North Huntingdon woman celebrates first Mother’s Day – times 3
Nina Juricich has spent most of her life preparing to be a mother — but nothing could have prepared her for this.
The new mother had triplets Thanksgiving Day and will celebrate her first Mother’s Day pushing a triple stroller.
“It’s overwhelming at times,” she said. “The older that they’re getting, you just see that it’s progressively getting — I don’t want to say easier, but a little better.”
Juricich, 37, of North Huntingdon gave birth to the triplets at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Her daughter and identical twin sons were delivered at 34 weeks gestation — or about six weeks before their due date.
At 5½ months old, the babies are doing well, and the parents are settling into a routine as best they can.
“When you have three eating every three hours, it’s a nonstop rotation — between changing them, feeding them, getting the bottles ready,” said Nick Juricich, also 37. “We didn’t even expect the amount of diapers and bottles. Every time you blink your eyes, there’s a pile that needs to be cleaned.”
The couple, married since 2008, have a look of happy tiredness on their faces. Their confidence as parents has grown to the point where they feel ready to take the babies out on Mother’s Day. They’re planning on brunch at Olives & Peppers in Trafford.
“It’s quite a spectacle when we go somewhere,” Nina said.
Nina, who grew up in Avonmore, said she wanted to be a mother as far back as she can remember. She started baby-sitting when she was 12 and once worked as a nanny for a family with five girls. She said she learned a lot from the mother.
“I couldn’t wait to have my own kids and implement what I learned from her,” she said.
Nina and Nick met on a blind date set up by his mother, Becky Juricich. After they got married, they knew they wanted to have children. They tried for a while and finally were successful through in vitro fertilization.
Because there were two embryos, the couple knew there was a chance they’d have twins. Eight weeks into the pregnancy, the first ultrasound revealed a third baby — one embryo had split into two.
“I was shocked,” Nina said. “I remember, I looked at Nick, and he was laughing. I asked him, ‘Are you laughing or crying?’ ”
“I was like, ‘What did I do to this poor girl?’ ” Nick said. “We knew two was a possibility, but we never thought that that could turn into three. … It’s surreal, for sure.”
In their case, the identical twins are doubly rare because Nick is an identical twin. “That’s the first time the doctors had ever seen an identical twin have identical twins,” he said.
(Nick and his twin brother, Chris, own and operate Mr. Squeegy Window Cleaning Co. in North Huntingdon, where Nina helps run the office. When they were younger, Nick and Chris won several “most identical” awards at the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.)
Nina had a smooth pregnancy and welcomed her newborns Nov. 22 — Josie DeRose at 4 pounds, 6 ounces, Jack Joseph at 4 pounds, 4 ounces and Jones Michael at 3 pounds, 10 ounces.
Josie and Jack were released from the Magee neonatal intensive care unit Dec. 6. Jones came home about a week later. The reality of having triplets then started to sink in.
“We had been planning our life for children — we just never planned for triplets,” Nick said.
“You almost need three sets of hands,” Nina said.
The couple have been getting help from Nick’s mother and Nina’s mother, Patti Speranza. Both grandmothers are thrilled with the triplets and with other recent additions to their family — Nick’s younger brother had a baby girl in December, and Nina’s sister had a son in February.
“You wait so long to be a grandmother, and then you get four in a matter of months. We’re really blessed,” Speranza said.
“These babies are wonderful. They’re really special,” Becky Juricich said.
To accommodate the growth, Nick got Nina a larger vehicle. Their three-year-old house, though, will have to suffice with its three bedrooms, they said. One of the bedrooms is serving as a nursery with three cribs.
Although the family is developing a daily routine, sleep times are still difficult to schedule, they said. Josie has started to sleep through the night, but the boys have been less predictable.
“They’re good babies,” Nina said. “They make it — I don’t want to say easy, but they make it so that you can get a routine going. They’re not fussy or colicky.”
Nina said the biggest challenge of motherhood so far has been giving her three babies equal time and attention. She wants to put them all to bed, but she also needs the help of her husband and her mother.
“In my mind, I just envisioned having one and putting all my attention on that one child,” she said. “You’ve just got to know how to handle more than one.”
As for Nick, he said he has a newfound respect for mothers — especially his wife.
“I always say, a mother has an extra gear that men admire,” he said.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .