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Life as a New Dad of Three

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I could hear the words, but I couldn’t digest them: “Three. There are definitely three of them. Yep, three.” Our doctor is a to-the-point, no-nonsense kind of guy; he doesn’t really joke around. Claudia and I just looked at each other trying to comprehend what we were hearing. At the time, we couldn’t possibly understand how our lives would be forever changed. “Triplets? Oh my gosh. Are you sure? Seriously? Whoa.“

Claudia and I will be married six years in July. We knew we wanted a family, so we enjoyed each other’s company for a couple of years and got a dog. Dogs are training wheels for newlyweds who want kids. One dog turned into two, and they seemed to be doing fine under our care, so babies should be a breeze, right? Triplets? They’re not a breeze—they’re a hurricane, and my wife and I are soon to feel the full force of it.

In hindsight, there are countless reasons why I’m delighted with having super-twins (that’s the correct term for multiples more than two); however, at first I was terrified that we wouldn’t get a chance to get our feet wet with one baby to see if we could handle it. But I took comfort in the fact that the dogs were doing fine under our care.

With multiples comes the risk of premature birth (one of many risks), and our babies were born early—at twenty-six weeks and four days, to be precise. Our little ones were fragile and delicate, and they were in for a long hospital stay. Four months doesn’t sound very long, unless your tiny newborns are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU for short). It’s not easy to spend hours on end every day in that unit feeling powerless to help your babies, but nothing matters more, and you’ll do it. Trust me on that.

The care that we received at Memorial Medical Center was excellent, and we are forever grateful to the team of doctors and nurses that cared for our babies. We forged relationships that will last for years.

Although I have been crazy about Claudia since the moment I saw her, I didn’t know how well I married until our babies arrived. She couldn’t love our babies any more or be more dedicated to them. To say she is a great mom is a tremendous understatement. She is a super mom and such a natural. I am a very lucky man.

Our babies are now home and thriving, and we have settled into our new normal. Caring for triplets is far from easy, but it’s all we know. Three is our watermark. Sometimes I think having one baby would be easy, but I know that isn’t true. Being a parent is hard no matter how many you have, and everyone’s circumstances are different. We know we are blessed beyond belief.

For a long time, I didn’t think I wanted children. Then I met the woman I wanted to marry and that changed. That’s what life is. It’s change—change and growth. Being married, and now having children, has helped me grow as a person and jolt me out of my selfishness and immaturity, and I’m loving it. At times it’s overwhelming and difficult beyond belief. I mean, with three babies, you need personnel. We are so fortunate to have a great family and solid support system. With their help and God’s blessing, we will survive and thrive. I know that to be true. And when my babies smile at me, my heart is filled with joy and excitement for the future.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Disney World!

Bobby Deen - Growing up in a traditional Southern kitchen, recent newlywed and self-proclaimed "Georgia Boy" Bobby Deen went to work with his brother Jamie, in his mother Paula's kitchen — when he was eighteen. Bobby, along with his brother Jamie and their mom, founded a small Savannah, Georgia catering business known for delivering "lunch-and-love-in-a-bag," which grew into one of Savannah's most-loved restaurants, The Lady & Sons.

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