Today is a big day for our family. It’s a day of great celebration. A yes day. You see, the triplets turn 4 today. As I’ve watched this day approach, I’ve been aware of how fleeting this time of mispronounced words and preschool logic is. As is natural, especially I think for a mom, I’ve been thinking about their pregnancy and subsequent birth. Let me share a little bit of our journey:
Part One: The News
Two questions we get often are:
1. Are they natural?
2. Do triplets or multiples run in the family?
The sarcastic me want’s to answer 1. Yes, they are not robots and are made of organic material and 2. Yes, we have several sets of twins in my family. In general, I do not think that these questions are being direct. Most, I believe, are wondering if we had infertility treatments. So let’s put the questions to rest. Yes we did. And we are not ashamed to admit it, despite comments that were unintentionally hurtful, like the gentleman who asked Shawn, “You didn’t have that infertility thing, did you?” We had difficulty getting pregnant. We got medical help. We now have 4 beautiful, smart, sometimes naughty, curious, amazing children. I will never regret the way we conceived them. They are still gifts from God.
The triplets were our second insemination attempt, but our first with medication use. If that confuses you it means that it wasn’t until the second round that I took medication to stimulate extra egg production, increasing our risk of multiples (yes, we knew that it could happen…). Evelyn was conceived during our 3rd insemination, and 2nd month of medications. The chances, surprisingly, were greater with Evelyn that we would have multiples. Often, it is assumed that we underwent IVF treatments. This is where the eggs are fertilized in a lab and then reinserted back into the uterus. This is how the octomom conceived. Under our treatments, the egg and sperm still had to find each other the “old fashioned” way.
We found out at 7 weeks that there were 3 babies. I was bigger then “normal” second pregnancies, and was already being teased that I was having twins. Multiples were not completely out of my thought process. Shawn saw them first on ultrasound and was the one to tell me (though he says at first he thought there were 4). All the ultrasound technician could do was nod. At 7 weeks we heard all three perfect heartbeats. Stunned from this news, we next drove to our fertility doctors office. My mom was the first I told our news to and to this day I appreciate her response the most, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!” My exact thoughts. Most responses we receive when they find out ask “Are you serious?” What a crazy thing to joke about!! So if this is a joke you use…stop it. My sisters were excited, telling me it was great news. My mother she freaked out with me and for me. Exactly what I needed after this breath stealing news.
Our appointment with the specialist was HORRIBLE!! HORRIBLE! I still feel a little anger at our discussion (obviously an area where I still need to work on forgiveness). Here’s what she told us: “You ruined my statistics (I think she thought she was being humorous but it was said in a way that didn’t feel that way). You will be on bed rest at 20 weeks. They will be born early and likely life flighted to a hospital in the cities. No lifting over 20lbs (Evie weighed 22lbs). ” She was not at all excited for us, not at all encouraging and didn’t seem to understand that this wasn’t the news a couple needed to hear after the surprise of their lives. The only “good” news (again not presented in a positive way) was that hearing their heartbeats this early was very good news as well as the fact there was no bleeding around each baby. We were not likely to miscarry.
After leaving the clinic, I got in my car and Shawn in his. He left for work and I called a friend because we were supposed to have a meeting regarding our MOPS year. Well, I’d had about all I could take that morning and in the midst of telling her had a panic attack. After all, how does a part time stay at home mom take care of her 2 year old when she can’t lift her into or out of her carseat even? Honestly, I was a mess and anxious. You can see why hearing that this was good news (though I love my sisters and ENTIRELY agreed with them…later) wasn’t exactly what I needed. The rest of the day is a blur. I may have spent most of it in bed crying and worrying. That’s the most likely scenario. I can’t imagine how Shawn managed to see patients that day…
Don’t get me wrong…from DAY 1 those babies were MINE! I loved them. My reaction to the news was not in any way a desire to lose them. Since that first ultrasound, I was in love with them. But how, what…oh my God! That was my literal and sometimes verbal prayer. The logistics of carrying them full term was daunting. But after that, all the “stuff” we’d need. We would need a bigger car. Where would they sleep? Shawn’s thoughts were more practical…how would we pay for them? That concern surfaced for me too. We already paid a bundle for self insuring the 3 of us, how were we to afford their insurance and medical care?
I don’t know how long it took before we told everyone outside of family. Possibly until I was officially 12 weeks. Shawn went from freaked out to excited A LOT faster then I did. He was ready to tell the world right away. So it was my feet that were dragging. I am not one to draw attention to myself and I did NOT want to deal with the calamity that followed our announcement. I wanted to hide behind closed doors (which is ironic now that I write this, since God gave me this amazing crazy gift to share with the world and I wanted to keep it a secret). In fact, I’m a little ashamed to admit I may have let Shawn start leaking our news to our church friends while I hid at home. Sharing with the world a triplet pregnancy felt similar to joining the circus, we were a little bit of a “freak” show.
Cont’d on part two.
Have you ever experienced a life changing moment? Were you excited, scared, anxious? Did you grow closer to God during it, or did He seem further away?