Being a first time mom is scary enough, but imagine having three babies at once.
Ashley Kirkland of Fredonia found out she was pregnant with triplets after an ultrasound showed three boys.
Kirkland has 9-year-old twin siblings (boy and girl) and her husband, Demetrius Kirkland, is the oldest of triplets (two boys and one girl). This made it highly possible for her to have triplets, and after having multiple babies at once, she is 90 percent more likely to have this happen again if she were to get pregnant.
From left: Demetrius Kirkland holding D'vonte and Ashley Kirkland holding Jayceon (in the middle) and Keondre (on the end). This is the first family photo taken at the hospital.
Keondre, D'vonte, and Jayceon sporting colorful hoodies.
"I wanted a girl, but since I could have twins or triplets again my husband and I decided we didn't want more kids," she said. "He has a seven year old so he has four kids and that is enough."
Kirkland met her significant other in elementary school. Both of them are originally from Florida, but Ashley moved to Fredonia five years ago.
"We were elementary school sweethearts," she said. "We were separated for 15 years and found each other again when I was on vacation in Florida last year. We fell in love all over again."
The 25-year-old new mom got pregnant in August and six weeks later she took a pregnancy test and learned the good news.
She wanted a big wedding but after getting pregnant they decided to wait until the babies were born. They were married April 8. The babies were born March 4 and 5.
The oldest out of the three, D'Vonte, was born at 11 p.m. on March 4; Jayceon and Keondre were born at 12:30 a.m. on March 5.
"They were born 10 weeks early and weighed three pounds," Kirkland said. "I wanted to wait 33 weeks but my water broke at 30 weeks."
The infants had to stay in Women and Children's Hospital for several weeks before coming home. The babies are now eight weeks old and completely healthy.
"I gained 60 pounds when I was pregnant, and was a little afraid because I had stomach surgery before I got pregnant," she said. "Now I am back to the weight I was before I was pregnant. I think the surgery has a lot to do with that."
During her baby shower she had a diaper raffle, encouraging as many people as she could to bring lots of diapers.
"I knew the diapers were going to be the most expensive thing. I knew I was going to need a lot of them," she said. "I go through at least 24 diapers a day."
She still has a whole closet full of diapers from the baby shower, so she won't have to go shopping for diapers anytime soon.
Kirkland said Demetrius wasn't too fond with people buying the babies sets of threes, because growing up he had to wear the same outfits as his siblings. He wanted them to have their own styles.
"Being a mom of triplets is one of the most amazing things in the world," she said. "I wouldn't give up my babies for anything. The pregnancy was hard and the birth was difficult. It was hard to go back and forth to the hospital to see my babies for several weeks, but they have been home for four weeks now."
Having three babies at one time doesn't make it easy on sleep.
"I have to get up and feed them every three hours or so," she said. "I was told I could let them sleep longer if they wanted to."
Kirkland has a very big loving family, that gives her a lot of support.
"I am very busy and tired at times. Sometimes it feels like all I am doing is caring for babies," she said.
Her mother helps out a lot.
"Every once in a while my mom will take the babies so I can go shopping," she said.
The advice Kirkland would offer any mother about to have multiple babies at once is to surround yourself with lots of love.
"Don't overdo it. Listen to your body; the further along you are in the pregnancy your body will tell you what you can and can't do," she said. "If people are willing to help you out let them; don't do this alone or you will go crazy. When you are pregnant with more than one baby at a time it puts a lot of stress on your body. A lot could go wrong and you start to think you could lose one or more of them and that adds stress. Don't get stressed out. The stress could harm the babies more."
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