What a difference a year makes in our lives of triplets plus one! One year ago, our oldest son was five years old and still in pre-kinder and our trio were 18 months old, spending their days at our home with our nanny. A lot has happened since. So many wonderful milestones with just a sprinkling of minor set- backs, but our family is so blessed! We’ve been told since we started sharing the news that we have triplets that it’s such a “blessing” and I can honestly say, it’s not until recently, that my husband and I can say AND truly believe that yes, we are blessed to have triplets plus one.
Having multiples puts lots of strain on relationships, and of course, finances. But, having the right kind of support helps! I’m really lucky because my husband believes that we should do everything 50/50. We both work full-time so we take turns cooking dinner, doing laundry and other household chores. When our triplets were infants, we took turns getting up for feedings so the other could get more sleep. Sometimes he doesn’t do things the way I would do them or want them done, but I remind myself to be thankful that he’s helping without complaint. We encourage each other when the stress of three two-year olds and a six-year-old takes a toll. Even the noise level can be stressful in our house! Just the other day he said to me, “I wonder if when our kids are all teenagers, they’ll want to ignore us? Won’t the quiet time be so nice?” I don’t even want to think about the different stresses that the teenage years bring but to have the noise taken down a level would be nice! So, support at home, check.
I’ve worked for Easter Seals for 11 years! I’m really proud of that fact but I think it says so much more for the agency! It’s not just a job, it’s my second family. I feel like Easter Seals has seen me “grow up”. They were there when I got married, had my first baby and then of course been there through this journey with triplets. My Easter Seals family has fed my own family more hot meals more times than I can remember. To say we are extremely grateful for all that Easter Seals has done for my family is an understatement!!! I get a lump in my throat thinking about it. So, support at work, check!
Each of my four children have been clients of Easter Seals Infant program. My oldest son was born with torticollis which is a shortening of his neck muscles. He received physical therapy and within the first week, we noticed a significant difference in his development. Because we started therapy when he was four months old, by the time he was six months old, he was on track and even ahead in some of his areas of development. My trio needed a little more intervention but that was to be expected since they were born six weeks premature. All three of them received physical therapy, two received speech therapy and my littlest one received occupational therapy for his sensory and feeding issues as a result of his reflux. It was amazing to see their transformation! Early intervention works!!! My children are living examples!!! But the Infant Program didn’t only help my children, they helped my husband and I also. We also accessed respite through the Infant Program. Respite is a program you can use to have someone come give you a “break” or respite to do something for yourself. We used the funds to get a full night’s sleep a few nights over a three-month period. We hired someone to come in to feed our infants during the night while we got to sleep for the whole night! It was a necessity we would have not been able to afford on our own. So, therapeutic support, check!
Fast forward a bit, my oldest son started Kindergarten in public school. He chose to ride the bus on the first day. That made me sad and proud at the same time. I was so happy that he had the confidence to want to go on that big bus all by himself and sad that he didn’t need me to help. And yes, I was THAT mom, crying and video-taping as he rode off and came home! My nanny was offered a really good opportunity with another triplet family so that forced us to put our triplets in pre-school. It’s a blessing in disguise because they have learned so much and have had experiences and made friends that they wouldn’t have had if they had continued to stay home. They are all three together in the same classroom which is nice but also has its challenges. Just yesterday, my husband brought them home and I noticed my daughter had a ring of teeth marks on her arm. Before I could ask, he said, “I had to sign double incidence reports at school today. The first one says, “During book time, Cruz bit a friend on the arm.” The next one says “During book time, Gracie was bit on the arm by one of her friends.” We laughed, not because Cruz bit Gracie but more because they used the term “friend”! Our hope is that one day they will be “friends” because those two fight the most with each other! But, with all that said, we are all still laughing together, and yes, we are blessed to be surviving triplets plus one!
By Sonia Salas, Asst. Program Director, Infant Program, Easter Seals Greater Houston.