Featured Blogger Interview: Chris of Behind The Three

Today’s Featured Blogger Interview is with Chris, of Behind The Three! Chris is the proud dad to B/G/G triplets, Reese, Hadley, and Carson. This blogging dad has what it takes to handle triplets- (among other things!) a wonderful wife, and a great sense of humor! We hope you’ll enjoy learning more about his experience as much as we did!

L: You and your wife dealt with some struggles in conceiving your babies- do you have any words of advice for those going through a similar situation?
C: I know that this is a cliché but you just have to have faith. Our story is a little different than most couples who try IVF. My wife was diagnosed with endometriosis in February of 2008. She was scheduled for a laparoscopic surgery in April to remove some of the endometriosis. Unfortunately this minor procedure suddenly turned into major abdominal surgery. The doctors removed my wife’s left ovary and fallopian tube. During a trip to Peru in August of that year my wife began to experience severe pain in her back. As soon as we got back we headed to the Reproductive Endocrinologist. He was very blunt in the fact that he did not think that we could get pregnant.
Throughout the entire IVF process my wife proved to me that she was the strongest person that I have ever met. She hates needles but she gutted through the nightly injections that I had to give her. She just fell back on her faith to get her through. She kept the most positive attitude through the entire process. She had it in her mind that she was going to get pregnant, which she did three times over.
My advice to other couples going through a similar situation is to try to relax (I know, easier said than done) and try to remain calm throughout the process. You and your wife’s only job is to produce viable embryos, after than you have no control on whether or not they will stick. Try to think positive and whatever you do support one another. Finally understand that your wife is going through one of the most stressful processes that there is, BE SUPPORTIVE of her. Tell her that she is doing everything that she possibly can do and they she is doing a great job. Positive thinking is what helped my wife through IVF.
L: Share with us your “finding out” story- What was your FIRST thought when you found out you were having triplets?
C: Unfortunately we did not have that wife running out of the bathroom with the pregnancy test moment, but ours was memorable. We found out in the emergency room. My wife was experiencing some pain in her back and our Reproductive Endocrinologist sent us to the ER in Tallahassee, he thought she might have had an ectopic pregnancy. Well she didn’t and they let us know that she was indeed pregnant, one little problem, they didn’t tell the correct number of babies that we were having. Two days later we drove to Jacksonville to see the doctor planning out our life with twins.
The doctor had me sit down and let us know that we weren’t having twins, rather we were having triplets. He commented shortly after telling me this that I took it rather well, little did he know that I hadn’t yet digested the news. I still had dollar signs and figures zipping through my head. Needless to say that was a interesting drive back to Tallahassee. My first thought after it finally all sunk in was, “I don’t care if we are having one or fifteen; I am just elated that we got pregnant.”

L:How did you and your wife manage the stresses of a triplet pregnancy? Were there any complications?

C: As I said before my wife is one of the most amazing people anyone will ever meet. She complained all of three times throughout the entire pregnancy. My wife was a middle school teacher during the time that we got pregnant and she worked up until 31 weeks. She is a very determined and driven person and she had a plan and she told her doctor that she was going to stick with that plan. Her doctor finally told her that “he was the doctor,” and that she was going on home bed rest. Our doctor knew all along that she most likely would not follow. Unfortunately, the day after she was put on bed rest she was informed that she was a budget casualty at her school. She was put on hospital bed rest two days later. Being the person that she is she was on the phone the following Monday feeling out job prospects. She landed an interview a week after her cesarean and got the job.
The major complication that we battled was high blood pressure and the onset of preeclampsia. My wife’s only complaints during the pregnancy: 1) Morning Sickness during the early stages, 2) hospital bed rest, and 3) not being able to say goodbye to our dog when she was put on hospital bed rest. (This last complaint was later remedied because the nursing staff let me bring our dog up to see her under the guise of a “service dog.”

L: Do you have a lot of support from family to help you out with the babies?

C: Our mothers live in Orlando, Florida and my father lives in Washington D.C. Our families have been wonderful to us. Our mothers alternated staying with us for the first six weeks. It was a huge help to have that support system there, especially since all three babies came home at different times from the NICU.
We are also blessed to have found our adopted Aunt Donna who comes over on Tuesday afternoons to help Rian and visit with the babies. We also have a babysitter come in on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday to help out while my wife works.
L: What has surprised you most about being a triplet dad so far?
C: What has surprised me the most is that I am still standing. This has been the most overwhelming, yet supremely enjoyable experiences of my life. I am amazed with both my wife and I working full time jobs that we are still standing here and enjoying life. This goes doubly for my wife as she works full time from home as a teacher and takes care of the kids. While each day is definitely a challenge it is so rewarding seeing our little Critters grow up.
L: Blogging moms seem to get all the attention- but there is definitely a strong “Dad” movement going on! Who are some of your favorite “Dad” bloggers?

L: You mentioned that travel is one of your interests: where will you go on your first “big” trip with your kids? What destination do you look forward to taking them to the most?

C: My wife and I love to travel and we have found out that it is not impossible to take the Critters where ever we go. I must point out that we have not attempted to fly yet with the kids. We have taken multiple trips to Orlando and the kids are great in the car, even a seven hour traffic nightmare before Thanksgiving. Some people think we are masochistic when we tell them that we are planning a trip up to Minnesota this summer to see Carson’s God Mother. We are planning on renting a van and taking two weeks off and hitting the road. My wife and I love road trips and I want the Critters to have a great time on it as well and also see a bit of the US as well.
L: Your kids will be turning one in a few months! Do you have big plans for the first birthday?

C: We are planning a big Critterfest for their first birthday. My wife is putting together a preppy whale themed party. She is having it catered and having a local bakery make a whale shaped cake. Hopefully the weather will warm up down here in Florida because we are planning on having in the backyard.

L: What is the single most important thing you have learned in your childrens’ first year that you would share with other parents-to-be of multiples?

C: I would have to sum it up with learning to relax and patience. You really have to have patience to be a parent of multiples. Each day presents different challenges and you have to learn to roll with the punches or you will get eaten up. Learning to relax was to biggest challenge for me, I have a tendency to get uptight about little things and I have had to let that go. It hasn’t come easy and I still revert every now and then but it is the only way to truly take in and enjoy everything that your children do and have to offer.
Chris’ question for the readers of Multiples and More today is:
I am very curious on how people baby proof their house. Our kids are getting mobile and I would like to know what products that people recommend to baby proof.

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  1. Congrats on your triplets! We too are here in Tallahassee and our IVF took place in Jacksonville (as I am sure most people with fertility issues have to go there). How great it was to read your story! Your children are absolutely beautiful. I have twin girls and I can not imagine life with triplets. Everyone in your family are super heroes to me!

  2. MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs)

    I love hearing from dads of multiples…kudos for being such an involved father!

    We have 14-month old fraternal twin girls. As for baby-proofing, we bought gates for the top and bottom of the steps, as well as to close off two doorways on the bottom floor of the house. To date, we have not installed them, though. We positioned the furniture in the den to corral the kiddos, and we moved any smaller pieces of furniture (like end tables) outside of the corral. This has worked great. The den is completely baby-safe, and as that room is open to the kitchen (save for the position of the couch and love seat), I can step away from the kiddos to check on my crock pot in the kitchen.

    I can foresee the day when the girls can climb over the ottoman. At that point we'll open up the bottom floor of the house to them. And hopefully by that point they'll be more proficient walkers so we won't have to worry so much about them banging into furniture. We moved the end tables out of their way, but it's not going to be feasible to clear out the table from the kitchen! :)

    Best of luck!

  3. Congratulations on your triplets. It's always refreshing to hear a dad be so candid about fertility issues.
    As for baby proofing, my number one recommendation is a gate that can be mounted and has a door. I didn't go that route and I can't tell you the number of times I tripped over our accordian style gates.

  4. Beautiful kids! I love that there is a multiple dad blogging. I will have to read more, it's nice to have a dad's perspective. As far as child proofing we used gates to keep our kids in the playroom which was the most child proofed room in the house. We used the gates with the doors for the stairs, outlet, plugs, cabinets locks and door knob protectors for the outside doors. Our son learned very early to open the FRONT door. Scary! Now that our twins are 29 months we have taken all the gates down from around the house and we have them on their bedroom doors. I have a fear of the kids waking up at night being disoriented and coming out of their rooms in the dark. Plus it helps keep them in if they wake up at 5 am, they just play.

  5. Kudos to you all for getting "out" there and going places! I am a firm believer in starting traveling early. Even if it's just to the park! Enjoyed reading your interview! Amazing family!

    As far as child proofing, we have 3 areas in our home that are child-friendly. One with a superyard system around it in the dining/playroom. Our living room still has some cords to the TV and stereo that are tempting, but I feel I need to teach them "No" as well as childproofing. I guess we don't have any great gadgets. But one thing I found out is when we travel to bring a baby gate and/or playyard and the most important is the plug covers! You can move a lot of furniture to baracade and area, but those darn plug ins are such a temptations.

  6. Mom of the Twinkies and Tot!

    Great to see a dad's perspective on things! Such cute kiddos…can't wait to check out their blog!

  7. My husband and I can't even imagine having three DOGS, let alone three babies! Where do you find the time to go online?!
    They are adorable, by the way :)

  8. Your kiddos are adorable!

    My favorite baby proofing item was our baby gate. It is my Summer and it's extra wide (which we really needed for our entry way). Best thing about it: you don't have to screw into walls and it has a door.

  9. Adorable babies!! I'm glad to see all these babyproofing suggestions, as my girls are 11 months and we are beginning to need ideas as well. I'm currently looking for a gate to fit a 7-foot doorway…there aren't many out there. I've decided to lock the cabinet under the sink, but to leave the rest open, as the pots and pans and tupperware provide some good entertainment while I get things done in the kitchen.

  10. Cutie pies :)

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