Andy Hobbs/The Olympian/AP
January 29, 2015 07:10 PM

A mother in Washington state told police she slashed her three young children’s throats because she knew that if she killed them, the house would be quiet for her husband, authorities said.

The woman, 29-year-old Christina Booth of Olympia, has been charged with attempted murder of her 2-year-old toddler and 6-month-old twins.

The mother reportedly was on medication for postpartum depression. Booth’s husband, Thomas, a soldier who was at home when the children were attacked, is not implicated, police say.

The gruesome scene came to light early Sunday following a 911 call for medical help to the Booth residence. Responders arrived to find the children suffering life-threatening knife wounds.

According to police, Christina acknowledged stabbing the children and told officers she had been having a “really rough time” as a mother, and that her husband “never helps” care for the children, and “gets very annoyed” when they cry.

“This was not a blissful household, we learned,” Olympia Police Lt. Jim Costa tells PEOPLE. “There are dynamics between the husband and wife that caused some friction.”

But neither spouse has an arrest record, and the household never came to the attention of police, Costa said, until the nightmare events of last weekend.

The macabre evening began as a cozy at-home date night for the Booths, who settled in on Saturday to watch a movie and drink wine, according to police.

Both husband and wife drank two large glasses of wine, according to police, with Christina becoming inebriated to the point of slurring her words.

Toward the end of the movie, Christina got up to put the 2-year-old to bed. The twins began crying, whereupon Christina snapped, according to a probable cause filing.

Police say Christina went downstairs to retrieve a kitchen knife from the dishwasher and returned upstairs to slash the oldest child’s throat and then conceal the gravely injured child beneath a blanket. Then, she similarly attacked the twins.

Thomas first realized something was amiss, he told police, when he encountered Christina in her underwear, screaming and crying.

Thomas soon found the babies bleeding, but did not notice that the toddler was wounded. A Special Forces soldier, Thomas told police he grabbed his medical kit and tried to stave the twins’ hemorrhaging, while yelling for Christina to call an ambulance.

“My babies won’t calm down,” Christina told a 911 operator. “I’ve breastfed them, I’ve formula fed them, they are not calming down.” Thomas subsequently came on the line to say the children were bleeding.

Emergency medical responders soon whisked the stricken children to a nearby hospital, where all three underwent lifesaving surgery.

Christina was arrested and charged with attempted murder, and remains in custody with bail set at $3 million.

The children have been placed in protective custody, Costa tells PEOPLE, and will be released into the custody of a licensed foster care provider who is associated with Thomas’ military unit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Thomas Booth could not be reached for comment.

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