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January 20, 2010     Hays Free Press
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liJmlIL . II II ,] J lullllJIluulLlJ=='-- Page 6C NEIGHBORS "Milligan Trio: Plum Creek couple juggles triplets Continued from pg. 1C Hays Free Press January 20, 2010 With triplets in the house, the Milligans invested in baby gear times three. expend the smallest amount of calories possible." Soon, the parents were allowed to try kangaroo care, or skin to skin contact shown to help preemies thrive. Mil- ligan pumped breastmilk every two hours around the clock. "I wanted to do anything I could to help them 7 MiUigan said. t Through August, Septem- ber and October the babies stayed in the NICLT, complet- ing the development that usually happens in utero. Around Halloween, doctors started to talk about sending them home. HOME AT LAST Though Slade was the smallest at birth and had the roughest time learning to breathe on his own, he came home first. On November 2 - just one day after his due date - Lindsay and Brian had a "rooming in" trial at the hospital, spending the night with Slade. "It looks like your own bed- room at home, but there are nurses down the hall," Mil- ligan said. "That Was kind of tough. For four months we'd had them on monitors." Slade went home the next day, and for two weeks the Milligans split their time between caring for him at home and visiting the girls at the hospital. On Nov. 16, Ella joined him, and three days later Claire rounded out the trio. '7 realized I couldn't do it at 00ight by myse00 Yo.'a up with a half hour, an hour of sleep. There's none 00that letting the babies cry it out, because it wakes up the whole crew," - Lindsay Milligan The Milligans settled into their new normal - life with triplets. After h week of paternity leave, Brian went back to his job as an elevator builder, and the army of friends and family continued to pull their weight. On any normal weekday, a relative will take either a half or a full day shift, helping out with feedings, care arid cuddling. Others will drop by with food or help do a load of laundry. "You think that after the first two weeks people are going to disappear on you," Milligan said. "We've been lucky, and it's lasted a long time. I don't think you could survive without it. Ask for help, accept it. You'll go crazy without it and you need to enjoy the time with the ba- bies." With her husband back at work, Lindsay tried at first to do the nighttime parenting on her own and let him slepp. But with three newborns, one of them was awake almost all the time. "I realized I couldn;t do it at night by myself," she said. "You'd wind up with a half hour, an hour of sleep. There's none of that letting the babies cry it out, because it wakes up the whole crew." Her sister-in-law stepped in to help with the night shift during the week, and on the weekend, the parents take three-hournighttime shifts. Lindsay will go to bed at 9:3,0 and sleep until 12:30, then wake up to help Brian make bottles and feed the trio. Then he'll take a three hour sleep stretch from 1-4 a.m., followed by another feeding. By shifting off a few times, both parents can eke out about six hours of sleep. "We're looking' folward to PHOTO BY JEN BIUNDO them sleeping through the night," Milligan admitted. By and large, the babies have escaped the adverse effects that frequently affect "micropreemies," such as cerebral palsy, mental retar- dation or severe vision and hearing impairment. Though the babies seem to be doing well, their immune systems aren't yet sturdy. Visitors to the house are greeted by a vat of hand sanitizing lotion, and hand- washing is mandatory. The family will keep the babies out of public locations this wi.'nter, in an attempt to avoid the RSV virus that causes minor cold-like symptoms in adults but can cause, serious respiratory damage in new- borns, especially those born prematurely. "For babies like them, it Could conceivably kill them," Milligan said. Last weekend Brian and Lindsay went on their first date in months, catching a movie, getting some dinner and sleeping for eight blessed unbroken hours in a hotel That expedition required a team of nine dedicated adults back on the homefront to mind the triplets. The Milligans hear a lot of joking comparisons to "octomom" Nadya Suleman, but they couldn't imagine life with that many babies. "! don't know how they survive," Milligan said. She added with a laugh, "I guess people say that about US tOO." JoinToday Save $48! Join the Hays CommunitiesYMCA by Jan. 31 and we'll waiv.e the Joining Fee ', plus we'll provide an Exclusive Gift*. Hays Communities YMCA Amenities State-of-the-Art Fitness Center Group. Exercise. Yoga & Pilates Classes Indoor Heated Lap Pool & Kid's Pool Hot Tub & Dry-Heat Sauna Outdoor Aquatic P[ayscape & Pavilion Y Kids'& Family Classes YiCAMember Benefits . FREE Cllild Watch while exercising FREE Group Exercise & Y Kids Classes 50% or more off YMCA program fees Access to 7 YMCA of Austin branches ,'Membership For ALL" Rates- " As low as $15 per month *wh,e supplies last YMCA of Austin Visit www.austinymca.org HaYS for details. Communities Family YMCA 465 Buda Sportsplex Dr. near FM 967 & 1626 (5121523-0099 We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities. One-Day Guest Pass Expires 1/31/10. Call 523-0099 or visit www.austinymca.org for more details. Must be 18 years of age or accompanied by an adult during facility use. One free pass per guest or household. Must show a picture ID. -t