The biggest year of our lives

Poppy, Henry and Charlie are nearly one. Our triplets are nearly ONE!! What?! Huh! How has 12 months passed us by. Whilst it feels like these babies have been in our lives forever, it wasn’t that long ago we were just starting this adventure. It has no doubt been the biggest year of our lives. Its time to stop and take this moment in before another passes and I forget what it was all like.

Ok, I’ve had my token “time flies” moment and now it’s time to actually digest in 500words or less what has just happened. My last post was months ago and I was listing their 8 feeds a day routine. Nothing much has changed in regards to routine…it’s like clock work here. The biggest difference now is we are watching these little babies turn into toddlers. We aren’t just feeding, bathing and burping them. We are watching them learn, grow and find their unique personalities each day.

This is by far the most rewarding and hardest job we have ever done. It’s pretty obvious why it’s rewarding – you are teaching little innocent minds how to act and behave; how the world works; how to love and my god you get rewarded. You get these little humans look at you with such love and affection while they clap their hands or wave or say “mum-mum-mum, dad-dad-dad”. You instantly forget about everything else for those moments.

At the same time, this parenting business is so hard. Like any parent, we have had to become selfless and completely give ourselves to these little people that need us. Giving up work and my daily use of brain power was one thing, but also giving up some of our friends because their world is different to ours at this point in time. We have also had to change the way we exercise and do our hobbies (it’s now gardening, walking and the occasional circuit or run). The intensity of how hard parenting is was truly tested when they were sick. Wow, that made other days feel like a walk in the park. Sure you get the odd glimpse of your old life, but there is no denying, our world has changed.

We have not for one moment had to do it alone. We have had the amazing support of both our families and close, special friends to guide us and help us along the way. They are honestly our sanity.

Life is certainly good. Whilst we have our tough moment, days and even weeks…I constantly sit back and go wow, these three are all mine (I know that sounds a bit obsessive…I could be slightly). We have our first family holiday coming up next week at the beach, followed by their first birthday. A time to thank everyone and enjoy this moment. I will try and do a post more regularly…in the meantime I’ll write a bit about their routine for those interested.

xx Em

Feeding – At 12 months they’re on 3 bottles a day varying between 240ml to 60ml. They have them before breakfast, lunch and after dinner. They love their food and we have been incredibly blessed to have a donation by Bellamy’s Organic. Needless to say they are tracking along beautifully with their weight (between 11-12kg). They have 3 main meals a day and 2 snacks. They’re enjoying feeding themselves.

Sleeping – I’m so lucky with my little ones loving their sleep. They have 2 sleeps a day, one at 8:30/9am for an hour and a second at 12:30/1pm for 2 hours. Most of the time at least 2 do that…I sometimes have quality one on one time with the one that doesn’t feel like sleeping (Henry today). They go to bed at 6pm and wake between 5 and 6am.

Milestones – I actually can’t remember when they started sitting up. I’m going to have to look back on photos. It’s all a bit of a blur. Poppy started crawling at 10months corrected (11months) and Charlie has just started this week (11 months corrected). Henry is still very happy to be rolling around.

Activities – they love going outside; going for walks; rhyme time and SWIMMING! LOVE Swimming.

Not sure what else there is to fill the world on in my world of triplets…but if there is anything you want to know, please feel free to contact me. xo

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Superwomen…not

IMG_5595It’s time. After 3 months of bliss (although not sure if bliss is the right word), my parents are returning home to the property. Mum and Dad have been with us since the beginning and it’s all coming to an end on the 20th of March. To be absolutely frank, I’m terrified. I don’t deny, I have been living in a complete state of illusion that triplets are manageable. There is no doubt that like any new mother, my life has been turned up side down and now revolves around a baby routine of feeding, sleeping, settling and playing (x3). But the real test is about to begin.

In fear of sounding like a broken record, I really don’t think I’ll have time for the blog anymore. In fact, I’ll have little time for anything. I love cooking, I enjoy exercising and even the odd coffee outing…but soon to put on the back burner. I would however love to write a blogs on feeding, their sleep routine and how we manage with triplets for those other mums out there. So instead I’ll do a snapshot of those important parts after the end of the blog.

I’m definitely not alone post 20th of March. I will continue to have my gorgeous mother in law coming every Thursday night and all day Friday. I also have my two sister in laws helping out, some wonderful friends rostering on and have some hired help with in home care (who happens to be one of my best friends). I guess the difference will be is that it will become a military operation, I’ll be alone for feeds and will have to put up with a crying baby demanding a feed…something they haven’t really done yet.

Everyone often says, ‘You’re a superwomen’…but the truth is out there, I’m not. I am however the mother of 3 absolutely gorgeous, unique triplets who are thriving. They all have amazing weight gain, reaching all developmental milestones and have smiles that light up our little house. We are two very lucky parents to have these 3 in our life…and everyone that surrounds them.

So in other news…I’m nearly 30. Ekkk. Therefore the triple threat at 29 won’t really apply. On my birthday, I am going to change my instagram page from ’emma.leyden’ to ‘three little leydens’. If you’re interested in seeing their progress, check it out… https://www.instagram.com/emma.leyden/

So what I’ve learnt…for those other mums out there

Sleep: In the first couple of months, it was nearly impossible for them to get into a routine because they needed to do so much sleeping. Instead we tried to create habits so they knew the cues. This included the last feed to have very little distractions (no TV or us talking to them etc) and in their sleeping bag for the midnight feed. Whilst they wake every night, they know the drill and they are back down to bed in no time. We push them out until 6am to do the first feed, even if they wake at 5am. We’re trying to do the hard yards now, so we can manage later.

Feed: This has been probably the hardest part to work out. I know the rule of thumb is 150ml per kilo but we’re mix feeding them (50% breast milk and 50% formula) and they’re all different weights. So we offer them the maximum amount per feed (of either formula or breast) but we don’t force it down if they aren’t interested. Generally speaking, they will finish it off at some stage during the day.

I know this would have helped me at the beginning so here is a breakdown of our day at 3 months. I don’t think it will stay this way, with their sleeps changing to morning and afternoon, but this is what they’ve opted for so far.

  • Between 12am – 3am Feed (they wake us, we don’t wake them)
  • 6-7am Formula feed – if they wake earlier we either put them on their tummy in bed with us or in a rocker which usually gets them past 6am.
  • 8-9am Morning walk – Once they’ve been fed and I’ve pumped, had breakfast and done a bottle wash, I strap them in the pram and take them for a walk which we all love. It gives them something to look at and gets me out of the house. They usually have a bit of a nap in the pram too. When we come back we have a kick around on the lawn with their nappies off.
  • 9:30am – breast milk feed
  • 10:30 to 1:30pm – big sleep. They don’t all go down then and sometimes takes the whole time to settle them but we try for at least a decent sleep. Most days we get at least 30mins of peace which allows me to make lunch for the hired help and cook dinner (or blog).
  • 1pm – formula feed
  • 1-4pm – after their feed they like to have some awake time before another quick sleep. We often do baths in this time too.
  • 4pm – breast milk feed. By the time they finish this feed (if they finish it) they have another kick around and have cuddles with Pat. Pat and I often have dinner and they will have another power nap, the key is having one at least asleep so we can feed 2 in peace.
  • 6:30 – formula feed and then bed. This can take anywhere from an hour to 2. Hence we have an early dinner before this feed.
  • 9pm bed for us 🙂

 

 

The triplets have arrived

IMG_5647

Maybe I was a little ambitious wanting to have a blog with new born triplets. This has been on my to do list for the past 11 weeks and I’m just getting to it now. But here I am, 12 weeks down.

On the 25th of November at 35 weeks and 2 days, Poppy Frances Kate (2.19kg), Henry William (2.25kg) and Charlie John (2.25kg) entered our life. We were incredibly lucky and were all discharged on the 8th day as they all fed well from breast and bottle and gained their initial weight loss. The only minor complication we had was that Charlie had jaundice. So really, we have been handed 3 amazingly healthy babies…all at once.

Pat and I have had so much support from our family and friends, it’s been overwhelming. You really see who cares and are your good mates. From doing the midnight feeds with us, cleaning our house, cooking us meals, picking up a crying baby or walking our dog, we thank you a million times over!! THANK YOU!! We really don’t know how we could have got this far without you all.

In fear of sounding like a broken record, the past 12 weeks have been a complete blur, filled with every emotion. It’s been filled with feeding (lots of feeding), settling, changing nappies, crying (lots of crying), watching the clock, trial and error, people coming and going, gorgeous gifts and meals. It’s also been filled with lots of gummie smiles, a sense of complete satisfaction that this is our family and a lot of love. I now get it. You have this absolute sense of protection and love over these little people. Stuff that mattered before…just doesn’t matter. It’s amazing and nothing you can describe easily (that’s totally not me trying to get out of writing more).

I don’t know when I will get a moment to write the next blog, but I will be amping up my instagram page for our friends and family who want to see their progress. I’m going to change the name too…as I’m 30 in under a month and the triple threat, well they aren’t a threat. If you are interested in following go to…

https://www.instagram.com/emma.leyden/

Until next time xox

 

 

Home Stretch

I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant and the count down is on. I had a scan last Thursday and all 3 babies seem to be growing beautifully. Triplet 1 is engaged and weighing approximately 1.5kg, triplet 2 is our biggest coming in at 1.7kg and triplet 3 with the most room is almost 1.5kg. They are thinking I might make it for another 3 weeks….if I’m good and rest of course.

I’m not sure what it’s like to be pregnant with 1 or 2 for that matter, but the third trimester is a whole new ball game with 3 on board. I didn’t realise how much my body would change and how amazing it seems to cope supplying for four, including myself. Although having said that, I have never been to the doctor as much as I have now that I’m pregnant. The start of this trimester I got a chest infection and just last week I got an eye infection (yep, really good look). Luckily antibiotics have cleared up both infections in no time at all.

I am seriously overwhelmed with the generosity of our friends and family. Just last week, a friend who recently had a beautiful baby boy posted all his little clothes from Sydney, costing them an absolute fortune. My family have supplied us with their maternity clothes, old toys and extra baby clothes. I know I keep saying this but we are truly blessed to have such amazing people in our lives.

I stil have no idea what the sex of the babies are, our final names and when they might come. I am thinking we should have a sweep with our friends. Do you have any ideas???

So the next couple of weeks is just a waiting game. I have my bag packed ready and the freezer stocked with ready made meals for when we are travelling back and forth from hospital. I’m actually starting to get excited. Just yesterday I was sitting in bed and had a thought that in no time at all we will have 3 little bundles surrounding us. Until next time xxx

Negative/ positive

Negative: For the first part of this pregnancy I have felt as though the world was sort of against us. Firstly with the difficulty of falling pregnant and then to be pregnant with triplets which increases the risks for almost everything. I won’t have a normal pregnancy, I won’t be able to deliver the babies naturally and who knows how I will go with breast feeding. It says it all in people’s reaction when you tell them you’re pregnant with triplets. It’s not always a “congratulations”. It more like a stunned look, followed by “wow, how will you cope”. A reaction I probably would have given if I found out someone I knew was having triplets. 
 
Positive: Our neighbors put it perfectly – ‘you’ve been chosen…you’ve got this’. Still one of the best reactions we’ve got. Instead of looking at this as a negative, it’s a massive plus to be having triplets. Firstly I could only be pregnant once in my life (boom), we will just need to nail each stage instead of trying to manage 3 separate stages (e.g. A newborn, a 2 year old and a school aged kid), only 1 maternity leave needed, they will always have mates, they will know how to share…etc etc. Now who doesn’t want to have triplets? 
Negative: Whilst I have come to the realisation it’s not all bad with having these babies, we have been hit with some horrible news in the past couple of weeks. Firstly I went to farewell my granny on a Tuesday. I delivered part of the eulogy and I don’t know if it was my hormones or the memories of my beautiful granny flashing back to me, but I could barely get the words out through my tears. My dad came up to support me whilst I spoke about his mother. Although she had a great innings and an amazing life, I was sad she couldn’t meet the triple threat. That bad news was closely followed by a tragedy and another farewell on the Thursday. A close friend of ours was taken at age 28 by mental illness. I don’t really know how to best describe her as she was just stunning in every way. The one you turn your head at when she walks into a room I guess that would be a start. Something that just shouldn’t have happened.
Positive: Pat and I lived in Western Australia for just under 3 years. We had a great time and met some truly amazing people. A friend from the west was travelling to Queensland for work and she managed to change her flight to stay an extra night so we could catch up. Meanwhile little did I know another friend had organised with Pat to fly over for one night and leave her 8 month old for the first time. Not only is that an expensive flight but also a fairly long and annoying one. I could barely believe my eyes when I saw her. We just spent the weekend with each other catching up. It made me realise how lucky and blessed we truly are. While we were in Western Australia the majority of our close friends visited us from Brisbane. It made me realise how lucky and blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life both close and far away.
It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday life and to dwell on the small stuff. But if this journey has taught me anything is that we are truly blessed. Out of every negative there seems to be some shining light. I could spend my nights worrying about these 3 little bundles, but instead I’m growing more and more excited to get to know them, what their personality is like and how much they will complete our little family. We don’t have a big house or every toy. But we have some great, great people in our lives that will fill them up with a lot more joy.     

  My gorgeous friends from Perth on each side of me.            

Over the hill

I’m nearly 19 weeks. I’m over half way. OMG!! We have been advised to have everything fairly well organised by week 24 (that’s 5 weeks away). This is for 2 reasons. I’m doubling in size weekly and we don’t know when these little ones will come out to meet us. So to get us started we attended 2 information evenings, hosted by the Brisbane North Multiple Birth Association. They were great – although both the facilitators and all other expecting parents were there for twins. Apparently it’s a bit different for triplets. They were lovely enough to ring around and find a triplet mother and father willing to give up their Thursday night to come and have a chat to us in the break. Funnily enough, we knew the triplet parents. She was my boarding supervisor when I was at school. I couldn’t believe how small this world actually was.
Whilst we learnt about preparing for giving birth, premmie babies, equipment, and routine in the information sessions, the triplet parents were worth their weight in GOLD. Honestly amazing. They actually took the concepts and told us how it actually happens in real life. From what prams and car seat (and cars) we need to get, their real routine, help, breast feeding and even the benefits. It was incredibly helpful and if there are any triplet parents expecting out there….find someone who has had triplets.
In the past few weeks we have started sorting ourselves for our quick countdown. We have had my amazing parents come down to install a dishwasher, pantry and linen cupboard. And let me tell you, the dishwasher has changed our lives! We have had my gorgeous father in law and Patty pick up a chest of draws, 3 cots and a change table (all for $90). So now we just have to organise it all. It’s hard to believe the babies aren’t likely to come home until Christmas and we’re doing this now.
Where has that time gone?! Since the 12 week scan my whole mind set seems to have changed and I’m feeling amazing. I’m enjoying my walking with Patty and Louie our puppy dog. Looking back, I can only really see now how terrible I felt (hung-over feeling/ tired etc.) and that it took me the first trimester to be ok with ‘the triple threat’. Now I’m ok…and actually excited. I wonder what their personalities will be like, what they will look like and of course the sexes, which we are keeping a surprise.
This photo is of me (in black) at 19 weeks and friend of mine who is 28 weeks. I hope you’re enjoying these updates…I’m enjoying writing them x

It’s no longer about me!

The 12 week scan changed everything. At this point it became so much more than a concept or an idea. It’s no longer about me. It’s about these little humans growing inside of me.

We had been continually told to prepare ourselves for losing 1, 2 or all 3 of the babies in the first trimester. But we didn’t. The 12 week scan was so much more than identifying if any of the babies had down syndrome, it was about seeing if this  pregnancy was actually real. And it is, they were all there and doing so incredibly well. We  saw so much more than the black hole and hearing the heart beats which we had previously seen and heard in the 4 and 8 week scans. We saw whole humans in there…and 3 of them.  They were all stacked neatly on top of each other with the bottom two sucking their thumbs and the top triplet sucking his/her fingers. We saw legs, arms, hearts, kidney’s, heads…everything you expect to see at 12 weeks. It was truly incredible.

We were told that if I was to carry triplets, we’ve given them the perfect combination. This meaning that the triplets were all fraternal, living in their own sacks with their own food supply. Our risk of various things going wrong had dramatically reduced. Although our risk hadn’t disappeared completely, it was considerably lowered. These words out of the doctors mouth was exactly what we needed to hear. The weight which we had been carrying around for the first 3 months had been lifted.

From this point it didn’t matter if I couldn’t go on my runs. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t drink alcohol at the numerous weddings, hen parties, engagement parties and birthday parties we had (including Pat’s 30th). It didn’t even matter if I wanted that coffee (or 2) a day. All that mattered was that these 3 little darlings could grow, develop and were given the best chance at life.

On reflection, I was completely selfish in the first trimester. I was sort of in denial that no matter what I did, they wouldn’t be able to survive, so I thought I may as well just carry on with my life. The stats scared me. So if I wanted a wine I had one. If I wanted to go for a 10km run, I did. If I wanted to coffee, I most definitely didn’t deprive myself of it. Now everything has changed. I wouldn’t dream of doing anything that could possibly damage or hurt these babies. They were real and ours and we are completely responsible for them. So if they want a chocolate chip cookie…they get one 🙂

THe triplets in at our 12 week scan. The last time we will get them all in the one scan.
THe triplets in at our 12 week scan. The last time we will get them all in the one scan.

Now it’s great. Whilst I’m growing quickly, I feel great. I’m not always hungry or wanting to vomit or even that tired. I’m now at 17 weeks and things are most definitely looking up…I’ll fill you in on the last 5 week in the next blog.