09/19/2012 03:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Identical Triplets Start Preschool Amid Wonder and Whispers

I am sitting in a pint-sized chair with my super-sized belly. People I don't know are whispering about me. They can't help but point and stare. It is September 2008 and I am 34 weeks pregnant with triplets. I refuse to stay home; I will not miss Parents Night at my son's preschool. He is almost 4. My daughter is almost 2. And the fate of the three babies inside my belly is unknown.

I will always remember that night. I will never forget the people who told me they saw me "waddling" up Main Street or that the sight of my bulging belly was "grotesque." I will never forget how I felt; how I feared for the future of our unborn children; how at various points during my high-risk pregnancy I was told they might all have Downs Syndrome. Or they might all have congenital heart defects. Or they might -- and in fact probably would -- be born prematurely and spend weeks in the NICU.

They didn't. They were born at 36 weeks. They weighed 6 pounds, 5 ½ pounds and 5 pounds, 3 ounces. (Now you know why my belly was described as "grotesque!") They are truly a miracle. The odds of naturally conceived identical triplets are about one in a hundred million; the odds of them never spending a day in the NICU are even more impressive. This is why there was a press conference when we left the hospital with our four-day old marvels. As I told one reporter amid the flashing bulbs, cheering crowd and onslaught of questions, our amazing little boys were not only healthy, they were "cute to boot!" And they still are. Healthy and cute.

Now it is September 2012. I am sitting in that same little chair. My belly, though mangled and wrinkled, is much smaller. The boys who dwelled inside are on the outside now -- much, much bigger. Their big brother and big sister have moved on to grammar school. It is their turn to go to preschool. It is Parents Night. And still the people whisper about me. "She's the one with the triplets." "They're identical." "How do they tell them apart?" "How does she do it?"

I think to myself. "Yes I am. Yes they are. It's easy when you know them." And "one day at a time." One day at a time. It feels like just yesterday we heard the news, "there are three heartbeats." And here we are, almost four years later, sending them off to preschool. I think to myself, "Go get 'em fellas! Don't mind those whispers. There will always be whispers. About me. About you. Because you are special. You are unique. You are wonders. I love you. You fill my days with happiness. And I wish you many happy days in those pint-sized chairs that are just perfect for pint-sized you."

triplets start school