After becoming parents of triplets in 2016, Jessica Kennedy, Kristen McCloy and Jeri Wright returned to Missouri Baptist Medical Center to share what they’ve learned during the past year.
All nine of the children were born a few weeks apart, and all were patients of Dr. Michael Paul, a maternalfetal- medicine obstetrician. While the moms were in the hospital on bed rest during their pregnancies, they formed a bond that strengthened as their babies recovered in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and continues now as the team of nine have become toddlers.
WORKING AS A TEAM
As the first mom to deliver her triplets, Jessica and her husband, Ben, both high school teachers, found that teamwork has been key this past year. Their identical sons, Reed, Knox and Finn, have all fit right into their family, along with big brother Cohen and big sister Laine.
Because both parents work outside of the home, they have an au pair who takes care of the triplets during the day. “It’s been crazy, but we got lucky. The boys are well-behaved, and the older two help out with the babies and love playing with them,” Jessica said. “I’ve learned that there are going to be good days and bad days, but you can’t let it get to you. I wish they would sleep a little better, but I try not to take the long nights too seriously.”
Jessica said she and Ben think of each other as a team. “We’re both pretty laid back, which helps. Sometimes they’re going to get bumps and bruises, and you go with the flow,” she said. “We do the best we can together, and it’s nice to know you have someone there to always support you.”
KEEPING A SCHEDULE
Since becoming a first-time mom to babies Emalyn, Lucas and Colton, the most important advice Kristen can give to any new mom, but particularly one of multiples, is to stay on a schedule. “Treasure the schedule the NICU helps you set and stick with it as long as you can,” she said. “You have to make tweaks as they get bigger, but we still follow a general schedule for feedings, naps and the day-to-day routine. It makes life easier.” As a stay-at-home mom, Kristen said she and her husband, Michael, work together when he is home from work. She’s always grateful when he is on hand, especially when they need to go somewhere with all three babies.
With two identical boys and the only girl among the trio of triplets, Kristen said each baby has reached expected milestones like rolling over, crawling and walking, but her daughter has shown she’s in charge. “Emalyn is the sassy, bossy one. She lets the boys know that, ‘I’m the girl, I’m the oldest and everything is mine,’” Kristen said. She’s grateful for the support and advice she gets from Jessica and Jeri. “We remind each other it’s important to remember you know your child best,” Kristen said. “You are the best advocate for your children, and you can take other people’s opinions, but at the end of the day, you have to follow your heart.”
TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME
With four toddlers under the age of three, Jeri and her husband, Aaron, have their hands full. Their triplets — Oliver, Finn and Beckett — also have an older sister, Betty, who is two and one-half years old. She agreed with Kristen about keeping a regimented schedule when possible and said it is easy to get overwhelmed, but she just “takes it one day at a time.”
“Having triplets is fun, but it can be exhausting,” she said. “Everything changes in the course of a year, so it’s good to touch base with Jessica and Kristen about what works. Whether it’s schedules or sippy cups, it’s helpful and therapeutic to have one another.”
Jeri recalled the early days when she and her husband felt overwhelmed just getting four little ones dressed and in the car to go someplace, but now she says it’s a lot easier because she’s learned to let things happen at their own pace. “You have to be flexible and a good multitasker with multiples,” she said. “If it doesn’t get done in a day, there is always tomorrow. You just have to let things go.”
Since having the triplets, Jeri decided to be a stay-at-home mom for now, and she’s glad she did. “I didn’t know how I would like it, but having schedules and activities keeps us busy, and I’ve embraced it.”
Another aspect of having four little ones that has been important to the Wright family is to provide each child with individual attention. Their daughter attends a Montessori school a few days a week, and the triplets are each spending a few nights with grandma on their own. “The kids have completely individual personalities,” Jeri said. “Every day is a blessing, and I take time to enjoy the moments.”
Dr. Paul Delivers a Baseball Team
With enough babies on the way to start their own baseball team, three moms, each expecting triplets, formed a training camp of their own. All three were patients of Michael Paul, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Obstetrics at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, and bonded over their similar experiences.
“I have delivered lots of multiples over the years, and the moms are often hospitalized for extended periods of time where they can feel isolated away from their friends and family,” Dr. Paul said. “These three moms all faced similar issues, had the same set of concerns and they learned from and supported each other.”
Read their story.
Familes Tell Why They Choose MoBap for Childbirth
"Thank you all for fantastic care and compassion."
My MoBap babies aren't babies anymore. When it's your last night as a three year old, you stay up past bedtime and dress up as superheroes! Sorry teachers, they may be grumpy tomorrow; but it's my last night being a Mommy to three-year-olds and I'm holding on tight.
These three are truly my superheroes—a true miracle from God that they are here and thriving. The odds were stacked against them and the statistics weren't the best when I started having issues at 20 weeks of my pregnancy they got worse.
God put the right doctor in my life. And instead of saying "let's wait and see what happens," as these precious lives hung in the "wait," he said, "here's what we are going to do. Had I delivered at 20 weeks these wonders who fill my life with joy wouldn't be here. Despite the statistics, he kept them safe and delivered healthy babies, a full 14 weeks later.
So each birthday I will cherish because their story was almost completely different. I will forever be thankful for Dr. Paul. He is second to none in my book for Maternal Fetal medical care. The NICU nurses and doctors also took great care of my miracles while they were at their most vulnerable. Thank you all for fantastic care and compassion. #foryoumychildIprayed #premiepower #Goddoesnotlistentostatistics
"I am ever so thankful and grateful for the care and love shown upon myself and family."
I had my 3rd son on 04/18/2015 (my birthday) in the hospital with the most amazing care I've experienced after having two sons in my home country Nigeria. More than anything, I wish I could turn back the hands of time and have my older kids in Missouri Baptist Medical Center. Katie was my nurse in Labor & Delivery and she was my comfort throughout my period in labor. She made me feel so comfortable and confident even when I declined an epidural. I loved the way I was taken care of before my baby was born and right after my son arrived. Pat was my nurse in mummy and baby and what a delight she was. I am ever so thankful and grateful for the care and love shown upon myself and family.
"I just can't say enough good things about my experience at MoBap."
I just can't say enough good things about my experience at MoBap. The Mother's Day delivery of our second baby was quite a surprise, but the nurses and staff at MoBap were phenomenal! Everyone was so kind and helpful and made sure our week long stay was as comfortable as possible. I am proud to say I have a MoBap baby. Thank you, MoBap.
"Thank you, MoBap for being such an outstanding hospital and really caring for your patients."
I delivered my baby boy in January and wasn't sure what to expect seeing as he was my first baby. The labor and delivery nurse we had was wonderful. Her name was Kyndra and went above and beyond what I expected. I had a natural delivery and spent most of my time in a water pool. She was amazing at calming me down and regulating my breathing. She walked me through everything I needed to do to secure a safe delivery.
We did have a few complication and my baby spent four days in the NICU. He had a small infection due to a bowel movement during delivery. The recovery nurse who caught it, Debbi, was so great with our son. He was actually two days old when she noticed his breathing wasn't normal.
It was the worst feeling, having a sick baby; but the NICU team of nurses who cared for our baby were phenomenal. Cathy and her team of nurses had a way of calming us and assuring us that everything was going to be ok.
I thank God everyday that He placed us where we were. I know He led us to that hospital and provided the care that He did to make sure our baby would be ok. Zeb is almost 6 months old now and perfectly healthy. I don't know that another hospital would have even caught the infection. So, thank you, MoBap for being such an outstanding hospital and really caring for your patients.
"All of the nurses at MoBap were fantastic at keeping me comfortable and calm..."
I am a first time mom and I had a lot of anxiety throughout my pregnancy. When it came time to deliver my son, I was so nervous! I had to be induced and went through a 24 hour labor before delivering my son. All of the nurses at MoBap were fantastic at keeping me comfortable and calm during this long time. The post partum/recovery nurses were great as well and I even missed them once I got home. They took such great care of my son and I, I can't ever thank them enough.
"My delivery experience was magical and the top notch staff made every effort to accommodate my birth plan..."
I always recommend MoBap to my friends. My delivery experience was magical and the top notch staff made every effort to accommodate my birth plan, which brought me a great deal of peace during a long, 24-hour labor and delivery. The nurses at MoBap redefined the idea of bedside manner for me. And their care allowed me to focus on the moment.
"The accommodations for new mothers and their families are amazing..."
I delivered both my children at MoBap and could not have asked for better birth experiences. The accommodations for new mothers and their families are amazing. But more importantly, the extraordinary staff – from top to bottom – helped make our stay unforgettable. MoBap's team is full of bright and compassionate people, all working together to make this hospital a truly wonderful place to welcome a new baby.
"All the nurses and staff were so attuned to our needs..."
As a first time mom, I had a great experience delivering my son at MoBap. All the nurses and staff were so attuned to our needs. Especially in labor and delivery, where we needed it most. I'll never forget my delivery nurse Chris, who was so calm and reassuring. Her support brought a lot of peace to the whole experience. I will definitely be back to MoBap as soon as I plan to have my next.