Enough already about that 63-year-old California woman who just gave birth to a baby girl. What about Maryland's own Vivian McDonnell, the 52-year-old mother of 13-month-old triplets?
Vivian's "miracle babies," conceived in a laboratory dish at Union Memorial Hospital and implanted into her hormone-prepped womb, are now mobile. The triplets are walking, doing cute baby tricks and causing major trouble at their home in Bel Air.
Since we visited the McDonnells last May, the triplets have grown and grown and grown -- and their parents are scrambling to keep up with them. Vivian is still working from home as a CPA, and Sean McDonnell, 46, works as a mortgage banker in Owings Mills. A baby sitter looks after the children on weekdays and the couple shares baby duty the rest of the time.
Taking care of three toddlers means that much of daily life is a blur. But the McDonnells say they have never been happier -- or more distracted. They haven't had time to record the first year's most memorable moments. So Sun staff writer Linell Smith has done it for them.
First parent to give up on keeping a baby book:
Vivian. "We couldn't get to the first page! For a while, we had Harper's baby book in the family room and would write everyone's stuff in there. Then we started writing down things on the calendar in their room. Then we used pieces of paper. And then we gathered everything all together and put it somewhere . . . I know it's all there some place!"
First birthday stats:
When they were born on March 4, 1996, at 32 weeks, the boys, Sean and Cole, weighed about 4 1/2 pounds, and their sister, Harper, was just under 4 pounds. Now the boys weigh a little over 24 pounds and Harper is 18 pounds.
First time all three babies slept through the night:
First to crawl:
First to walk:
First to stand on head:
First to cut a tooth:
First to say Mama:
Cole. (No, Cole was not the first to be born.)
First to say word other than Dada and Mama:
Sean. He can say "stay" -- a word he hears constantly from his parents.
First to whack a sibling for unacceptable behavior:
Harper. At eight months, she bopped Sean because she was fed up with how he was turning the pages of a book Mom was reading to them.
Winnie the Pooh.
First meal in a restaurant:
Easter Sunday brunch at the Rusty Scupper in the Inner Harbor. The triplets ate waffles, smashed up fried potatoes, muffins and creamed spinach.
Favorite "let's get the babies to smile" songs:
Mom's version of "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and Dad's version of "Wipe Out."
Most expensive baby accessories:
$439 triplet stroller plus a $25 attachment plus a $110 stroller carrier for the car plus a $140 hitch. Not to mention the Plymouth Voyager van Mom and Dad bought in February.
Spaghettios with meatballs.
Best Reason not to give triplets three of the same gift:
Each kid wants whatever the other one is holding -- and it doesn't matter if they are holding the same thing.
Parents' Night Out:
Fridays. Mom and Dad go duck pin bowling and eat dinner at the Fairlanes on Harford Road while lucky babies get to have two baby sitters!
Annoying comments when strangers spot the triplets in their stroller:
" 'Better you than me!' and 'Doesn't that look like fun -- for them,' " says Vivian. "And when I say, 'We are having fun,' they say, 'Yeah, right.' "
Pub Date: 5/08/97