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Anna Łuniewska: Hmm ... A man mobilizes himself in extreme situations ... Generally, it is better than I thought at the time of receiving information about a threefold pregnancy. Sometimes I see
that I have "better" than we have with one or two children, and sometimes much worse ... Much depends on what you specifically ask ... (smile)
Was information about multiple pregnancy a big surprise?
A.I.: HUGE. There are no words that describe the emotions we were experiencing at the time. It's a whole range of emotions and extreme ones. From terror to enormous joy. For a long time we couldn't calm down, put it in our minds. The more that doctors immediately warned us that there could be nothing from this pregnancy ... there could be a lot of complications. I immediately attacked the internet and looked for any information about it. Unfortunately it wasn't too much. I like to know what can happen, but I'm always aware that I don't have to. Nobody knew what it would be like. Fortunately, it was good except for one small crisis. That's why I learned to appreciate every day. Every day I was glad that this is one more to get ahead, to this safe 30 week border ... Then it turned out that you can persist even up to 36 weeks of pregnancy.
What age are the boys?
A.I.: The boys are 17 months old. They were born on March 31, 2011. I joked that if they postponed the emperor one more day, I would have given birth
probably in April Fools' Day. None of our friends would believe us if we informed about the birth of triplets (laughs).
What do you think about mothers pushing a pram with one child? Deep down, do you envy them that they have it easier?
A.I.: I will not hide that I have had such thoughts many times. Ba, even seeing the pram
with the twins, I felt the same. Now much less often. I envied them very much, this lack of rush and peace ... The possibility of leaving the house with the baby whenever they want, shopping ... independence. I could only if I decided on a triple pram, but it is not the same as with one pram and one child ... It all mixed up with my thoughts that I also have more happiness, which sweet to me smiles.
Which moment was the most difficult so far? I can't even imagine the first weeks when a child requires so much attention, often wakes up, calls for feeding ... The lady had to meet three times.
A.I.: I remember it through the fog and to this day my heart begins to beat faster, as soon as I remember ... The most difficult was the constant fight with physical pain, tremendous fatigue (lack of sleep!) And satisfying the needs of children and their own. We didn't sleep
with my husband after 72 hours, through which we worked hard. We ate in flight, we slept in the corners ... Additional difficulty was learning everything how to bathe, scroll, feed, and then work out ways to do these things faster. My husband did all the tasks without a word, he studied with me. He used to go to work ... It's indescribable. This is best demonstrated by our photos from that period. We cannot recognize ourselves on them ... The second "crisis" for our forces was a runny nose. Three babies with a blocked nose is a terrible torment for them and us. I cried from helplessness, seeing them tired. Fortunately, all this passes ... it doesn't last forever. Although it seems so in such moments ...
Was breastfeeding possible at all?
A.I.: It is generally possible with triplets. It's just a matter of choosing a mother and her options, among others time ... At the beginning I was just pumping milk. There was more and more to my joy. (smile) Several times I put children in to experience, feel what it is like. Feel this extraordinary closeness with your child. Enjoy one ... but I was not able to do it regularly, because I had to take care of the rest, and the rest of the duties ... Total lack of time. I soon had a blockage in my chest and ended my adventure with feeding about 3 months of their life.
What do you tell yourself when it's hard?
A.I.: It was different. At first I just cried for lack of strength and extreme fatigue. The crying of all three was called pandemonium - a phrase borrowed from friends of triplets' parents. (smile) Now I rarely have such moments. If I am having a weaker day, I am simply asking my parents or my husband to take care of their children. My main thought is that the boys are healthy and develop so well. It gives me wings and strength every day. Really. The rest is a transient state of body and mind. Now the boys smile sweetly, they talk "their own way" and sometimes it is enough for me to look at them from the side, how they have fun. It's honey for my heart.
What does the bathing time look like, time for food or going for a walk? How is it now and how was it before?
A.I.: We tested a lot of methods and ways before we developed our own. The rhythm and schedule of the day make it even easier today
and provide greater peace for us and our children. Generally, at the very beginning, when we learned all this, bathing and feeding took us about 30-40 minutes. for one child. Then 20 ... and 10 ... Now they take a shower and eat almost alone, so you can't compare these two periods. Fortunately, the boys NEVER cried when taking a bath or changing clothes. This is a lot easier.
For the first half year she was everyday. We didn't let go. My husband ran three times
with a small bath of water from the bathroom to the room. Then we replaced it with a larger bathtub with a drain and a frame that was located in the bathtub. Then the husband stood
in the bathtub, he bathed the toddler and changed the water quickly after each child, and I dressed on the washing machine, sat in a rocker, fastened and gave a bottle. They were able to hold her by then. Unfortunately, it often fell out so I had to run and serve ... Everything quickly.
As I said before, I mostly pumped milk from the breast, so we almost always served it with a bottle. Until the boys learned to hold bottles, it was terrible, because we always lacked hands for the third. ALWAYS. I know that there are ways to feed, for example, by supporting the bottle with a diaper. However, I was very afraid of it. Sometimes, as a last resort, I lay on the bacon and supported the bottle with a diaper. Very rarely. We have always simply tried to feed the first one as soon as possible. Who finished first took the third. The third one either waited calmly for his turn or restlessly. Then I had tears in my eyes. At the beginning, the hardest part was staying alone with them at home. However, thanks to the fact that I quickly set specific feeding times, I knew when to prepare the milk. These then waited for a while under the blanket until the first woke up. As soon as the first began to purr, I "caught" him and fed him so that he could make it before two others before they cry. Often it worked. Sometimes not ... and then I had a lot of stress. I just had to survive this cry of a baby waiting to be fed. After the evening bath, however, it was the case that when my husband bathed the first, I took him for feeding, and at that time he bathed the second. He was already feeding the third one (smile).
From the very beginning I made every effort to teach boys how to distinguish day from night as soon as possible. Dark window blinds, rituals and several other ways. It paid us quite quickly to teach them to fall asleep at night. We bathed, dressed, fed, bounced, kissed, wrapped and wrapped in a cot. They fell asleep wonderfully. Themselves. We were in the room. We did a change at 2am. My husband started the day at 2 am ... he left for work at 7, went to bed around 10pm.
It was good to fall asleep during the day, because it was enough to gently rock in wheelchairs for a short while. Only in two at a time ... The stairs began around the age of 6 months, when boys became more and more interested in the surroundings. At that time, I implemented the sleeping procedure modified by me and they still work today. (smile)
The night began to sleep for about 4 months. Then we stopped scrolling at night. I was very worried about pupy, but nothing happened. We used more cream at night. I shifted and shifted the night feeding until it was completely eliminated.
I have two prams today. Twin and single. There are triple prams, but for many reasons I have not decided on it. When I was alone, the little ones slept in their prams half a day on the balcony. My dad learned to walk around the estate with two prams. Of course, he aroused even greater admiration and interest ...
Generally, I received a lot of help from my parents. They came almost every day. Dad goes to work every third day. Mom arrived in the early afternoons. Thanks to this lonely moments with children I had much less.
Today, boys can take care of each other beautifully. I can do a lot of things in the apartment, just looking after them. They have their days like all of us, but fortunately not often.
What products are very helpful for mother multiple users? And what turned out to be a total flop?
A.I.: Unfortunately, there are no special products only for multiple babies. In Poland, gadgets for twins' parents have only recently started to appear, but this is not the same as triplets. Although there is always something, such as a double heater or a wide mosquito net for a twin pram. Unfortunately, it was only recently that I discovered a bottle holder that can be hooked on e.g. the armband of the car seat. That would be the gadget I need most. The so-called third hand.
The so-called coffee milk frother. It turned out that it was great and quick for us to mix modified milk and at the same time did not aerate the milk. The boys never had colic when we used it. I ended up with clumps of unmixed milk, a splashed floor and sticky hands from shaking the bottle. Of course, the feeding pillow (ordinary, because I was feeding from a bottle), the bathtub with a drain and a rack, a wide changing table mounted on the wall to this day (a special model) and an 8-element wooden playpen, which still serves us in different ways (smile) ).
I paid special attention to clothes. I choose them so that dressing is the least burden for me and the children. As few buttons and fasteners as possible. Never on the back or sides. Whenever possible, they are sliders. As many one-piece clothes as possible. Last winter I bought overalls with roll-up sleeves / leg and handle covers, thanks to which we didn't put on shoes and gloves. Night body with long sleeves and sleeping bag. Thanks to sleeping bags, they had bedding for the first time a year after birth. Shoes always with Velcro or sock-shoes with the consent of the orthopedist.
The complete flap turned out to be various types of bath tubs and refills. There was no time for all this, and the boys liked to feel free. Nothing else comes to my mind except the special products of individual producers, which I would not like to describe here.
Do you have any time for yourself with three small children?
A.I.: Absolutely! "Only" the first 3-4 months are such a period of exclusion from the "normal" lifestyle. As soon as we have developed a relatively constant rhythm, the day and night plan began to get better day by day. Every day we gained valuable precious minutes, then hours. It's really a matter of good organization. For the first six months from birth, my husband and I were at two weddings and a weekend trip to Masuria (alone).
In November I wrote and defended my master's thesis, for which I could not find time for two years. This is amazing. In the second half of the year "I got bored" ... and I decided to start my own company with the help of the Academic Business Incubators. I got a six-month business training within the Union, attended meetings and classes. I met people. I had coaching for six months. Of course, there was also a crisis, when in the spring all five of us were badly cold and then I stopped a little ... (smile)
What is the advantage of raising triplets over raising one child?
A.I.: It's a very difficult question. To answer honestly, I would have to have a personal comparison, i.e. give birth to one child earlier or now ... What I can say for sure are beautiful views in the form of three smiles, receiving three sweet kisses at once. I love the moments when all three hugs me at the same time.
And again a technical question. Is it even possible to carry three children at once? Maybe a naive question ... but as we have already talked about squeezing ...
A.I.: Hmm ... It's just a matter of strength. (laughs) My husband has many pictures in which he carries all three of them at home. I was particularly impressed with how he was able to take 3 car seats at once, when we went to medical visits, because to this day I can't bear too much. It wasn't enough that people looked at that he carries three car seats, it's also that he himself ... I just opened the door. As the children got heavier, we took a single stroller
and then I took one into the stroller and my husband had two car seats and had at least balance (smile). I only have one picture when I keep all three sitting down when they were half a year old, I could barely stand it. (laugh)
What do you think is the most difficult before the birth of children?
A.I.: Fear for their health and delivery without complications. In the case of multiple pregnancy, there is an increased risk of premature delivery, so I also had concerns about the day of delivery. I counted every day on the calendar. At first I thought about enduring up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, then I trembled about enduring up to 20 tc, then up to 30 tc. After 32 tc. I begged the doctors for the emperor, but I am overjoyed that I and children were able to withstand up to 36 tc. Although it was on the verge of threatening my life
and health and then I knew that the children would cope in the event of childbirth, and it could be worse with me ... but I succeeded.
What did the return home look like? Three car seats, a pram? How do you remember this moment?
A.I.: We were terrified. We have prepared ourselves for the installation of 3 car seats, we have a 7-seater car, fortunately. It's a separate story ... Unfortunately, it turned out that we only came home with two, which was a terrible feeling for me. Grześ had to stay a week longer in the hospital and only his husband picked him up. It was again a mixture of emotions. Joy that we leave the hospital, terror, what and what next? Grześ alone in the hospital. My fight against ailments after pregnancy and delivery. I was happy
and I cried for Grzes at the same time. We went to him for a change. My heart was ripping ...
I remember that we put the boys in car seats in a large room on the floor. They were sleeping, and we only stared at them and took pictures of those first moments at home. When Grześ joined, I was in the seventh heaven. We put them in one cot and looked tired and overjoyed.
Where did the idea for "Around the Birth" come from? What exactly does your company do?
A.I.: It will be a truism to say that the idea came from life. (smile) In the end you need a mother of invention. Services also ... I've always dreamed about my own company. I have had a few ideas long ago. The most resulted from observations of other future parents and their own experiences. My education is also useful. I noticed that there really is a huge demand for this type of service offering help in preparing for birth. Of course, there are birthing schools, but this is not the same as an individual approach at such an extremely individual moment. I know best what stress it is to make first choices for a child in stores full of children's goods today. Preparing for such a new situation in life is not only extremely joyful, but also ... stressful, in everyday life filled with duties and problems. We are the first company in Poland to offer Baby Planner and Baby Concierge services. The Baby Planner is to alleviate this stress and confusion to the necessary minimum usually associated with the upcoming change. Using our knowledge and suggestions, we together select the most appropriate solutions, e.g. how to reasonably complete the layette, how to furnish a child's room in a functional way, how to plan the day and duties of newly baked parents.
Sounds interesting ... Can you describe how it looks in practice? Do you arrange shopping with your pregnant woman? Together, you choose a cot, a stroller, or is it different?
A.I.: Exactly. I always try to adapt to the needs and capabilities of my parents. A lot depends on whether the expectant mother is able to visit stores. Sometimes I make purchases on behalf of, before making joint selection with parents of products at the home of future parents. I take catalogs and laptop with me. We create an individual list. I advise, show what, why and why. I explain doubts, warn against making purchases under the influence of emotions and suggestions of ads and product descriptions that use this "condition" of future parents. Often I advise or shop together with future daddies, who also want to be up to date with everything or just want to get everything on the last button while the partner is in the hospital.
For example, can an upset young mother call you when she's losing her head because the baby has been crying for several hours? Do you also advise in such situations?
A.I.: Of course. At any time of the day or night. Here, we combine the functions of an experienced mom with a psychologist who I am by education. I help to manage the situation, often the problem is more with the parent than the child (smile). I help to implement the day and night plan of the baby, I show sleep techniques, we are looking for non-medical reasons for crying. The most important thing for me is for my parents to trust their instincts, but also to feel that they have support. I never do anything to them, I am by my side and I watch, give directions, help find a solution. It saves a lot of stress and brings peace in the new situation. I must stress that I never try to replace a doctor or midwife. If I see that specialist help is needed, I am ready to organize such support quickly.
You must be up to date at work. Do you find something for yourself among the many newspapers for parents and portals? Both as we have triplets and entrepreneurs? Do you rather follow your own experience?
A.I.: Of course. In this respect, I behave just like the mother of children from a single pregnancy. I just use everything three times. (smile) Sometimes after a slight modification, adaptation ... I love searching for interesting information, I always try to verify different theories. After so many months I can distinguish these more valuable portals and websites from much less. For several months I have been building my database of selected portals, service providers, producers and distributors with whom I work with the proviso that my clients always make the final choice. Very often, parents who do not have time to follow dozens of pregnancy forums and sites on similar topics in order to search for opinions about products and services, thank me for recommending high-quality portals and websites. I constantly follow all news from the parenting and children industry. The most difficult, because the largest and most variable area is the base, is the base of car seat and pram models. However, I manage somehow here too (smile)
Let's go back to the children. Do boys differ in temperament? Are they sharing their parents without protest?
A.I.: Fortunately, there are no major differences in the attitude of children towards me and my husband. Most often when they are hungry they call "ma-ma", and when they want to have fun it is "ta-ta" (laughs). Boys have similar needs and interests. They show them similarly. However, they show emotions differently. The coolest thing is that it changes them. For example, Grześ has always been the most sensitive since birth. He cried first and for the longest time. Today, it's Adaś, who was the most "indifferent" to his surroundings at that time. Once he even fell asleep on the washing machine while dressing after bathing ... Karolek is the most brave and stubborn. Sometimes Grześ surpasses him in this. Due to this changeable behavior, only I can distinguish them on a daily basis. All I have to do is look at the eyelets or how I move. I still remember these subtle differences from the time of my pregnancy ... To this day, at night, I often tell my husband, for example: "go to Karolek, because a pacifier fell out" The husband goes and when he returns he always asks: "How did you know that he was Karolek? How did you know that the teat fell out of him? "Well ...
How do you imagine the future?
A.I.: Very successful. I feel that the worst "job" is behind us. My only concern is the health of us all. The rest is up to us. I raise boys into independent "units". I even dress them differently, always. I look forward to becoming independent as soon as possible in terms of communication, feeding, hygiene and cleaning. They are very helpful to me today. When I ask them to collect toys or give me something, when I'm busy with one of them. It's even a great feeling.
Thank you for the conversation. I was very pleased to meet you.
A.I.: For me it is an amazing feeling to be able to tell all this. Thank you very much, too.
Anna Łuniewska: psychologist, doula, baby planner, owner of the company Around Birth. Privately, mother of three boys.