Triple the love for Mother's Day

By Beth A. Birmingham | May 14, 2017
Triplets, from left, Emma, Becca and Alexa Felker enjoy being rocked by mother Kristin Lumbert-Felker. The family will enjoy their first Mother's Day May 14.

Warren — When Kristin and Jeremy Felker thought of beginning a family, they were thinking small. After dating in college, the couple got married in 2011, and bought a small house in Warren.

Years of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant led them to pursue in vitro fertilization, and after the first round failed they decided to implant two embryos -- even knowing the history of twins on Kristin's side of the family.

At the first ultrasound, the couple found out they were having triplets.

"We had suspected twins and were told there was a less than 1 percent chance of triplets or quads" Kristin said., "We were very surprised to see three!"

From there, their whole life changed.

"One of them split, resulting in triplets, with two of them being identical," Kristin said of their now 5-month-old girls -- identical twins Becca and Emma, and fraternal Alexa.

They entered the world within a minute of each other two months premature via emergency C-section three days after Thanksgiving last year, and the new family spent their first Christmas in the NICU at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Not having immediate family around -- Kristin's family lives in Jackman and Jeremy's in Nebraska -- presented a challenge once everyone landed at home. Kristin's mother stayed with the family for a couple of weeks and Jeremy's mother flew in and helped out for seven weeks.

"Handling one at a time is easy enough, but when all three are crying, it can be a bit overwhelming," Kristin said, adding that one of the biggest hurdles is figuring out a feeding routine.

"You want them to be on the same schedule as much as possible, but have a limited amount of hands," she said.

The Felkers enlisted the help of a nanny during the week so they both could go back to work.

"We are very fortunate to have Tiffany [Strong] during the week, and my mom tries to come as often as she can on weekends," Kristin said. Neighbors and friends have also provided some meals and they have had no shortage of friends, coworkers, and people from Jackman providing necessities like diapers and wipes.

"It's nice to know that we always have someone that is willing to help us," she said. Strong said her own daughter, Charlotte Strong-Ames, sometimes helps out as well.

"An extra pair of hands is invaluable with these sweet triplets," Strong said.

The family's day begins at around 6 a.m., when the triplets wake up to eat. Then they usually sit in the kitchen and watch their parents conduct their morning routine. The rest of the day consists of naps, tummy time, reading, and going for a walk (weather permitting).

As for equipment, the couple have a variety of strollers, counter seats, a rock-and-play, swings, strollers, etc. And thus far, nobody, including Gibson the dog, and cats Thor and Sparta, has been run over.

"We usually have a nightly meeting in the kitchen again, where we make dinner and talk about our day," Kristin said.

The girls get big bottles around 8 p.m. and will often sleep through the night.

In a 24-hour period, the girls go through 25 diapers and 24 bottles ... not to mention outfits, bibs, and spit-up cloths, or Mommy and Daddy's changes of clothes..

Fuel for all is evident on the kitchen counter, where a Keurig machine is placed next to a Baby Brezza -- which mixes formula with room-temperature water for easy consumption.

A dry-erase board on the refrigerator serves as a message center for the Felkers and Strong to track who ate what when, any particular events out of the ordinary, or what major event -- such as jabbering or rolling over -- occurs. It also helps to keep track of other schedules and appointments.

Kristin told about the time the couple were staying in Jackman and both grandmothers decided to take the girls for the night so some much-needed sleep could occur.

"Each baby had four pre-made bottles marked with their names," Kristin said.

"I woke early in the morning to find that Emma hadn't eaten all night," she said, adding, "I was a bit worried, and when I asked them about Emma they both proclaimed that they had Becca."

All three babies were fed on schedule during the night, but Kristin said the looks of confusion in the morning were very funny.

At only 5 months old, each one has developed a character of her own. Kristin said Alexa has a lot of patience, "talks" the most, and badly wants to sit and stand on her own. Although she was the last one out, Alexa was the first one home.

Becca loves to laugh, listen to songs, and watch the activities from her bumbo seat.

Big sister Emma is more interested in toys than the others, she likes to smile, and does not like any delay in being fed.

Jeremy and Kristin offered this advice to other parents of multiples born at the same time, "Breathe. Don't refuse help."

They suggested finding little things to make life easier, like making bottles ahead (especially the nighttime ones) and having everything in large supply and nearby (bibs, blankets, toys).

"Keeping a feeding log is very handy, don't expect to always remember who ate what and when," they said.

As for taking care of three of their own, the Felkers are amazed at how normal it seems. "Isn't this what everyone does ... take care of three at a time?" they joked.

For their first Mother's Day together, the family does not really have a game plan.

"It would be nice to relax, work in the garden, or go for a walk," Kristin said.

"We are so grateful for all of the support our community has given us, and for the people we have met along the way," she said.

"We hope to stay in the area and look forward to raising our girls here," she added.

As for the fourth seat in the quad stroller, there are no plans to fill it any time soon.

"That's for the diaper bag," Jeremy added.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at babirmingham@villagesoup.com.

Triplets Becca, Alexa and Emma Felker show off their individuality while posing for this photograph for mom Kristin Felker. (Courtesy of: Kristin Felker)
Kristin and Jeremy Felker show how it is done with triplets, front from left, Becca, Emma, and Alexa. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
A Baby Brezza, positioned next to a Keurig machine, proves to make life a bit easier for all. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Baby sister Alexa Felker is ready for a nap. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Becca Felker shows off her favorite bib. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Big sister Emma Felker relaxes before naptime. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Plenty of room for three cribs. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | May 14, 2017 17:01

Wow! Congratulations. I thought I had it tough with twins for my first. Hang in there. It gets better when they are playpen size. Thank God for Playpens. That's when I got my housework and cooking done.

Mary (Brown) McKeever



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | May 14, 2017 12:15

Heart warming mother's day story.

Image result for heartwarming



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