People constantly ask us, "Were you SHOCKED when you found out you were having triplets?" This simple question usually insinuates the following:
Were you so infertile that you had to do that In Veet-Rooo thing and ended up with three at a time OR less interestingly, does it really run in your family?
Every time someone asks us the "were you shocked?" question, I always consider my answer with deep thought and say, "No." It is the truth. I wasn't that surprised. To answer everyone's burning question, NO we did not do in vitro. YES we (I) were infertile. NO we didn't put three eggs in. (Nor would we wish one away had we put three eggs in.). YES, multiples run in our family. However, we aren't shy to say we did injections into my belly for five days, followed by big horse pills up my vagina and a shot to make me ovulate ... and that's how we "GOT" three.
The day we had our first ultrasound for the triplets was one of the best days of my life. I was NOT surprised. The correct description would be happy. Elated. Thankful. Full of joy. Grateful God chose us to be parents, finally. Grateful the little television screen showed life. Excited for the journey ahead.
And that is honestly how I felt. Scott pretty much felt the same. Shock never entered our system. We had been trying/praying/pleading to have a baby for TWO YEARS, so this moment felt like it was heaven-sent -- no matter what road we had to take to get there. It felt
If you want to know shock, I will tell you shock. Here goes.
It was a hot, sunny day in July. It was one of those days I felt like all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed in our family. See, they never are, but every once in a while we are blessed with a day that feels like we have it all together. For example, I remember that my hair was actually blown dry and straight and looking decent. The kids were clean and dressed really cute. (I remember all of this because we ran into Scott's ex-girlfriend, and I remember thinking, "Oh, thank you God we don't look anything remotely like we usually do.") So on this particular HOT day, we decided to go shopping at the big BOGO sale at Stride Rite at the mall. New fall shoes -- nothing takes you back to childhood like new leather for the rolling months of September and October. We forgot the strollers so we actually walked our then 18ish month trio into the SHOE STORE (yikes, they probably have our picture up not welcoming us back) and bought shoes. And somehow all made it back to the van as a family -- hot, sweaty, frustrated and hungry -- but still happy. It was just one of those mysteriously, joyful and connected family days where you look around and feel like the luckiest girl in the world. They come less the more "toddler" they get, so you learn to savor these moments.
As we drove home, I remember sitting in a traffic jam with Elmo on and all the windows down. We had just kung-fu'd our way through a mall trip and I thought this is the perfect time to say it. So I said it.
"Would you legitimately like to try for another baby?"
Scott gave me a smile that didn't say no.
So, we gave ourselves six months. If it happened on our own without much anxiety or effort, we would rejoice and accept the challenge/gift. If it didn't happen in six months, case closed. Beautiful family of five it is.
To us it seemed a win-win, but the control freak in me had been stirring leading up to this family decision. In my mind I thought, "You know, it's probably just the five of us, and that's OK, BUT..."
And I guess that is where the journey began. The journey of letting go and letting God.
I have always known I wanted another baby, I just felt like the table, van and house were missing someone. Sort of like when your husband is gone when you are sleeping in bed. You may be asleep, but you know he is missing. Or on Thanksgiving when you are SO full you may explode, but you couldn't LIVE without a piece of pie.
I just knew.
Entering this stage of admitting we wanted another life in our lives opened up a can of worm-worries for me. I was paralyzed and nervous (and rightfully so) that we couldn't get pregnant without fertility medicine. I was terrified if we did, we would suffer loss. I was mostly afraid I would be back to that dark place of "want" again. I was scared it was the wrong decision. I was afraid we would be judged for having another child when we had three very young and very healthy babies. I was confused at the seed of desire because I can barely handle the three I have.
And then I got over it. Well, not all alone. After a lot of counseling, praying and turning every last ugly piece of anxiety and fear over to something bigger than me, I was OK. I really was OK. I wasn't afraid of every last "what if" I could come up with. I came to a shining place called ....
I felt a true answer to prayer. It's called peace about a decision. This is HUGE for a girl who can't even decide what type of sandwich to order for lunch.
Over the summer my counselor assisted me in the true art of "letting go and letting God." This may get to be a little spiritually heavy for some of you, but it is part of my story and it is part of my truth. The truth is that when you are a control freak, you are for life. You don't wake up one day in an Eric Carle book, transformed from the big fat control caterpillar into a beautiful, colorful and calm butterfly. However, you can learn to let go. When you learn to say to yourself, "It's OK, no matter what, I'm OK and IT'S OK and someone, something IS bigger than me and IS in charge", that's when life happens.
Now what I'm about to say is not a direct outcome of anything I did or didn't do. Spiritually or emotionally, I mean. It is something I recognize and accept as a pure gift that was meant to be. Something that feels so precious that it may just slip out of our hands because it arrived to us SO differently this time.
Two pink lines.
In our bathroom at 6 am.
One sleepy husband telling me the second line "was too faint to be true." But I knew.
To a girl that waited two years, got a million ONE PINK lines, stabbed herself with injections, peed on ovulation sticks, timed intercouse (ack) and timed EVERYTHING -- and was sad and in a place of want for a long time -- this serendipitous moment ...
Now that is shock.
Under God's grace we are having baby number four. And I know three babies that will be the best big siblings on the block. We are due around Mother's Day 2013. You may find some irony with that here.
Of course every great story has a sequel...when I have a break from napping, crying or eating nachos, I will tell the rest of what real shock can teach you about life. Oh P.S., this is the real reason I'm so tired. You didn't think three toddlers got me down THAT much, did you?