Mother’s Day will take on a whole new meaning for Tammy Nycz this year.
The Hermiston mom, whose older children are now ages 19 and 20, gave birth to triplets in March.
“It’s like starting all over again,” she said.
Fortunately she’s not alone — her husband, Josh, is walking this journey with her, and when the couple are exhausted the triplets’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and half siblings provide reinforcements.
Amilia, Rylee and Alexander (Xander for short) came home two weeks ago. The triplets were born March 11, but at less than 3 pounds each needed to spend some time in the NICU at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland before coming home to Hermiston. They now weight close to five pounds.
Tammy had already been at Legacy Emanuel for quite some time before they were born. Her high-risk pregnancy required bed rest at the hospital starting in January.
“I did a lot of Sudoku,” she said.
During that time she and Josh were featured in the Hermiston Herald’s Feb. 13 article about dating online, which is where they met six years ago. They said they wanted to update people on how the family was doing once the triplets arrived.
Triplets are unusual — less than one-tenth of one percent of live births in the United States. These particular triplets are even more unusual. Amilia and Rylee are identical twins, split from the same egg, while Xander was born at the same time but came from a second egg.
Until Amilia and Rylee begin developing more distinct personalities, family members can tell them apart by a small, light birth mark on Rylee’s eyelid.
“The doctors suggested toenail polish,” Josh said.
The ultrasound technician at Good Shepherd Women’s Center who discovered they were having multiples said he had never seen triplets in 23 years of performing ultrasounds. The news they would be welcoming three children at once into their family came as a shock.
“She cried and I laughed hysterically,” Josh said.
“I’m still crying,” Tammy quipped.
There are challenges that didn’t come with having one child at a time. Some of it is financial — even simple things like the $25 fee for a birth certificate is three times as much. The family is also using an average of 30 diapers a day, and is already going through an entire can of special “preemie” formula per day.
“Everything is tripled,” Tammy said.
There are also logistical challenges. Neither of the family’s cars can fit three car seats, so they have to take both cars every time they go to the doctor. Josh said parents of multiples they have befriended in online forums have given them a lot of good tips and life hacks, such as the information that the Honda Odyssey is currently the only van on the market that has more than two seats equipped to handle a car seat.
For now, they haven’t tackled going grocery shopping together.
“They would take up three carts by themselves, and then how do we push all of them?” Tammy said.
They have taken the triplets to Good Shepherd Women’s Center for checkups, however. Josh said it’s fun seeing people do a double take and ask if they had three babies all at once.
“I say, ‘Actually it was buy one get two free,’” he said.
Josh said he wasn’t looking forward to the day when the triplets were old enough to realize that their parents couldn’t catch all three of them at once if they were up to mischief. But he and Tammy are looking forward to a lot of other things in the future.
“I can’t wait to teach them to fish, or ride a bike,” Josh said.