By Elizabeth Keys
Children are a gift . . . not everyone gets the chance to receive such a great gift so remember to cherish the gift of a child . . . or two or three — Collett Campbell
Ten years ago, Collett Campbell celebrated her first Mother's Day. It was triple the fun when Collen, Brandon and Alleyn came into the world — a much desired blessing for Collett and her husband, Maury.
The Campbell boys were the first triplets to be born in Stillwater.
“The hospital had to do a lot of prep work to get ready for us,” Campbell said, “and then be able to accommodate us for the week we were in the hospital.”
The triplets were born at almost 36 weeks which is what made it possible to have them at Stillwater Medical Center. In celebration of the boys' 10th birthday — and to say thanks to the hospital for all they did, the triplets decided to have their friends donate to the Stillwater Medical Center Foundation instead of bringing gifts to their party. The boys hosted a carnival including a raffle at Stillwater Country Club with bouncing inflatable apparatus like an obstacle course and blow-up jousting. Party attire was a limited edition T-shirt commemorating “Where I Began” designed by James Causley.
It's a take-off on the “Stillwater – where Oklahoma began” theme, Campbell said. Shirts are still available in sizes youth small to adult double extra large at Foot Traffic in downtown Stillwater, corner of Eighth and Main.
The triplets wore their 10th birthday T-shirts to visit the hospital and some of the staff that were present when they were born. Stillwater Medical Center Foundation Director Teresa Hopkins is delighted the boys are doing so well and thought of the hospital as the recipient of their fundraising efforts. Although there were many skeptics, Campbell was positive through the pregnancy that she could make it to 36 weeks because she wanted to have the triplets in Stillwater.
“It's home — and the hospital has the technology,” she said. “But, just as important, their staff is dedicated and provided such service and understanding for our family when the boys were born.”
Having triplets is high risk no matter where the birthing takes place so Campbell was thankful the hospital staff helped her have the babies close to home. Many went to extreme measures like their family doctors, Dr. Colbi and Corby Smithton, who shut down their clinic for the day to support the triplets' birth at the hospital. Family and friends rallied and helped the Campbells with organized endeavors including the Knights of Columbus providing meals for weeks and weeks. There was nothing about the boys from birth that wasn't time consuming — “no matter what you needed to do — you did it three times,” she said. As they grew, Campbell started earning her mother's stripes with three boys but she's embraced three important concepts — scheduling, consistency and patience. All three of the boys have individual interests from guitar to archery, along with group activities from baseball to 4-H to bowling.
“If you think you want a child, then you need to take on that role wholeheartedly, “ Campbell said. Those first few years really shape a child — their values, standards and morals. Something as simple as eating dinner together as a family is important to providing a stable and structured environment.
“You are a parent for a short time — they're going to grow up but right now you have a life that relies on you,” Campbell said.
She looks forward to Mother's Day and is grateful for all the people who have helped her family, especially the medical community in bringing the boys into her life.
Campbell said the community can still contribute to the triplets’ 10th birthday celebration by purchasing a shirt or sending a donation to the Stillwater Medical Center Foundation, P.O. Box 2408, Stillwater, OK 74076. Anyone with questions can call 405-742-5387 or email@example.com.