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Life with Twins AND Triplets

Life
Meet Manon. She's a Dutch blogger who happens to be the mother to twins AND triplets. As you can imagine, she has her hands full with raising her no-so-little family with husband Jorn, but runs a highly successful lifestyle blog - The Nono Notes - and connects with over 28,000 followers from around the world through her Instagram - @manonproper
We asked, and Manon answered. Read below for her profile on raising twins, triplets, and maintaining sanity through it all.
What did you do when you found out? I would have passed out!

Found out what? That I was pregnant with twins or with triplets after twins? Haha! To both news facts we initially had the same reaction: My husband and I started laughing and we were shocked at the same time.

Here’s the story about our first sonograph of the triplets. When I was eight weeks pregnant I asked for an early sonograph. I had experienced some trouble during the very beginning of the pregnancy and wanted to be sure that everything was okay. At the time, I felt really really sick all day every day. I had concluded that either something was wrong or I was carrying more than one baby. I seriously ate like a caveman, was sick a lot and woke up in the middle of the night to eat (a lot). I was as tired as never before and my belly was growing at a crazy pace.

When the lady first looked at the sonograph screen, she immediately said: “ah, well this image is something that must look familiar to you!” So my husband and I started yelling: “Nooo, twins?? Again??” Haha, we loved the idea of having twins twice so we were very excited to hear this news. Then the lady said: “Okay, so there were three in the beginning, there’s an empty sac, which may have been why I was experiencing some problems earlier on.. We were both shocked and said simultaneously: “Are you serious? Can you imagine having triplets, hahaha! That would have been nuts!” Little did we know…

Then the lady was quiet for a while and at one point she placed her hand on my arm and said: “This might come as a shock to you; there is another one!” I started laughing, my husband started laughing but we both looked at each other slightly nervous as we continued laughing. The first few days after hearing the news we were so happy and nervous at the same time. We really needed some time to digest the information (I guess we are still digesting it up to today).
How do you take time for yourself?

Haha! Leave out the “how” and the answer is “No!” ;)

Seriously, during the first few months after the triplets were born, there wasn’t even enough time to have a decent breakfast/lunch/dinner or to watch the news. We simply were on survival modus. We had the twins running around who had just turned two years old and three premature babies (born at 34.3weeks) who needed a bottle every three hours. Cra-zy! Now, the triplets are two years old and the twins are four and go to school now. So for the first time in a few years, I begin to have a little bit more time for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I still experience the rush of having five toddlers in the house, but at least I can actually drink a cup of hot tea or coffee every now and then.

 What was your pregnancy like?

I can’t say I was really enjoying the feeling of being a walking time bomb! To be honest with you, it was really tough. Especially the last weeks of the pregnancy were insane. I was able to go out of the house, but I didn’t fit behind the wheel of my car, so I constantly needed someone else to drive me around. Also, my belly weighed so much and it was SO huge that my husband needed to roll me out of my bed when I needed to go to the bathroom, haha! Obviously, we were very lucky that the babies stayed inside my womb for such a long time, so the last thing I did was complain about it. But oh boy, my skin hurt so much! So happy with the Clary Collection oil, by the way. I use it on my belly and on the c-section scar everyday now and it really helps against the itching!

 Which one is your favorite? Kidding. Do you have a strict schedule and routine?

Haha, you know that people actually ask those questions on a daily basis? “Who’s the sweetest?” “Who’s the smartest?”, etc.  

Yes, we do have a VERY strict schedule and routine. This surely won’t come as a surprise, but a strict schedule and routine are key, and have really helped us getting through the first years relatively smoothly. Indeed, with three babies in the house all being born at the same time, I like to think we have become extremely practical in our approach to things.

People can read more about it on my blog where I share all kinds of tips and tricks (what to buy, what to cook, etc) that I am hoping any parent will find helpful. After all, life with kids, no matter how many or how few, can be a real challenge.

To be totally transparent: I hate the fact that we have no choice but to stick to such a rigid schedule as it makes our days rather predictable. That said, I know it is what works best for our children, and therefore for us as well. My life before having children was definitely less predictable, but therefore not necessarily more enjoyable!

It's not every day you see women giving birth to triplets. That makes you a very special woman. What do you think is the biggest joy and biggest challenge of birthing three children at once?

Obviously it is tough to carry three babies, so when labor started and the doctor told me they were preparing the OR for the C-section, my first response was: “Finally, they are taking them out!”.  At the same time my husband and I were so nervous. The babies were 34.3 weeks gestation, which is good for a triplet pregnancy. Still, we had to prepare ourselves on having babies with breathing problems or other complications that come with prematurity.

When I entered the OR there were three teams of professionals lined up to help during the C-section. A total of 18 persons were in the room! Very impressive, as you can imagine! The babies were taken out one by one and the doctors immediately told me they were doing fine. I was able to see two of them for a few seconds before they were taken to another room for their checkups. Even though they were doing well (they didn’t have to go in an incubator) they had to be monitored which is why they were transferred to the NICU. Due to a shortage of space in the High-Care department, only two could stay there and one had to stay in the Intensive Care department.  Splitting them up sounds dreadful, and it was. However, we were just so relieved and happy that we simply let it happen and didn’t bother spending time on feeling sorry for them or ourselves.

They were born at noon on Friday the 13th(our lucky day) and the first time I could actually hold them in my arms was Saturday morning the next day. That’s probably the biggest challenge when having three babies at once; how are you going to hold three premature babies at the same time? There were wires everywhere and their bodies were so tiny, it really felt surreal! It is a struggle, but a good one!

If you ask me what the biggest joy was: obviously holding our three healthy daughters for the first time, but also, the moment the doctors told us “everything is okay, they are doing very well!” The relief for both my husband and I was immense. I will never forget these first days after birth. However, the weeks or maybe months that followed are a complete blur, haha!


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