Category Archives: Triplet Pregnancy

My triplet birth story

I was recently asked by Susan from the lovely blog Stitches and
stretch marks to write a guest post about my birth story so
here it goes…

It’s pretty safe to say that my birth story is not what most people would consider normal; in fact it was far from normal in many ways, but I can honestly look back at it and say that for the most part it really was wonderful.

On 20th July 2011 my husband, John, and I attended our first scan at our local hospital. Everything in my pregnancy had been pretty  standard so far but I had morning sickness which then turned into all day sickness and the doctors just told me to suck it up and rest, so – rather grumpily – I did…

Please click on the following link to read the rest of the story:
 

http://stitchesandstretchmarks.com/2013/05/15/guest-post-kims-birth-story/

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Preparing for our trio!


Preparing for our trio!


When we found out that we were expecting triplets, we were shocked, happy, horrified, excited, terrified…well, you get the picture. One of our biggest worries was how we were going to pay for them and physically look after them so I thought I would share some of the advice we were given by other parents and some of our own ideas too…

Money


There’s no doubt about it, triplets are EXPENSIVE! We earn a modest wage and so we had to be super savvy…
1) The government don’t allow supermarkets to offer discount on first milk because it promotes bottle over breast (I won’t rant now, but grrrrr!) so I ordered it in bulk from supermarkets that offer discount on you first internet delivery. Ocado are offering 20% off your first order and Tesco, Sainsburys and Adsa have offers on too.

2) I went crazy at the car boot sales – I bought most of their things from there an saved myself an absolute fortune. I picked up a brand new Moses basket for £15, all of their newborn clothes for about £20 and cot sheets/blankets for as little a 50p each! All of the stuff was in excellent condition as babies grow out of things so quickly they had hardly been worn. I’d tell people I was having triplets and they’d often throw a couple of bits in for free too!

Preparing our home


1) I emailed my local council asking for a bigger bin so that we could cope with the mountains of nappies that we get through. You can find the contact details for your local waste management department in your county council’s contact page. Make sure you order in advance as they take about 8 weeks to deliver the new one!

2) I bought Moses baskets (although looking back I probably wouldn’t have bothered!), but I will be moving the boys into cots shortly. We don’t have that much space so we have decided to go for the space saver cots from Kiddicare instead which should last them until they’re ready to move into their big boy beds!

http://www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/productdisplayA_2471_10751_-1_45693_91861_10001_14687

3) We spent forever trying to find the perfect buggy and we eventually decided on the ABC Adventure buggy. It comes in many different styles and is really easy to get out and about with.  I’m really happy with it, but if you want a new one you’ll have to order it from New Zealand, there are usually some on eBay though.

http://adventurebuggycompany.com/

Preparing ourselves


1) We had a look around the NICU/SCBU unit at the hospital to prepare ourselves for the inevitable stay that our babies would have. It made us feel mentally prepared for their arrival and we weren’t too overwhelmed when we saw them hooked up to various monitors
etc.

2) We went to special twin/triplets antenatal classes at the hospital and spoke with other parents. Their experiences and support was invaluable. I had to ring the hospital to find out about these classes as my midwife didn’t mention them.

Getting extra help


The government don’t provide any additional hands on help for multiples so you have to find  it for yourself!

1) Home Start – http://www.home-start.org.uk/homepage

Home start offer support to many families:

You may be feeling isolated in your community, have no family nearby and be struggling to make friends.
You may be finding it hard to cope because of your own or your child’s illness.
You may have been hit hard by the death of a loved one.
You may be really struggling with emotional and physical demands of having twins or triplets – perhaps born into an already large family.
Help is at hand. We support any family who needs us, as long as they have at least one child under five.

2) I contacted my local college and asked if they had any trainee nursery nurses that needed a placement. We now have Sophie with us on a Monday and a Tuesday from 9:30am to 4:30pm and we don’t have to pay her! She gets the experience and we get the extra pair of hands – happy days!

3) TAMBA – twins and multiple birth association – http://www.tamba.org.uk/

They offer help and support to families with multiples. Become a member for only a couple of pounds a month and join their Facebook group for regular updates and support from other families too.

Literature


I’ve found that a lot of books focus on twins rather than triplets, but I loved:

“Extreme Motherhood: The Triplet Diaries” by Jackie Clune

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Extreme-Motherhood-Triplet-Jackie-Clune/dp/1405088427

Twins and multiple births – the essential parenting guide from pregnancy to adulthood.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Twins-Multiple-Births-Essential-Parenting/dp/0091894859#

Bliss also offer a free guide on what to expect from a premature birth and I found this together with a trip to the NICU/SCBU very informative and reassuring.

http://www.bliss.org.uk/

i hope those of you expecting more than one little bundle of joy find this information somewhat useful in aiding your fun filled journey of multiple madness 🙂

My pregnancy in pictures

 I thought I would share my pregnancy pics with you. Looking at them I can’t believe how big I became over such a short period of time. That 33 week picture is just mental! No wonder I was uncomfortable!

11 weeks

13 weeks
14 weeks
15 weeks 
16 weeks
17 weeks
20 weeks
22 weeks
22 weeks
24 weeks
27 weeks
32 weeks – my belly was so shiny, John could see his reflection in it!
33 weeks – ready to pop!
34+1 weeks – can you tell from my forced smile that I’m actually in a lot of pain?

Ready to have babies! Look at those sexy socks!

Where’s my belly button gone?

I always thought I would never give in to the insane pressure of losing my baby weight and getting my pre-pregnancy bod back within a ridiculously short space of time. However, yesterday I found myself looking in the mirror and crying after I’d seen a gorgeous girl in a bikini with a lovely, flat and stripe-less tum whilst browsing on the net. I know I am being totally ridiculous as I only had triplets 4 weeks ago, but there is a totally irrational piece of my brain that just cannot help but feel totally bummed about this new look that I have taken on. I have questions passing through my mind like “Does John still fancy me? Does he mind or even like my new look? Will I ever be able to be happy with my new bod?” He reassures me all of the time that he still finds me attractive and that he loves me more than ever now, but these thoughts still niggle me. 
I think that women look absolutely beautiful during pregnancy and they always look glowing afterwards too, even if the bags under the eyes are a little darker than before. I personally didn’t feel particularly sexy during my pregnancy and I needed a lot of help from John after I’d had the C-Section with getting dressed, showered and even going to the loo in the first couple of days. I think that it has changed our relationship and the way that we look at each other. I have complete and utter respect for him and how he has looked after me, but I can’t help but feel that maybe he doesn’t see me in the same way that he used to. 
I tweeted about my body issues yesterday and a fellow tweeter kindly sent me the following link…
The caption states “Your body is not ruined, you’re a goddam tiger who earned her stripes”.
It’s totally true, I did earn my crazy belly stripes, I carried 20lb of babies and placenta for nearly 8 months and I got 3 beautiful healthy baby boys out of it. I look at the pictures below today with a clearer mind and I know that my stripes are a very small part of my post pregnancy body. On the plus side my boobs are  2 cup sizes bigger than they were pre-pregnancy! Yippee!
The 3 reasons I am grateful for my belly stripes!
I’ve never had body issues in the past and I am determined not to allow these issues to worm their way further into my mind. I think I will start with having a hot bath, sorting out the chipped nail polish on my toe nails and digging out some of my pre-pregnancy clothes that made me feel sexy! Any other suggestions would be very welcome 🙂
33 weeks pregnant
The bump has decreased considerably thanks to expressing 1.5 litres of breast milk a day!

Where’s my belly button gone?

Lucas, Harry & Oscar have arrived!

 So here I lay a good 20lbs lighter surrounded by 3 Moses baskets within which lie 3 happy, healthy and sleepy babies…the last 3 weeks has been a bit of a blur, but I thought I would share with you what I can remember! There I was mentally preparing myself for my c-section on Wednesday morning when I started getting sharp pains on my right hand side on Saturday afternoon, I called the hospital and they said not to worry, but to take pain killers and call back if the pain doesn’t subside. Anyway, it died down so I didn’t think any more of it, but on the following Monday the pain came back with a vengeance and I couldn’t move. John zipped me off to hospital where they said I was 3cm dilated and that they would be preparing me for an emergency c-section in 2 hours time! Whaaaat??? 




I thought I’d be totally freaking out if they arrived early, but I was so unbelievably calm and actually quite looking forward to the whole thing. I sat there quite happily whilst they shoved a canular in my hand and got blood everywhere (John looked horrified) and put my sexy socks on to prevent blood clots. The nurses were amazing and so excited about the triplets that many of them stayed beyond their shift to lend a hand. I was so worried about the spinal (as some of you may remember, coping with needles is not my strong point) but it was painless and any fear was overridden by the unbelievable feeling of numbness that I started to experience…I was the most comfortable I’d been in weeks! I was hoping they’d keep me topped up with this stuff for a while! 

It was all systems go and before I knew it at 8.19pm they had pulled out Lucas (4lb 14oz), shortly followed by Harry (5lb 3oz) and Oscar (4lb 12oz) at 8.20pm. They showed them to us briefly before whisking them over to their little cribs to be checked over. John said that he had counted at least 18 different people in theatre looking after us. One of the nurses asked me if I wanted to see the placenta, “ew no thank you” I replied in disgust, but about 5 minutes later I saw her carrying a massive white bag with my placenta in it! I’ve never seen anything like it, it weighed about 5lb 8oz on its own! I know some people like to take it home and eat it and some apparently like to make smoothies out of it! What would you eat it with? Rice? Salad? Chips and mayo? Yuuuum. 

All of the babies were absolutely fine, but they all required a little bit of help with their breathing so they were taken to the NICU, where I was able to see them a few hours later. They looked so tiny in their big incubators and they were covered in wires and breathing apparatus. I desperately wanted to cuddle them but they couldn’t be moved. I was taken down to the post natal ward where all of the other mums were feeding/sleeping with their babies. I don’t remember much from the first night because I was dosed up on every drug they would give me, I rarely take paracetamol so the codeine they gave me nearly knocked me out!  I was told to start hand expressing within 3 hrs of the op so I did and was gutted that I only managed to get 1ml of colostrum the whole night, but apparently this is completely normal. 


The nurses came round the next morning to help me get out of bed so I could get showered and see the babies. I can honestly say that moving for the first time that day was horrific! I thought my insides were gong to fall out when I stood up, but I was determined to go and see the babies (I couldn’t care less about the stupid shower they wanted me to have). I got to stroke Lucas and Oscar through their incubators and I was able to have some skin to skin cuddles with Harry before he was transferred out to our hospital of choice in Huntingdon. I gave in to the shower idea after I saw my blood stained hands (where they had put the canular in) and clothes, but I needed a lot of help from John.

That night Harry was transferred to Huntingdon and I was left on the ward for another night. I thought the sound of the other babies would make me feel upset because I couldn’t cuddle my babies, but as it happens the mothers were louder than the babies! I couldn’t believe the volume of snoring and passing wind! Thankfully, I had packed some handy ear plugs and these together with the drugs allowed me to sleep like a log. My c-section scar is really neat and numb so i couldn’t feel a thing when the staples were removed. I can move about easily now and without any pain, my belly is pretty flat, but I am still waiting for my belly button to return…It looks really weird! I looked at my old jeans the other day and thought “yeah I reckon I could get into those”, well turns out my reckoning was wrong by several inches! Never mind, I’ll stick with the apple catcher pants and leggings for a few more weeks. 

I was discharged the next day and after I had visited Lucas and Oscar in the special care unit at Addenbrookes we headed over to Huntingdon to see Harry. It was difficult having the babies in 2 different hospitals and we had been told that day that Huntingdon had run out of cot space so Lucas and Oscar might end up having to go to Peterborough. We were promised that they would do everything possible to avoid this, but I was gutted that they might not be together for Xmas. Thankfully, we got a phone call the following morning to tell us that Huntingdon had 2 cots available and that Lucas and Oscar would be transferred that day. I burst into tears with happiness because I desperately wanted them together at our chosen hospital. We went to visit all 3 babies that day, they had their own room and they were all in open top cribs with little monitors attached to them measuring their heart rate, oxygen levels and breathing. It seemed like they had progressed massively from their incubators at Addenbrookes, we could pick them up and cuddle them without worrying we were going to disconnect a vital piece of equipment. 

The babies were not able to breast or bottle feed at first because they became tired very quickly so we learnt to feed them via feeding tubes that went through the nose and into their tummy. It was really fiddly but we got the hang of it after a while and eventually it became as easy as changing a nappy. The hospital lent me one of their breast pumps so that I could express milk for the boys, it started off pretty slow, but after day 5 I was producing about 1.5 litres of milk so all 3 could have breast milk exclusively. It seemed like I was constantly hooked up to the monster pump, like Daisy the cow!

In their 2nd week the boys were all bottle feeding and John and I were able to stay in the family room for a couple of nights to look after them 24/7. It gave us a reality check for what lay ahead and it made us realise that we were going to have to have a strict routine when we got home. The babies did so well that we were told that we could take them home on Saturday when they were only 19 days old. I had a mad dash shopping spree because I never anticipated that they would be home so quickly. I went to Kiddicare and bought 6 more Mam bottles to add to the 3 that I already had, these were the only bottles that the babies liked and they could suckle on the teats with ease whereas other big brands aren’t suitable for premature babies. 

The nurses on the special care baby unit were incredible and were very supportive of us wanting to do all of the babies care whilst we were there. It felt like we were on a crash course in caring for newborn babies, we got taught how to change a nappy, feed them, bath them and we were even able to take part in a baby resuscitation course. Most parents don’t get that kind of support from the hospital with a healthy full term baby so we were very grateful. We’ve now had them home for 4 days and we have established our own little routine.


John and I make an excellent team. He whizzes round the house like whirlwind cleaning up after all of us and he picks up the slack at the 2.30am feed when I am like a zombie and I repay the favour at the 6.30am feed. If only he didn’t have to go back to work! I have devised a handy propping technique to feed 2 babies at once and I can now feed, change and burp all 3 babies within an hour and a half by myself so I think I will manage OK when he goes back.

They are all very laid back and they are starting to develop their own little personalities, but we are struggling to tell them apart so we have written their initials on their feet, just have to hope they don’t rub off! We ventured out with our monster buggy yesterday and took a trip to the country park, it took an hour to get everybody ready and get out of the house, but the half hour in the sunshine was well worth it and the babies were fast asleep. They were not impressed when it came to putting them back in the car….it was the first time all 3 had properly screamed all at the same time, we couldn’t help but laugh at them. Right, I’d best dash, the next feeding round is coming up! 


Mummy, Daddy, Lucas, Harry & Oscar

Oscar, Harry & Lucas looking less than impressed!


Follow us on twitter @tripletsuk.

Finally on maternity leave and C-section booked for 21st December! Whoop!

I am finally on maternity leave now! Yippee! I was given a lovely send off by my work colleagues and the boys were thoroughly spoilt with beautiful gifts. At 31 weeks I am definitely ready to slow down and have some ‘me’ time. I have become a lot more uncomfortable over the past couple of weeks and the babies are struggling for space. I’m sure they have shifted some of my organs in order to accommodate their swiftly expanding bodies! I seem to constantly have a head in my bladder and two heads in my ribs – ouch! Everyone keeps saying how compact and small I am considering I’m carrying triplets, but I certainly don’t feel particularly compact. I’m a right sight trying to get off the sofa or put my socks on. I’m sure John could make some money if he videoed me and sent it into “You’ve Been Framed”.
One of my first jobs to get sorted once on maternity leave was to contact a local charity called Home Start, who have very kindly agreed to arrange for a volunteer to come and help me for a couple of hours a week. They are a fabulous charity that provides practical and emotional support to parents to multiples, single mothers/fathers, mothers who may be suffering from depression or domestic abuse, and many other worthy parents. You can find out more on their website http://www.home-start.org.uk/homepage. I have also contacted our local college who have said that they may be able to place a student nursery nurse with me for a couple of days a week, which would be a godsend.
Our scans are more frequent now and we are going to Addenbrookes every 2 weeks. At our most recent scan they confirmed that the boys are still growing at the rate of normal singleton babies and range from 1.2kg – 1.3kg. This means that if they were born now they would stand a very good chance of having minimal initial problems and should go on to be normal, healthy babies, so I am just paying close attention to their movements and also keeping an eye out for any signs of pre-term labour. I have been given steroid injections now too to help develop their lungs and I’ll have another dose before the C-section. I feel like a walking pin cushion these days, but at least my needle fear seems to be getting easier to cope with!
One piece of information that I was less than pleased to hear was despite our original hospital choice referring us to Addenbrookes in Cambridge, we actually should have been referred to Oxford or Leicester (which would have been a logistical nightmare)! We were also told that when the boys are healthy enough, they will be transferred to our “local” hospital instead of our original choice (which is closer and nearby to where our family live). I couldn’t believe they were telling us just six weeks before we are due to deliver! With all the uncertainties that come with this pregnancy, we hoped we could rest in the knowledge that the babies and I would be cared for, and we could rely on the support of our family, nearby. They have now agreed to deliver us at Addenbrookes, but we still don’t know where the boys will be transferred to. I don’t really understand why they give you a choice of hospitals when you first find out that you’re pregnant, but then they take that choice away from you later on!
However, on our last hospital visit we were also given some very exciting news too! Our C-section date has been booked for 21st December, when I will be 34.5 weeks pregnant. We are so very excited! Christmas is my favourite time of year so we couldn’t be happier! If we can get the boys to this date then they should need very little special care and they should be home fairly soon after – a huge relief for us.
I’m a bit scared about the C-section, but all the women that I have spoken to have been really positive about the experience and have given me lots of advice. They’ve shared stories on everything from getting mobile after the operation to the essential “apple catcher” knickers that are apparently, a must! Any other advice would be very welcome!
John has been working hard to get the nursery sorted and it is looking less like a bomb site and more like a baby room every day. We made our last big purchase at the weekend – the car seats! The guys
at Kiddicare spent half an hour trying to find three seats that would fit across the back seat of the C-max Grand, but we got there in the end.
We went for the Graco junior range, which are lightweight and very reasonably priced – just as well, really, when you have to buy three! It looks so funny having all their little seats strapped in and makes it all feel very real. Thankfully, I have finally stopped doing emergency stops in the middle of the road thinking that the brake is actually the clutch. This automatic car thing is a whole new experience for me and I LOVE it!
Our “to do” list is getting smaller and smaller, but the one thing that is still undecided their names. We are constantly asked “Have you thought of any names yet?” The answer is: “No!”I struggle to
decide whether to have Shreddies or Weetabix in the morning. Trying to agree on three names that we both like, that work with our surname and don’t sound daft together is really hard! I was told by one of the consultants at the hospital that one set of twin’s parents called their boys Brian and Ryan…I just don’t get why you would do this. If the names pass the shouting up the stairs test (where you only get the child that you require answering) then I think we’re on to a winner. John and I have three names that we are toying with, but I can guarantee that they will change by the end of the week.
So, my jobs over the next few weeks are to continue baking babies, sleep, watch lots of Christmas movies and sleep a bit more! Happy days.

25 weeks pregnant

25 weeks pregnant, YAY! We have passed that important 24 week milestone and Jezza (our consultant) confirmed that the babies would now be “viable”(!). At our 24 week scan it showed that the babies were all the same size and growing at the rate of a normal baby in a singleton pregnancy. He said if they carried on at this rate then they could be nearly 5lbs each at 33 weeks! We were obviously thrilled by this news, but one of the thoughts going through my head was:”15lb of baby! How on earth are they going to fit in me?” I’m normally a size 10 and I already feel like I’ve been stretched to my limit – sometimes I feel like I might burst when the triplets practice their drumming techniques on my ribs/bladder/stomach! 

I’m still feeling pretty good, but I am starting to feel my body slowing down. I tire very easily and have been struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome in my arm. My midwife has been really good and referred me to a physio to help manage the pain in my arm and teach me techniques to cope with the weight of the babies as they get bigger.
Jezza told me that I needed to start to ‘slow down’. I was still working full time and also trying to get everything sorted for the triplets’ arrival. He suggested that I could be admitted to hospital for three weeks bed rest, but feeling happy and healthy I said that this really wasn’t an option…I can’t think of anything worse than being laid up in hospital, eating hospital food and being bored out of my brains for three weeks- especially when there is so much to be done. He settled for partial bed rest instead and told my partner John to make sure I stuck to it. Thankfully, work have been fantastic and have sorted my maternity cover well in advance and have allowed me to work from home until I can officially go on maternity leave on 11th November.
We now have a rough due date of 12th December when the babies will be 33 weeks and proper little chunky chappies by the sound of it! We’re so excited that they will be here for Christmas, but it will be a bit strange not having them home straight away. Until then we are just going to keep enjoying the weird and wonderful experiences of pregnancy. We’ve been playing them music on the iPod and it would seem that our boys are proper little groovers! We started playing them Vivaldi, but it would appear that they much prefer wriggling around to a bit of Lady Gaga, Pulp and Stone Roses.
Right, so by my reckoning that gives us eight weeks (possibly less if they’re really impatient) to get everything sorted; YIKES! We have cleared out the spare room and John has put together a massive storage unit and the changing table – it is actually starting to look like a proper baby room. When thinking about the triplets sleeping arrangements, we’ve decided that we need to be as flexible as possible. We have got each of them a moses basket, but if we feel that they would rather share a cot, then we will give that a whirl instead.
We have decided on our car too, we loved the Ford C-Max Grand which has seven seats, sliding doors, lots of space for the monster buggy and for three growing boys. Having driven a small three door hatchback for seven years, the thought of driving something this big is a little bit frightening…thank goodness it’s got parking sensors! We actually approached Ford directly and they have very kindly offered us full use of one of their C-Max’s for six months. This is a huge weight off our mind as it’s one less thing to sort out before the boys arrive.
As well as the specialised care that we receive from Addenbrookes, I still have to see my local midwife and GP for regular check-ups. I know that triplets are rare, but I have been really surprised by the lack of information and support that has been provided to us regarding multiples. So much so that I put an information sheet together for my surgery with a list of information sources that I found useful so that they can pass it on to other expectant parents of multiples. It would seem that it is an ever growing issue though and a recent publication by NICE in the British Medical Journal has set out new guidelines for GP’s and midwives in dealing with multiple pregnancies. Hopefully this will mean that the care of women carrying multiples will be much more consistent.
John asked me the other day, “if I could have chosen to just have one baby instead of three, would I?” I thought about it for a second, because if you had asked me 12 weeks ago I think I might have said yes, but now I can’t think of anything better than having triplets. I feel so lucky and the thought of having three identical little boys is just incredible. John felt the same.
I think this whole process has been made so much easier due to the fact that John and I are on the same page and we are taking a laid back and flexible approach to dealing with everything. It is not in John’s nature to be organised but, thankfully, it is in mine! Saying that, he is very patient and helpful so if I need something doing, I know it will be done. Being super organised now will allow us to concentrate on the babies and the chaos that will inevitably ensue when they arrive. John has also been working really hard and taken on extra freelance work as a graphic designer, which is a huge weight off my mind when it comes to paying for the day to day expenses that comes with three babies.

Experiences like this make us realise how many great people we have around us from friends and family, to people that don’t even know us. We have been given so many clothes and toys and it really has saved us a fortune. John continues to be my rock. I get worried about the boys health and how they will cope being born at least seven weeks early, but I know that whatever this experience throws at us we will have the support of one another.

Thrown into the world of triplet mayhem!

Picture the scene if you will….John (my fiancé) and I are sat in the hospital waiting room ahead of our 12 week scan. We’re both terribly excited at the thought of seeing our baby for the first time, but I’m also starting to get a tad nervous at the thought of the blood tests I am about to endure (I have always been a big baby when it comes to needles…give me spiders any day)!

Our first scan pic showing a head, another head and a belly

We’re called in and I note that the jelly is surprisingly warm! The sonographer places the scanner on my belly and immediately I see 3 little blobs… “Not quite what I expected my baby to look like”, I think, but I really wasn’t too sure what to expect. The sonographer jiggles the device around a bit and we see our baby, happy and healthy and wriggling around inside me. John and I were so busy looking at the screen in front we’d failed to clock the look of bewilderment on the sonographer’s face. She asked: “Do you have twins in the family?” We burst into tears of joy and got really excited, until she then asked if there was a history of triplets. “WHAT?!” was the most polite response I could muster. “You’re kidding?” She assured us she wasn’t, and the head sonographer came in to confirm…we are expecting triplets!
I am not easily lost for words, but I was unable to string a coherent sentence together for at least a couple of hours following this information. John was in the same state. We just kept looking at each other and, without saying a word, acknowledging the other’s thoughts. This can’t be happening. How has it happened? Why us? And so on, and so forth. Instead of feeling happy and elated to see our babies for the first time, we were shocked and quite frankly, terrified. It would seem that we have great Uncle Ron to blame for this occurrence as he has triplet girls, but this was only pointed out when we announced our news to our families later that day.
We were referred to the Rosie maternity hospital at Addenbrookes for our next scan the following week, where we met our consultant Jeremy, who clarified we’d been ‘diagnosed’ with triplets (a slightly odd term of phrase, we thought.) He scanned me again and we got to see the babies once more as Jeremy confirmed that he thought that the triplets were identical.
Jeremy then proceeded to explain the risks… identical triplet pregnancies are extremely high risk and a large proportion (compared with single pregnancies) don’t make it past 24 weeks. We were offered ‘selective termination’, which basically means that we could choose to end the life of one of our babies in order to give the other babies a better chance. Overwhelmed, I was on the brink of bursting into tears – I hadn’t expected to be given statistics and options like this. We fondly named our consultant “Dr Doom” from that moment onwards.
As we left our appointment I did cry in fact, John’s shoulder was constantly soggy for at least a week! I’m actually welling up as I write, just thinking about how confused and emotional I felt at the time. Those emotions are still so raw.
At our 16 week scan our babies continued to be extremely active and growing at a healthy rate. John and I decided that selective termination was not an option for us and the consultant respected our wishes. The babies weren’t shy at this scan either and we established that they were identical boys. Yikes! We’d kept saying that they were boys, I don’t know why, but I just knew! When we saw them continuously kicking each other in head during the scans, I knew girls wouldn’t do that to each other.

Eventually, reality set in, and we acknowledged we’d have to buy not one, but three of everything! How the heck do you afford that? Thank goodness for car boot sales!
The other thing I found incredible was the amount of attention you get when you announce that you’re having triplets. The reactions range from “Oh my god, really? Wow!” to “That is terrifying, you poor thing!” On the whole though, everyone, including complete strangers sometimes, has been incredibly positive and supportive are simply excited to see how things progress, as are we.
At 20 weeks pregnant and after dealing with the initial shock (and getting over horrible all day sickness), I can start to focus on preparing our lives, our house (and our pets!) for our new arrivals. Our house seems to be full of never ending lists of things that need to be bought and sorted before they arrive. I have endless questions spinning round my head including: How are we going to afford this? How do you feed three babies at once (especially as I want to try and breast feed)? Where do you find the space for them all? What car do we buy to accommodate three car seats? Will I be able to go back to work? How do you cope with the sleep deprivation? How will this affect mine and John’s relationship? All of which I am hoping to find answers to over the coming months. I’ll keep you posted!
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