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They’re once, twice, three times a baby! The trials of having triplets
9:00am Wednesday 14th August 2013 in News
The Goodalls – Cameron holding Freddie, Gordon holding Indiya, Madelayne, Carolyne holding Freyah, Dominick, Izabella
Looking after a tiny new baby can be a daunting, even over-whelming, prospect. But some parents are left with triple amounts of work on their hands. With the unique joy of a multiple birth comes an a great deal of multi-tasking. JAMES COX speaks to mums and dads who have adapted their daily lives tending to their new flock.
WHEN mum of four Carolyne Goodall convinced husband Gordon to have one more child, they began preparations.
But the couple were stunned when scans revealed they were expecting triplets.
Indiya, Freyah and Frederik were born in May 2012, changing the family’s life forever.
The family, from Leigh, had a rocky start when little Frederik was born with a condition that meant his sternam had not fused together.
He was kept in hospital for a further six weeks before being allowed home to join his sisters.
His fight for life was documented on Channel 4 TV programme One Born Every Minute earlier this year.
Now he is up and running and competing with his sisters for who can be the cheekiest of the triplets.
Carolyne says: “You get days where it is really hard and then you get good days.
“But there is no doubt that having triplets is absolutely life changing.”
The trio, who are just over a year old, are now mobile meaning their parents have to be even more on their guard.
She adds: “The girls do everything together and if I have to tell one off for something, the other will be near by doing the same thing.
“I caught one of them picking flowers and sure enough her sister was at it as well.
“Meanwhile Freddie will be somewhere else eating snails, like I caught him doing the other day.
“The two girls are walking and Freddie is still a crawler.
“But you do need eyes in the back of your head.”
The family had to upgrade their beloved BMW X5 for a more sensible car big enough to transport their brood.
And days out, or even a dash to the shops, can become a logistical issue.
“If I need to go and buy something quickly, it takes ages to get them in the car, get them out, keep and eye on them,” Carolyne explains.
She is slowed down further by lots of attention from passer-bys who comment on the children.
She adds: “Lots of people ask how old the baby is, referring to Freddie because he is a bit smaller.
“Triplets are still unusual so we do get attention.
“I don’t usually mind unless I am really busy or in a rush.
“Occasionally they will say ‘rather you than me’ or ‘three must be a handful’.
“But I don’t agree because it can be more work, but I feel so special to have them.”
There does not seem enough hours in the day sometimes with the parents trying to divide their time equally between the new three and their older four.
Carolyne also feels she is a lot softer on Freddie due to his difficult start to life.
She says: “It’s tough now if they all cry, because I want to cuddle them, but I can’t do it all at once.”
The triplets share the house with their parents and siblings Cameron, 16, Madelayne, 14, Dominick, 12 and Izabella, nine.
At the moment, the new arrivals share a bedroom, but there are plans to extend the family home to give them more privacy when they are older.
Shopping has proven costly and the young trio were at one time polishing off a large tub of powdered milk every day.
FAMILY SHOCKED BY TRIPLE ARRIVAL
WHEN triplets Douglas, Leonard and Edward Pitt came along, they boosted their family of four to a household of seven.
Stephen Pitt, 37, and his wife Tracey, 34, of Bergholt Road, Colchester, were already parents to daughters Nancy and Violet.
When Tracey fell pregnant again they were stunned to find she has defied the one in 8,000 odds and have naturally conceived triplets.
The babies were due to be delivered by caesarean section on July 25, 35 weeks into Tracey’s pregnancy.
But fate intervened.
She went into natural labour the day before and gave birth that morning.
Douglas was delivered first and weighed 4lbs 11oz, Leonard was second weighing 5lbs 4oz and Edward was third weighing 4lbs 12oz.
The tiny little boys needed extra oxygen and were taken to the special care baby unit at Colchester General Hospital.
The parents, who both own and work at the Dental Studio in Bergholt Road, were able to return home with their new litter after 11 days.
Leonard and Edward are identical, so Douglas is the most visually individual.
However, having triplets has presented other challenges.
Stephen says: “We needed a three-seater push chair.
“You can buy the normal three-in-a-row kind here but they won’t go through shop doors, so we had to order one from New Zealand!
“That was costly enough, but then you’re hit with charges at the borders.
“The new type can get through doors, but is a bit too tall and we’re not the tallest parents so it’s difficult to see around.”
They finally settled on a double-decker model which poses its own problems due to its height.
The next challenge was in finding space in their four-bedroom house.
“I’m at work providing for the family so Tracey needed help,” Stephen says.
“So we moved our parents in and converted our garage into an annex.
“The babies are sharing a room, but in time that will obviously have to change.”
Buying supplies is a case of multiplying everything by three – but there was recently a powdered milk shortage that put them in an awkward situation.
Supermarkets limited buyers to just two boxes a week meaning it was back and forth to the shops for Stephen and Tracey.
He says family days out are all about forward planning.
“Thankfully Tracey is good with organisation,” he admits.
“The thing you can’t account for is all the people who stop you to chat to the boys.
“Most people are nice, but sometimes they say things like ‘they must be a nightmare’ or ‘are they artificial?’”
The boys are now a year old.
Stephen says: “It’s getting a bit more difficult now they are mobile.
“But they are amazing and give you so much.”
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