Archive | March, 2011

Bump

30 Mar

Any sort of pregnancy chronicle must contain, by law, the requisite “belly progress” pics.  So, full compliance, let’s get to it.

Carey at 13 weeks (this morning):

13 Weeks

OB says, with triplets, 13 weeks is the equivalent of being 18 weeks with a singleton.  (“Singleton.”  That one still sort of cracks me up because it just sounds snooty.  “Oh, you’re only having a singleton?  Mm.”)

Anyhow, latest checkup says everything looks good.  Babies still kickin’.  We’re on track.

Triplet Comics of Yesteryear

29 Mar

When I’m wearing my artist cap, I enjoy illustrating and cartooning.  Several years ago, I began doing short, strange comics for fun and giving them to the people that inspired them.  I don’t do nearly as many as I used to, but I try my best to stay in the habit.  At this point, I’ve drawn maybe 90 or so.

I remembered recently that I’d done a comic about a set of fictional triplets for my friend Kirsten.  It’s safe to say that, when I drew this, I never fathomed my wife and I might have triplet children of our own:

SororityApologies if it’s a little strange or grim for you, particularly if you came expecting new ultrasound images or screwball thoughts on baby strollers.

Anyhow, I thought it was too coincidental not to post.  (And wouldn’t it be weird if ours were born on the evening of September 3rd?  Entirely possible, that’ll be 35 weeks.  Cue Twilight Zone music.)

Going Public

28 Mar

We’re looking at 13 weeks in a couple of days, which is more or less the close of the first trimester.  And a couple of days ago, I saw Carey and it took me by surprise: “You kind of look like a pregnant lady.”

We decided early on to do the prudent thing and get a whole trimester under our belts before openly telling people our news.  What was a tiny handful of immediate family and a few local friends has started to expand.  We’ve made a few calls, sent a couple of emails, particularly over the last several days.  It couldn’t be helped, we’re starting to spill it.  Up to now, most of the people who know about our biggest life event are strangers we’ve never met who happened across our still-secret blogs.

It’s a little like walking off a cliff.  We know intellectually that whatever happens with these three… all our fears and anxieties and excitement and confusion… has nothing to do with who we do or don’t tell.  The three gnomes don’t care how ready we are, they’re moving forward with their own little plans.  But, even still, with each new person that knows our news, it feels like we’re committing to something a little bit more.

But it’s fun, dropping the bomb on people.  Assuming all goes to plan, it’s our once-in-a-lifetime chance to make an announcement like this, because ain’t no way we’re having any more. We’ve settled into a sort of rhythm with it: Carey and I are beginning to perfect the “hand off.”  If we’re in-person with someone who we feel good about telling, one of us will announce the pregnancy and we enjoy a minute or two of hugs and handshakes.  Then the other will drop the Triplet knowledge and all chaos ensues.

No surprise, nobody believes us immediately.  We’re getting used to slack jaws.  It’s weird, we know.  Those we’re close to have a hard time picturing us going the IVF route and, of course, they’re right.  When we tell people there was no IVF, no fertility help, it makes it all the more incredible.

Carey’s even taken to packing the ultrasound printouts with her as “proof”.  Of course, once or twice, we’ve even heard, “yeah, but hang on.  Jer knows photoshop, right?”

As much as we’re enjoying having friends and families celebrate (and sympathize) with us, we’re also trying our best to treasure these final moments of Our Big Secret being, well, a secret.  We’ve read too many triplet blogs recently to have any illusions: triplets draw attention.  Stares and questions quickly become an everyday part of life.  Not that I’m complaining.  I’m kind of looking forward to fielding questions about our little veggie nuggets. And I’ve done my best to prepare an anticipatory FAQ to help things.

But for now, it’s still, kind of, just the two of us.  And we’re waiting on our beach chairs, watching that wave on the horizon grow taller and greener by the second.

Won’t be long.  $#&%’s about to get nuts.

Dad Catalog

24 Mar

Dad!Baby, I’m a lot of things.  And “cool” ain’t one of ‘em.

I’ve been rolling it over and over in my brain for, well, years probably.  “If I ever become a father, what sort of father will I be?”  Options are limitless and I suppose you more or less get to choose up front, don’t you?

Arty Hipster Dad
“Listen, kids: CREATE and EXPERIENCE.  Everything you do is fuel and fodder, dig?  Be fabulous and incandescent.  Leave your mark, wherever you go, whatever you do.  YOU ARE ART.”

Coach Dad
“Gang, it’s 5 AM, get up!  That 10k isn’t going run itself and according to my watch, you’re gonna need to double-time it.  Hustle hustle! Losers sleep in… you’re not losers, are you?”

Churchy Dad
“My concern is that another Wii game will cut into your volunteer time at the shelter.  Have you prayed about this?  By the way, how’s Habakkuk coming?  Tough book!”

Vice Dad
“You’re gonna find that a hearty, red stout mixes well with menthols.  Just a real nice bouquet, know what I mean?  No?  Fine, here’s your pacifier back, y’lightweight.  Ho! S’midnight, let’s see what’s cookin’ on Cinemax.”

Drill Sergeant Dad
“Oh, you want dessert, Mr. A-MINUS?  Do you think MINUSES are reasons to celebrate?  And by the way, you call that a crease?  Google “proper-way-to-iron-a-pair-of-pants”, you dirty-hippie-with-an-A-minus!”

Mushy Softy Dad
“We’re a family, you know?  A family.  We complete each other.  We lift each other up.  Treasure these moments we have, kids.  They’re precious…  THEY’RE ALL PRECIOUS, JUST LIKE ALL OF YOU.”

Tough Love Dad
“I know re-shingling the roof in mid-July with no sunscreen seems like an extreme consequence.  I do, I get it.  But you know the rules about talking without permission after 8:00.  Hey, don’t cry: if we don’t honor our own system, what are we?”

Freebird Dad
“Hey, I’m not here to lecture you like some kind of square.  You want to jump naked into traffic, who am I to stop you?  We make our own consequences, you know?  We’re all just passengers in the Ship O’ Life, kiddo.”

Power Trip Dad
“Because I’m your father, that’s why.  And if you ask me that again, you’re going to experience something horrible and arbitrary.  Also, call me ‘sir’.”

Creepy Buddy Dad
“You guys cool with me tagging along? If you’re thinking R-rated movie, y’know, I can totally get us in.”

Political Pundit Dad
“Hey, I wanted to go to DisneyLand as much as you!  Know why it’s not happening?  Well, it’s a long story, but it has to do with tax breaks and Bill Clinton.  Think I’m wrong?  Go ahead, look it up.  I’ll wait.”

Hands-On Dad
“You’re giving a book report in front of the class tomorrow?  Why didn’t you say anything?  Hang on, let me cancel a couple of meetings.  Is the video camera charged?  What time should I be there?”

Hands-Off Dad
“Heh?  Oh, good, happy birthday, then.  Whatever, just take what you want out of my wallet and have a blast, I don’t know.  Check with your mother.”

Old Salt Dad
“You morons with your LOL and OMG and BBQ and what all.  In my day, we had fax machines and Pac-Man!  And that was plenty!”

But of all of the options on the table, I suppose “Cool Dad” is the one I’m most committed to avoiding.  I don’t really ever remember being cool and I can’t imagine starting anytime soon.  At some point, these kids are going to have friends and I can’t quite imagine overhearing “your dad is so cool!” And if I do, I think I’ll wince a little.

Thing is, thanks to my upbringing, I have concerns.  I don’t know how else to say it: I had great parents.  And, man, that’s a lot of pressure.

My dad?  Co-coached the little league team I was on.  Never missed a game, a school play, a presentation or a parent-teacher conference.  He took the time to teach me what riding a bike was all about and he threw pop-ups to me in the back yard until I wasn’t scared of catching them anymore.  Discipline was fast and appropriate when I was being a moron and when I wasn’t, he trusted me to make good decisions.

Mom?  Same thing.  She was fully available and invested in me and my sisters.  She was fun and wise and hilarious and proud of me.  She reminds me now how many mistakes she made, but I don’t remember any of them.

Can I do that?  I don’t know, man, I’m pretty distracted and weird.  Arbitrary crap drives me crazy and I can be an awfully difficult human being to live with.

Which brings me back to “cool”.  If these three are going to be popular and confident people, it’ll be despite their screwball father.  I think I’ll expect a lot of them, maybe too much.  And, at one point or another, I’ll likely be every dad I listed at the start of this post.

And one day a friend of one of my children will be over at our house.  They’ll ask me if it’s okay to do something ridiculous and unsafe and I’ll tell them No Way.

And as I walk away, I’ll hear the friend of one of my children say, “your dad is so lame.”

And I’ll probably grin.  Because, yeah, that’s the stuff.

Interview: Kari Ertresvåg of TripletDiaries.com

22 Mar

Google “triplets blog” and you’ll find a lot of them.  It’s significantly rarer and more specialized than “parenting blog”, but there’s still no shortage.  As long as there are blogs, there’ll be parents saturating the web with pics, vids and anecdotes of The Adventures Of Raising Our Little Treasures.

KariWhat you won’t find in great supply are blogs written by the triplets themselves, chronicling what it means to live as a genetic threesome.

Kari Ertresvåg and her sisters, Mariann and Trude, grew up with the questions, comparisons, double-takes and pseudo-celebrity that comes with being identical triplets.  And since everyone was so curious, they decided to collaborate on a blog of their own, Triplet Diaries.  As you can imagine, I had lots of questions for Kari, and she was good enough to allow me to interview her.


(TIPS ON TRIPLETS) Can you tell me a little about yourself?

(Kari Ertresvåg) I’m a Norwegian currently living and working in Brussels. Similar to my sisters, I was an exchange student during high school (Costa Rica), and went on to study and work for longer periods abroad (last 7 years spent in Spain, Latvia and Belgium).

Do you ever wonder how it would have affected your relationship with your sisters if you’d been born as fraternal/non-identical triplets?  Do you imagine it would have changed everything?

Yes, simply because I perceive being a triplet largely as an external concept – that I internalised. The reason why being a triplet has had such a profound effect on my life is because most people recognised and perceived me as one as a child, which they in turn did because I was a spitting image of two other people, i.e. an identical triplet. The ‘triplet’ label is therefore more of an imposed one if you are identical, and as such the fraternal vs. identical distinction is to some extent a question of ‘to be or not to be’ (recognised as) a triplet. I might be stepping on some fraternal toes, but what I mean is that if you are fraternal you may appreciate that people recognise that you are triplets, whereas if you are identical that is a label that simply you can not avoid.

To better explain why I call being a triplet an external issue, I’ll give you a quick peek into my many-fold and internally inconsistent self-perception of being a triplet as a child: I was Kari – a little girl with two sisters very different from me. Since everyone seemed to focus on how similar we were, we tacitly agreed to find all the differences and focus hard on those. If we saw them, other people could, and hopefully would.

But, I also remember a regular ritual of standing next to my sisters in the upstairs bathroom, crammed together shoulder to shoulder. Not saying anything, just looking into the mirror. Looking at myself and these other two that shared my DNA – comparing and contrasting, just like the world did.

Though we (outwardly) repeatedly argued against the idea that we looked alike, there was no arguing against science: Three players, with the same starting number. Imagine a reality television programme featuring an extreme version of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, in which viewers and the three contestants themselves judge how well each player makes use of their given resources – the shared DNA.

And while we felt frustrated when people failed to see each of us for the trio, we also internalised this perception. As a child, my sisters were my best friends – but I recognise this only in retrospect. I failed to see it at the time. The honest truth, which is difficult to explain or more so admit, is that I also saw them as me. While triplets may appear to have a built-in-buddy, Trude and Mariann were my sisters and did not count towards ‘friends’. I was ‘the triplet’, and so were they.

You’ve undoubtedly gotten a lot of attention over the years, particularly growing up.  How did you feel about all the questions and stares?  Did you enjoy the attention?  Was it ever difficult or unnerving?

I think it’s illustrative that I today, as an adult, make a conscious effort not to look if I pass by children that I assume may be twins or triplets. No one likes to be stared at.

Have you ever wanted to hide the fact that you’re a triplet?

As a child, it was not an option on the table, and as an adult, it’s not something that I mention as it unleashes Pandora’s box of predictable questions. But perhaps more importantly, it does not come naturally: I speak about my sisters, but as opposed to ‘my twin’, ‘my triplets’ sounds like I’ve produced a large number of babies.

Parenting triplets is a pretty formidable job.  Do you think your parents were up to the task?

Yes, my parents were conscious about raising three individuals and I think they did a great job.

Kari, Mariann and Trude

If you had 3 identical daughters of your own, what would you do differently from how you were brought up?

If I failed to persuade my sisters to take a baby each (in solidarity considering that the children would genetically be half theirs as well…), I would hope to be able to bring them up in a town of a good size. While living in a small place offers benefits, it also makes it more difficult for triplets to form different friendships and seek out separate activities.

Your mother often made sure you were dressed differently from one another and wore your hair differently, which is contrary to how many mothers of identical multiples operate (you mentioned you’re opposed to identical clothing). Do you think it’s damaging to identical siblings when their parents attempt to keep them looking alike?

Yes – we’re talking about nature’s clones here. You already look so much alike that you want to make it easier for people to distinguish you, not harder. Parents dressing their triplets alike are communicating the triplet identity on behalf of the children– ‘they’re a unit’ – and also reinforcing that identity for the children. Not only are the children reminded of their similarity through the clothing, but you also give up on a tool to remind everyone else of their differences. I did not wear identical clothing to my sisters (after the age of 5/6, except on special occasions), and I still have a memory of my twelve-year-old self, a person full of little hurts and stories of how people failed to see ‘Kari’ and instead saw her as interchangeable with any of the other two little girls they also called ‘the triplet’. Thank God I had my own bloody sweater!

You’ve said the word “triplets” was banned in your house.  You were “the girls”.  What was your parents’ aim with that decision?  Do you think it helped?

At home I was ‘Kari’ – just me. In addition to being aware of what ‘the triplets’ term came to represent for the three of us (people failing to tell me apart from two others and choosing the easy way out by calling me ‘you, the triplet’), it was not the natural distinction at home. We were four small children, the three of us and a 2 years older brother, and we had one older brother of eight years. While our parents and our brothers called us ‘the girls’, the normal distinction at home was between the four smallest ones and our brother who was 8 years older.

You’ve mentioned little cues the outside world used to tell you apart (you have a tiny scar near your eye and Trude has a mole on the tip of her nose).  But what about the three of you?  Have you ever had difficulty telling your sisters apart or is it always immediately obvious to you?  What about over the phone, or in photographs?  Do you always know immediately?

In person or on the phone – yes. In photographs until the age of five, I have absolutely no idea. Our parents, however, thought ahead and we’re normally positioned in birth order in posed photos as children.

Kari, Mariann and Trude

Give me the real truth about the “psychic” or “telepathic” thing, because I’m guessing most people don’t know what to believe.  Can you communicate complex thoughts between you without verbalizing them?  Is it more than just “finishing each other’s sentences”?

That would have been a fantastic party trick, but I think triplets just cook that up to sell books.

I’ve been told that identical multiples that have been adopted and never known their siblings can grow up with a sort of sixth sense that an essential relationship is missing from their lives.  Or, even more, when a twin or triplet loses their sibling later in life, the grief they experience is significantly more profound than what’s typical.  Having said all that, you’ve made reference to the fact that the three of you were, originally, quadruplets.  Was it a surprise to you to learn that you shared the womb with a fourth sister?  Have you ever felt like a threesome-that-should-be-a-foursome?

The history of the potential fourth, a foetus not developed beyond the size of a finger, has always been somewhat fascinating. Imagining Mum’s thoughts when she was told about what was still attached to the placenta after already having delivered one baby more than expected, and the idea that I could have been the one fourth of the egg that ended its existence in a glass jar at the faculty of medicine at the University of Bergen.

As you already know, I’m going to be a father of triplets later this year and I’m a little terrified.  What advice would you give me (or any moms/dads expecting triplets)?

First of all: It may be hell for you, but your children just hit jackpot. Yes, it was challenging growing up a triplet, and our identity seeking may have been tougher than for most. But the cliché applies – I was born with my two best and closest friends, which I get to experience every stage of my life together with.

The first few years of triplet existence is not my domain – my memories begin a bit later in life – but if I were you, I would make sure to choose distinctly different names for the children. Dismantle the unit as soon as you can and bring out the individual parts.


A big thank-you to Kari for agreeing to the interview.  If you haven’t gotten the chance, visit her blog, Triplet Diaries.  It’s pretty fascinating.  (Also, be sure to follow @KariErtresvag on Twitter.)

Ultrasound Avalanche!

21 Mar

To prove we ain’t lyin’, here’s a cavalcade of ultrasounds, starting with the first, up to the present.

Feb 2, 2011:

The eensy black smudge in the middle was our three zygotes lying to us, pretending they were only one.  This was, of course, back when we were nervously excited, and our lives made some semblance of sense.

We don’t cotton to subterfuge, you three. Watch it.


Feb 18, 2011:

Here’s the pic that turned us into weeping basket cases on the floor of our OB’s exam room.  She asked, “any twins in the family?”  Then, “oh, now I see three.” Then we collapsed and went insane.

This image changed everything.


Feb 22, 2011

After a long weekend, waiting for confirmation that it was triplets (as opposed to twins), we headed back to the OB, where she snapped off a few more ultrasound images.  If there was any doubt, it disappeared here.

The sacs appear to convey shock…

…and horror.  At that particular moment, nothing could’ve been more apropos.


Mar 11, 2011

We saw their heartbeats with these images.  The bottom two triplets (pictured above) jumped and punched and kicked and looked like mutated versions of karate legends.

The kid up top was either sleeping or lazy, only swatting at us when prodded.  Sheesh, kid, get up and put on something nice.  It’s picture day.


Mar 15, 20011

A couple of weeks makes a big difference, as the wife and I began transitioning from shock-and-awe to schlock-and-“awww”.  Okay, that’s exaggerating a bit, but when we sat in Magella Medical Group’s examination room and saw these images, we were excited and relieved that the little ones seemed to be healthy and on track, growth-wise.  With three placentas.

Apparently, no identicals!  The ultrasound tech labeled them “A”, “B” and “C”.  I’m still not sure if they’ll keep their labels throughout the pregnancy or if they arbitrarily decide who’s who with each prenatal exam.  In any case, “C” was still lazy and/or sleeping.

A closer look at Baby A.

Baby B.

Baby C.

hrrkkkh

18 Mar

Men!

Listen: your wife is suffering. Do you think she chooses to feel this way? Do you think the glow of one, two or even three babies ripening in her tummy is enough to cancel the pain and anguish of sleepless nights, perpetual sickness and an ever-expanding physique?

It’s possible to dull your own senses!
If the sound of your wife’s explosive vomit in the bathroom near the dinner table is offensive and stomach turning, no worries! After 2-3 straight weeks of repeat performances, you’ll barely notice. Encourage her to spew away to her heart’s content, the pasta Alfredo on the plate in front of you will be no less delicious!

Remember: you did this to her! That’s your seed she’s carrying! Man up and take responsibility! The burden of self-sacrificing, fearless fatherhood does not begin once those little ones glimpse daylight… IT BEGINS NOW.

Too vague? Okay, gents, let’s get practical!

Probably the biggest hurdle of the first trimester is the dreaded demon called Morning Sickness. (Hint: it isn’t just in the morning. In fact, your wife would prefer it if you didn’t refer to it as “Morning Sickness”. In fact, don’t refer to it at all. It’s best to just apologize a lot.)

Here’s how it works: she’s always nauseous. Always. It’s not a question of whether or not she’ll throw up today, it’s a question of how many times. Don’t wonder whether or not she’s sick. She is. If she’s not, she’ll let you know. But don’t hold your breath. She’s sick.

Also, keep in mind that it’s your fault. Oh, the fun you’ll have later, remembering your pitiable little arguments, trying to convince her she’s “being unreasonable” and you “have it tough also”! Ha ha ha! Little man, don’t you understand? This is pregnancy. It’s bigger than you! It’s bigger than all of us! Look at her: she’s swollen with life, bursting with matriarchal potential! Now look at you! G’wan. Look.

Exactly. You’re kind of an asshole.

But good news! You don’t have to be! Your put-upon spouse may be drowning in her own body chemistry, but you can help. Remember four simple words and you’ll effortlessly navigate these choppy waters. That’s all! Just four!

Ready?

Here they are:

  1. Don’t
  2. Be
  3. A
  4. Dick

Sounds easy, right? And, mostly, it is! Let’s dig deeper:

DON’T BE A DICK. The kitchen’s a mess and it’s been that way most of the week. Your wife would like to prepare a nice cup of bread-n-butter pickles for herself, but when she sees dishes in the sink, she gags… Well, don’t be a dick, man! Empty the dishwasher and replace them with the dirty ones. Maybe wipe the counter down a little. After all, she’s hungry. Seriously, dude, come on.

DON’T BE A DICK. If you cut your toenails on the couch, don’t leave them on the coffee table, unless you want her to blow chunks on the spot. She’ll hate you and you’ll hate yourself. And both of you will be right for doing so.

DON’T BE A DICK. She’s going to spend a significant portion of her week with her head in the toilet. Is it too much to ask you to scrub it down and pube-sweep the area? God, man, don’t be a dick.

DON’T BE A DICK. It’s 6:30 and you’re driving home from work, Irvine to Long Beach, which is some kind of haul. She phones you on the way: baby carrots. She has a jones for baby carrots. She knows you’re tired, but will you pick some up? Of course you will! She’s pregnant, numbskull! She’s hungry! This isn’t rocket science. Just do it! WTF

DON’T BE A DICK. No, it’s not traditionally your job to feed the cats, particularly their wet food. But keep in mind, your wife needs about 3,000 calories a day and, if she’s required to feed them herself, she stands a really good chance of losing about 1,200 of those calories right then and there. See what I mean, douchebag? Hello? Is this sinking in??? DON’T BE A DICK.

Good luck, fellas!

And remember: T.O.T. taught ya how!

Jumping Beans

17 Mar

Tuesday, for the first time, I heard their heartbeats. But let me get back to that.

Last week, Dr. Chao, our OB, had told me, in no uncertain terms, “you need to be at the first high-risk-pregnancy-specialist appointment with your wife. If your work won’t let you go, you need to call in sick.  It’s important.” Fortunately, work was amenable, so, Tuesday morning, we headed to the Magella Medical Group in Long Beach.

It’s where you go when you’re pregnant with a disease or a disorder that puts you at risk.  Or pregnant with a child with a disease or disorder that puts him/herself at risk.  Or if there’s anything non-standard about anything having to do with your pregnancy.  Like, say, you’re 53 and find out you’re carrying a litter of pumas.

Or, say, 34, with Lupus, carrying triplets.

It’s tricky how they set these appointments up.  They spend the first 40 minutes or so filling you in on the 1,000 Reasons You Need To Worry.  Doctor Tith was extremely warm and helpful, but she didn’t shy away from the truth.  Fact is, any or all of our children could have CP.  Or Down Syndrome. Or some sort of mental handicap.  Or they could be sharing placentas and starving each other.  Or choking each other.  And, of course, for many of these issues, there are tests.  The tests can tell you within a 60% certainty whether your child has an 8% chance of having some disorder that’s 28% fatal.  Of course, you can take a more invasive test, which will give you 85% certainty, but you’ll increase your chances of miscarrying or delivering early by 13%, but only so early that your chances of it being fatally early are 38%.  Or some ridiculous combo thereof.

So, great.  Thanks everyone.  Consider us informed.  We feel way better.

Needless to say, halfway through this consult, I was convinced that at least one kid has some sort of fatal disease, the second one is going to be born with roughly half the organs it needs to sustain itself , and the third?  Oh, the third one’s fine, but s/he’s probably going to wind up a vampire when s/he’s 21.

I know my wife did way better than I did, but my swimming brain did at least take away a handful of important pieces of information.  Among them:

  • Strong heartbeats= good
  • 3 sacs = good
  • 3 placentas = good
  • The fact that these triplets are spontaneous, as opposed to IVF babies = moderately safer

So they took us in for the big ultrasound.  Triplets meant we’d already hit the fertility jackpot.  It was time to yank the lever again and find out what was heretofore unknown: are any of these goofballs sharing a placenta?  If so, that doesn”t necessarily spell disaster, but Tith was straight with us: we  should be hoping for 3 placentas.

Ultrasound began and we asked the tech, whose name is Michelle.  Michelle confirmed it: “Yes, I see three placentas.”

Finally, some friggin’ good news for a change.

And it was strange.  Here, only 11 weeks in, and they already seem to have different personalities.  Onscreen, Baby A swatted something in front of its little alien head.  Baby B kicked and flipped and did what it could to kung fu my wife’s innards. Baby C (who Chao calls The Lazy One) lounged up top in its amniotic hammock, irritated to have been bothered.

Jumping beans.

Michelle hit the vox and, out of nowhere, a very fast, very strong heartbeat filled the room, overpowering Love and Rockets’ So Alive, which had been playing on muzak. Baby A: 173 bpm.  Looking good.

Baby B: 173 bpm.  Very strong and looking good.

Baby C: 173 bpm. Everybody’s looking good.  Our kids have heartbeats.

In the space of a few moments, the majority of Tith’s concerns turned out to be just fine, or at least as fine as they can be.  And who knows, all of our children may end up with all of their organs. Maybe we wouldn’t miscarry.  Maybe they’ll all be (sh-shudder) healthy.

We talked about my wife’s job and her diet and her at-the-moment woefully inadequate calorie intake.  We found out later that, apparently, our case had been the talk of the office that morning.  A 34-year-old vegan with Lupus who’s carrying spontaneous triplets?  It’s odd.  Throughout the appointment, different doctors and other staffers kept poking their heads in and smiling at us: “Hiiii!  Sorry to interrupt, but I’m ___.  We heard everything’s looking good.  Congratulations!”  Then they’d disappear.  My wife is, it seems, medical journal case study fodder.

And it occurred to me that, as upset as we were when we found out we were having triplets, I now really want them all to be healthy and strong.  In fact, I think I want it very badly.  Maybe I’d even move heaven and earth if I have to to make sure they’re all right.

Good god.  When did I turn into a father all of a sudden?

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