The path to parenthood is sometimes paved with heartache. Kristin Hill, 31, and her husband Brian, 33, experienced a miscarriage and, later, the loss of one of their prematurely born triplets. This Troy couple now cherishes every day with Cameron and Quinn, who are almost 2.
Describe your journey to parenthood.
“Our journey to parenthood isn’t pretty and picturesque. It’s no fairytale and is filled with a lot of sadness, happiness, anger and questions that will never be answered. I found out I was pregnant after trying for about 6 months and was over-the-moon excited – 10 weeks later I found out I had a miscarriage around 6 weeks but my body showed no signs.
“We tried for one-and-a-half years after losing that baby, and finally we sought out fertility assistance. After many rounds of testing, we were given the vague and infuriating diagnoses of ‘unexplained infertility’ and were told we could try for six more months or use medication to enter ‘super ovulation’ and increase our chances. We opted to try the meds because we were emotionally spent.
“After a few rounds of medication we found that my body took to it very well and produced a plethora of mature follicles and we kept three in the hopes that one would fertilize. There was no IVF; just timed ovulation and intercourse. After a few weeks the doctor told us that not one, not two, but all three follicles fertilized and stuck – we were expecting triplets!
“During my pregnancy I had many issues and ultimately ended up going into labor prematurely at 26 weeks and 3 days. I gave birth to our three children, Cameron (2 lb., 4 oz.), Quinn (2 lb., 3 oz.) and Isla (1 lb., 14 oz.) on Sept. 30, 2017. On Oct. 5, 2017, Isla passed away from complications due to her prematurity. Heartbroken, devastated, lost, angry … we felt it all. We still do.
“Cameron and Quinn fought for their lives for four months in the NICU at Hurley Medical Center and finally came home to us in January 2018.”
What do you love most about being a mom?
“I love the feeling I get when I wake my kids up in the morning. I love the way they feel safe in my arms and run to me for a hug out of nowhere. I love the person I’ve evolved into and, most of all, I love that I have the opportunity and blessing to be a mom. Because I know it doesn’t happen for everyone that wants it so badly.”
What’s your biggest parenting challenge?
“Patience. I have to slow down my lifestyle to teach my children how to operate in daily life. I can lose my cool when it seems like nothing works to stop the fussing, and that is what I try to get a little better at every day.”
What is the thing you miss most from your non-mom days?
“To be honest, I don’t miss much. I am more in love with the person I am today than I was before I became a mom. Our children changed me at the DNA level and I don’t want to go back to the person I was before.
“But, if you forced me to answer, it would be the ability to pick up and go whenever I wanted. Now it takes a good hour to get out of the house!”
Describe your best day as a mom.
“The best day as a mom was when our children came home from the hospital. It was chaos – our dog didn’t know what was happening, both kids were screaming for a bottle, I didn’t know what the next step was, but still I looked around and felt complete.”
Describe your toughest day as a mom.
“I’ll give two answers. The hardest day I’ve ever had as a parent was the day Isla passed away in my arms. We were unexpectedly thrown into the ring of parenting and then had to make the decision that our girl had fought her fight and she was ready to be with God. I held her as she took her last breath and her heart beat for the last time.
“Since the kids have been home, the hardest days are the ones when sleep schedules aren’t aligned and I was with at least one fussy baby the entire day. Crying, yelling, spit up, more crying … that was the soundtrack for hours and hours.”
What is the worst advice you ever received?
“Sleep when the baby sleeps. Ha! OK.”
What is the best advice you ever received?
“Follow your child’s lead – if they want to play in water all the time then create a safe and fun environment for that. Saying ‘no’ all the time makes for a stressful environment for everyone.”
What advice would you give new parents?
“Give yourself grace the first year and listen to others advice then do what you think is best. You have parental instincts and no one knows your baby better than you do.”
What thing or things get you through your days?
“I exercise to relieve stress and my husband is supportive of that habit. He tells me to do what I need to do and he’ll take care of the kids.”
Are you originally from southeast Michigan?
Yes. I was born in Illinois but moved to Troy when I was 3 and stayed put!
What do you like about living in southeast Michigan?
“We moved to Georgia while my husband served in the Army and we gained a huge appreciation for Michigan. We love the fall colors, amazing summers on the lake, and all the outdoor activities that go along with the seasons – football games, apple picking, cider and doughnuts, sledding, wake boarding and water skiing … it’s the best.”
If you had a day all to yourself, what would you do?
“I’d do a full pampering day – massage, facial, steam room, mani/pedi…give me the works!”
What product are you obsessed with?
Wiwiurka toys! They make beautiful wooden toys that help develop gross motor skills and spatial awareness. Our kids love climbing all over their Pikler triangle.
What was the most frustrating thing about being pregnant with multiples?
“The comments made by complete strangers. I’d have a man I didn’t know from Adam ask me if my kids were ‘natural’ or IVF, etc. in the grocery line. Not appropriate.”
What comment would you ban people from saying to you while out with twins?
“You have your hands full. Yes, clearly … so, please open the door for me?”