Triplets plus one equals home of love
Mark and LaDonna Glaser, Dickinson, have settled into a daily routine after the birth of their three babies. The triplets were born June 15, 2007, at Bismarck's St. Alexius Hospital. Kate Anna weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces, while Max Arthur and Jake...
Mark and LaDonna Glaser, Dickinson, have settled into a daily routine after the birth of their three babies.
The triplets were born June 15, 2007, at Bismarck's St. Alexius Hospital. Kate Anna weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces, while Max Arthur and Jake Thomas each weighed 4 pounds. They were welcomed home by their brother, Gage, 2½.
Mark is the oil development area manager for the U.S. Forest Service. Maternity leave is over for LaDonna, who returned as a dental hygienist for Neuberger Dental Clinic four days a week. Weekdays, the children are placed with a family child care provider.
"It's easier going to work than staying at home," joked LaDonna. "I miss them during the day and wonder if they're doing OK."
Twins are found on both sides of their families, but the Glasers never expected triplets.
"I laughed and I cried at the same time," said LaDonna.
"I accepted it right away," added Mark.
"I was on bed rest in April at 25 weeks," said LaDonna. "My pregnancy was easy, no complications."
At 34 weeks, she entered the hospital where the medical team prepared to deliver the babies by C-section.
At home, the spare bedroom was transformed into a nursery. Family and friends donated clothing and infant supplies.
"We had to buy a minivan. We have three infant car seats and a toddler seat," said Mark.
They purchased a four-bedroom home near Trinity High School five years ago. Family wondered why they needed so much space.
"God knew," said LaDonna.
The stash of diapers ran out long ago. The triplets go through 30 diapers a day, said Mark.
The Glasers use hand-free bottles, which allows the parents to feed multiple babies at the same time.
The babies suck on pacifier-type nipples attached to straws inserted in the bottles. Two babies are held, while the third lies on an infant support pillow.
The Glasers document how much milk the babies drink each day. They are rapidly gaining weight, already exceeding 10 pounds each.
"When they came home, they were so little," said LaDonna.
The Glasers appreciate the help they received from family after the babies came home.
"People were here 24-7 helping us," said LaDonna.
Grandparents are Art and Pat Hensel and Tom and Bridget Glaser, Dickinson. Great-grandmother is Helen Hensel, Dickinson.
Bridget Glaser described the triplet's arrival as awesome.
"It's really hard to explain what it's like," she said.
When the babies came home, family members helped with feedings and baths. Others provided food.
They still go over to visit, but it's not like before.
"When they first came home, they were on four-hour schedules. It took three people to feed them. If we got off track, we'd be feeding around the clock. This way, they got a break," she said.
Visitors are trained to obey the doctor's orders about washing hands when entering the house.
"Even the little ones wash their hands. It's kept them healthy so far," said Bridget.
"We have 14 grandchildren. We feel really blessed," she said.
Today, the parents are pretty much on their own. They take turns with middle-of-the-night feedings and steal naps when possible.
"Each week has gotten easier and easier," said LaDonna.
"Every day is different," said Mark. "For the most part, their fussy times are from 7 to 9 at night."
"If one wakes up, they are all fed," he said.
If one of the boys is fussy, the other is likely to be content. Sometimes, they make each other cry, he said.
Gage seems to like his role as "big brother." He loves kissing the babies while they are being fed.
"We try to make time for him. We take him places to get him out of the house," said LaDonna.
"Family members take him to the park. LaDonna's older sister takes him for horseback rides," added Mark.
The Glasers can tell the babies apart, even if the boys are considered identical twins.
"Kate is able to hold her own with all her brothers," said Mark. "Max, he's the content laid-back one. Jake, he's the lover."
While caring for triplets may be rewarding, fun is not the right word, said LaDonna.
But they realize the time is short and they can only imagine what life will be like when the infants become toddlers.
"We put up a fence," she said.