Three bundles of joy settling in

Thriving triplets making personalities known

NICOLA STEWART
Last updated 05:00 22/03/2014
Triplets Maia, Damien and Viola
NICOLA STEWART/Fairfax NZ
SURPRISE PACKAGE: Mandy Abraham and Michael Gibbs-Manssen have had their triplets, clockwise from left, Maia, Damien and Viola home for a week now.

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New mum Mandy Abraham imagined looking after three newborns would be "crazy" but so far she says it has been surprisingly easy.

That's despite going through up to 210 nappies, doing 20 loads of washing and refilling 126 bottles a week.

Her triplets Damien, Maia and Viola Gibbs-Manssen were born in Waikato Hospital on February 12 and arrived home in Matamata last Friday.

"They are all doing really well," Ms Abraham, 25, told The Waikato Times.

"They are all in a really good routine, they're really settled and they all sleep at the same time and eat at the same time."

She and partner, Michael Gibbs-Manssen, 28, found out they were expecting triplets during a scan when she was 12 weeks pregnant.

"I was just completely speechless," she said.

The odds of conceiving fraternal triplets naturally is about 1 in 8000. Neither Ms Abraham or Mr Gibbs-Manssen have twins or triplets in their families.

The babies were born at 33 weeks and spent three weeks in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and another week in the Mothercraft unit before coming home.

The were all on track with their development, gaining weight and already starting to display their own little quirks and personalities, Ms Abraham said.

"Damien is quiet and placid, really patient. Maia is the loudest and Viola thinks everything is a competition between her and Maia.

"They play off against each other."

They were all sleeping well and if one woke up, the others had learnt to sleep through the noise, Mr Gibbs-Manssen said.

"This morning Maia was screaming her head off and the other two were still sound asleep."

Mr Gibbs-Manssen is back at work as a track rider and is up at 4.30am every day to head to the racing club.

"The 2am feeds are the hardest for me," he said.

"I only just fall back asleep and then I'm up again for work."

The couple have family in Palmerston North and have had a steady stream of visitors calling in to lend a hand.

Mr Gibbs-Manssen also has a daughter Ketana, 7, in Foxton, who is hoping to meet her new siblings in the next school holidays.

The family is entitled to 1560 hours of free in-home childcare and from Monday will have a nanny for six hours every weekday.

They will also receive free baby formula from Nurture for the first year.

A massive amount of support had come from the community and Ms Abraham said she was stunned when a stranger offered her a triple pushchair after reading their story.

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They had been struggling to afford one, with even a secondhand one costing about $1200.

"We want to thank Kylie Gunn from Thames, that was so amazing of her."

Ms Abraham was most looking forward to the triplets learning to crawl and starting to talk, while Mr Gibbs-Manssen said he just wanted to see them grow up healthy.

NEVER A DULL MOMENT

One week in the Gibbs-Manssen household:

175-210 nappies

15-20 loads of washing

126 bottles

2-3 tins of baby formula

2 jumbo packs of baby wipes 

- Waikato Times

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