Identical triplets celebrate first birthday

The likelihood of conceiving triplets without the use of fertility drugs in one is 50 million.

Hannah

A half-eaten piece of toast and a cup of cold coffee sit on the end table.

Three high chairs are lined up against the living room wall, flanked by three brightly decorated exersaucers, and a colourful plastic fenced play yard that covers the lion’s share of the living room. A basket filled with clean laundry sits on the couch.

And in the middle of it all are three identical infants, with mirror-image blue eyes and silky brown hair. They babble to each other happily, while finding toys to jam in their mouths.

This is what life looks like at the Meeuwsen household as Mahalia and Mike’s rare, naturally conceived, identical triplets will celebrate their first birthday Thursday, Nov. 3.

The girls, who spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops immediately after birth, are healthy and growing – each one now weighs over 20 pounds.

“The girls are amazing,” says Mahalia of Hannah, Rileigh and Isabelle. “From the way they are moving around it won’t be long before they are walking. That will change life again.”

While the girls are identical, they conveniently each have a birthmark in a different place to confirm their identities.

“I can tell them apart, I haven’t mixed them up yet,” says Mahalia, who admits her husband has a more difficult time with that.

“He’ll pick up one and says ‘Hi Izzy’ and I’ll say, ‘No, that’s Rileigh.’ So we will double check.”

They also have personality differences. Isabelle is known as “busy Izzy” and is the go-getter of the three, who was the first to roll over, although all three girls learned that skill on the same day, Izzy in the morning and Hannah and Rileigh in the afternoon. Hannah is the quieter, thinker of the set, while Rileigh is the attention-getter, always waving her arms and smiling to attract whoever is close by.

Image Credit: Evan Buhler

The triplets as three little pigs for their first Halloween.

As any parent can attest, life with an infant can be exhausting. It’s hard to even come up with a word that could describe how tiring life with three babies can be.

“Everything has to be scheduled – feeding, bathing, changing, cooking, sleeping. I think that’s been the hardest part. You start to feel like that movie Groundhog Day, every day’s the same. You try to get out of the house, but it is very difficult,” says Mahalia, who recently decided to get out of the house and walk down Okanagan Avenue to go pick up her van.

Because of the steep downhill and the weight of three babes in the 40-pound stroller, Mahalia, a diminutive woman who could not weigh much more than the load, wrapped a rope around her waist and attached it to the stroller for safety’s sake.

“I went down, but only because I knew I’d be driving back up,” she laughed.

“But I also learned I won’t do that again.”

By now Mahalia is used to being the centre of attention. A recent trip to Costco in Kelowna took three hours, because of all the attention.

“It’s like the circus has come to town and we are the show… People just whip out their phones and take their pictures and everyone wants to stop and see the girls.”

Mahlia says the first year has been a bit surreal.

“I look back to where we were and whoa, has life completely changed. It’s been crazy, but I see at them and go, ‘wow, look at those perfectly healthy, happy girls.’ It’s amazing, really.”

The likelihood of conceiving triplets without the use of fertility drugs in one is 50 million.

 

Just Posted

Photos: Over 80 competitors took part in 3D Archery Shoot

The event is hosted by the Salmon Arm Fish and Game Club

Girl, 9, out of ICU after carbon monoxide poisoning in Shuswap tent

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada forecasts thunder, cloud and rain for one more day

Osprey nest in downtown Salmon Arm will remain until new year

The powerlines around the nest have been de-energized so the birds can stay until spring

A 64-year-old dies while mountain biking in Blind Bay

Shuswap Search and Rescue came assist first responders at the scene

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Missing Shuswap teen found safe

The teen was found by searchers at 4:30 a.m. on May 25

Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near Canyon Hot Springs due… Continue reading

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Okanagan woman celebrates 101 years young on the back of a Harley Davidson

Last Saturday Violet Madeline celebrated 101 years. A member of the Lower… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read