Family joy as triplets make it half a dozen
No amount of planning can quite prepare a couple for the changes a new baby will have on family life.
Now try mulitplying that by three for Kinghorn parents Gillian and Alan Johnston.
Three baby boys meant three times the joy in April, when they arrived to join half siblings Scott (10), Carly (9) and Rian (9).
Alan and Gillian (35) found out there were multiple heartbeats at their initial scan.
“The question everybody asks us is ‘was it IVF?’ but it was natural!” Gillian laughed. “And it doesn’t run in our family so, yes we were shocked and thought how were we going to cope with three new babies? It’s hard enough with one never mind three.”
The boys were born within two minutes of each other – first Kyle, then Callum and Lewis – delivered by caesarean section at 34 weeks.
In anticipation, Gillian said they had to re-think their car and pram options and “pray we won the lottery”.
“We had to find a triplet pram that would also fit in the new seven seater car, which was a bit of a mission,” she said.
“Luckily we were put in contact with a family in Freuchie who had triplets and who had a pram that was in perfect condition. It was so lucky – if we had bought it new it would have to have been shipped from Poland!”
Ploughing through a pricey 18 nappies a day and three tins of powdered milk a week, Gillian admits that the biggest challenge is overcoming the tiredness.
She said: “We knew that it was going to be hard but it’s the lack of sleep. You can get through the day okay but they are quite windy and colicky and because there are three, you might have two that are not great one night and then okay next night, but then another one can be upset.
“It’s just juggling it all – my day is constant feeding, winding, changing bums, getting them dressed. By the time you’ve done all that, jumped in the shower, it’s time to start again!”
Despite balancing a lack of sleep with everyday life, the family’s jubliation is obvious, especially in the attention from the older siblings – Alan’s son and daughter Scott and Carly and Gillian’s son Rian.
“The kids are great,” Gillian said. “Because they are older they help feed them and get involved.
“Both sets of grandparents live locally and they’ve been great, as are other family and friends.”
The local community has also lent a hand, with Kinghorn food ministry pitching in with donations for the family.
Gillian said: “The biggest surprise has been how much attention we get – I go out in the street and feel like a celebrity.
“Everyone is so intrigued by triplets it makes a trip to the shop take three times as long!”