MINEOLA, N.Y. — Dr. Martin R. Chavez, Chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at NYU Winthrop Hospital, hosted an early Mother’s Day celebration for moms who have delivered triplets at the hospital.
At a Hospital luncheon held in their honor, the mothers discussed the wonders and challenges of raising triplets including the incredible bonds and similarities that their triplets share, along with unique personality traits that differentiate each of the siblings.
Highlights from Triplet Families:
Jamie Spivak and her husband, Carson Calvo, are raising five children including two-year-old triplets Charlize, Colton and Claudia who were born on February 3, 2016. Charlize was born at 8:27 a.m. weighing 5 lbs. 3 oz. Colton was born one minute later at the same weight, while Claudia weighed 4 lbs. 11 oz. and was born at 8:30 a.m. The triplets have two older siblings: Christiana, who is eight, and Connor, six.
Jamie says she had read that eating yams will increase a woman’s fertility, so she ate as many as possible and learned eight weeks into her pregnancy that she was blessed to be carrying triplets.
According to Jamie, “Charlize, Colton and Claudia have each developed their own very distinctive personalities. Charlize is the independent and demanding ‘Princess’ of the family, Colton the ‘Gruffalo’ (named for a fictional character in a popular children’s book) who is always there to help out mom and dad, while Claudia is the small-but-mighty ‘Peanut.’”
Mom and Dad are delighted by the compassion and love the triplets show each other and their other siblings. This year for Mother’s Day, Jamie says, “I just want lots of hugs and maybe for us all to share a sweet moment together in the kitchen, taking on a new baking project.”
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Wantagh residents Keri and James Witt welcomed their triplets into the world on December 19, 2017. Julia was born at 3 lbs. 6 oz. at 3:48 pm, James at 4 lbs. at 3:49 p.m., and Michael at 3 lbs. 7oz. at 3:49 p.m. Though the triplets are just five and a half months old, Keri says, “I have already noticed differences in their personalities. Julia is very chill and easygoing and has already slept through the night a few times, while Michael and James are cuddly and mushy.” Keri already expects, however, that Michael will be more hyper than his siblings.
As a new mom, added Keri, “Life with triplets has been chaotic but wonderful.” She says the hardest part so far has been the lack of sleep, but with help from family members and a hired night nurse, her husband was recently able to return to work. Her Mother’s Day wish, “A calm day simply relaxing at home with the babies and extended family.”
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The triplets of Mariebelle Abelarde of New Hyde Park are eight and a half years old. Liam is a fraternal triplet, while Vincent and Nathaniel are identical triplets, all born on October 27, 2009. Liam and Nathaniel are in the same third-grade class but all three brothers remain incredibly close, talking to each other throughout the day, and they have developed the same eating, bathing and homework routines.
While the strong-headed triplets do sometimes argue, Mariebelle says, “Overall they are very easy children who never throw tantrums. The hardest part about raising triplets is having enough time for each one individually, but the best part is that there is somebody to keep loving you no matter who it is.”
The Abelardes just returned from a trip to Tokyo Disneyland, so Mariebelle isn’t sure what Mother’s Day gift could top that, but she says that they would all enjoy any kind of adventure they could explore and share together.
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Triplets Jaxon, James and Ashlyn live in Lindenhurst with their mother Jaime Layton. The triplets were born on October 25, 2012. Jaxon weighed 3 lbs., and James and Ashlyn were each 3 lbs. 13oz. “I am incredibly grateful that they recently started kindergarten,” says Jaime. “Having triplets as a single parent can be difficult, especially when they’re each so different. One wants to be outside, one wants to be inside and one wants to go somewhere else, but I’m only one person!”
Jaime says she receives help from her mom, who lives with the family, and her sister who lives with two children of her own just a few blocks away. The family is so close that Jaime jokes the kids don’t realize they’re cousins but instead think they’re all siblings.
Last year, Ashlyn was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. However, Jaxon and James look out for their sister by yelling “You’re beeping!” when they hear Ashlyn’s blood sugar monitor go off.
For Mother’s Day, Jaime’s ideal present is simple – for the triplets to behave, not fight and sleep in a little bit.
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Michelle and Teddy Katsavos of Lynbrook say that while having triplets comes with its fair share of difficulties, they are very pleased with their “instant family.” The Katsavos triplets, born on June 17, 2013, are now almost five years old.
According to Michelle, “Luke, Brianna, and Chase enjoy being triplets. They proudly tell it to people they meet and constantly point out pairings of three that they see in their daily lives. Luke is the oldest and most independent of the three, and he likes to play with trains on the floor by himself, while social butterfly Brianna enjoys imaginary play with Chase.”
While Michelle enjoys the “one-and-done” aspect of raising her triplets, she says that the downside can be dealing with phases like the “terrible twos” for all three at once. Michelle and Teddy have devised a bedtime system in which Michelle reads to the boys and Teddy to Brianna, and then they switch.
Luke is the oldest, born at 9:45 pm and weighing 4 lbs. 1oz. Brianna weighed in at 4 lbs. 11oz. at 9:46 pm, while Chase weighed 3 lbs. 14oz. and was born at 9:47 pm.
Michelle says that the best Mother’s Day present would be a day without fighting and for the family to simply be together and enjoy each other’s company.
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Christine and Brien Malloy of North Bellmore are parents to seven-year-old triplets and three-year-old Egan. Christine is a teacher and Brien is a firefighter. Christine says, “The triplets, who were born on January 16, 2011, have each developed their own unique personalities. They have been in separate classes since they were four years old. Neala, the tallest of the three, is by far the most dominant of the group, and her spitfire personality makes it easy for her to take charge. Brien and Clare are meeker, though Clare often acts as peacekeeper, looking to make sure everyone is content and has a toy to play with.”
Christine says the triplets, as well as she and Brien, are happy with their situation, and enjoy that each child always has a friend with whom to play. The triplets, she says, were actually easier to manage than Egan by himself.
Christine says she feels blessed by her family, and there’s truly nothing she would want for Mother’s Day – other than maybe to finish the laundry, for once. “I already have it all, they’re good kids.”