New mother, Donora native triply blessed
Good thing Kristina Babcock has experience with newborns.
Babcock, 26, a Donora native and post-partum nurse, just brought home the third of her fraternal triplets Wednesday.
The lone boy, Gavin, has now joined sisters Ava and Chloe at their Massillon, Ohio, home. The babies were born Oct. 13 at Akron General Medical Center – the same hospital where Babcock works.
“My job experience helps a lot because I'm used to working with babies,” Babcock said. “Basically you just have to have patience. ... You roll with whatever happens because if you plan something it will never go the way you plan it.”
Babcock grew up Kristina Clement in Donora before moving to Ohio with her family at age 12. Rita Demeter, 79, the triplets' great-grandmother, still resides in Carroll Township.
“I make the two-and-a-half hour drive every other week,” Demeter said of seeing her Ohio relatives. “Now I've got three more reasons.”
Babcock's paternal grandmother, Margie Clement, is a Donora native who resides in West Mifflin. Babcock said she would bring the triplets back to Western Pennsylvania to visit family in the new year “when they're a little bigger.”
Back in March, Babcock said she and husband, Blake, weren't exactly surprised when they discovered she was carrying three babies since she had been receiving fertility treatments.
“We knew we were at risk for multiples so we sort of prepared ourselves,” she said. “But we were still shocked when they told us we were having three. It's difficult to grasp the concept.”
Babcock was forced to put her nursing job on hiatus soon after.
“I was put on bed rest for 23 weeks,” she said. “I just sat on the couch and watched TV. It was not terrible, but it got really boring toward the end. ... Other than going to doctor's appointments every week I was basically on the couch.”
Babcock's inactivity ended abruptly when she was awoken suddently just days before she was scheduled for a Cesarean-section.
“I was sleeping when my water broke,” she said. “As soon as I woke up I knew exactly what it was.”
Although the babies were premature – Ava, the firstborn, weighed the least at 3 pounds, 3½ ounces – Babcock said she had no terrific concerns.
“We just knew they were going to be small,” she said. “We had (Chloe) home two weeks after delivery, but once you have one home it was hard having to go back to the intensive care unit. That's one thing you can't prepare for.”
Although it's good to have her three bundles of joy home, precious little sleep and multitasking are the new normal.
“Holding them, making bottles, things like that,” Babcock said, when asked what her days consist of. “A lot of it is holding more than one of them at a time.”
Babcock recently joined a group called Mothers of Multiples and obtained useful information from other parents of twins and triplets. She and her husband stocked up on diapers, specialized formula, clothes and even multiple baby swings.
“We have a big nursery but they all have their individual cribs,” she said. “We'll have family here to do the nighttime feeds. That helps a ton.”
Although the triplets do their share of sleeping, they all have their own little personalities.
“Ava, she's a little dramatic, she's fussier than everyone and Chloe is really laid back, she hangs out and waits her turn,” Babock said. “Gavin is a little Mama's boy. He's pretty laid back, but he wants what he wants when he wants it.”
Babcock said she's looking forward to a little normalcy by going back to her nursing job two days a week next month. For now, the “new normal” is three times the charm.
“We waited for awhile to have kids so we don't know any different,” she said, laughing. “It's nice to have them all home.”
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.