When Westfield resident Lauren Blake gave birth to triplets Grace, Andrew and Beau at 27 weeks, the family took up three bed spots in the St. Vincent NICU on 86th Street. When the babies were healthy enough to be moved, another Westfield resident and her triplets took their spots.
Amanda Malik gave birth to Cecilia, Madeline and Graham Dec. 9, 2015, only 110 days after Blake gave birth to hers Oct. 8, 2015. Four years after meeting in the hospital, the moms — and their children — remain friends.
“Since we were in the NICU in the same space, the nurses started telling me, ‘We have another set of triplets,’” Malik said. “But because of HIPAA law, you can’t go nosing around. Lauren realized where we were and left me a note one day. That’s how we met. Lauren was the first triplet mom I had ever met, and I held on for dear life because I had no idea what I was doing.”
“Through discussing, we realized we both lived in Westfield and they all would graduate high school in 2033,” Blake said.
Through the years, the triplets have enjoyed countless play dates together, and Blake and Malik said they’ve remained friends with the NICU nurses who cared for them.
The moms said one of the challenges of raising triplets is spending individual time with each child.
“Making sure they all get their own individual attention is a big one, and when you go through a bad stage, you go through it times three,” Blake said.
“When you have a teething baby, you have three teething babies,” Malik said. “When they get the stomach flu, you don’t have one puking 2-year-old, you have three puking 2-year-olds. That’s the hardest part, not being able to give one-on-one attention or care you would like to,” Malik said.
Both moms say three kids are enough.
A positive to having triplets, though, is each milestone is reached at the same time. When one kid is potty-trained, so are the others.
Malik and Blake said they both receive stares when they’re out in public with their kids.
“People love a set of triplets,” Malik said. “All my kids have bright red hair. We are basically a neon sign of, ‘Ask me questions.’”
Blake said although the six kids are only 3 2/1 years old, they’re already looking out for each other.
“They also have a really tight bond. My kids go to preschool and they don’t go away from each other very often,” Blake said. “No man left behind.”
“They take care of each other. They look out for each other,” Malik said.