distortion is inevitable.  It seems you can blink and your children turn from infants into teenagers.  With triplets, time is distorted in ways I've never before experienced.  The saying is with triplets that the days are long but the weeks fly by.  And so it is.

I get tears in my eyes when I pause to think how quickly the wee ones are going to grow, and of how much they already have.  Then, in almost the same instant, the tears dry up and time seems to stand still when the babies are all screaming.  They're almost a year old.  How can it be?   The trick is, and an impossible one, to slow down time enough to enjoy their childhood but speed it up enough to get past the rough spots.


PERSPECTIVE

A new mom, awake every three hours at night with her first baby, thought she had her hands full - and she did.  Then she met...

A new mom of twins,  exhausted from being awake doing double duty while trying to master the art of feeding two at the same time, thought she had her hands full - and she did. Then she met...

A new mom of triplets, learning to juggle three babies with only two arms, while dealing with intense sleep-deprivation, thought she had her hands full - and she did.  Then she met...

A mom of a new set of triplets who had a toddler still in diapers and several school aged children, spreading herself in many different directions at once, while dealing with intense sleep deprivation, thought she had her hands full - and she did.  Then she learned of...

A mom of who just gave birth to her second set of triplets within two years, still changing diapers of a trio of toddlers, while dealing with sleep-deprivation, with a bigger life change than she could ever have imagined, thought she had her hands full - and she did.  Then she saw the program about...

A mom who just gave birth to her 16th child, adding to her 15 children all under the age of 18, juggling so many different tasks to keep her busy family cared for, thought she had her hands full - and she did....

Each of the moms thought they had their hands full, and then they met... a woman who would never know the joy of carrying, giving birth to and nurturing her very own baby, and each of those moms were glad they had their hands full.

Perspective is everything.


It's Definitely a Triplet Thing

Here are some things that we take for granted sometimes (because we see it everyday), but how interesting it is to have triplets around!

  • The babies follow each other around and work in clusters at any given toy.

  • They seem to "sing" to each other and mimic each other's voices

  • When one cries, it sparks a frenzy.

  • The one toy that is most interesting to one is the one toy that the others MUST take away.

  • Zipping around the house in walkers is fun to watch but dangerous to the ankles of observers.


Just plain crazy and stupid comments we've gotten about our triplets:

(the bold ones are the newest)

"That one's pretty.  But THAT one's even prettier."

"I'll give you 25-cents a piece for them."  This comment came from a little old guy.  I didn't take offense. 

"Get them fixed NOW!"  What on earth did that mean?!

And, the worst - the suicide-bomber!  "I'd have shot myself in the head if I'd have found out I was carrying triplets."  To which I replied, "That's horrible.  Look at those sweet children.  She retorted, "Oh, no.  Really.  I'd have shot myself in the head!" 

"Wow.  You kids look like trouble!"

"Boy, you got a whole mess of 'em!"

TAKES THE CAKE! - "You poor thing!" Response to my 3-year-old son when he proudly announced that he has "triblets" at home.  Just when I thought RUDE couldn't get any ruder.  Stupid woman!

"I'd have sold two of them."

"Where'd the brown one come from?" (referring to the fact that only one(Max) of the four tiny ones has brown hair)

"What a nightmare!"

"The only thing worse than twin boys is twin girls." Said by a father of twin boys. 

"Now, that's scary!"  Loren turned to him and said, "No, you're scary."

"I'd be drunk ALL the time," said a woman watching us deal with our busy babies during a photo session.

"I guess it could be worse," a mom of twins said, referring to us as she pushed her twins past.  Yeah, Lady, it could be worse.  We could've lost one of our precious babies!

"That's a cool stroller.  Too bad you had to have 3 kids to get one."

"So, they're triplets?" "Yes."  "Oh, well are they all the same age?"  (Huh?  I scratched my head with that one.)

"I'd hate to be you." 

"Please tell me you're only babysitting these babies!"

"You must be crazy to have three babies at once!"

Here's my own personal favorite.  "You're lucky they're not all stuck together.  Usually with three, at least two of them are joined together."  I'm NOT kidding about this one, either!

"What happened to that one?" (referring to Max having brown hair)

"Why is that one different?" (once again referring to Max having brown hair)

"Which one's the smart one?"

"Now, there's trouble.  What a triple headache!" - said by a guy who looked like he had a mouthful of vomit. (I didn't bite my tongue with this one and let the guy have it!)

"I had my 3 the hard way - one at a time."  Okay.  Yeah, Lady!  Carrying, delivering, and caring for triplets has been a breeze!" 

"Now, that's my idea of a nightmare."

"That one's the runt, huh?" Referring to Nadia.

"You should buy a TV!"

"I'm so sorry (you have 3 kids)."

"Which one is your favorite?"

"Oh, is this an extra one?" (speaking of Angus)

"Don't have any more kids."

"Should I say congratulations or condolences?"

"I hope you're done!" (Dumb lady in Babies R Us) - Referring to NOT having more kids. Of course I said no...

"I'd kill myself" - Referring to not wanting triplets

"Are they all yours?"

"If they're triplets, then why is that one bigger? (referring to Max)"

"Which one can I have?"

"I thought I hated MY life."

"Are they all from the same mother?"

"How'd that happen?" (referring to their conception)

"Were you trying for triplets?"

"Did you take drugs?"

"Are they all 3 twins?"

"Are you Mormon? or "Are you Catholic?"

"Were they all born at the same time?"

"Did you know you were having triplets?"

"You must be joking!"

"It'd be my bad luck to get triplets the first time I get pregnant."

"Oh, I feel so sorry for you!"

AND THE NUMBER ONE COMMENT WE GET EACH AND EVERY SINGLE TIME WE'RE OUT:  "Boy, you have your hands full."


Responses to  Dumb Comments

A response I fantasize about using but have never used:  "I'm sorry.  I'm not fluent enough in Idiot to continue this conversation." 

Here are some stock responses I've learned to deliver:

  • Yes, we do (have our hands full)

  • Yes, we are busy.

  • I couldn't agree more (to the better you than me).

  • Why would you say that? (to the poor thing, poor you, etc.)

One woman told me, "I'd hate to be you." Since on that day I eloquently found a way to shut her up, and feel graceful and vindicated, I've used the following phrase on so many occasions. 

  • I'd say the same thing to you, but that would be rude, wouldn't it?

That phrase works on so many of the negative comments I've gotten such as:

  • It sucks to be you.

  • I'd hate to be you.

  • Boy, there goes a nightmare.

  • I'd be drunk all of the time if I had your life.

You'll see that in each case of the above negative statement, the phrase "I'd say the same thing about you/to you, but that would be rude, wouldn't it?"works.  It shuts people up and makes them think. 

Peace of mind with going out into public can come with giving a piece of my mind to those who threaten to attack my precious family.  And, I realize why I get my attack face out when I go into public.  A mother and father have an overwhelming urge to protect their children from attacks, personal, physical, verbal, whatever.  Parents of multiples, especially higher order multiples are confronted by strangers on a minute-by-minute basis in public and my acute awareness and instinct tells me to protect my small children from the negative comments from ignorant people.  But, I do it in such a way so it serves to teach the commenter that he or she has said something inappropriate. 


Nature is Cruel to Moms of Multiples

When the babies were born we should have received along with them:

  • 24 extra hours per baby per day to spend caring for and loving each

  • 1 extra set of hands on both mom and dad per baby

  • an extra breast would have been nice

  • the ability to go weeks without sleep


During the month preceding their 6-month milestone:

  • Together they drank 18 bottles a day - about 1-gallon of formula.

  • They used about 18 diapers a day.

  • Formula costs for one month - $550.00

  • Diaper costs for one month - $125.00

  • We did at least one load of baby laundry per day.

Here's what constitutes a somewhat healthy supply of formula for triplets:

(That's about 70 or 80 cans of formula.  In other words, this would just about feed one baby for his/her infancy.  Not so, with triplets, however.)