This week marks 5 months since the triplets were born. 5 months! Half of me feels like they just got here, yesterday. The other half feels like the NICU was at least a year ago. And of course there have been some serious adjustments in our life!
I get asked a lot of questions about what life is like with triplets and so I thought I’d do a little answering session for everyone curious about our crazy life!
Actual Age vs. Adjusted Age
One of the first things you learn with preemies is that they have two ages: actual age and adjusted age. Actual age is how old they are right now, so our babies are 5 months actual. Adjusted age has to do with when they were born, based on 40 weeks. The babies were born at 33 weeks and 3 days, so if you minus that from 40, it’s about 6 weeks. Minus that from their actual age, which means they are really only 3.5 months. Crazy, but it took me a while to figure it out.
Born on the Same day but not the same
Before I had the babies, I always assumed that the babies would look similar or identical. Since our babies were all in their own sacs with their own placenta, they were basically three separate babies and they definitely look it! Obviously, they look like us but each one has a different look.
It’s fun to figure out their individual personalities. M is definitely the feisty one, but I guess when you’re the only girl, you’ve got to voice your opinion. And she definitely lets us know what’s going on, whether she’s happy or mad!
They each have their own cry, which makes it easier for C (the 3yo) to say, “Mom, H1 is crying!” Sometimes he knows even before I do!
The sleeping situation
When they came home from the NICU, we had them sleep in Rock n Plays, which were super nice to keep them elevated. Preemies get reflux and it helped to have these, plus they were nice and portable. They started to get too big and so we moved them to their cribs. We put a pillow under one side of the mattress to elevate it for a few more months until they grow out of the reflux. Pillows are cheaper than buying the wedge, which is another option.
We have three cribs all in the same room. We’ll see how it works as they get older.
Feeding 3 Babies
The other thing we kept up from the NICU is a feeding schedule. It’s pretty much a lifesaver and keeps me sane. They ate every 3 hours when they first came home, which made for some interesting nights. By the time they ate and I changed them, I slept for about an hour before doing it all over again.
I was pretty excited when we moved to a 4-hour schedule. I know, you’re thinking that’s only an hour more but you’d be surprised with how much more time I seemed to have. The babies eat every 4 hours and then at night we let them sleep until they wake, which is usually once a night (minus teething time). I never had a schedule with C but this way I can be prepared with bottles and I’m not usually caught off guard trying to figure out what’s wrong with them.
I get asked a lot how I can feed all three by myself. While the babies were in the NICU, I pumped and then for a couple weeks after. They are now formula-fed which makes things nice so I can have help feeding. I have three nursing pillows, one on each side and then the last one on my lap.
I feed two of them and then feed the last one after I’ve burped the other two. Sometimes, things go smoothly as the third is still asleep or in a good mood. Other times, I feel like a referee for a screaming match as I try to keep bottles going for two babies and a pacifier for the third.
I shared a post about all the gear we use but we have one swing and two bouncers, and the fussiest usually gets the swing. We have play mats for them and they’ve started reaching out for the rings that hang down. I love watching their concentration as they focus on grabbing and then holding onto the rings.
The babies have entered the teething phase which was a shock since C didn’t start getting teeth for another few months. It’s been a long few days as each baby decides to wake up at a different time. Throw in Daylight Savings and you’ve got a crazy mocktail going. Sometimes I just have to tell myself it won’t be forever and make it to the next feeding.
Change in my routine
Obviously, things had to change a bit for us to double the size of our family. C has always been an early riser and so I would always try to get out and run errands right when businesses opened, which helped me get them done so much faster with less people around and kept his attention. Now, I sleep until the first feeding of the day and then we slowly get going after that.
Going out can be a little exhausting, especially if it’s by myself, but with a stroller, it’s manageable. I can go to a total of two stores before I and the babies are tuckered out or before feeding time. I usually don’t do a big grocery shopping trip until Max gets home because it’s hard to push around our limo stroller and maneuver a full shopping cart. One of these days I’ll be organized enough to order it online so all we have to do is pick them up!
Max does a great job of helping me out. He makes sure to give me some time away (which is usually to the store…haha) but it helps me regroup and reenergize to take on another day. He will get up and do the nighttime feedings by himself on the weekends to let me get more consecutive sleep. I have counted down the days to the weekend a time or two.
He’s pretty good at helping me tag-team things. When one baby is inconsolable for one of us, the other is usually calm enough to switch out and work to comfort him/her. My success as a mom is definitely helped out by the effort he puts into being a father to the kids.
All in all, we learn as we go. And we’re all still alive so that counts for something!
Have a question about life as a triplet mom? Comment below or email us and we’ll answer it for you!
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