Archive for Thursday, March 25, 2004

Basehor family settles in with newest additions

Lawless triplets healthy and at home

March 25, 2004

March madness has taken on a whole new meaning at the Lawless family home in Basehor.

Joe and Angie Lawless, and their son, Ryan, are experiencing the kind of whirlwind that makes this hotbed of hoops season look like a casual stroll through the park. The source of the buzz saw that's swathed a path into the family's time, money and hearts weighs less than 20 pounds combined.

They also go through 30 diapers a day and need feeding every three hours.

They're the Lawless family triplets, three sisters who came into the world Feb. 25 at the Overland Park Regional Medical Center. Thursday marks the munchkins' one-month birthday.

"Our life has changed so much," Angie said, "but for the better."

The girls -- Lauren, Madison and Sarah -- were born one minute apart. In that three minutes, though, the family's life has changed dramatically.

Before the girls arrived, Joe and Angie went to their jobs, Joe as a police officer in Shawnee and Angie as a substitute teacher, and raised 12-year-old Ryan.

Today, those little extras, like, oh, sleep, are long gone, a month since replaced by around the clock, assembly-line style feedings, burpings and changing diapers.

"We're lucky to get four hours," Joe said.

"And that's a good night," Angie said. "But we wouldn't change it for anything.

"Now, what we call normal is out the door. It's a different kind of normal, though, a good kind."

Angie was eight weeks pregnant when the couple learned there was more than one bun in the oven. However, the additional passengers didn't come as a complete shock to the Lawlesses --both Joe's and Angie's families have a history of twins and triplets.

In mid-September, a doctor informed the couple Angie was carrying triplets and the Lawlesses began preparing for their arrival.

Joe kept his job working with the police department and as a DARE teacher at Bluejacket Flint and Broken Arrow elementary schools in Shawnee. He also took on three more jobs to help save money for the added expenses of three more children.

Because carrying triplets is a high-risk pregnancy, Angie went on bedrest in November to limit movements and stress on her body.

The babies were born healthy but premature. Angie was in the hospital for two weeks -- four days were spent taking magnesium medication to stop contractions -- before doctors performed a cesarean section.

The couple said it was a nervous time but an emotional and rewarding one once they learned the newest additions would be OK.

Ryan, a sixth-grader at Basehor Elementary School, said he was hoping for a younger brother but is pleased he'll have a sizable cheering section at his sporting events from now on.

"They can each hold a sign . . . GO-RYAN-GO," he said.

Although the family feels fortunate to have the girls in their home, there are some worries.

Because daycare expenses for three babies would not be affordable, Angie will stay home with the children. Joe will keep working additional jobs to supplement their income.

Their expenses for diapers alone run between $42 and $70 per week and the family will soon need a mini-van to carry the entire family.

But, these worries pale in comparison during those moments when the couple sees three tiny bodies lying peacefully in their cribs. Those are the times when all the worries and headaches and weariness recede to the back of their minds, they said.

Those are the times they can appreciate what they have and each other.

"We wanted one and were blessed with three," said Angie while looking in on the babies. "We wouldn't change anything, would we girls?"

Commenting has been disabled for this item.