ST. GEORGE – Becoming a new parent is challenging. Multiply that challenge by three when a new mother and father find out they are expecting triplets. Add to that the overwhelming struggle of homelessness and joblessness, and that is what the Saxton family, of St. George, is currently facing.
Devin and Khylie Saxton are the proud parents of 3-month-old identical triplet boys: Miles, McCoy and Mayhem. Devin Saxton also has custody of 5-year-old Riley, his son from a previous relationship.
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Devin and Khylie made their union official when they got married in December, and new mom Khylie went “from zero to family,” Devin Saxton said, when she gave birth to their identical triplets and also officially became a stepmother to little Riley.
All is not rosy for this new family, however. For about a week, the Saxtons have been living at SwitchPoint Community Resource Center, St. George’s local homeless shelter. The young family is staying together in one room furnished with two bunk beds, a rocking chair, and one crib for the three babies to share.
“It’s very nice. It’s very secure,” Devin Saxton said of their accommodations at SwitchPoint. “But nothing’s like your own place, and that’s our next goal, absolutely.”
On top of the daily struggles and surprises of caring for infant multiples, Devin Saxton recently lost his job. With the uncertainty of homelessness as an added challenge, the odds are stacked enough to break the most stalwart of couples. But the Saxton family is smiling through the challenges and facing them with positivity, thankfulness and faith.
“We receive so many blessings from the people who are willing to help us,” Devan Saxton said.
“In the end of the day, when these little guys look up at you, it’s all worth it,” he added.
A rare pregnancy
Unlike so many cases where a multiple pregnancy is conceived through the use of fertility drugs and procedures, the Saxton triplets came the natural way – no deliberate effort on the part of Mom and Dad; just the overwhelming shock of finding out they were pregnant with multiples. And not just any multiples – identical triplets.
The medical world has yet to come up with a hard-and-fast statistic regarding the odds of having identical triplets – but such a pregnancy is rare.
According to the National Vital Statistics Report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were only 222 total triplet births in Utah between 2011 and 2013 – and that number doesn’t reflect the incidence of identical triplet births. According to information from leading baby product company Huggies, the odds of having identical triplets is only about one in every six triplet pregnancies.
To further add to the rarity of the Saxton triplets’ emergence, first-time mom Khylie had a natural childbirth – no drugs for this tough mommy. She also carried the babies almost to full-term – they were born only a month early, which is also unusual for a triplet pregnancy.
Khylie was only about 90 pounds when she became pregnant, Devin Saxton said; but don’t let this petite new mother fool you: Before settling down to family life, Khylie was a state champion hockey player and the only female on an otherwise all-male team in Salt Lake City.
“The first time I (saw) her check two dudes bigger than me, I had to marry that woman,” Devin Saxton said, smiling at his wife.
For Khylie Saxton, being the only girl on her coed hockey team ended up being good preparation for her future family of boys.
“I got very used to being the only girl,” she said.
Khylie said her dad, who is a hockey coach, immediately had hockey on his mind when he found out his daughter was going to be the mother of triplet boys.
“He said, ‘You have your whole forward line,’” she said.
Because having identical triplets – especially without the stimulus of fertility procedures – is so very rare, Devin Saxton said he has no doubt whose hand was in it when this unlikely trio of babies came to his family.
“It’s God’s way of saying, ‘Hey dude, get your ducks in a row – I’m watching ya,’” Devin Saxton said.
While Devin Saxton searches for a job and his young family lives at SwitchPoint for the time being, going about life’s daily duties with the triplets in tow poses a constant challenge. Devin’s mother, Veta Saxton, has been living in a nearby motel so she can be close to Devin and Khylie and help them with the babies each day.
They don’t currently have a specialized baby stroller for their multiples, so going anywhere with all the babies and little Riley is a virtual impossibility. Along with having one missing window and some mechanical problems, their vehicle also doesn’t have enough room for everybody. Replacing their car is high on their list of goals, along with getting into their own place as soon as they can.
“Hopefully, we can get something a little newer, safer,” Devin Saxton said.
The new car is a wish list item that is on hold for the time being, but having a specialized stroller for the babies is something the Saxton family is in desperate need of, Devin’s cousin, Charlene Myers, said.
Myers, who lives on the East Coast, is too far away to help with the babies in person, but she’s been contacting corporations like Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and Costco, hopeful one of them will be touched by the family’s story and donate a specialized stroller to help her cousin and his wife. So far, none of the companies has replied.
“Just to get around, if they have a stroller, it would make it so much easier for them,” Myers said.
In the meantime, the Saxtons are making do the best they can and living in daily gratitude for the help they’ve received from the staff at SwitchPoint and people from the LDS Church who have rendered aid, as well as for the chance to be together as a family.
“We are very thankful for the blessings we’ve received from everybody, and, hopefully, we’ll just keep on truckin’,” Devin Saxton said.
Anyone interested in helping the Saxton family can contact them through SwitchPoint, 435-627-4663.
UPDATE: The family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for a new vehicle.
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