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For 'First Holiday Since,' Mom Shares What Life Has Been Like Since Giving Birth To Triplets


For some people, this is the first holiday season since something momentous happened in their lives, something that means things will never be the same.


Take Audrey Degraaf. A year ago, she was pregnant with triplets and seeking advice.


AUDREY DEGRAAF: And then once they all came home, did you get any sleep? I've heard...

LORIE SHELLEY: No, no, you don't sleep (laughter). No, I'm sorry. I want to tell you that you do, but you really don't.

KELLY: Degraaf speaking there with Lorie Shelley, a mom of adult triplets for our series Been There. Well, now Audrey Degraaf knows what that feels like.

CHANG: Cooper (ph), Madison (ph) and Adeline (ph) were born in January. Along with big brother Sullivan (ph), that means Audrey Degraaf is now a mom of four. We asked her how this holiday season compares to last year.


DEGRAAF: Last Christmas, since it was our firstborn's first Christmas, we tried to make it fun, but truthfully, I was miserable. I thought I'd be due any day. I'd been in active labor. I was on bed rest. We thought we potentially were going to have an emergency C-section and potentially have some special needs to deal with. I just am really thankful that that wasn't part of our journey and that we're getting to kind of enjoy just some healthy kids who are thriving, which is super fun. It just isn't what - we thought it might look really different than it's ended up looking.


DEGRAAF: So when Lorie mentioned that we wouldn't be getting sleep, I couldn't really understand what that would actually feel like. And she was right. We didn't sleep. The first six months of their life was the hardest I've experienced in my life. Just the chronic sleep deprivation, I would describe it as pretty dark. It was really rough.


DEGRAAF: And then around six months, it finally got a little bit better. And then when they were about - I guess they were about eight months old, the light bulb came on, and life didn't look so grim. They were all sleeping during the day together at the same naps. And suddenly everything looked a lot brighter in our lives.


DEGRAAF: These days, my wife and I are feeling better about having triplets. And we love our kids, but it's definitely changed the direction of our life. And so we're still sort of figuring out a new normal in a lot of ways. There's ways where we figured it out where we were, you know, feeling like days we feel really confident and then other days where it feels like a moving target.


DEGRAAF: I think as a parent, kind of seeing the holidays, seeing sort of the light in our kids' eyes just I would say brings us tons of joy. Even though, you know, it's stressful having triplets and all that, the joy is, like, huge. I was, you know, sitting in a - in the the gym, just laying down. And all the babies are, like, crawling on me, and big brother's sitting on my belly. And I'm like, life doesn't get better than this.

You're just surrounded with all these little beans that just think you're the greatest. And I think they're the greatest. And seeing them smile and laugh and kind of see their world through their eyes, it's like seeing the world through multiples children's eyes all at the same time with different personalities. And one laughs when they see something. The other looks at it a little skeptically. And, you know, it's just fun. It's really fun to do all that. It's a lot of joy this year.


KELLY: That was Audrey Degraaf talking about her first holiday season since having triplets. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.