Triplets Plus One | Olympia, WA Family Photographer

It takes a village. Let’s all extend our hands to the strong women around us. First time or experienced mothers. Those with multiples and those with one. Listen and encourage. Cook them wholesome meals and hold their baby while they eat. Wash a load of laundry and change a diaper…or a few.

This is Ashley’s perspective on being a triplet mama…

“Day and night. Is there any difference at this point? I have never in my life gone this long without relaxing a little…or being able to take a big exhale.”

What does a typical day/night look like? “The girls aren’t sleeping much at night. I’m usually up 16 times…they nurse about every 30 minutes. We’re usually downstairs by 6am. Everyone gets a diaper change, change of clothes if needed and then nursed. I nurse the two that are crying the most and then the third gets her turn. Playtime is next (if you can call it that). Really I’m just constantly changing what they’re doing to keep them happy for a while. Then sleep again.” Repeat.

“My life is in constant repeat.”

How have you needed to depend on others for support? “I’ve never been good at asking for help. The triplets have changed that. I’ve needed other people now more than ever and have been so humbled by those who sacrifice time, energy, money and sleep. My family has given us a free place to live and is available to help at any given time. They also give us space to be a family. My sister has traveled here every month since the girls were born. She’s given up time with her husband and kids. That sacrifice has forever changed our relationship.”

How is Hope adjusting (first born, 4 years)? “Hope has done remarkably well considering the many changes she’s seen over the last year. Moving across country, new school, mom on bedrest, becoming a big sister to three babies…I mean that is overwhelming. We really struggled at first. Hope has been our everything for so long and has never had to fight for attention. But in the blink of an eye, she sees her time being spread thin between three very needy babies. We love her so much.”

How has it been to nurse three? “Exhausting. Emotional. Powerful. Bonding. Amazing. I have given up so much of my ideal parenting style but am so grateful that I didn’t have to sacrifice nursing my sweet girls.”

What has been most pleasurable about this experience? “Having triplets is amazing. Nursing three babies and watching them grow is so exciting. Each smile melts my heart. Having so many little ones who need me feels overwhelming yet empowering at all at once.”

Most challenging? “The letting go of expectations and my wants. No long term co-sleeping, baby wearing all day, no full attention given to each girl…the list goes on and on. I feel like I can never give them enough of me…Hope had all of me. I just long for enough time to love each one individually. These girls have to cry so much and I hate it. They want me constantly and I just can’t give them that…it’s so wearing. My heart feels broken all day and I long for the days when they can be more entertained by something other than me.”

Despite the challenging…”I’m so excited to watch these sweet girls grow and bond. I love seeing them learn new things everyday. I love that they need me. I love that they love me.”

“There is nothing I’ve ever wanted more than to be a mother of lots of kids. But this is not how I envisioned it. People say to me, “Oh, I wish I could have more than one at a time” or, “I’ve always wanted twins.” Well, that was never me. Having multiples does not mix well with the way I like to parent. It doesn’t mix well with someone who physically hurts when babies cry. Who feels like a failure when the crying can’t be stopped. These sweet babies don’t realize they’re triplets and that I’m spread so thin. It pains me to even talk about this. Nevertheless, God saw me fit for it. I’m excited to see myself on the other side of the storm. To see the woman I become from all of this.”

 

 

 

 

  1. Olivia Gatti

    March 8th, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Beautiful images! What a strong and amazing momma you’ve shown us. I love that she has these crazy wonderful, but fleeting memories captured forever. She will cherish them.

  2. Brenda Hodges

    March 9th, 2017 at 12:23 am

    What a beautiful gift to Ashley and her family, Anna! And, Ashley – you’re doing a splendid job…we see you. All four of your girls are blessed…

  3. Celeste Pavlik

    March 9th, 2017 at 3:12 am

    So so beautiful!!! I wish I had photos like these when my boys were younger. I have 8 yr old identical triplet boys and my first is a 10yr old boy!!! <3 much love to you!!! You are doing amazing!

  4. Celeste Pavlik

    March 9th, 2017 at 3:22 am

    I just have to add (I’m an aquaintance of Anna’s!) if you ever need to talk to someone who has/goes through the same thing as you, I would love to talk (you can get my info from Anna!). Everything you wrote above is everything I felt (and still feel many days). The splitting of attention is SO hard and the feelings you will feel at times about the loss/guilt with your firstborn is difficult. I don’t know how to explain it without it sounding terrible to other families, but I know you know/will know what I mean. <3 Hang in there, know that you were meant for this and that those sweet babies, all four, of yours will always know of your deep love and sacrifice for them. xoxo

  5. Renee

    March 13th, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Anna, this is so moving! What a wonder woman and how amazing that she is nursing all three. I cannot image how split in a million pieces this time must be for that super mama and she has so much grace and power – bravo for capturing that in the images.

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