Sanford mother reflects on adventure of raising triplets

May. 11, 2013 @ 08:02 PM

In a mere matter of minutes, Heather Miller accomplished what took her own mother, Linda Moore, more than 14 years. 

Nearly six years ago, Miller, with her husband David, gave birth to a set of triplets — Camden, Lindley and Tyson. On this Mother’s Day, Miller said the support of her own mother and family throughout the years has proved to be indispensable to her children and herself.

“They say it takes a village,” Miller said. “It has taken our whole family, and we had an amazing support system in the early years.”

Heather, a speech pathologist, and David, head baseball coach at Southern Lee High School, live in Pittsboro and both grew up in Sanford. After 10 years of marriage, Heather said the couple received some unexpected news.

“We found out pretty early on that we were having triplets,” she said. “It was quiet shocking. We didn’t know anyone with triplets, so we didn’t have a frame of reference for having three at the same time. It was pretty scary, even though we were excited.”

It was at this point, Miller said, that her parents, Linda and Gary Moore, her parents-in law, Faye and Ken Miller, and other family members stepped up to help.

“I remember her doctor saying the most important thing we could do is rally our support system,” Linda Moore said. “I had a major role in getting the family involved and willing to help out.”

Each family member took up their post after the triplets were born, taking shifts to change, bathe or feed the babies, Miller said.

“We were really fortunate,” she said. “Even now they help with the babysitting, they have been an important part of their lives.”

Miller has always been motherly, Moore said. Miller took care of her two younger siblings and assumed her maternal role after the triplets. Daughter Lindley may have picked up those caring traits from her mother.

“She is quiet a little caretaker,” Miller said of her daughter. “She is helpful and always trying to take care of her brothers. She loves the arts and more quiet activities.”

The boys, Miller said, couldn’t be more different. Camden has a passion for sports, like his father, and loves school and his friends. And Tyson has a “zest for life,” she said.

“He’s real spirited and loves to play,” she said. “He has a really good sense of humor and has an amazing smile that lights up the room.”

From the very start, Miller said she could tell each of her children would have a different personality.

“They look different, they all have different interests, and they all have different temperaments,” she said.

Encouraging their independence, the triplets have separate rooms and were placed in different kindergarten classes. Miller’s learned that multiples are very schedule-driven, and the routines must be maintained to establish order in the home.

Moore said watching her daughter develop organizational skills, patience and understanding has been breathtaking.

“It was a real special experience,” Moore said. “I tell her that in three minutes, she did what took me 14 years. She had those three so quickly. But they’ve made all of our lives richer and fuller. We have enjoyed the experience, and we cherish the moments we have with them.”

Growing up, Miller said her mother was always supportive of her endeavors — something, she said, she’s trying to repeat with her three children.

“The first thing that comes to mind is how supportive and involved she is in my life,” Miller said. “She’ll always be someone to turn to, and I hope I can be that to my children.”