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Triplets-The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


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About a month ago, we had an emergency placement of triplets. It was just for one night and I got some great advice for handling it. Now, dh and I have found out that their placement isn't working. The current foster family has given their two weeks' notice. We are mulling over the possibility of taking them. I'm not necessarily wanting to be talked into it or out of it. I'm just wondering what other's experiences with triplets has been. Well, sleep deprivation, we are counting on. FTR, they were born about 6 weeks early, I think, but are now about 2.5 months old. There are no health problems to deal with that we are aware of. There is always the possibility of this going permanent, so I want to think beyond the immediate, to years down the road as well as to the immediate chaos. :tongue_smilie:

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I only had twins, which is not the same thing, so my only piece of advice at the moment is to use their adjusted age. So, they're probably behaving something like 1-month-olds at the moment. My twins were 7 weeks early, and didn't sleep through the night until around 6-7 months. Much of that time involved feeding every three hours around the clock. Everytime I tried to stretch them longer, they weren't ready yet.

 

I'd ask very carefully about medical status and consider that in light of your own insurance coverage.

 

I'd come up with a plan for how you would handle feedings. I fed my twins simultaneously, but I have two arms, not three!

 

The first year costs - formula and diapers, etc. - may be a significant consideration. Costco.

 

I'd visit websites like http://www.tripletconnection.org/ - I see they have new parent packets.

 

This would be a very, very, very huge deal. It would be hard to hs during the first year, due to the sleep deprivation and general exhaustion, on your part, alone, not including finding the time in between feedings to do it.

 

Best of luck with your decision. Multiples are not an easy road. If you weren't tough before, you're tough after ;). If you feel called to do this, it is absolutely possible. Just prepare to for a mountain climb that's really steep in the beginning, and somewhat steep in the middle and end.

 

Is your car big enough? Not many can fit three carseats across.

 

just my random thoughts.... :) Really, that would be thrilling. I have 6 kids, ages 9 to 1, and if newborn triplets should fall into my lap for possible adoption, I don't think I would hesitate though I'm sure DH might (he sees the dollar signs for college). You'd have to expect the unexpected and emotionally prepared for an adventure.

Edited by wapiti
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It's 2 boys and a girl. We fostered their older brother for nearly 9 months and we miss him still. :( (He's living with relatives now, but they don't want the triplets.) I'm trying to look at this practically and logically and not emotionally. Tough for me to do, admittedly.

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Well, our van seats 7, so we'd need to upgrade for sure. We'd probably hold off until we know the situation for sure, though. Dh is on board with us driving two cars to church and any other places needed. The homeschooling was probably the biggest concern for us. Children's services said they could possibly offer us childcare for 1/2 days so we could school, but I'm not sure that would be helpful if I'm trying to establish a routine.

 

Thanks for the thoughts on the adjusted age-so basically, you take away how ever many weeks they were early from their current age? (Forgive me ignorance). Good to know that I shouldn't expect them to act like typical 2 month olds.

 

 

I only had twins, which is not the same thing, so my only piece of advice at the moment is to use their adjusted age. So, they're probably behaving something like 1-month-olds at the moment. My twins were 7 weeks early, and didn't sleep through the night until around 6-7 months. Much of that time involved feeding every three hours around the clock. Everytime I tried to stretch them longer, they weren't ready yet.

 

I'd ask very carefully about medical status and consider that in light of your own insurance coverage.

 

I'd come up with a plan for how you would handle feedings. I fed my twins simultaneously, but I have two arms, not three!

 

The first year costs - formula and diapers, etc. - may be a significant consideration. Costco.

 

I'd visit websites like http://www.tripletconnection.org/ - I see they have new parent packets.

 

This would be a very, very, very huge deal. It would be hard to hs during the first year, due to the sleep deprivation and general exhaustion, on your part, alone, not including finding the time in between feedings to do it.

 

Best of luck with your decision. Multiples are not an easy road. If you weren't tough before, you're tough after ;).

 

Is your car big enough? Not many can fit three carseats across.

 

just my random thoughts.... :)

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Well, the carseat thing, I remember that there was a discussion of the ones that could be 3 across. I nursed, but expressed sometimes because my 8 year old loved feeding her brother; it was bonding :) Nothing says you can't feed with the seats, or use the bottles that have "paci" type feeders on them... (with you right there :)) Perhaps you can have the adopt situation where their insurance is maintained by the state? And diapers... should you get to that point are less with auto delivery from Amazon, with a Amazon Mom membership??? (Or cloth:)) With a diaper service... when you hit over one kids... the 2nd and 3rd are almost... "free" :)

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I only had twins (and then when they were 9 months old, another)

 

You keep the same schedule for ALL of them, no staggering.

 

They are small now, but if I were you and bottle feeding I would make up the bottles prior. I would use powder and put the amount in each bottle and line them up, then add warmed water at the time of feeding so you don't have to wait.

 

For solids, you line up the chairs and give them each a bite per round. Then you change them all in a row. I had a blanket in the corner of the living room (with a basket of supplies) where I would change them if we were downstairs and a station upstairs.

 

It's crazy but it's the only way you're going to get any amount of time to focus on anything else.

 

And maybe your kiddos can help with holding bottles and such?

 

I dunno-that's my limited twin experience.

 

Good luck! How fun!:grouphug:

 

Click in car seats, and 1 double stroller with a single Dad can push. Clothes on every level for blowouts and barf (I just kept them in my basket).

 

 

ETA, you could still homeschool, but you're going to have to throw any kind of schedule away. You do it when you can, you know?

Edited by justamouse
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I only had twins (and then when they were 9 months old, another)

 

You keep the same schedule for ALL of them, no staggering.

 

They are small now, but if I were you and bottle feeding I would make up the bottles prior. I would use powder and put the amount in each bottle and line them up, then add warmed water at the time of feeding so you don't have to wait.

 

For solids, you line up the chairs and give them each a bite per round. Then you change them all in a row. I had a blanket in the corner of the living room (with a basket of supplies) where I would change them if we were downstairs and a station upstairs.

 

It's crazy but it's the only way you're going to get any amount of time to focus on anything else.

 

And maybe your kiddos can help with holding bottles and such?

 

I dunno-that's my limited twin experience.

 

Good luck! How fun!:grouphug:

 

Click in car seats, and 1 double stroller with a single Dad can push. Clothes on every level for blowouts and barf (I just kept them in my basket).

 

 

ETA, you could still homeschool, but you're going to have to throw any kind of schedule away. You do it when you can, you know?

 

:iagree: and that's a great idea about having your older one hold a bottle.

 

The time/energy investment is so large that it would be hard to do without knowing you get them permanently. On the other hand, maybe that's what gets you through the tough first year. Always know that the really, really hard part - the first six months - is temporary!!

 

You also have the advantage of not having just been through a multiple pregnancy, on bedrest, etc. You need to take good care of yourself in this sort of situation.

 

Think about the nights - could you have night help for a few months? A relative or college student?

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Thanks for the thoughts on the adjusted age-so basically, you take away how ever many weeks they were early from their current age? (Forgive me ignorance). Good to know that I shouldn't expect them to act like typical 2 month olds.

 

Exactly, though the more premature, the longer it kinda takes. 6 weeks isn't too bad though - I'd expect they'll act about 6 weeks "younger" than they really are. You act as though the 40-week EDD was the day they were actually born.

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Thanks for all the thoughts so far. I'm planning on cloth diapering (I have for many of our placements to help cut costs) though dh has warned me that our septic may go into shock. :tongue_smilie: I told him, not as much shock as his wallet when we bought disposables x3. :D

 

The doing all this to have them go home is another hard part we have to consider...definitely.

 

When they were here just before Christmas, all my kids had a blast with them-the girls just mothered them and were happy to give a bottle. I realize that the novelty may wear off. ;)

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Quick thoughts based on twins:

 

* Do you have swings? These were very helpful with my kids when I couldn't hold them both.

 

* Once they get mobile, do you have an easy way to give them a large, baby-proofed space? They *will* work together to get into mischief, so you'll need to bring the proofing up a notch.

 

* Also, do you have a way to give your bigger kids some triplet-proof space? You'll want to keep the babies out of their rooms when they are in them and when they are elsewhere. Again, 1 + 1 + 1 = more than 3.

 

* Once my twins got to 3, I think twins were easier than single kids because they always had a playmate. I wonder if the odd number of triplets makes for different challenges.

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About a month ago, we had an emergency placement of triplets. It was just for one night and I got some great advice for handling it. Now, dh and I have found out that their placement isn't working. The current foster family has given their two weeks' notice. We are mulling over the possibility of taking them. I'm not necessarily wanting to be talked into it or out of it. I'm just wondering what other's experiences with triplets has been. Well, sleep deprivation, we are counting on. FTR, they were born about 6 weeks early, I think, but are now about 2.5 months old. There are no health problems to deal with that we are aware of. There is always the possibility of this going permanent, so I want to think beyond the immediate, to years down the road as well as to the immediate chaos. :tongue_smilie:

 

Well, I think you are approaching this wisely.

 

I like the idea of having a helper for 1/2 days, so you can school. That would be a huge factor for me. What about a nighttime helper, as well? So you *know* you will be able to sleep, from, say, 12AM-4AM, or whatever works for you.

 

Would your older girls be willing to help you out, maybe as a part-time job for themselves, with a small chunk of time on alternating days?

 

What do your other children think about this?

 

I heard a triplet mom once say the first six months were h*ll, and the second six months were worse. :lol: She was teasing, but I think it was probably somewhat true. But, nothing worthwhile is easy.

 

Best wishes!

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I also do not have triplets, just twins. I did have newborn twins when I had also a 1, 3, and 5 year old, so I was busy.

 

Here are considerations that I would take into account. First and foremost, their health, Health issues can be very expensive and stressful on a family.

 

My twins were raised differently than my singletons. It was more important to attempt to keep them on schedule as much as possible, especially as they into older newborns. As much as possible (as it is hard to do....) try to keep them on the same schedule. Hopefully, they will eat around the same time, and sleep around the same time, (although this sleep one didn't work very well for me.)

 

I had five kids in five years, and it was the most exhausting thing I have ever done. Triplets are going to be the same way. Homeschooling while having triplets is going to be REALLY HARD. If you do decide to take the triplets, consider hiring a college or high school kid to just come and help out playing with the kids, taking care of the babies, and also some light housework, like sweeping or dishes.

 

I would think twice about putting them into a 1/2 day daycare, as they are not going to pay for a high-quality daycare (IMHO), and also daycares are so germy. With tiny babies, it is so hard when they are sickly. With them being born six weeks early, I would hesitate to jump on that offer. Can they pay for someone to help inside the house a few hours a day?

 

Overall, having a big family for us has been great! I have loved seeing how my twins got along as siblings.

 

If you take them, expect to have one completely exhausting year. After the first year, things really do get easier. And, after they are potty trained, it really is not hard at all.

 

Let us know your decision.

 

Okra

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I would think twice about putting them into a 1/2 day daycare, as they are not going to pay for a high-quality daycare (IMHO), and also daycares are so germy. With tiny babies, it is so hard when they are sickly. With them being born six weeks early, I would hesitate to jump on that offer. Can they pay for someone to help inside the house a few hours a day?

 

Overall, having a big family for us has been great! I have loved seeing how my twins got along as siblings.

 

If you take them, expect to have one completely exhausting year. After the first year, things really do get easier. And, after they are potty trained, it really is not hard at all.

 

Let us know your decision.

 

Okra

 

You know, I think you have a very valid point about the daycare, and it had not occurred to me. I do wonder if they'd do an in-home person instead. Something to ask about! Thanks!

 

Thank you, also, for your thoughts on larger families. I know this will give my family pause. :glare:

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One thing I would definitely look at is how many hours of respite care a month you could qualify for. Respite can be used to get you a total break, but also for extra hands while you're there--3 hours a day M-F of respite care in your home would give you school time, for example.

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You know, I think you have a very valid point about the daycare, and it had not occurred to me. I do wonder if they'd do an in-home person instead. Something to ask about! Thanks!

 

Thank you, also, for your thoughts on larger families. I know this will give my family pause. :glare:

 

You mean this will give your FOO pause?

 

And of course I always wonder about things like 'was this a naturally occuring triplet birth?' I thought naturally occuring triplets was kinda rare?

 

I read about a 16 year old girl here in AR who had quads---two sets of identicals...very rare they say. Naturally it would be a 16 year old unwed mother who gets that treat. :tongue_smilie:

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Great advice so far!!! Definately see how you can utilize your respite care. We drive a Chevy Astro, it seats 8 and has lots of storage...plus they are relatively cheap to get used.

 

Schedule, schedule, schedule!!! Truthfully, I'm a bit jealous...I would do this in a heartbeat.

Also, talk to dr's in your area...they often donate formula in these situations. Can the church throw you a diaper or formula shower?

 

How exciting!!!

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You mean this will give your FOO pause?

 

And of course I always wonder about things like 'was this a naturally occuring triplet birth?' I thought naturally occuring triplets was kinda rare?

 

I read about a 16 year old girl here in AR who had quads---two sets of identicals...very rare they say. Naturally it would be a 16 year old unwed mother who gets that treat. :tongue_smilie:

 

Ah, yes, I see I should clarify. :) My parents have had a hard time dealing with the (to them) very different choices we are making with regards to homeschooling, then fostering, then adopting... not to mention possibly 7 children? my mother--> :svengo:

 

Yeah, naturally occurring triplets are rare. And they are just 11 months younger than the sib we fostered before.

 

16 and quads!?:eek: I just can't imagine.

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Ah, yes, I see I should clarify. :) My parents have had a hard time dealing with the (to them) very different choices we are making with regards to homeschooling, then fostering, then adopting... not to mention possibly 7 children? my mother--> :svengo:

 

Yeah, naturally occurring triplets are rare. And they are just 11 months younger than the sib we fostered before.

 

16 and quads!?:eek: I just can't imagine.

 

I know right? Mother's name is Erin Belcher. Quads, all girls, born in 1998 in south AR. Father of babies was 19 at their birth. Googled them just now but didn't see much on them. Also, I thought I read back in 98 that they were 2 sets of identical twins, but saw nothing on Google just now to confirm.

 

I always wondered what happened to her.

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Thanks for sharing this. We are about to have foster placement(s) since we will be licensed in a couple of weeks. How well does homeschooling work while fostering?

 

For us, up until now, it's worked out very well. Our first placement had a major head injury, requiring daily (all day) therapy. I took the kids to the hospital and they did school work and played on the playground while therapy was going on. I had the flexibility to go where I needed to go and the kids and work came along. All our placements have been younger, though-the oldest we've had was 2 when she came and 3 when she left, so we're not dealing with adding public schooling to our homeschooling routine.

 

The first little bit after a new placement was always a little hectic. In Ohio, there are mandatory doctor's visits, getting acquainted with social workers, guardian ad litem, etc on the case. I've told friends that the first month is very hectic, then we settle into a routine again. Leaving usually causes a small disruption, but mostly because I spend the day weeping off and on because I get so attached to these kids!

 

Good luck to you! That first phone call for a placement was so scary! I had no idea what to expect-would she freak out when I tried to take her home? Would she adjust easily etc, etc.

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Take them, take them!! Triplets are so cool, I think ours are amazing. We have two boys and a girl too, they were also "natural" and a big surprise. Our oldest was six and our second was 18 months old when they were born. You can do it, what to you want to know??? My babies are 16 now, so it's been a while...........

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Take them, take them!! Triplets are so cool, I think ours are amazing. We have two boys and a girl too, they were also "natural" and a big surprise. Our oldest was six and our second was 18 months old when they were born. You can do it, what to you want to know??? My babies are 16 now, so it's been a while...........

 

lol! You know, I'm not even sure what I want/need to know. I have to admit, I was expecting more horror stories of triplets and thinking I just might be a bit teched to even consider it. However, the more dh and I talk about it, the more details we're working through that make us think we could really do this.

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How exciting!! :D

 

I don't have triplets so you may not want me to respond. I'm a former foster mama and an adoptive mama so hopefully you won't take this the wrong way.

 

My only question to think about would be why they came into care. Do you know if there was any drug or alcohol (especially alcohol) use and are you prepared to deal with that x3 longterm? Not asking this for you to answer publicly, unless you want to. Just something to think about and make sure you are prepared for.

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How exciting!! :D

 

I don't have triplets so you may not want me to respond. I'm a former foster mama and an adoptive mama so hopefully you won't take this the wrong way.

 

My only question to think about would be why they came into care. Do you know if there was any drug or alcohol (especially alcohol) use and are you prepared to deal with that x3 longterm? Not asking this for you to answer publicly, unless you want to. Just something to think about and make sure you are prepared for.

 

Oh no! I totally understand where you are coming from and drugs/alcohol don't play into it the removal, so I feel confident there. That's a very valid point, though. :)

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Oh no! I totally understand where you are coming from and drugs/alcohol don't play into it the removal, so I feel confident there. That's a very valid point, though. :)

 

Okay, glad you know! And I'm so glad you weren't offended. We are dealing with it and were unprepared. :) I wouldn't change it though, of course.

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A close friend has triplet boys, they are nearly 8 now, I have known them just over 2yrs. They were natural. A couple of things I remember her saying that might be helpful are that they were all in different places developmentally at different times, and still are. For example they started crawling/walking at different times, one way way behind the others and one was always well in front of the others in any skill and this is still true now. LIke a good 2 months different.

 

The other thing is that she had a room that she stair gated to the max and they stayed in there to minimise the chaos and so she always knew where they are, they had it as a playroom and a room for eating in. She had a toddler when the triplets were born. The room stayed stair gated until they were 4 i think.

 

Her dd is home educated and the triplets are at school part time now.

 

They are so boistrous and a force to be reckoned with, her family appears to work like a well oiled machine. They used cloth nappies too I believe. I've been there when she has met up with other families with triplets and she's passed on stuff so maybe track down other triplet families in your area.

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Thanks again, for all the input. Placements meets today to talk about where the kids should go. We've offered and to the best of our worker's knowledge, they don't have a lot of options so there is a good chance they will decide to let us take the babies. I feel at peace with the decision and now I just have to wait and see where Placements puts them. :)

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Congratulations! I'm sure you will probably get them. You know, so many people are afraid of triplets that they very easily could have been separated.

 

Please let us know for certain if you are going to foster them. Then, I'm sure you will not have too much time for these boards.

 

But, it is going to be a great adventure! Hard and really fantastic at the same time.

 

Okra

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I had (very) preemie twins that were 14 months younger than my first child. My first child was not quite walking yet when the twins got out of the hospital.

 

This is what I remember:

 

I tried to continue with cloth diapers (we had a diaper service) but because cloth needs changed a little more often I simply couldn't keep up with changing three in diapers. I had a diaper baby shower for the twins and that helped.

 

The twins were tiny enough to fit two in the back of the double stroller and my toddler in the front.

 

We were in an apartment at the time so I put up a yard gate enclosure in the living room to make a large play area.

 

For night feedings - when one twin woke up to eat I fed them both.

 

My "favorite" word the first year was frazzled.

 

Make it easier on yourself and get help with housecleaning. My mom moved in to help for the first several months.

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Hello!

Wow, your post brought back a lot of memories.........our 2 boys and one girl triplets will be seven next month.

 

I will not lie, raising them has been one of the hardest things we've ever done, but we've made it this far and it has been so much more than worth it. They are wonderful kids! We had only one 5 year old when they were born, so I'm not sure how it would be with four and home schooling. Our daughter did a lot of unintentional unschooling those first couple years. She was and is a fantastic big sister and was old enough to be really helpful. We tease that they still listen better to her than to us! Sorry to ramble..........

 

These things helped us survive those early years............

 

1. We had/have a very seasoned marriage ~ taking care of them was pretty much all we did and we were both okay with that ~ we knew it would pass quickly, even though it was hard to believe at the time. But if my mom came to watch them for a bit, she still laughs that we literally ran out the door and she was worried whether we'd come back! :001_smile:

 

2. They were on a strict schedule and ate and slept at the same time. We woke them up (something we never would have done with our oldest) to keep this up and although it was super tough at times, it saved us.

 

3. We had lot of donated diapers ~ a real gift.

 

4. We had some help, but not a ton. One helper that came regularly to help would have been wonderful. It was more trouble than it was worth to have a lot of people in and out in the beginning.

 

Feel free to ask anything else you'd like and please keep us posted!

 

P.S. The great thing about triplets is they always have a friend and it's nice when they are put in new situations (pre-school, Sunday school, etc.) they go together. Ours are close and it's neat to watch them grow up together.

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That makes three sets of triplets here, with weat4 having the youngest by far. I think mine and RC's are the same age.

 

Ours were on a strict schedule too. And we had two nannies for the first six months. Two, but only one came a day, sisters that split the job between them. Two rooms in the house that were absolutely baby safe for crawlers and toddlers.

 

Fun!

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