The featured blogger of the week is Gayla of Our Pea Pod! Gayla is the proud MoM of triplets, Gavin, Ava and Brayden who are just over a year old. Gayla definitely had a scary time after the birth of her kids, and honestly I am so thankful that she shared her experience here today so anyone else who may, or has, gone through it can have some additional support.

What made you start a blog?

I actually began blogging when a neighbor suggested it to me since my husband is in the Army in order to stay in touch with all of my friends and family.  It was so nice to be able to keep everyone updated on our life while we moved around from state to state.  Little did I know that my blog would turn out to be a “tutorial” for raising triplets!

After trying for so long to conceive how excited were you to find out you were not only pregnant, but pregnant with triplets?

Of course we were ecstatic when we found out we were pregnant after 4 rounds of Clomid and 2 rounds of IUI.  When the IUI was performed there were a total of 4 eggs inside of me but the specialist really thought that at the most 2 would fertilize because of the size.  My hcg level was really high when they first ran the blood test so we kind of had an idea that it was more than one but of course not three!!  When we first found out during the ultrasound I was actually terrified and cried because of all the negativity you hear about having multiples.  I’m 5’4, 125 pounds so I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to physically carry three healthy children without complications.  Once we met with another specialist and he reassured us that because I was so healthy there was no reason that I couldn’t carry triplets without problems we were definitely overwhelmed with joy and began focusing on making sure I kept myself healthy while pregnant so I could produce some plump babies!

How was your pregnancy?

The pregnancy itself was actually great!  I began showing around 8 weeks but didn’t have any morning sickness, high blood pressure or anything else.  At around 24 weeks I began having preterm contractions due to dehydration so I received a shot of steroids to strengthen the babies’ lungs and also received some medicine to take for the remainder of the pregnancy to stop contractions.  The only thing I craved was ice cream and potatoes.  I completely got turned off of chicken though!  We had to move from Virginia to New York when I was 30 weeks pregnant (Army) so that’s when I began swelling pretty bad.  By 32 weeks my blood pressure was really high and I was admitted for preeclampsia.  The doctors really wanted to keep me going because everything else was perfect.  My cervix hadn’t opened at all and the babies looked great but they were really worried about my health.  So at 32 weeks and 3 days the doctors decided to deliver our three precious babies!

It sounds like immediately following your delivery it was kind of a scary time, can you explain what happened and offer any advice for families who may be in a similar situation?

As soon as the babies were born they were about to take me off the magnesium sulfate for the preeclampsia until they realized that the right side of my body was paralyzed from Bells Palsy due to fluid on my brain.  My blood pressure was still really high and they realized that I was suffering from HELLP Syndrome.  The only treatment for this is to deliver the babies which I had already done.  I didn’t really realize how serious HELLP was until friends and family weren’t able to come into my room.  It can cause you to seizure and your kidneys begin to shut down so they had to do an emergency blood transfusion followed with a platelet transfusion.  I developed a hematoma on my C-Section incision because of my platelet count on top of everything else.  I was in pretty bad shape so they wouldn’t let me see the babies for the first three days.  That was the hardest thing for me to not be able to go down and spend time with my three precious babies when they needed me the most.  So for those 3 days my husband would show me pictures of them on the camera and I just focused on pumping as much milk as possible so they could get strong.  I was in the hospital for a week after they were born.  My advice for others out there is to make sure you get good prenatal care and listen to your body.  I can’t imagine what would have happened had I not insisted on going to the hospital with my contractions and not delivering those babies when I did.

What advice would you offer a new MoM or Dad of triplets?

I would say to other moms and dads of triplets to make sure you create a routine from day one.  As soon as they come home from the hospital have all of them on the same schedule morning to night for your own sanity.  A lot of people compliment us on how happy our children are and ask how we got them to sleep 12 hours through the night beginning at 6 months of age and I always say it’s because they’re in a routine and they know what to expect  throughout their day.  Also, make sure that you do your best to have some time for the two of you.  It’s so important to have time as husband and wife to reconnect regularly.  If you’re not happy together then you’re not going to be happy parents either.

What question(s) do you have for the other families in the community?

I would love some advice from those that have gone through the solid food stage.  Two out of our three are super picky eaters especially when it comes to meat or weird textures.  It can be really frustrating at times when they refuse to eat anything we give them or they spit it out of their mouths.  We are worried that they’re not getting the right amount of nutrients that they need.  We’re really at our whit’s end coming up with creative meals to get them to eat.  Some moms that I have spoken to have said that they’ll eat when they’re hungry.  But we can’t help but worry. I would love some suggestions!

Be sure to leave your answers to Gayla’s questions in the comment section and then head over to Our Pea Pod to leave some bloggy love!