Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No more preemies

The period with "preemies" is now over. During the last few days Filip used the last few diapers for preemies, and we now only have the type of diapers you find in any supermarket. (Filip and Elin use the smallest size 1, but Oscar has already moved on to size 2.)

We have also packed away all clothes in sizes 40-45 that we used in the first few weeks at home. Filip needed them the longest, but now they don't fit anymore. (Elin and Oscar now usually use size 56 and Filip 50.) The preemies clothes will be shipped of to another family that are expecting triplets, due in December.
From top to bottom: Elin, Filip and Oscar.



Monday, October 29, 2012

Two months old

These guys turn two full months today.

The biggest change lately is that Elin, Oscar and Filip move around now. Not that they crawl yet, but if we put them to bed in one position we often find them in another when they wake up.

This has effect on the family life. Anna and I used to be able to easily share the three seat couch with three babies in between us, but it is getting crowded... But off cause this won't last - soon enough the three little ones won't stay put, and Anna and I will run after them leaving the couch empty.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Keep away

Up until now Elin is the only one that has "agreed" on sleeping in the middle. Perhaps this is about to change, or doesn't this photo read "my bed, my space - stay away"?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eight weeks

Elin, Oscar and Filip turned eight weeks today. They celebrated by passing ten kilos in combined body weight. All three are now over three kilos, Filip making it at today's weigh-in with 50 gram's margin.

We were at the hospital yesterday for a re-check of the boys' hearing. (The equipment failed the first time around.) Their small, tiny ears are still putting the hospital's testing equipment to the test. We are now scheduled for a third check next week - and then they have blocked out 3+ hours in order to finish the checks once and for all.

For the hospital visit we put on matching clothes on the children. As mentioned before this rarely lasts. This time was no exception. When we left for home nothing was matching, not even the outer wear...

Yesterday evening Oscar, Elin and Filip attended their first open fire barbecue. We're fortunate to be able to make hotdogs and roasted marshmallows right in front of our house!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Over the last few weeks the babies have cranked up their volume quite a bit. During their fist four five weeks they rarely made any loud notices, nor did they ever really scream. But that has changed.

So the parents in this house now quickly get feedback when dinner is served too slow or if the bath is too cold...

Telling them apart

Quite a few people ask us if we can tell Elin, Oscar and Filip apart. And, yes, we can, without problem (most of the time).

Elin has got darker hair than Oscar and Filip.

Oscar wheigs something like half a kilo more than Filip, and that feels considerable if you pick them up.

But most important, they don't look alike. :)
Filip and Oscar.

Filip and Oscar.

Oscar and Elin.
Filip and Oscar.

Panic?! The days are numbered

I have realized that I as of today only have eight days left at home together with Anna and the triplets, before I go back to work on November 1st. Scary!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Are 15 seconds 15 seconds?

I have over the last few days found out that 15 seconds not always are 15 seconds, but 25 or just 5...

We've got a pretty standard micro wave in the kitchen. We use it to heat the baby milk frequently these days. It usually takes 45 seconds to heat three bottles to a nice temperature. But sometimes this isn't enough and 10-15 seconds needs to be added. On the other hand 45 seconds may cause the milk to be really hot. I cannot understand why this happens.

45 divided by 3 should be 15.

But interesting here is that when heating one bottle rarely takes 15 seconds. Quite often it takes considerable longer, and just as often much shorter. So heating one bottle is like playing the roulette!

Can some engineer explain this to me?!?

Another week down the road

Finding time to write on this blog is getting harder and harder. There is always something else to do.

But a quick review of the last week:

We have fought with the pharmacies some.
I was once said that North Korea, Cuba and Sweden were the only places where all pharmacies were run by the state as a monopoly. Well, we're not in that club anymore, but looking back I can say one thing - some things were better in the old days.
In short: Our babies need a special kind of formula (Swedish: bröstmjölksersättning), since they are premies. It is on prescription and needs a special approval by the Medical Products Agency (Swedish: licensförskrivning) before being sold.
Before the monopoly was removed this could be done once per doctor. Now each pharmacy needs to do it per patient. And the rules were changed less than a month ago, so in order to be able to buy the formula we made a number of calls to the hospital, made six seven visits to two different pharmacies (and phoned a third) and called the agency to have the rules explained so that we could explain them to the hospital and pharmacies... But we now finally have formula that will last us two or three weeks.

Elin, Oscar and Filip are now using pacifiers quite often. It's rather convenient when trying to get them to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. And, more often, when someone wants to eat more than can fit in their stomach, the bottle can be replaced with one...

We still have an appointment at the local care center every week, for weighing and measuring all three babies. This way we can keep track on that they eat and grow like they should, and we get a convenient opportunity to ask a nurse whatever questions we might have.

Thursday's visit at my work place was nice. Anna got to meet 50+ colleagues of mine (to her most new faces). I guess both my colleagues and we very much appreciated the visit.

We have some problems at home - to make room for all clothes, prams, strollers, car seats and so on. Anyone that have a portable storage room to lend us?! ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Visit at the agency

Today we visited my workplace, the Medical Products Agency and the Regulatory department.
Oscar, Elin and Filip in the pram during the stroll through the corridors of the MPA.
Photo by Maria Christiansson.
While mom and dad and dad's all colleagues had cake, Elin, Filip and Oscar grew extremely hungry. Good thing Helena and Caroline could help out!
Once fed and full lots of people gathered around for a closer look.
Visiting a governmental agency is tiring. Oscar, Elin and Filip took a long nap going home and in the pram afterwards.

Thanks for all good cake and the presents (sets to make hand/foot prints to put in frames along with a photo). The only remark the Aulin family has is that the Regulatory department need to learn to eat more cake - we got too much leftovers! ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Next weigh in

For a third consecutive week, we on Wednesday went to our local care center (Swedish: vårdcentralen) having Oscar, Elin and Filip weighed. These guys continue to put on plenty of weight!

We then called in to the neonatal ward at the hospital to report the progress (as we have done since we left) - they are very keen on keeping track on their (former) patients. But when they have done this good, there is no longer any need to weekly report their progress.

So we now only have a routine check up in mid November left, before our kids only will be monitored by the local care center like any kid carried full term!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

House reclaimed

We can after this weekend claim that we have our house back. It feels like home again - full of life, friends and kids all the time.

Yesterday a former co-worker and her daughter (who also used to babysit for Ludvig and Siri) visited. And the kids had friends over.

Today a new neighbor family with their kids visited.

To fill the house with friends and kids again made the house feel like home again. That's how it used to be. Perhaps a bit crowded and untidy, but full of life. But I'll stop making excuses for not having a spotless home - or else I wouldn't do anything else these days.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Today Elin, Oscar and Filip went on their first trip outside the county. (I write county in English, thinking of "kommun" in Swedish. That's as close I can get.) We took the car and went to Anna's workplace to meet her colleagues.

With some planning we managed to get all three into matching clothes for the occasion. (This actually lasted some eight hours, and that is definitely a family record!)
From left to right: Oscar, Elin and Filip.
All three handled the drive very well, despite it taking 90 minutes instead of the normal 60 due to a broken down truck on the highway. They slept most of the way and were then awake and happy when all the excitement began.
Anna with her colleagues.
Afterwards we took a stroll down one of the main shopping streets in down town Stockholm. A few heads turned when people passed us, but most were too stressed and busy to actually notice our triplets.
Drottninggatan in Stockholm.
Back home we crashed on the couch before we had to pick up Ludvig from school and Siri from daycare.
Wonder what Oscar thinks Elin shouldn't see?
Anna with (from left) Elin, Filip and Oscar.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11

This is the day when Elin, Oscar and Filip should have been born if carried full term. But instead we have experienced six weeks and one day together - days that we will never forget. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Six weeks down the road

It's now six weeks since Elin, Oscar and Filip came into this world. Little did I then imagine that I by now would have written some 75 blog entries, and that those together would generate 20000 views. The blog has so far been a way to communicate with friends and family, but also a way to get perspective on what is happening.

We'll see how long I can keep this up, since life with triplets is taking its toll on the available time for contemplation... The frequency of updates is lower now than when we were at the hospital, as you probably have noticed.

We today had out latest weigh in. All three babies have now put on about a kilo over these six weeks and grown about five centimeters. And life here at home, with less strict routines and more room for the babies to "choose" when and how much to eat seems to be working. They put on 300 grams just over the last week!

Some things remain about the same though. These guys still enjoy and find comfort in sharing the same bed and taking naps close together. This is a nice "method" to use whenever one is grumpy - it can often be solved by putting them back together.

Life at home with both us parents not working works fine. But I have started to get a little worried about how things will work out when I'm auppoae to go back to work. Will I get sleep enough to do a decent job? Can I let go of all the things going on back home at daytime? How will Anna cope? I guess we'll find out after November 1.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

They aren't always happy

Anna experienced today that three hungry babies can make a lot of noise. In these situation the heating of milk never will be quick enough...

Monday, October 8, 2012


Our three youngest will be baptized on January 12, 2013. Here are a little bit of info on the full names of the new Aulin siblings:

Elin - Maria - Elisabeth
Elin is the fourth girl called Elin Aulin that we know of, so this is a common name in the Aulin family. Johan has a second cousin called Elin and his mother's mother's mother was called Elin.
Maria is from mom Anna-Maria and Anna-Maria's cousin Maria.
Elisabeth was the name of Elin's mother's mother's sister, who unfortunately left this earth much too early.

Oscar - Björn - Gunnar
Oscar was a name that we both liked. It's royal - two Swedish kings have been called Oscar.
Björn is Oscar's mother's father.
Gunnar was the name of Oscar's father's father's father.

Filip - Johan - Holger
Filip was also a name that we both liked. It is also royal, like Ludvig and Oscar. Our king's second child is Prince Carl Philip.
Johan is from dad Johan.
Holger is Filip's mother's father's father.

The older kids

A relevant question is how the older kids are coping and reacting to their new younger siblings.

Ludvig and Siri are quite different from each other in this respect.

Siri are very interested and wants to help with everything; feeding, holding, carrying, changing diapers, and so on. Off cause, we won't let her do all these things and the ones she gets to do is only under close supervision. She tends to get new ideas very quickly, forgetting the small person in her lap in the process... She is also a bit too hard handed when handling the babies.

Ludvig on the other hand is very gentle and soft with his new siblings. Gently touching their heads is about as much as he do. In the beginning he sneaked close to the babies when he thought no one was watching. So he is very curious.

Both Ludvig and Siri have stepped up how much they are willingly to help out. Tidying up in their room, set the table, put their plates in the dishwasher and so on is a little bit easier to have them do these days. On the other hand especially Siri has also stepped up the attempts on getting some extra attention. Nothing big, yet...

We still try to keep the things we've don with the kids weekly, like swim classes and scouts' meetings. Going over to the neighbors' houses to play is another way to "escape" the siblings for an hour or two. Thanks neighbors!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

All these questions

I visited my workplace last Friday. It was nice to see my much appreciated colleagues again, and get some time with my bosses to plan what to do when I return. (The plan is to return part time on November 1st.)

Talking to the colleagues I know well about everything that has happened was something I almost had looked forward to. I'm a very proud father that like when friends ask things and are interested in getting to know how things are these days. Thanks all friend for caring and listening!

But I do have a hard time talking with people I don't know these days. Regardless if people find out of the triplets when they see the pram, or if someone has told someone who told someone, I still find it amazing which questions strangers find it okay to ask.

I doubt that anyone would go up to any new parent and ask if their child is a result of an IVF. If someone did, especially if he or she didn't know the other, you would probably consider that person being mentally disturbed. But when a stranger sees triplets, that question is often the second or third that pops out... Why should it be different with triplets?

We've been thinking of how to respond to the question. The best we've come up with so far is to say "And how are your ovaries?" or "And how is your prostate?". We think that are as personal questions, and doubt that any stranger woman/man will choose to answer.

A similar, to us personal, question often asked by strangers is about how much breast milk Anna has to give to the babies. We need to come up with a response to that one too.

So, if you're the curious kind, please start by asking how I am doing and how it all feels. And maybe we'll talk for a while and you will learn lots of things - most of which you didn't even have questions for.

Managing on your own

Today Anna took off for a few hours to take care of a few things in town. I didn't mind and thought it shouldn't be a real problem.

Well, it didn't turn out as "a problem" for me - I just got really busy doing nothing special. From 10.30 AM to 13.30 PM I constantly tried to get five kids in the status fed, dry and clothed AT THE SAME TIME, never really making it. It took three hour before we could leave for the local play ground. Nothing I wanted to do was advanced, nor did it cause any trouble - it was just that whenever one thing was done two new things needed attention. and soon I was back on square 1 needing to make more food or change diapers again.

I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.

It felt a bit absurd that we met Anna right on the door step - she returning, we on our way out. A thought struck me: Should I have done less, waited for two more hands and get out at 1.40 instead?!?

The experience made me think of the challenges ahead. It's not hard to feed babies, change diapers, dress children and all the other things we will have to handle daily. Timing it all is a bit harder (and that was where I fell short today) but I guess we'll learn.

I think it is the next level that will be even harder - creating "free time" enough to do anything that will move life forward. Just doing what needs to be done in the moment, in that hour, is probably easy compared to be able to look ahead and plan what to make for dinner during the next few days, what needs to be bought at the supermarket, when to go groceries shopping...

And that's just the tip of the iceberg - fixing the garden, repairing stuff in the house, get out on a field trip, go away for the weekend...

I guess we'll need to be pros on being time efficient and to use the time that is at hand.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flying solo

From this morning, when grandma Margareta went back home, we're flying solo. As the older kids said "Now things are almost back to how they should be".

Despite not having an extra pair of hands in the house we managed to do a few things today:

Siri and I attended her swim class. That's a so positive thing. She now swims two three meters without assistance, dives head first into the pool and dives with me to the bottom (4 feet) to pick up stuff.

Ludvig played with the kids of a family that recently moved into our neighborhood.

I cleaned up in the garden for something like 45 minutes, and it's now ready for the last run with the lawn mower of the season tomorrow.

And we made fajitas for dinner - and that is really a classic dinner in this family.

So, in some respects things are going back to normal, yet things will never be the same again in this house.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mixed day

Today was a "mixed" day.

The night wasn't as good as it could have been, but no catastrophe.

In the morning Anna took the opportunity to escape down town, get some time solo, went to a few stores and had her eyebrows fixed. Meanwhile grandma Margareta and I took care of Elin, Filip and Oscar. I tried to take a nap but was so up to speed that I couldn't go to sleep. But I got to listen to Mike Old field for 30 minutes - that's a first in a long time!

After lunch I decided the aquarium needed a real cleaning. So I spent at least two hours doing that, escaping from diapers and bottles for a while. We got a new aquarium - it shines, and tells me how badly that cleaning was needed...

Anna and I (and later the kids) then made a joint venture and made cinnamon rolls. Today is "cinnamon rolls day" in Sweden, and since making cinnamon rolls once was the first way I ever made some money (selling to the neighbours) I just had to do a set of these today.

At dinner time (grandma made a very nice roast) a good friend of the family came by - saving the dinner. Elin woke up and was hungry just when dinner was ready and when the cinnamon rolls were to go into the oven. Viktoria, your arrival and the help feeding Elin was perfect timing. Thank you! And just sitting, talking and having a latte afterwards was really nice.
The evening was rounded off with reading bed time stories to the older kids - and finally crashing in front of the TV. What should have been a slow day to catch up on some sleep and just relax, became a busy day that recharged batteries that I didn't had in mind this morning...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Best night in a long time

The past night was the best one in a long time. I got to sleep from 11 PM to 4 AM (Anna took care of feeding at midnight) and then from 4.45 to 7 AM. Better than that isn't something I'll expect in many months!

Today a nurse from the local care center made a house call to weigh the babies, and all three are continuing to put on weight.

And outside the sun is shining. Things could be a lot worse!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


While sleeping close to Oscar today Elin formed the sign I LOVE YOU with her hand. :) Grandma Margareta caught it with her cell phone.

Premiere at the open day care

Granda Margareta and I went to the open day care today, while Anna took the car to the forrest trying to find some mushrooms.

We were somewhat popular... It felt like everyone came to talk to us, and all the regular questions - and some new ones - were asked. I love the place and I'm sure that we will become regulars here a third time (after the periods when we were at home with Ludvig and Siri).
Grandma on the way to the open day care.
Anna on the way to the forrest.
Elin and Oscar found it tiering and fell asleep, while one of the staff, Renee, held Filip. 
Elin and Oscar sleeping.
This is what Anna brought with her back home.