Three times the fun – Alex’s story

Alex and his wife Charlotte were over the moon when they found out they were pregnant with triplets. The couple were optimistic about their future but knew that having three babies was going to be a challenge.

It took three years of trying before my wife and I had our son Henry. Soon after he was born, we decided to try for another but after two years we weren’t having any success. We decided to have IVF treatment in September 2016 which to our immense joy worked straight away.

At the eight week scan, we found out that Charlotte was pregnant with not one but three babies. We were thrilled but we knew there was a chance that not all the babies would make it to the end of the pregnancy and that being pregnant with multiples could have a number of complications. We decided not to start buying anything until the New Year.

When Charlotte reached the end of her first trimester we started planning for the future. Having four children under five years old would require a financial plan so I took a close look at our savings, car, sleeping arrangements and lifestyle.

Unfortunately, Charlotte’s pregnancy was full of complications. She had a large bleed at 20 weeks and I had to call an ambulance straight away. Fortunately, everything was ok but I felt on edge for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Doctors then discovered there was insufficient fluid around the sac with the identical twins in and the singleton was not growing properly, so a c-section was scheduled at 34 weeks.

Luckily, we made it to that mark and the delivery went smoothly but Charlotte had a negative reaction to one of the drugs and had to remain in hospital ten days. The babies, Lottie, Annabella and Florence, were whisked off to the neonatal unit.

Alex With Henry And Triplets Rs

Not being able to meet the girls until hours after delivery was hard on us both; Charlotte felt especially separate from them. The day was incredibly hard for me because I was worried about my wife, my newborn daughters and about our son who was at home.

When I first went into the neonatal unit I felt very uncertain of what to do and how to act. I was scared to touch the girls as they were so tiny.

All three girls were in incubators and needed treatment for jaundice and oxygen support. Annabella and Florence were able to come off oxygen later that day but Lottie needed support for about a week.

We took Henry to meet his sisters when they were three days old. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen – he was so gentle and bonded with them straight away. You could tell he was chuffed to be a big brother.

Thankfully the triplets had no major medical complications and just needed time to feed and grow. We were able to take all three of our daughters home when they were two weeks old.

Although we were over the moon to be going home, saying goodbye to the staff was really difficult. One consultant who had triplets himself gave us a great pep talk on how to take care of three babies and the staff taught us how to find our feet with parenting.

If you are in neonatal care, don’t feel bad about being where you are. The unit has everything that it needs to help take care of your baby – you are in the right place. Try and give yourself a break and rest so that you can support your baby.

Also, share what you are going through with those around you – you’ll be surprised about how many people can relate. You’ll have days when it is really difficult and overwhelming and talking about what’s going on can help. Organisations like Bliss are also there to support you too.

Triplets5

Sharing on social media is now a big part of my life. I set up an Instagram account documenting the girls’ lives which has attracted over 96,000 followers.

Instagram is a great platform for me to connect with other parents and seek advice. My wife also runs her own page and knowing so many people are watching motivates us to be the best parents we can be.

On paper, everything is impossible with three babies but we have learnt we can do it and do it with a smile on our faces.

Last year, I ran the Brighton Marathon for Bliss. I thought it was really important to help parents who have been in neonatal care. I know we were lucky and that I could have easily needed the support Bliss provides. By fundraising, I hope that more families can have outcomes like ours.

Alex can be found on Instagram (@daddy_to_triplet_girls) along with Charlotte (@mumma_to_triplet_girls) and Bliss (@blisscharity).

Alex's story first appeared in our Little Bliss magazine

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this post and would like support, you can view our online support pages.

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