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

15 new mayors to take office across the Kootenays

Here’s a look at the highlights from across the Kootenay region in B.C.

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Why municipal elections are important

Voting helps shape our community

Director happy with referendum results

Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area A residents voted in favour of the… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read