From one to four By Jaime Halsey
This is me!.....
Before getting married I was Jaime Moore, Team GB’s first female Trampoline gymnast at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and later reserve for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.I had been involved in gymnastics since the age of 5 and part of the British team for 16 years.
In 2009 I married the love of my life Steve Halsey, a PE teacher and former Rugby player for London Welsh and Bedford Blues. I retired from competitive sport at the very end of 2009 and started coaching at our Northampton based centre NTGA.
We had some amazing times and experiences as a couple and decided the time was right for us to start a family. In February 2012 we had our amazing daughter Flo. My birth experience was pretty horrific so I was adamant I would never have any more (ha the irony!) but not long after Flo turned 2 we had ‘the chat’ about having another baby.
Life has always been full of ups and downs (no pun intended) as parents, as a couple and as athletes but nothing could have ever prepared us for the shock of our 12 week scan in October 2014… the news we were having triplets…… I will never forget being in that scan room, the shock and fear that went through my body as the lady showed us 3 little people all growing in my belly!! I remember saying to Steve with a ghostly white face “what the f**k do we do with 3 babies!!??? I mean seriously what do you do with 3 babies!!?? I still ask myself this most days!!!
The following 4 months was a worrying time for us. We found out we had identical twins and a singleton, anyone with identical twins knows the risks in pregnancy, the chance of twin to twin syndrome, or intuerine growth restriction, so we had these concerns but also had another baby in the mix. We had all our care at the John Radcliffe in Oxford, in the beginning they gave us a tough decision to make. We were asked if we wanted a ‘managed reduction’ to me this was not an option after seeing three healthy babies on a screen, but it was a very serious and difficult decision to even have to think about let alone make. The risk of the babies being born early was obviously high, so therefore with prematurity also comes the possibility of problems or disability for a child. We decided for us, this wasn’t an option. We’d been given 3 babies and were both firm believers in what’s meant to be will be.
In February 2015, three days after Flo’s third birthday we welcomed our 3 beautiful girls into the world. Eden was our biggest at 3lb 14, Amber was 3lb 1 and our little diddler Erin was 2lb 13! They were so teeny tiny, I would shake every time I had to change a nappy around the little wires or tubes attached to their bodies. It was a scary time, not one, not two but three of your children all in incubators, fighting to get stronger and bigger.
We were transferred back to Northampton to Gosset ward where we stayed for 6 more weeks until we were finally allowed home!! Its funny because we spent those weeks wishing them to get stronger, hoping and pushing for them to come home, I felt guilty leaving them at night times and so desperately wanted them home…. Fast forward a few weeks and we’d laugh about wishing they could have stayed just a bit longer! Having 6 weeks of sleep it was a bit of a shock to the system again with the night feeding for all three of the buggers every 3-4 hours!!
Looking back I wonder how we survived that first year? The sleepless nights, triple feeding, winding, crying, changing and that was just the triplets, we still had a 3 year old too! It was good in a way as it meant I HAD to leave the house to drop her to nursery or to a play group, it would have been easier to haul up in your house with your jamas on and a massive bowl of ice cream, but perhaps not so good for your mental health!
There have been some tough times over the last 2 years, there has been numerous times I’ve thought ‘I just can’t do this’ ‘I’m not the right person for this job’ and needless to say there have been tears! As hard as its felt at times there’s not been a day where I’ve regretted the decision to ‘keep’ all 3 babies. Yes it still blows my mind if I think about it too much, but I still firmly believe that you are only sent things your able to deal with. I think a sporting background has taught me about mental strength, I try to be happy and positive with this crazy hand we’ve been dealt!
I’d be lying if I said I feel brilliant and happy all the time, I think because your tired from being up and down like a yo yo at night putting dummies in, or Flo needs a wee, which she feels she needs you to know about at 3am, then leaving Flo’s room you tread on a bit of dolls house furniture which leaves you hopping about doing the silent banshee dance whilst holding the cut in your foot, you manage to sort it, climb back into bed only to be woke 30 minutes later by Eden having a ‘chat’ or Erin who has managed to climb into Ambers cot like some sort of baby ninja and Amber is screaming for her to ‘get out’!! Jesus people it’s the night just go to sleep!!!! So it’s no wonder were pretty tired by the morning, and that’s just one night…there’s been hundreds of those all in succession, to say its relentless at times is an understatement!!
The girls are 2 now, they can walk, feed themselves, hold a conversation (kind of!) and play. It definitely feels a lot easier in some ways, but it also brings new challenges, I generally feel like a referee most days or a human climbing frame, I never get to have a wee by myself and always have some sort of snot of biscuit down my jumper!! But hey, I’m a mother of four (jeez it still sounds so weird saying that out loud) and I’m doing my best! I’m so lucky to have Steve and my family and friends as they remind me that I’m doing alright!
We still get 452 million questions when were out and about, it was ok at first but after a few months of questions such as ‘IVF job’ ‘triplets, oh how awful’ ‘what a nightmare’ ‘you’ve got your hands full’ ‘rather you than me’ ‘how did they come out’ and my all-time favourite ‘are they 3 twins’!!??? Wow!! Some people never cease to amaze me! I know it’s not something you see every day and I get peoples interest, I was the same with twins before I had children, but I’m pretty sure I would never has asked some of the questions people ask me, well not without saying hello first!!!
One things for sure, our life is never dull, it is crazy, loud, happy (most of the time) and mentally and physically demanding, but I would not change it for the world! One of my favourite quotes is ‘The road with the most obstacles provides the richest journey’ and right now our journey is pretty cool!