Reality of Having Triplets.
Ep 7- Reality of having triplets with Ange Wakeling.
Last time I saw your face, you had three babies.
I know. It still doesn't seem real. But there's still moments when I sit on the sofa in the evening and I hear a noise and I'm like oh my gosh!
So I wanted to get you in because there's a big divide and just from following you the reality of having triplets. And then the perception of having triplets. And all of this stuff. Generally that goes in. I wanted to just chat because I've learned loads from your account in just about two months.
Well as my life as I slowly become more and more mad.
Just like don't point it out to people on the street. Like, I understand that triplets is, you know, it's not something that you see every day. And certainly, it's been overwhelmingly shocking to me, but I just don't understand how people can constantly tell you that when they don't know you. So for example, I took them to a hospital appointment in this huge buggy that we have, which is just ridiculous. I didn't think it was even going to fit into the hospital left. And just in that like 10 minute walk around the hospital. I had about 30 people, like constantly like, Oh, you've got your hands full. Oh, you're brave, oh, triple trouble. And I'm like, You don't know me. I'm literally just walking past. I don't know why but it's constant. Because I understand that it can be something that is unusual. I don't understand the need to say that out loud. And also a lot of the language that they use, I actually find this quite negative.
And I think that as any new mum, whether you've got one baby or two or 10 It's really tough as you know. And I think people need to be really careful about the language that they use. So if you see a mum that's just had triplets, like don't say, oh my god, you know, that's a lot. You've got hands full! Oh, I couldn't do that. Because that mom is already having no sleep trying to manage three babies, probably thinking that she's getting it all wrong. And you say oh yeah, that's really hard. Like, don't point it out. Like if you see a new mom with a baby all with multiples. Just smile and keep walking or be like you're doing a great job. And like, if I look tired, I know I look tired. Don't tell me I look tired. Just ask me how I am like, I just don't think there's any need to constantly pointed out.
I feel so guilty. Because I know that I've been that person. And I feel like it completely.
But you shouldn't because we probably I've probably been that person too. But like I said, I understand it's but now that you've, I've watched you and you've pointed, I turned around to my husband, I was like, never again am I going to say to someone who's got more than one baby, like, wow, that like you must be busy. Because of course if I can. So now I said now what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn around and say if I feel the need to say something because I just like to talk to people. I'm like what a blessing. Like I just say, like even health professionals. as well, like my health visitor on her visit, and she came, she's asking me all those standard questions like they do after you've had a baby. And she said something. And she was like, oh, yeah, because triple trouble and I said, I try and reframe that and say triple the joy. I'm really lucky. And she said, she said to me best to try and stay positive. Like the most patronising statement, I was like, I'm not trying to be positive. I'm really blessed. I tried for a long time to have children. And then something gave me three like, I'm really lucky. Like this, reframe that narrative that it's a burden. Like, obviously, it wasn't a choice that we made. We know we wanted another baby and tried for two years. And we're really blessed. When we when we did finally fall pregnant. I didn't ask for three. But I was given three, and the panic attack stopped after a while and we accepted. We're really blessed. And we're really lucky. And when people are constantly shocked and negative use of language, it just doesn't help your mental health.
I think afterwards, it's just a constant reminder, and the rest of their lives.
Exactly. And I'm so aware of that all the time. And I'm gonna try really hard to try and like, make them know that they're individuals. And they're not just the triplets, which I know will be hard, but they're gonna have that forever. Just don't want people constantly telling them. I think there'll be nicer than me though, right? Because I, sometimes I do things as a parent, and I think I've got the swing of it. And I know why I've been given triplets. When I go to the hospital, and people shout, or those, say all those things to me, and I have to talk to people. I'm like, no, why was I given triplets because I do not do small talk. I don't like talking to people to this day. I'm not like my husband, and he wants a dog, he will make friends with everybody. Whereas I am like, I have friends, keep my eyes down.
Whereas when you've got triplets, everybody wants to talk to you. I'm like, why are you doing that?
Oh, wow. Maybe someone knew that you needed to become better at small talk.
Exactly. That's what I'm thinking. So hopefully, the triplets will be used to it as they get older and might just be able to smile and nod not like me who's like hope, say Jimbocho.
So when you're posting on Instagram, though, it all looks absolutely beautiful, and serene.
It's so funny when people say that, like I don't, I'm certainly not writing my instagram at the moment.
So for the first time ever, I'm just using my Instagram to play and have fun. There's no objective. There's no narrative that you know, I'm just posting. So there's certainly nothing that's like, Oh, I'm not going to post that. Because I don't want people to think this isn't calm. I'm literally just been posting about my day to day life. And I think I have been blessed with three quite calm babies. But I have had a lot of people messaging me saying like, I'm so glad that you say it how it is and that you're being real. So I don't feel like I'm kind of hiding the reality a bit too much. But also, I'm not going to be able to post reels of them just crying at me, because that would be bad parenting, like the social services will be around. I'm not going to be like, can you just keep crying so I can film for a minute. My content, many is of them are sleeping because that's the time when I am able to pick up my phone.
And that's true. It is a bit weird when you do see people sharing videos of their kids crying.
The reality of having triplets. So question, I'll throw them at you. Do you need a village for more than one baby?
I think that when you have a baby, you always need support. When you have multiple babies, you need lifelines. And I am so lucky. Because I have got certain people around me that are just they're here for the highs, the lows. They're not just here for a cute Instagram picture with multiples. They are here. You know, changing, wiping my tears getting my medication, you know, rocking them to sleep, I'm really lucky. But I learned pretty quickly that my stubbornness of asking for help needed to do one. Because that's something that I've always just, you know, I'm a fierce, independent woman, I've always lived on my own, I don't need anything. And now I'm like, Oh, God, quite quickly is like, I physically don't have the hands to hold all these children. So yeah, it's really important that you ask for help. And I'm lucky enough to have some great family and friends that are around it all the time. And they literally, they're here in 10 minutes. And it's happened several times already, where I think I've got it all under control. And my husband's self employed, right. So he's not got paternity and we've not got loads of savings that he has to keep working on no sleep at all, he has the same amount of sleep as me, and then a few hours that we do get in the day, he's trying to work.
So really quickly, I tried to do it all on my own. And there were times where I think I have it all under control, and the three will be asleep. And I'll be like, Yes, I'm going to clean the bottles and my Pacific cup of tea. And then by the time I've like, even got to this, I think one has peed everywhere. One is scraping and the other one is projectile vomiting. And I have to try and lift them up, but I'm also helping the other one like in those moments, which happened quite often and you physically, and it's dangerous. Like there was one time at Taco taco was literally like, trying to vomit, but choking and I had held the other two so I was like using my foot to try and push his head up so that he didn't choke in those moments. It's like thank God that I've got less gonna go after I've got an Alexa and I could say quick, in a call for help. And my family are here and like to admit it, it's not easy to do on your own and hands up to anybody that has. I follow some amazing triplet families online, that kind of live in rural areas, and they are on their own. I just couldn't do it that my family right now,
Do you find that, when I have my babies, people are really excited for a short amount of time. And then they lose interest? Because you need that support? Are you kind of realising who is good to call on and who isn't good to call on?
My circle is very small anyway. And when we first came home from the hospital, I didn't tell anybody really, just my family and my support network, because for that exact reason, I knew that people would just come get a cute picture and go. So by saying no to everybody and ignoring them that kind of cut off a lot of that. And then there are times where I think I know which people are that I will be like, yeah, you can come around and just you know, it's nice to just see you and have a cup of tea. But I know that you're not here for that. Like all big moments in your life. They filter out those friendships, and having triplets has definitely helped me keep that circle even smaller.
Is it fun? Would you say? Like if you were to pick it obviously, we don't need to go into the realities of having kids. Like everyone knows that there are ups and downs in that but compared to it, because you've had one. Compared to having one is having three is it like a roller coaster?
Yeah, it is all consuming. This is gonna sound bad. I'm not what I would say like a Pinterest man. You know, like the moms that are like mums.
No, you're not. I know exactly what you mean.
And they are, they are all in on that. And that's amazing. But that's never been me. But now of triplets. It's all consuming. I have to be one of those people that my whole life is just these babies right now. And actually, I'm handling it better than I thought it would, I wouldn't. I'm not gonna say it's fun. It's really hard. And I'm absolutely exhausted. And I'm so tired. But it's not as hard as I thought it would be. And there's moments in the day where I look at them. And I'm like, This is amazing. Like, this is so cool. That and we're still laughing a lot like particularly, I think having a good relationship when you have a baby is really important when you have triplets. If you haven't got a good relationship, you're literally screwed. There are moments where like, they're all screaming, they're like to synchronise their Christ as well, which is really helpful. And we just sat on the bed and we just looked at each other and just burst out laughing like, how is this happening to us? Like, how is it possible? Yeah. So I don't know if it's fun, but it's definitely a ride.
And what about when you know and bouncing around with similar questions when you found out? Let's go back because obviously you've been trying for a little while, and then it happened and then you go for that first scan. How long did it take you to, in reality, kind of get over that?
Yeah, we tried for a long time. And then I've literally given up like, I couldn't do it anymore. As let's both focus on I took a job. I was like, let's focus, he's gonna focus on business. We're really grateful we've got a daughter, let's just crack on because I can't go through this anymore. So to then suddenly get pregnant was a surprise. It was a really bad pregnancy. And my mom is actually a twin. And me and my dad were like, what if this is twins? Because I was so bad. It was so different to my first pregnancy. From the day I found out, I told my boss literally after a couple of weeks, because I was so bad. So then, by the time I got to the Starfleet scan, which actually happened at 13 weeks, I don't think I'll ever ever forget it. The guy was scanning me. And he was like, have you had IVF? Which I now know is the first question. Every single person in the world asks me, which is another thing that drives me mad, have you had IVF? And I say, No, you certainly had any sort of treat fertility treatment, and I was like, no thinking, Oh, my God, like what's happened?
And he said, I've only told one person this in my whole career, you're having triplets. And then that was it. He was literally like, practically switch the machine off was like, So now you've got go to Bristol, which is a bigger hospital. And I'm like, I'm sorry, what? I thought Ant and Dec are gonna pop out like, jokes. This isn't real. Like my husband straightaway was like, we're gonna have a band. This is so cool. And I'm like, I'm sorry. What the hell happened? Like what do you mean? There's triplets. And because it's so rare, you have to go into the foetal Medical Institute, not a normal referral consultant. So he literally couldn't do anything. He was like, you'll hear from them. So we had to just walk out of the hospital thinking okay, so I've got three babies in me. But what does that mean? What does that look like? What happened now? And I had a huge panic attack in the carpark and it was pouring down with rain and I literally couldn't get in the car because I was just in a full panic attack, it was crazy. And then I started to feel really sick really quickly. And COVID was still around. So I took a test because I was a bit paranoid about it, and it was actually positive and then got really sick and spent nine days in my bedroom on my own really poorly.
This is a horrific story actually.
But there are the positive traits because I then spent that time nine days locked in my room. The first four days were really bad, I was really poorly. But it meant that I couldn't go straight to the medical appointment that I needed to go to to find out more. I literally locked myself in the room. So my husband and my daughter slept in a spare room. It was just me and this news right so I had nine whole days for it to sink in. And by the time I left that room, I was like Why is everyone so shocked? This is amazing. Like I just completely turned a corner and just felt like I understood why I've been given them and was just really excited and was almost like Why is everyone so shocked when I tell them because this is meant to happen? Yeah, so although it was a crazy moment like I say I was panic attack central and then I think I got that COVID for a reason. I think it would have taken me a lot longer to come to terms of that because when you get nine days away from less work, your family or responsibilities. I just lay on my bed and thought about how lucky I was.
But I think there's a whole point to everything that's happened for you. Definitely.
But that's so bad you didn't get any support in the hospital. They literally check you out like that. Surely it can't be done with that news.
So it's really really high risk. So I think they're obviously trained to not say anything because it's so high risk and so often doesn't come to full term. So I guess they're just told to leave it with the specialists that deal with it every single day, although not every single day because they literally my consultant has had like one other triplets that year. So it's like 0.03% of pregnancies or triplets. That's how rare it is. So I understand now whilst they were while they were just like we're not going to tell you anything because we can tell you the wrong thing.
Yeah, so the best bedrest was right from what I saw.
At the end, I was admitted to hospital, which sort of forced bed rest for a while. On my first day of maternity, it was so annoying. I had such chilled plans. And on my first day of maternity I was admitted to hospital. Oh, God, this is not how I planned this last month to go.
They kind of said that there would be any kind of possibility of that or because if you say like not many of them actually go to term but you went to they were really healthy went they went?
Yeah, so the hospital said we broke records for both the pregnancy and my consultant said, you're the most low maintenance triplet mom I ever had, we had no problems for the whole pregnancy. And with the birth it like the C section was straightforward. It was like a party. It was such a positive experience. And we were home after four days, which is like most triplets are straight to the NICU. For a certain amount of time, my babies were like, oh, there was four pound 11 Ada was five pound 11 and Tucker was five pound 12. And most triplets, like three or four pounds. Like I gave so many clothes to NICU because we'd bought these premature size clothes. And they didn't need them and I went to 35 weeks and most triplets happen between 27 and 32 weeks. So yeah, the whole thing was rare and broke records apparently.
It's just phenomenal.
And I feel bad because I have since I have started posting on my Instagram about it. I've had lots of other triplet moms messaging me some that are pregnant. And they're like, what did you do? How can I know, how can I do what you did to get these healthy babies? And I'm like, I did nothing like there's no magic potion. There's no trick you just have to take each day as it comes. I feel bad there isn't like, oh, yeah, I pineapple at three o'clock for seven days. And it was all fine. There's no magic solution.
That's true. Your Instagrams blew up as well. People absolutely love it.
I love it. I look every day. Do you get any like, this is gonna sound like a really weird question. But do you get people kind of picture hunting? Do you get people who are weirdly obsessed?
I haven't yet thought about it. Now that I've said it.
I'm gonna attract it now. I know, everyone has been, I think I have attracted a really beautiful community of people that are just there to hype me up and be like, well done, and your babies are cute and keep going. And on the days where it's been really tough. Actually, I've been so grateful for those. You know, someone will just message me and say, I just want to say I find your account and you're doing absolutely brilliantly, which might be like nothing to them. But on a day where I've got three babies screaming at me and I've not showered and I just want to cry. It really makes a difference. Yeah, so yeah, no way there is yet but I'm sure they're hiding somewhere. like talking to vote, let us know.
I think you've curated a nice kind of community Anyway, before people are kind of followed the whole journey in that. Yeah, I think so, when I asked you to come on the podcast, you're like, really? Why? Yeah.
Like what is trying to talk to me for?
I don't know. I think it's a great topic, the reality, Instagram versus reality of triplets. Do you see other triplet accounts? Maybe the more you know, curated?
Yeah, filtered. Like they're all dressed in cute little pumpkin outfits.
Honestly, yesterday was Halloween and I bought the cute outfits from Asda. So I've got like Dec skeleton and two pumpkins. And I didn't even manage to get them into it until about two o'clock and then family over and my husband goes big every Halloween. So instead of helping me or doing any work, he was getting out the smoke machine there was like black sheets on the ceiling. I'm looking at him. I'm like, we have three babies this year, right? No one is expecting you to do this. It's got to be done as like he's got uplighters outside on the front of the house. And just like me, grab a bottle. And then literally before we were going upstairs to take them to bed. I was like, I've not got the Instagram shot. And I was like, angry at myself that I needed to get like I have to people have been asking me what they're wearing. I need to share this picture.
And I was very quickly on the sofa and got them to bed. But I look at my feed this morning and it's just that multiple mums and they've all gone to a pumpkin patch or they've carved a pumpkin and put them in it or there's no family outfits and I'm like, How are you doing that? Like I'm then keeping them on and doing that. And actually, that's why I posted a selfie yesterday on my stories talking about something and I was like, by the way. Yes, like I've got no filter, I'm not going to change that. Because when I look at a lot of those accounts, they're all so picture perfect and so heavily filtered. And I just won't do it because it made me feel shipped yesterday looking at all of that. And I was like, it really doesn't matter. What matters is that we all had a great day. And we had a great time with with my family. Yeah, so I find it a bit frustrating. And that's why I'm determined to show it as is and not. Because there'll be other mums in general, not just multiple mums that often feel rubbish, that they're not doing that, when actually just getting through the day is brilliant.
Your days must go really, really quickly. I mean, days go quickly. Anyway, so fast.
They go so quickly, and the nights are really, really long. But then, they go really quick.
Thank you so so much. Maybe we'll bring you in for another shot later.
I'm sure I will not have even 15 minutes in a couple of months. But it's gonna keep changing.
We'll catch you soon.