‘I had three babies in 11 months’
ELIZA Curby's toughest moment in the past year came when she was faced with a severe bout of family gastro. All three of her 'Irish triplets' had it, as did she.
The babies - all born within 11 months of each other - had fallen ill the same time she did. But obviously they couldn't wait around for her to crawl away from the bathroom. They needed her now.
"I was so ill, but I had babies to look after," the Sydney mum told news.com.au
"I think I changed their sheets about six times each - between their vomits and all else.
"I had to disinfect everything - it was a nightmare."
Other times, she just has to succumb to lying on the floor, letting them all climb all over her.
"That's really the only way I can give them what they want - all at the same time," she laughed. "It's so hard because they all want me, all the time.
"Some days I think to myself my children are a dream - other days I wonder if I'll make it to 8pm without falling apart at the seams."
Northern beaches couple Ben and Eliza had daughter Charlie last year, and two months later Eliza fell pregnant - with twins.
Their 'Irish triplets', a term used to describe babies born in quick succession, arrived 11 months apart. Life with three children under one may be a whirlwind at best but to the Curbys, it is the best.
On Boxing Day, twins Wolfe and Jack will turn one - a special milestone the family will celebrate with candles on a cake, while toasting themselves for surviving 12 months with their three babies.
"The first few months were a whirlwind, admittedly I don't remember much when looking back," Ms Curby said. "I was more sleep-deprived than I had ever been - but happy.
"It was so full-on and very demanding.
"I was up every three to four hours feeding, be it day or night, and the feeds usually took about an hour so there really wasn't much time in between.
"And I still had Charlie to think about."
The biggest challenge was the lack of sleep, and the psychology student remembers being so tired she couldn't hold a conversation, let alone think straight.
"In the early days I got into the shower - the first one I had managed to have in three days - and looked down to see I was still wearing my underwear," she said.
"Ben would ask me who was next due to feed or any number of other questions and it would take me a good few minutes to formulate a response.
"That, and the pure logistics of getting anywhere - with three under one, leaving the house was somewhat of a marathon."
Ms Curby said the first time she went out alone with the three babies she felt very anxious. It was 30C outside, she was meeting friends at the local shops and even getting in and out of the car was a mission.
"After loading and unloading them I was exhausted, but I pushed on anyway," she said.
"I had two babies in the pram and one on me in a baby carrier and I remember people looking at me funny.
"When I finally sat down with my friends I don't think we were actually able to have a conversation that lasted more than 10 seconds.
"I was chasing Charlie and trying to feed the twins.
"It was such a fail we ended up leaving, and I felt deflated to say the least."
But now, one year on, the Curby family is on a roll. They're in a routine, they're sleeping through the night and all is good in their world.
"I have to say - I feel wonderful now," Ms Curby said.
"Everyone's in a routine and they are all sleeping through the night so at least at the end of the long days you know there will come a moment of peace.
"And they are all at an age now that they are starting to really bond with each other, which makes me feel wonderful.
"Watching Charlie learn how to help with the feeds, helping with nappies and watching the joy she got out of being involved.
"The other morning I was in the kitchen and looked out to see Charlie holding the play zone gate open so the boys could get through with ease.
"Another day I watched as they played peek-a-boo, and every morning Charlie runs into her brothers' room saying: 'Good morning everybody'."
Ms Curby described 2017 as one of her most challenging years yet but also one of her best.
"I love knowing that 'my work is done' so to speak - and my family is complete," she said.
"It's a blessing."