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Category Archives: The First Year

Meet the Boss – the Babies’ MFM

ultrasound-doctorRecently I got to visit my MFM with the babies!! If you’ve ever had a high-risk pregnancy, I’m sure you understand my excitement. Right? Have you visited yours post-birth? =)

If you haven’t been high-risk, an MFM stands for maternal-fetal medicine specialist (or neonatologist, or perinatologist). These men and women walk us through our pregnancies more closely than our OBs! We see them on a weekly basis sometimes. They make life-saving decisions about our babies and even us! They become much more than a white coat. They watch our babies grow, literally, weekly, and celebrate all the milestones with us – halfway for triplets, halfway for singleton pregnancy, viability, term for triplets, etc.

Dr. Al-malt is the man who (with my OB team) kept my babies safe and sound in their womb-home for nearly 33 weeks! He made the call on the need for the cerclage. He did more than a dozen ultrasounds on the four of us – tracking soooooooooo many things and watching for a thousand more. He never even breathed the word “reduction” to us. I whined and made promises to him that I’d be good and stay in bed at home so I didn’t need to go on bed-rest in the hospital. And he called it that my labor wouldn’t be stopped and that my babies would be born that day instead of the two weeks from then we were shooting for (read the birth story here).

And he’s like a proud Grandpa with the babies. =) This is Dr. AL-Malt.

So precious! The babies were not quite three months old here. =)

Three babies, three grown-ups!

Our recent visit at 19 months! Such a difference, huh?

He hadn’t seen us in almost a year and a half but knew exactly who we were. He pulled out his phone and asked his staff to take pictures. Ok, Dr. A, whatever you want….you’re the boss! ❤

Do you ever go back to visit the doctor/midwife who delivered your baby? Did they become part of your family?

Photo Credit

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Bon appétit, bébé! {overview}

One of the topics I receive questions about most frequently (besides “are they natural?” =) has to do with how I made baby food for the babies. Now, I’ve only been feeding the triplets for about a year, but during that year I have made a lot of baby food. A lot. And, if you know me, I’ve done more than a little research on this region of parenting – nutritional aspects, cost analyses, time efficiency, product reviews, etc. So, I am happy to finally be able to share my efforts and experiences with you!

making real food

Some of the most frequent questions I hear from you are:

  • When did you first give solids to the babies and what did you give them?
  • How did you decide what to give them?
  • How did you keep them from being picky eaters?
  • Did you do baby-led weaning or puréed baby foods?

You asked, I’ll answer. =) Additionally, over the next several weeks I’ll be tackling the following topics, as well. Topics like:

  • Organic vs. non-organic
  • Cereal – why it’s not so good for Baby
  • Baby against mommy – how to deal with a picky eater
  • To season or not to season – is salt really bad for babies?
  • Coconut oil – what’s the big deal?
  • The egg question
  • The only equipment you really need (skip the Baby Brezza!)

And of course I’ll share a meal plan, shopping list, baby-friendly recipes…and how to prepare two weeks’ worth of food in two hours. That’s right. Two weeks’ worth or 45 meals…in two hours.

So join us each Wednesday as we dive into the world of feeding Baby…real food.

Did I miss anything? What would you like to see discussed?

 

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Breastfeeding Triplets: A Battle of Love {Guest Post}

KangarooingTriplets

**The response to this post has been overwhelming! I truly hope it is helpful to others to hear the struggles and victories of a mama who is able to breastfeed – against many odds. Please take a moment and “like” us on Facebook so that you can stay up to date with the goings-on here at Growing Up Triplets! And leave a comment to say “hey!” =) **

Today I’m guest-posting over at Intoxicated on Life. Trisha is running a series on breastfeeding – the challenges, joy, obstacles, paraphernalia and stories of dozens of women and their children. And she asked me to join these women and share my journey. If you’ve been reading Growing Up Triplets long, you know sharing what God has done for me in this area is one of my biggest joys. So here’s a mini-bite:

There are times when mathematics simply don’t make sense. For instance, I remember crying and crying over short division in school. It didn’t make sense. And I had similar experiences over the past two years with three babies and two breasts. It just didn’t compute.

You see, I was told on April 26, 2011 that I was carrying triplets.

Immediately I began seeing my dreams of a drug-free, home birth evaporating. I saw many, many dollar signs floating before my eyes. I saw a plan unfolding for my life that I wanted no part of.

Well, as the news of spontaneous triplets sunk in, and my love for my three munchies grew to epic proportions, I began to research if some of those dreams might actually still be possible. There was very, very little research out there for higher-order multiples (HOMs). With the advent of fertility assistance, the numbers of triplets and HOMs has risen dramatically, but the research is still very minimal. Most books for multiples are written geared towards twins. But…I had three babies and only two boobs! Even my very logical brain couldn’t develop a plan for this!

The research I did find led me to believe it wasn’t likely I’d be able to nurse all three, but that switching two out every feeding would be more realistic. So I grabbed onto that: I can do that. Ha. Little did I know what awaited me.

[read more]

If you’re just finding us here at Growing Up Triplets, welcome!! It’s a pleasure to meet you! =) To stay connected with us and the munchies, be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our email feed (both on the sidebar to the right). And in the meantime, here are a few posts that you might find helpful in getting to know us a little bit better. Feel free to leave a comment, too, letting us know how you found us!

 

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Ahhh, those newborn days…x 3!!!

Emma, Makenna, Noah

Emma, Makenna, Noah

Each Friday during April, I’ll be sharing some aspect of life with multiples. In addition to some fun stuff, I’m also working on a couple of interviews with people I think you’ll enjoy hearing from. I hope you’ll join us!

If you’ve ever had a newborn baby, you know that there is no other sleep exhaustion quite like that of the first days, weeks and months (sometimes years!) of your baby’s life. Add in two more newborn babies, and life gets CRAZY. Like many moms, mine planned to stay with us when we brought the babies home from the hospital…little did we realize that it would take her, me and David to just care for the babies! Clean the house? Nope. Fix meals? Nope. Nap? Ha!

Night-time feedings were especially chaotic! The babies came home eating every three hours or so. Can you imagine what it is like to have one waken early? And then the challenge to get three settled back down so you can then go pump? Much about that time is just a hazy fog, but I do remember my heart sinking when one baby would wake before my alarm was set to go off at 1a and the challenge of trying to get the last of the three back down at 2 or 2:30a so I could pump and sleep before the 4a feeding. We racked up about 4 hours of sleep (each!) during those first couple of months…on a good night. This makes for a few very, very tired individuals. (You can read more about how we survived those months here.) And being super sleep-deprived makes for some very funny moments – some that were really big mistakes at the time (thanks to my triplet-mommy friends for their help in compiling this list!). Moments like:

  • Forgot to put a diaper on one of the girls – just buttoned her onesie and went on about things.
  • My husband would put the boys in the wrong bed at times which really confused me in the mornings.
  • I once added formula to my morning coffee.
  • Accidentally tried to give them leftover sweetened condensed milk instead of formula (from the can).
  • Washed the portable phone in the dishwasher…twice!
  • Almost brushed their teeth with diaper ointment.
  • Forgot to hook bottles up to the breast pump and pumped about 20 oz all over my lap before I realized why I was soaking wet.
  • My daughter made a bottle with French vanilla creamer instead of formula….on accident!
  • Forgot to refill the litter box with litter…poor cat pooped on the bathroom rug!
  • First time I went to the grocery store, I drove all the way home with the cart of groceries still sitting on the sidewalk.
  • So used to shushing a baby that I shushed a spoonful of my soup instead of blowing on it. (mine!)
  • Put my two year old’s size 4 diaper on my 9 pound baby and didn’t notice till the next time she was changed…oops!
  • Loading up 5 kids in the minivan and driving home, leaving the Runabout (a very large and expensive triple stroller) sitting right next to the parking lot after daycare.
  • The first time I took all three back to the doctor, I forgot to take a diaper bag. Didn’t realize it until after we took their diapers off and didn’t have any to put back on. We were out all day seeing specialists, so good thing Babies R Us was close by! Good news? I did bring a cooler with breastmilk!
  • Changed a baby and forgot to put a diaper back on! Walked away and came back 10 minutes later…oops!
  • Husband and I were taking turns feeding in the middle of the night – he had the last shift and I went to get the babies up. I saw he put my daughter’s sleeper on my son. I was so exhausted that I couldn’t figure out if he had the wrong baby in the wrong crib or just dressed wrong. He also wore two different shoes for an appointment that same week!
  • I hung up the phone in the microwave and nearly turned the microwave on.
  • I had a bad habit of trying to double-diaper…kept forgetting the very important step of removing the dirty/wet diaper!
  • Found the keys in the fridge, cell phone in the diaper stacker…
  • Forgot I was sanitizing bottle nipples on the stove…$40 worth, melted! TWICE!
  • Wore two different colored shoes to work one day and I had a big meeting!
  • I melted a breast pump.
  • In the middle of the night I grabbed a teddy bear off the couch and took him to have his diaper changed. Didn’t realize until I got all the way downstairs and our night nanny asked what I was doing.
  • Forgot to put a diaper on my son…of course he peed everywhere.
  • Came home from a grocery shopping trip. Parked the van in my driveway and walked in the house with the babies, leaving all the groceries in the car. Didn’t realize until about 5 hours later when I went to make dinner…
  • Put coffee in a bottle…but never ended up giving it to the babies, thank goodness!!!
  • We use the “ssshhhh” technique to soothe them and one night I woke up “ssshhhing” and patting the
    Somebody was always awake...

    Somebody was always awake…

    dog’s back thinking I was calming a baby. The dog seemed quite happy with my mistake.

  • When I was still pumping and getting only about 1.5 hours of sleep at a time, my alarm went off for the 3am feeding. I was frantically pushing buttons to make it stop, to no avail. It took me a good minute to realize the buttons I was pushing belonged to the bedside breast pump.
  • Walked into a sliding glass door. And put the phone in the fridge and when it rang, I went to the fridge and answered it, like that was just a normal activity.

Happy Friday! And hug your multiple-mommy-with-newborns friends – remind them they’re doing a great job! =) The end.

Pssst! Have you “liked” us on Facebook yet? What?! Hurry – it’s on the right sidebar…got it? Yay! Now you’ll be able to stay up to date with all the new posts and goings-on in the Fountain Circus!

 

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My Addiction

I confess. I have one. At least, it is a slight addiction…. “Hi, my name is Jennifer and I’m addicted to strollers.” I have five. To be fair, though, each one serves their purpose. No, no they really do! And actually, many moms of multiples (MoMs) have far more than this…so there! And honestly, we’ve been blessed with so many of them we have only had to purchase two!

double and single

First walk in the stroller(s)!!!

I have a single stroller. Yep. With three babies. Originally, I wanted a single and double so we could snap the infant carriers into them and each push a stroller. I hoped that would minimize the attention that so many of the triple strollers get. Now I use it if I take one out at a time…or I will.

I have a double stroller. This was especially nice in the first 9 months because I could wear one and David could push this one. People often ignored us…score! This one was amazing but has the least functionality for us now that I don’t wear one, so I will be selling it in the upcoming Boutique for a Week sale (see you there!!!).

jogger

First walk in the Triple Jogger!!! They are thrilled, can you tell?

I have a triple jogger. I.love.this.stroller. I do. My absolute only complaint is that it won’t fit through doorways. Betcha never thought about that challenge before! Have to take the kids outside to load them in….follow that thinking. This means I have to leave Baby 1 and then Baby 2 in the stroller to go back inside and get the others. Yup. But I still love this stroller. They sit side by side and there’s a HUGE storage compartment below, a massive sun shade and it’s very easy to maneuver…for a triple stroller. Now, jogging? Yeah, I’m not there yet. Since I hate running, I probably never will be. But it’s our dedicated neighborhood-stroll-er, for sure.

valco

Blowing kisses at you from the Valco with Joey seat!!!

I have a Valco. Valcos retail for over $1000. We got ours used-used (third hand…are you seeing a pattern here?) for $250. We added the Joey seat for another $100, still saving us about $700!!! And I love this beast. This is probably my only complaint with this one. It’s massive. It’s heavy. It’s all I can do to lift it in and out of the van. If David is with me (who am I kidding, I don’t take them out without him!) we will evaluate whether the Joey is needed or not. If it is, it takes about 30 minutes to set it up. Ok, not quite…but it is a process. Back to why I love it, though: it is narrow and so it does fit through doorways. It has a big compartment below and TONS of storage. Seriously, there are pockets I haven’t even found on this thing! And similarly, this stroller gives us the option of going a bit more incognito if we separate and carry one – it becomes “just” a double stroller. This one stays in the van.

Finally, I just purchased (with a gift card!!!) a Radio Flyer Triple Play Wagon Deluxe. (Why does everything for triplets sound so complicated?!) I am beyond excited about this. From what I’ve heard this baby replaces the “Choo-choo” I’ve been wanting in coolness and efficiency. It has great storage. It turns easily. It gets less attention and stares. All of these were great incentives for me. Plus, it’s narrow and I can bring it into the house, load the babies and walk around the neighborhood. I can unload it from the van for quick trips somewhere (like to our chiropractor). The possibilities are endless. I’m looking forward to more freedom with this bad boy, as described in Monday’s post: Doing “Normal.”  I can’t wait for it to arrive!

I’ll post pictures soon of the babies enjoying their new wheels. =) In the meantime, which one do you like best?

***Update: Ahhhhh! I was alerted that the RF Wagon is now $30 off. So, normally $199, I paid $109 and got free shipping and used a gift card!!!***

 

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Happy Birthday!!!

http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1366&bih=638&tbm=isch&tbnid=2xW2ErTk2HIAkM:&imgrefurl=http://www.bertoandkwala.com/2012/09/happy-birthday-mama.html&docid=8aVso3_p4SsCxM&imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_gVtY0FOYtE/UF5h_DKBR4I/AAAAAAAADfs/DNgWlJhM1a0/s1600/birthday-candles.jpg&w=640&h=461&ei=pj8dUdTqBIe68ATmv4CICQ&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:8,s:0,i:132&iact=rc&dur=604&sig=107410980003096801319&page=1&tbnh=190&tbnw=265&start=0&ndsp=16&tx=51&ty=14Happy birthday, dear blog! I hope it’s a blast! You’ve been such a great friend – forcing me to think and do research. You’ve been a help in remembering precious memories and tidbits. You save pictures of our sweet babies for us to see later and marvel at how far they’ve come. So thank you! Here’s to many more!

Ok, so technically it’s not your birthday. Technically your birthday is November 9, 2009. David and I weren’t even married yet. We needed a place to communicate details of our wedding and, of course, to share our engagement pictures (inaugural post: Engagement Shoot). But see, I took a really long break between then and this time last year. What was I thinking??? Oh, how I missed writing! It was so good to be back! And this time, there was much to report on – three babies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reading that first post, A Day In Our Life With Three Babies, takes me back. Ohhhhh, how tiny they were! How much I worried. How hard I worked. How tired I was. How little sleep…but how fun. Those first smiles, first giggles, first scoots and lots of toots!!! Sometimes I really miss those days. I know, I know. I sound crazy. I used to long for the day they needed me less, when they would be more independent and I wasn’t the only one who could comfort them. And now they’re bigger. Independent. Need me less. Oh, they still need me! All day long they need me! But…it’s not the same. It’s a different need. It’s a toddler kind of need. And I’m sure the next stage will be different, and the next. So, I think today I’m going to complain less about the demanding screams coming from three little high chairs, or the 3 poopy diapers I’ve changed so far, or the amount of food they eat that may require me to turn farmer, or the seemingly endless hours they nurse…and be in love with this season.

See? You helped me get there – to this perspective. Thanks, dear blog! And happy birthday!

 

 

 

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A New Year – Reflections on the Old

http://luckywp.com/freebies/40-happy-new-year-wallpapers-2013While many of us are hurriedly writing our New Year’s resolutions and patting ourselves on the back for jumping on that dusty treadmill or saying “no” to that can of soda that calls out to us, my friend Sheree is reflecting on God’s faithfulness through the years. She writes:

What are you feeling about the new year?

I know people who are hoping to become engaged; have a baby; get a better paying job; move to a new home; overcome a longstanding illness; or see a family member become a Christian.

Who will experience the fulfillment of these hopes and who will be disappointed when 2013 ends and there’s no fiance; no baby; the same job; no new home; remaining chronic pain or sickness; and a still unconverted loved one?

Click here to read the rest of the post. Suuuuuuuuuuuper encouraging, right?! I thought I’d reflect on some of His faithfulness to our family this past year alone. The Lord:

  • provided us with finances to pay off our 2009 van in less time than we anticipated (approximately 9 months!!!).
  • helped us survive months of night-waking to feed endless babies endless times.
  • helped me through David’s eight out-of-town trips last year!
  • gave us a very healthy year with relatively few issues with sickness – considering we had three preemies and a steady stream of people in and out of our home, that is such a blessing!
  • guided us through the second most difficult year either of us has ever faced.
  • caused us to fall more in love with one another rather than less, even in the midst of intense pressures, struggles and challenges.
  • heard the desire of my heart to breastfeed my babies…15 months and still going strong!!!
  • kept us safe on two separate out of state trips.
  • drew us closer to Him through times of prayer and, borne out of a growing need for wisdom, increased our dependency upon Him.

These may seem like small and insignificant things…but to me they say a lot about what He was doing in 2012 in the Fountain family. What’s funny? Only a few of these things would have been on my “resolutions” list had I made one last January (too foggy and tired to make one!). Apparently, He still had quite a plan for us…I’m excited about 2013!!! How has He been faithful to your family this year? I’d love to hear – leave a comment!!

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