Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Triplets Story from Courtney

Early in the morning of President’s Day 2004, I woke up and got ready. I was 35 weeks pregnant with triplets and scheduled to have a c-section at 7am. Before my husband, Jeff, and I headed to the hospital, I stopped in to check on Seth, my sleeping 20 month old who was very much still a baby. Like most second-time moms, I worried about how I would be able to give him the love, time and attention he would need when he was no longer my only baby. With a bit of an anxious heart, we headed out in the dark to the hospital.

As I lay in the bed in the labor and delivery triage area I was overwhelmed with feelings — excitement, discomfort, nervousness, hunger, curiosity. As we got closer to 7am and then passed it without a visit from the doctor, I started getting impatient and worried (and hungrier!). Finally around 7:30, the nurse told us that our doctor had not shown up for the delivery and they had not been able to reach him. Luckily, the doctor group I was with had two doctors at the hospital who would be able to perform the delivery I just had to wait another hour or two while they changed shifts and did rounds.

While Jeff changed into his paper scrubs, they finally took me into the operating room. Unlike birthing suites which are designed to look comfortable and homey, operating rooms are white and sterile. This was the point that I finally felt a little scared about the delivery. Luckily, the drugs were soon administered, Jeff came in and my nerves settled down.

At 9:06 Ellie was born and the doctor lifted her above the curtain so we could see her. A minute later I noticed that Jeff was no longer standing next to me but was instead lying on the floor behind me. As the anesthesiologist turned to check on him, Paige was lifted above the curtain and we met our second daughter. Unfortunately, her initial introduction was missed on video while Dad tried to recover on the floor. Even though Jeff remained on the floor, he did get the video camera up in the air in time to tape the introduction of Kate at 9:10. It turns out that Jeff doesn’t really like seeing doctors kneeling on the operating table as they yank babies out of my stomach — but as soon as the girls were all delivered he recovered enough to capture some of their first moments.

After the girls were initially checked out by the doctors and nurses, I was able to briefly kiss and snuggle each one before they placed them in a single isolette and rolled them to the nursery. If I had known I would not hold Paige and Ellie again for five days, I would have held on to them a little longer. If I had known that all three would not be together again for 3 ½ weeks, I would have made sure Jeff got a better picture of the girls squished together in the isolette.

The next weeks were spent experiencing the ups and downs of a new vocabulary — CPAP, red line, bili lights, craniosynostosis, surfactant, apnea — until a day in March when we were all together again. Now the initial anxiety of leaving one baby at home while I went to the hospital to deliver three more was replaced with the anxiety of how I was going to raise them. With four small children my time and attention were divided among them but luckily there were others to help fill in the gaps.

image by Jamie Hammond Photography

As every second-time mom discovers, a mother’s love is never divided it just multiplies with each new addition.

From Courtney of Five Under Five.
Image via Here Comes the Sun.


Note from Design Mom: for the duration of my pregnancy, I'll be posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. You can find them all by clicking here. I'd love to hear your story or memory or advice, feel free to submit it to


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Blogger JT, 25 said...

Aren't they the cutest little girls? Adorable!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:28:00 AM EST  
Blogger MaryBeth Hughes said...

that is such a sweet and candid story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:29:00 AM EST  
Blogger JT, 25 said...

One advice I have got is, believe what other mums tell you, it is true...they really grow up too quick and having a baby really is a full-time job...those were things I never really believed and thought they would be different for me...but I was wrong : )

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:30:00 AM EST  
Blogger Emily said...

Yay for Courtney, the perfect mother for her children! I only wish she'd posted a picture of her pregnant with the girls!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:39:00 AM EST  
Blogger Lei said...

It is true but something you don't learn right away - your love multilies rather than divides. Fun read!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:48:00 AM EST  
Blogger Nanette said...

Very cool.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:51:00 AM EST  
Blogger jennydraws said...

Your girls are the cutest. I love the bright green shirt in contrast with the two navy blue shirts. What adorable faces....I love it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 11:51:00 AM EST  
Blogger Shelah said...

I love it, Courtney! I love your message too. It's one that all moms, whether we've gotten our kids one at a time or three at a time, can well relate to.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 11:52:00 AM EST  
Blogger Swimmingmom said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing it and I love that last line.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger sweetpea said...

I love this story, Courtney! You are amazing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:21:00 PM EST  
Blogger Blondentropy said...

So Sweet! Thank you for sharing your story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:30:00 PM EST  
Blogger LKV said...

thank you for that last line! I am pregnant with #2 and with each passing day I worry more about loving two. Beautiful story!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Terresa said...

When people pause at my twins, I reply, "Nothing scares me but triplets."

What a beautiful story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Holly Dart said...

what cute little girls. I LOVE the frowny faces in the newborn picture. Adorable!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 1:55:00 PM EST  
Blogger Nancy said...

As a friend of Courtney's I can attest to her amazing capability to love all of her children and to the wonderful mother that she is, so fun to see her and the girls here!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 2:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger RLG said...

Thanks for sharing your story. We have more in common than I realized. xoxo

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 2:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger Design Mom said...

That last line is exactly is so well put! What a great story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 3:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger Christina said...

Picture of the three girls as babies is the best. Very, very sweet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 6:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger Angela said...

Great story Courtney!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 6:46:00 PM EST  

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