Not even a heartbreaking miscarriage could stop Chris and Christopher from becoming parents. Now they're dads to triplets! Meet Conor, Logan and Parker, born July 3 this year, the adorable sons of two proud dads. We caught up with the Chris and Christopher to find out about their journey to fatherhood and what it's like having three under 6 months.
Chris and Christopher's wedding, October 17, 2015
When husbands Chris and Christopher's first pregnancy ended with a miscarriage, they were devastated. It had been love at first sight for the couple that met on Match.com in 2011. They had discussed kids early in their relationship and becoming fathers was a crucial part of their future. Chris' sister, Megan, generously offered to be their surrogate, to which they are eternally grateful, but they were left heartbroken when she miscarried in August 2016.
But last year, tried again, and Megan once again became pregnant. But the day before Christmas last year, Chris and Christopher were enjoying lunch with friends when they received a text from Megan that she was bleeding and she'd gone to the hospital. She was 6 weeks pregnant at the time.
With the miscarriage from several years still fresh in their minds, It was an awful déjà vu for the husbands. Chris rushed to return his sister's call and her husband answered. Fortunately, Megan was okay. And so was the baby.
Or, rather, babies. During the hospital visit, Megan's doctor conducted an ultrasound and discovered not one heartbeat, but three.
"I almost fell to my knees in pure terror and joy!" said Chris, who was learning this news while still at lunch with his friends. "I called Christopher over to tell him the news. I then went back to the table and downed a bottle of wine and ate a breadbasket because keeping that secret from friends was a tough one!"
15 minutes before the birth
Despite the shock of carrying triples, Megan took the news in stride. It was an easy pregnancy and the birth was the same.
Chris and Christopher call Connecticut home so they traveled to Megan's home in North Carolina a week before the scheduled c-section. And they're glad they did.
A routine appointment showed that Megan was 5 cm dilated, and the cramps she had been experiencing all morning were contractions. She was quickly prepped for her c-section and 2 hours later, with Chris and Christopher in the room, Conor, Logan and Parker entered the world.
"The first few hours of parenthood were exciting and stressful," said Christopher. "They had every nurse and doctor on hand monitoring them to ensure they were healthy. As a new parent you have no idea what is going on … Nothing can prepare you for the chaos of that first day."
The triplets stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks despite being healthy weights for triplets. During that time, the new dads never left their side.
The couple slept on the room's pull out couch, and planned skin to skin every day while watching Disney movies on their phones. ("Our children will be Disney kids," Chris said.) The time was exciting, scary, and already seems like a distant memory, they say.
Home with triplets
Before the triplets were born, the dads had prepared by buying three of all the essentials. Three cribs, three Boppy pillows, three blankets. But when it comes to toys, the dads were clear that the boys would learn to share rather than having three of each.
They split parenting duties down the middle, telling Gays With Kids that they are a 50/50 team. What's their other secret to managing three? Sticking to a schedule.
"After arriving home when they were three weeks old, we quickly maintained the schedule they had in the NICU," shared Chris. "They only slept a couple hours at a time during the evening and my husband and I would alternate feedings so the other could sleep for a few straight hours."
The dads are also quick to acknowledge that Conor, Logan and Parker are good babies, not that they don't have the odd day or night when things fall apart and the nothing will appease them.
One of the most challenging parts is getting all three out the door. Gone are the carefree days of leaving the house in five minutes on a whim. Now, they say the simple act of going to the grocery store is like preparing for a two-week holiday.
First walk with the triplets
As all new dads know, once you become a parent, other people's advice quickly follows. Some of the most useful advice Chris and Christopher received was from another parent of triplets: Accept help when you can, and if one of the triplets wakes up to feed, wake them all up to feed.
Here are 11 pieces of sound advice from the new dads:
- The work is 50/50
- Get them on a schedule stat.
- Cuddle them as much as you can
- Take in all the little changes.
- Take a ton of pictures.
- Don't listen to other people's opinions about parenting, you are their parent and know what is best for them.
- Don't compare your child to other peoples kids, each child is different and has different needs and wants and therefore affects how you parent. We have three, and each of them is their own being, they all have different personalities, like different things, laugh at different things. One sleeps the other don't, one eats real well, the others don't. This is all normal and should be taken as you are raising an individual!
- If the day gets to be too much, maybe the baby is crying incessantly and simply won't stop, it is okay to walk away and take 5 minutes for yourself, as long as the baby is secure and safe.
- Always pack more than you think you need. Poop is your enemy.
- When changing, put a diaper under the dirty diaper...saves time and potential messes.
- Give them all the kisses.
And even with all the best advice in the world, there is only one person that the new dads really can't do without, and that's each other. They're a team, splitting fatherhood down the middle, loving and providing for their three happy sons.
We wish this family a lifetime of happiness, three times over.