What do you get when you put two sets of triplets and a set of twins together? Eight babies and lots of fun!
The Back Story:
When I was in the hospital, I met a mother expecting triplets. At that point, I had been there for 8+ weeks and Eddie and I had finally decided the real names for Hermie and Iggy (remember those nicknames?). Anyway, the nurses encouraged me to meet other moms who were going to be stuck in High Risk for a long time. Graciela was expecting triplets! She and her husband were desperate for babies and could not afford IVF. So they traveled to her native Argentina and had IVF done for a fraction of what it costs here in the states. Wonderfully, 3 of the embryos implanted and after staying in Argentina for 12 weeks, she returned to the United States only to be placed on bed rest at 28 weeks. When I met her, she had already been there for 5 weeks. I remember very vividly when the nurse introduced me to her. Eddie and I had decided to name Hermie Graciela partly because I knew of only 2 others I had encountered in my entire life.
Lo and behold, Graciela came from a family in which the first born daughter was always named Graciela. Her mother's name was Graciela and she was a Graciela, and the one girl triplet would be Graciela, too! Other than Eddie, no one else knew what our babies' names were, but I had to tell her when I heard her story. We laughed so hard! We were both excited because the chances were slim to none that our daughters would ever encounter another Graciela and here there would be 2 within 20 miles of each other and the same age to boot!
Grace and I clicked right away. Her husband, Eric, and my husband, Eduardo, became good friends while visiting us. They loved that Eddie spoke Spanish. Grace's mother visited every day, all day, and she loved Eddas well. We talked all the time about how we would remain friends after our babies were born.
My babies were born in September, and Grace was able to hold out until 35 weeks to deliver her triplets, William, Connor and Graciela in October. We emailed a couple of times and our husbands spoke by phone, but we were not able to get together. Completely overwhelmed, we just focused on the day to day life of having newborn multiples.
I have been lamenting the fact that we had never seen the triplets. I kept bugging Eddie to call
Eric and Grace so that we could set something up. So, he got a hold of Eric and found out that they were planning on getting together with another triplet family. In fact, the mom of the second set of triplets took over my room after I had the babies and moved out of high risk.
We met at a park in Pasadena. Gracie and Eric's triplets are William, Connor and Graciela. They were born 4 weeks after my babies and each weigh between 17 and 21 lbs. Seeing them beside Gracie and Luke was amazing! They are so much bigger!
The other triplet family was headed by Craig and Sarah. Sarah was hospitalized at 28 weeks and had her triplets at 30 weeks. They stayed in the NICU for 7 weeks. I am amazed! The 2 weeks my babies were in the NICU, as traumatizing as they were, are nothing compared to what her babies went through. Sarah and Craig's babies are named William, Benjamin, and Samantha. Samantha is the largest of the 3 and Benjamin and William both wear helmets because of their torticollis.
We set out several blankets and towels to create a blanket island for the babies to play on. Gracie and Luke shared their toys with the 2 sets of triplets. We rotated babies on and off of the blankets depending on who fell asleep. We talked about how the babies are developing, fed babies, played with them.
The Mommies and Daddies ate the tamales Eddie and I bought. Yum.
Eventually, the triplets got tired. Sarah and Craig's fell asleep first. They have worked hard to get them to fall asleep on their own, so they are used to it. Grace and Eric's triplets needed to be fed and then the Nap Walk began. Grace put her babies in the Quad stroller they use and I put Gracie and Luke in our Duo Glider. We walked in circles around our picnic tables until the 5 babies fell asleep.
After 4 hours of playing, eating, sleeping, crying, and many changed diapers, we called it quits. We had a great time and promised to do it again soon. None of us felt comfortable with the Moms of Multiples groups in our areas, so we decided to be each other's Moms of Multiples. We hope to meet one another once a month or so to let the babies play and to catch up with other parents who understand what we are going through.
Here is a slide show of some of our favorite activities:
Note: Any errors in the dates I've typed here are my own. If you read this and know I made a mistake, please let me know!
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