My babies have been sick and I could talk about the reasons why having three sick babies can be hard (one vomits and the other plays in it, for example) but instead, I want to share three reasons why having triplets is awesome. Let’s stay in the love and light for today and ignore that vomit (for now).
No unsolicited advice (or at least LESS unsolicited advice).
You know all that advice from strangers and friends alike about nursing, swaddling, pregnancy, cry it out, not crying it out, feeding, etc.? You simply don’t get it when you have triplets. When you say you’re having triplets, pretty much no one else can say, oh, when I was pregnant with triplets, I got this book and it worked like magic to get my babies to sleep all night. People recognize that they know nothing about you or how you will raise your three babies, and that is so freeing. It cuts down on the noise in your head about you should do or shouldn’t do. It is refreshing when no one is telling you what to do or how to do it.
That is not to say that you don’t meet other triplet moms who could offer their advice; they just don’t assume you want their advice. Instead, they listen. They say, wow you’re breastfeeding, that’s awesome! Or, you’re formula feeding? Glad you are getting some rest and taking care of yourself! They listen when you complain, and they celebrate with you when you have small (and large) victories. In short, they know that you may be on similar paths, but that you’re not walking the exact same path.
No one expects you to do it all.
No one expects you to do it by yourself all the time. There is an implicit recognition that—IT IS HARD. I wish that all mothers got this same grace, because let’s face it, it is all hard, whether you have one baby or three babies. When you have your first baby and are trying to figure out nursing? Hard. When you’re working and also managing your house and getting two kids to daycare? Very hard. When your baby is colicky and just won’t sleep? Hard. When you’re trying to get three preemie babies to take bottles? Hard. You get the point.
It is so refreshing for people to expect that you need help. That paradigm shift—to saying, how can we help?, rather than, why do you need help?, makes you feel supported and connected. In addition, since no one else expects you to do everything yourself, you don’t put that pressure on yourself either. So for me, I didn’t have nearly as much mom guilt because I knew I couldn’t do it all by myself all the time. I knew I needed help, and still do.
You See That Sometimes It Has Nothing to Do with You
When you have three babies, you generally do the same things at the same time with all three, i.e., feed them at the same time, put them to bed at the same time, etc. And when you get different results with all three, you realize that sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you do. They are three different little people and baby A may be hard wired to sleep better at night. Baby B may just always take long to get to sleep. It has nothing to do with the choices you make as a parent. There’s no reason to constantly beat yourself up over the choices you make when you realize, sometimes those choices don’t matter and baby A may just always sleep a little later. No swaddle, white noise, etc. is going to change that. Knowing that the sun does not rise and fall over every decision allows you to have some breathing room…. Which you will likely have to use when you are mopping up that vomit.