Category: Triplets

4 Conversations I Can’t Have because I’m a Triplet Mom

mouthcoveredIf you are one of my mom friends and you notice me getting quiet during a discussion, you know something is very, very wrong. Because if you know me, you know I love to talk and it’s hard to get me to shut up. Add in a glass of wine or two at one of our moms nights in and I’ll probably dominate all the conversations. Except the ones below:

Conversations about what it’s like to go from having one kid to two kids – or two to three – or even three to four

Because I have no idea. I have four kids, yes, but I went from having one to four! Who else does that? Even in my multiples club, I think there are only a few of us that did that. So when you all start talking about which was harder, to go from having one kid to two or from two kids to three, I’ll just sit over here, sip my wine, much on the delicious snacks and wait for the next topic to jump in on.

Conversations about the differences in your pregnancies

Because most of you had your babies the normal way: One. At. A.Time. Like normal people do. So you’ll all talk about how you carried higher with your boys or had more heartburn with each successive pregnancy and I’ll just sit there. Because I do know that I carried bigger with my second pregnancy but that’s just because there was a full litter in there! Other than that, not much I can offer to this either. So, I’ll just be over here. What is that, crab dip? Lovely, I’ll have some of that.

Conversations about the baby days

Because I’m a little worried about seeming like a show off. Because you’ll all be talking about reflux, colic, the witching hour, teething, mastitis, and all kinds of fun stuff. And I’ll be like, yeah we did that times three! And you’ll all look at me like, show off! Or like I’m supermom Or both! My baby days stories are un-relatable. So, I’ll just be over here. Is that cabernet? I think I’ll try that next.

Conversations about deliveries

Because there was a team of people, people! Yes, some of my girlfriends have had emergency c sections and some have had babies early. So I can talk about the surgery, the recovery and that sort of thing. But do you know how many people were in my delivery room? 12! A dozen people, not counting the babies. My OB, her student, (teaching hospital) two anesthesiologists, a NICU nurse for each baby, two NICU doctors, my nurse, my husband and me. And then when the babies were delivered, they were whisked away to spend their first 4 weeks of life in a isolettes. So, I’ll just be here with this plate of mini eclairs…and another glass of that delicious cabernet.

So what I’m saying here is ladies, if we don’t talk about something else at this moms night in, I’m about to get real full and real drunk!

But seriously, I actually do participate in all these conversations with my close friends. All of our experiences are different – I have friends that had babies born early, HELLP syndrome, emergency c-sections, unmedicated deliveries – I have friends who had hyperemesis with all their pregnancies, who have children with special needs, kiddos born 15 months apart, kids with FPIES and other food allergies. We have all had difficulties as moms and I’m more than willing to share my experiences with my closest, bestest friends.

But I do shy away from these conversations with people I don’t know very well – because I don’t want to come off like I’m a show off or a supermom. (Even though secretly I think I’m a combination of the two! But don’t tell anyone!)
What about you? What’s something unique about your pregnancy or baby days that you don’t typically share with the random group of moms on the playground?

Advertisements

What to Say (or Not to Say) to a Mom of Triplets: a 3 Part Guide

triplet feet

When I was pregnant with triplets my biggest fear was that we would be like some freak show and get stopped all the time and barraged with questions and comments.  

Actually, that was like my 7th biggest fear after:

  1. Will the babies be healthy?
  2. How long can I carry the babies?
  3. How will this impact my son?
  4. How will this affect my marriage?
  5. How will I care for three babies on my own?
  6. How can we possibly afford three babies?

But you know, it was in the top ten.

And we do get a lot of annoying questions and comments.  And it does take up a lot of time stopping to answer questions.  Aaaand some of the questions are intrusive and insulting.  I know you don’t want to insult a triplet mom.   So here is a handy 3 Part Guide to follow if you happen to meet a mom of triplets.  

SECTION 1:  AVOID DOING OR SAYING THE FOLLOWING:

  1.  Are they natural?

Please, please, please, just don’t.  I know reality TV is kind of a big deal, but I am not on a show spilling my guts about my family life, my fertility, and my sex life on TLC.  Just because others are happy to do so, doesn’t mean I am comfortable getting into this issue with you, Random Person in the bra section of Target.  (Although I am at this very moment writing a blog about my personal life, so…. But you can’t assume every triplet mom you run into is writing a blog so, still not ok).

Also, just speaking of babies and using the word “natural” is weird.  Try this: the next time you are out and see a baby, a real live adorable baby, look at that baby and ask yourself, is this baby natural?  Feels weird, right?  The word to use is spontaneous.  But don’t ask if they were spontaneous either.  Because it’s just really none of your business.  

  1. Do triplets/multiples run in your family?

Let me ask you, Random, Person at the Bakery, are you really interested in my genealogy and genetics?  Or are you just more politely asking if my babies were the result of fertility treatment?  If you are interested in my genealogy, I’ll get you in touch with my dad.  He’s running out of people in my family to bore with that.  If you are asking about my fertility, see answer to No. 1.

  1.  Don’t look at mom’s belly immediately after finding out those are triplets.  

Here’s how this normally goes.  

Random Stranger in Library shockingly asks, “Are they triplets?”  

Me: “Yes”  

Random Stranger, “Wow,” glances at my belly, looks back at my face, “Did you get really big?” Glances at belly again.  

I know, you’re curious.  You’re imagining how big a person gets while carrying triplets.  The answer is hopefully very, very big so the babies aren’t born too early.  You’re wondering if triplet mom’s belly survived.  I get it.  But you are not being sly.  I CAN SEE YOU LOOKING AT MY BELLY!  Even as you are asking the question!  Just ask about the babies and sneak a peak later when we aren’t talking any more, ok?

  1.  I’d shoot myself

This is a comment I’ve only gotten once.  From a woman who was smoking a cigarette, leering over the stroller, calling over to a friend, “Hey, come look at this” as we were leaving the hospital when the babies were finally discharged from the NICU.  The.  First.  Comment.  I don’t really think it’s anyone’s dream to have three babies at once.  You might not wish that for yourself and believe me, I get it.  It’s hard work.  But for the love of God, please don’t ever utter these words to a triplet mom.  

SECTION 2:  SAFE QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

Here are some questions and comments I get that I may not love, but I don’t really mind.  

  1.  Are they identical?

This is okay.  I think my kids look so different I’m even wondering if maybe some of my babies got switched at the NICU.  But, since you don’t know them and your brain is processing three children born at the same time, wondering about my fertility or lack thereof, and trying desperately to not stare at my belly, I can’t really expect you to spend a lot of time distinguishing facial features.  So, go ahead and ask.

  1. Are they all yours?

I get this a lot, especially since my kids are older.  People are trying to piece it all together.  Do I have twins and I’m watching a third child?  Is this a birthday party?  Why are there so many kids?  This is fine.  Ask away.

  1.  You have your hands full.  

This is by far the comment I hear the most.  And I get it.  When I see my friends with 3+ small children, I think to myself, “Dear Lord!  How is she doing that?”  But it is a hard comment to respond to.  

If I say something like, “Oh, it’s nothing” then I feel like I’m coming across like I think I’m super-awesome mom and that it’s really not hard having triplets which isn’t true.  

If I respond by saying, “You have no idea!  I’m barely surviving today!” I feel like I’m giving people the impression that I can’t handle this, or that I don’t enjoy having triplets and that’s not true either.  

But I totally get the comment, so go ahead.  

SECTION 3: IT DEPENDS ON YOUR TONE

There is only one comment in this section.  

And that is:

  1.  God Bless You.  

This can go one of two ways.  This first way is said sarcastically and usually with an eye roll thrown in.  The You is usually changed into a Ya.  And sometimes there’s a Jeez or a Whew thrown in front.  

Like this: barely audible, “Sheesh” then louder, “Wul, God Bless Ya”  with the eyeroll starting on the God.  

I usually interpret this as the person saying, “better you than me” or “that must really suck.”  And although, yes, better me than you and yes, at times it can “suck,” this is not okay to say to someone.  Because saying God Bless You in this way, well, it’s hurtful.     

Here’s the second way:  Genuinely.  When people genuinely say, “God Bless You” to me, there just isn’t anything better.  It feels like support.  Like someone is on my side.  It reminds me that I really am blessed.  Truly.  How many people get to have triplets?  It really is special.  And my girls are healthy and happy.  It feels amazing to be a mom of triplets and to watch them grow and interact and love each other.  So, if you meet a mom of triplets and you just don’t know what to say, I’d go with this one.
And if any of you are expecting triplets and are worried about the comments, please know two things, 1. the anticipation of the rude comments is worse than the actual comments.  2.  You are not obligated to answer any of the questions or respond to any of the comments that are put to you.  Simple answers with no explanation work best for me.