What it’s really like to have triplets

One mum gives us a glimpse into life with not one, not two, but three babies (and their must-have routine).

Shock … disbelief … Shinta Sudarsono remembers feeling overwhelmed when she discovered she was expecting not one, not two, but three babies.

Shinta’s plans to start a family were initially delayed by health issues, but after some fertility assistance she quickly became pregnant.

Then during a routine check-up came the surprise news that she was pregnant with triplets.

“I spent the next 10 days not knowing what to think!” laughs Shinta, 32, from Melbourne. “I’d gone from wondering whether we’d have children, to expecting three.”

At 33 weeks, Shinta had an emergency caesarean and Oliver, Zayn and Isla were born at St Vincent’s Private Hospital on September 12, 2017.

“They put Oliver on my chest and a minute later they put Zayn on me and a minute later, Isla arrived,” she recalls. “I remember seeing 30 tiny toes and 30 tiny fingers.”

At around 1.6kg (3lb, 5oz) each, the three newborns were strong and healthy.

A routine for three babies

Five weeks later, Shinta and husband Rudy brought the triplets home to their nursery, lined with three cots and stocked with nappies.

They have a strict feeding and sleeping routine – she breastfeeds at 10am and 2pm, and then expresses breastmilk that she and Rudy feed the triplets by bottle between 6pm and 6am.

And Shinta has become an expert at changing at least 15 nappies daily.

“I have mothers’ group on Tuesday and Thursday, and on Monday my mum helps me out. On Wednesdays I have a baby spa and Fridays I take the triplets and catch up with a friend for coffee. I have a double pram and carry one of the babies in a papoose,” she says.

“Every weekend I have a day off while the babies stay with hubby. It’s a busy life, but we’re happy.”

Months later, the triplets are very different.

“We call Oliver ‘Over-the-top Ollie’ because there’s no halfway with him. He’s smiling one second and screaming the next,” says Shinta. “Zen Zayn is the calmest – and I’m thankful for that. Icy Isla has a bit of an attitude!”

This week is Multiple Birth Awareness Week (11th – 18th March), an initiative of the Australian Multiple Birth Association.