A Little Bit of Our History
Bryan and I met our sophomore year of high school and almost immediately fell in love. We dated for eight years before officially becoming husband and wife. June 15th was our wedding day and it was absolutely beautiful. In fact it was perfect, except for the extreme nausea I was feeling. I chalked it up to nerves. During our honeymoon the nausea never went away and I knew immediately I was pregnant. July 15th, exactly one month after our wedding day, my husband and I went to our first official prenatal visit. The nurse took down all my information and calculated a due date for my precious baby, January 31st. We were elated! A new husband and a new baby in less than a year! How lucky could I be? Then the doctor came in to perform our very first ultrasound, we felt so fortunate that on our first appointment we'd get to see our little miracle and hear his or her heartbeat.
I laid back on the table while the doctor felt my belly. The first thing he said was "Well your uterus feels pregnant" "Well, duh!" was what I was thinking but whatever, I had no idea how this process worked and I just wanted to get to the good stuff like seeing my baby. Then the nurse came back in and we started the ultrasound. The doctor adjusted the screen, then the nurse says "Oh My!" I'm looking at my husband with tears in my eyes thinking maybe something was wrong. Had I misread all those classic pregnancy signs? Then the doctor says, "Is that what I think it ?" Now I am officially freaked. The nurse replies, "I think so." Oh my gosh, the doctor sees something weird and now the nurse has confirmed it, I'm pregnant with something very unusual! The doctor asked us if we had done anything special to get pregnant. Well I thought it was pretty special but most might say it's the same old way people have gotten pregnant. No fertility treatments or special medication, just old fashion passion. Then he pulled the screen towards my husband and my direction and there it was! A little peace sign, or what looked like a peace sign. I looked at the screen confused and the doctor answered the question in my mind: "It's triplets!"
What? Triplets?!? How did this happen? We were over the moon with excitement. We were not going to have just one beautiful baby to love, but three! That day I knew God loved me extra to give me such a wonderful gift.
My pregnancy went on from there with lots and lots of planning and excitement. Then the big day arrived, December 19th, the day my babies were to be born. I had developed preeclampsia and it had become very dangerous for my pregnancy to continue so the doctor decided to deliver my babies. First Matthew, then Micah, them Margaret (Maggie), each one a minute apart. My husband described it as if the babies were coming out of a clown car (he laughed at that joke harder than I did). They were relatively healthy for being born six weeks early. Thank you God! After four weeks in the NICU my babies were home with us and the real fun began!
Are All Those Yours?
Our life had become very different when the babies were born and we were adjusting beautifully. The babies were on a feeding schedule of one baby eating for thirty minutes every two hours. This left us a half hour between the last feeding of the last baby and the first feeding of the first baby. It was exhausting! But we were so in love with their little faces and little toes that we didn't mind in the least.
Everywhere we went was suddenly an adventure. People were always so curious about the three little carriers in two shopping carts that accompanied the two very tired looking parents. At first we kind of liked the attention. "Yeah look what I can do! I can make three kids at one time, what can you do?" The questions we got were cute and corny. "Are all three of those yours?", "Wow, you need to play the lottery!" and "Wow Mom! You've got your hands full!" Then they started to get a little weird and annoying. "How do you breastfeed all three of them - you've got a third breast we can't see?" Um, that might be a little personal don't you think, sir? (Luckily my husband didn't hear that one) So it became a game between my husband and I to see what we could respond with that would make people blush and rethink what they had just said to complete strangers. When we were asked "How did that happen?" we would respond with, "Well we did it three times in one night and there you go, triplets!" Or "Oh my gosh, I feel so sorry for you, I can barely handle my one!" We would respond with, "Yeah, we feel sorry for you too because our life if filled with three times the joys and you only get to have one!" A little mean I know but their comment was very rude!
Our life was coasting by and we were enjoying our ready-made family. Then August came, our babies were eight months old and developing beautifully. I started to feel that tell-tale nausea again and my husband suggested I take a home pregnancy test. But no, I have eight month old triplets, I cannot possibly be pregnant again! Sure enough those two little pink lines reappeared......pregnant! I immediately made a doctor appointment and the doctor could not believe he was seeing my face in his office again. Please Doc, don't tell me I'm having triplets again. Nope, just one this time.
I sailed through my second pregnancy. I really made a point to enjoy every ache and pain as much as every kick and hiccup. My husband and I decided that even though I was only 25 years old, I was going to have a tubal ligation. Four children was enough for us and we didn't want to take any chances on another surprise pregnancy that could include multiples...again!
April 23rd, sixteen months after the triplets were born, Marina entered this world, pretty, pink and perfect. I had no idea that my heart could contain so much love. God had blessed me for a fourth time and I could not have been happier. I was so in love with all my children. People occasionally thought I was crazy for being so happy when I obviously had so much on my plate. But I was truly one happy Mama!
The Lord Only Gives You What You Can Handle
The triplets are now three and Marina is two and we still have a pretty great time together. We try to make an adventure out of everyday things like going to the grocery store or playing at the park. People often ask us how we handle four toddlers, and the best I can come up with is that the Lord only gives you what you can handle. God put these children in my care to teach me patience, compassion and love. In turn I hope I can teach my children the exact same qualities. I take one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. We make plans, but plans are delayed or fall through, and that's okay. We try to handle our children the best way we know how, by doing nothing but love them. So in turn I almost always have a pile of dirty laundry and dishes in the sink, but I definitely love my children and they know they are loved and they are very, very happy. After all, this whole adventure started with love!
-Rachel is one amazing Momma! She makes parenting triplets look like a fun party! Her babies are not only super cute but are all so well behaved. As of today, to her best estimate she has seen the Spider-man movie over 100 times! The kids are obsessed.