How We Found Out

3 Mar

We weren’t trying for children, first of all.

Sincerely. We really weren’t even being careless. The story you hear from a lot of parents: “well, we weren’t trying, you know, per se, but we decided to ditch birth control and let God/nature/The Triple Hecate decide.”  Not to be overly cynical or snotty, but come on.  That’s more or less code for “we were trying.”  If you’re regularly getting busy without a raincoat or The Pill, you’re not exactly leaving nature a lot of options.

But I’m telling you: my wife and I really weren’t trying.  5 years of dating, 10-1/2 years of marriage and, no lie, we indulged in exactly one unprotected moment in all that time.  “What are the odds?” we reassured each other. “Seriously, what are the chances that our one careless Saturday afternoon fling would turn us into a 7th grade health class cautionary tale?  It’s fine!  It’s fine!”

Kablam.  Triplets.

My wife, as I’ve hinted at previously, has Lupus.  It’s an auto-immune disorder and it sucks.  She stays ahead of it with diet and overall healthy living, but there are certain activities that she really needs to think twice about before indulging.

Top of the list: getting pregnant.

A couple of weeks ago, we went in for her 7 week ultrasound, still thinking we only had one embryo.  We hadn’t told anyone yet because, well, Lupus pregnancies are always considered High Risk and we’d committed ourselves to waiting through the first trimester.  If 13 weeks passed and we still had a healthy fetus, we’d go ahead with telling friends and family.  Anyhow, her 7th week checkup was “heartbeat” day.  My work keeps me from attending as many OB appointments as I’d like, but there was no way I was going to miss seeing our child’s first heartbeat.

Listen, I don’t know from ultrasounds. It all looks like fuzzy Matrix code to me, so when Dr. Chao’s eyes started bulging, I assumed the worst: miscarriage.  The wife and I were trying to get a better look at the screen, but I knew something was off.  The room had a vibe.  I said to Chao, “what is it?  Something’s wrong.”

And she said, “any twins in your family?”

It’s strange in moments like those.  In 5 seconds, you watch your life begin to twirl out of orbit and you can’t quite decide whether or not you’re happy about it.  I mean, twins?  That’s a mistake.  It’s probably a mistake.  She said “twins” but she really meant, I dont’ know, “shins”.  Ha ha, of course, Chao!  We have plenty of shins in our family!  Ha ha ha!  Phew!

And she continued to navigate the ultrasound around my wife’s ladyhood and she said, “oh, now I’m seeing three.”

First view of the 3


On the plus side, we suddenly weren’t conflicted about how to feel about it anymore.  It was clear: THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER.

By the way, I do want to pause here for a moment, because I realize these are sensitive issues. If you’re reading this, there’s a very real chance you have multiples of your own and if you have multiples of your own, there’s a very real chance you’ve dealt with infertility.  And, sincerely, I don’t want to diminish the pain of couples who want nothing more than to conceive and the last thing they want to hear is a story from some jackass like me who somehow hit the fertility jackpot and doesn’t know what to do about it.

On the other hand, if you have multiples of your own, you probably also know what I’m talking about. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of trying to wrap your brain around a single child and getting the news that we just got.

So we bawled.  Right there in Chao’s ultrasound room, we cried like soap opera stars.  This wasn’t happening to a friend of ours.  It wasn’t something on TV.  It was really us and really real and we felt really screwed.

It’s been a couple of weeks and I wish I could tell you our arms are around it and we’re excited and optimistic and whatnot, but that wouldn’t be entirely true.  We’re excited to be parents.  Honest.  And ready or not, this $#!% is happening.

If it’s not already obvious, “Tips On Triplets” is my little joke.  Nobody knows less about this than me and my wife, but here we go.

By the way, we could use all the help and advice we can get, particularly if you’re a parent.

And if you’re a parent of multiples?  Er, would you mind dropping us a note and letting us know everything you’ve learned about everything ever?  It would be a huge help.

12 Responses to “How We Found Out”

  1. pam March 5, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    you can do it! that’s all. just keep that in mind. or you can go to my blog and read the last 3+ years.

    congrats to you and your wife!

    • Jeremy March 7, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      Thanks, pam! It means an awful lot, not just to have your encouragement, but to have a great resource like your blog to refer to. We’re still nervous and really freaked out, but people like you help us to remember it’s not impossible.

      By the way, you’re added to my blogroll. Thanks again!

  2. Helen March 22, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Ahhh, the way you found out brings back the memories for me! There’s nothing like the emotional roller coaster of just hoping to see one healthy little heart beating and instead find out you’re carrying three.

    I don’t think my husband and I fully came to terms with the whole situation until our boys were 6 months or so 😉

    • Jeremy March 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

      This blog is still pretty new and there was a part of me that considered massaging the language around how we actually felt when we found out it was triplets, but… eh. Best to say it like it is. It was upsetting news.

      6 months? Shew. All right, Helen. But if we’re still freaked out at 7 months, I’m blaming you.


  3. 5ennie March 23, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    Like your wife wrote “normal is overrated”. That is so true, and you’ll learn a new normal and will be posting tips for the rest of us in no time 🙂

    We tried to keep life as normal as possible, and traveled overseas (to my family) when our babies were less than a year old + many times since. We went camping too, when they were about 9 mos old, but we did have a lot of helping hands all those times 🙂

    When people at our church and community offered help, we assigned one person to be in charge of the volunteer list & system, and she would send helpers to us. With strict rules on hand-washing, illnesses etc – it was RSV season. That worked great for us, but I know it isn’t for everyone. It can be hard to have people in your house, but that is what it took for us to survive the first 3 or so months after our preemies came home. Even after that we had a lot of help, and my younger sister moved in to help – and stayed about six years!

    All the best on your exciting journey!

    • Jeremy March 23, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      A “volunteer list”, that’s interesting. A friend of ours is a parent of twins and she mentioned how essential it can be to get help, but warned us that it quickly becomes its own management situation. Like you said, you need to lay down strict rules or else it falls into chaos. That’s incredibly great about your sister. Talk about a lifesaver.

      Traveling overseas with tiny babies! Kudos to you, that had to have been some endeavor! I can’t imagine pulling it off with triplets… or quads. Wow.

      These are great comments, 5ennie, really helpful. Thank you!

  4. Cara March 30, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    This is so exciting and I cannot imagine how scary at the same time. But regardless I know you can do it. Let me know how I can help and I will be there!

    • Jeremy March 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

      Thanks, Ferguson/Voldt. Now you know why we had to cancel our Austin trip. We really appreciate you guys.

  5. Rochelle C. March 30, 2011 at 10:44 am #


    We haven’t spoken in so many years, but I’m so thrilled for you even if you, yourself, are ambivelent. I can only imagine what it is to wrap your mind around 3 vs. one. But what’s done is meant to be. I always thought that you’d make such a fun dad. And don’t worry, you’ll grow into the role if don’t find it a natural fit at first. You’ll be great parents! Hugs to you and to Carey!

    • Jeremy March 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

      Thanks, Rochelle. I’m glad to say my outlook has improved in the weeks since posting this and we are indeed excited. My mother asked me the other day, “so are you feeling more excited or more overwhelmed now that you’ve had a little time to think about it?” I told her, “yes and yes.”

      We appreciate the encouragement! Even though we want these little ones to wait as long as they can, we’re anxious to meet them.

  6. Kim P April 2, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS. I know, I know, that seems a bit of an understatement, right? We have 2 sets of spontaneous twins (one set of fraternals one set of identicals) and both times we found out we were overwhelmed and it did feel like a joke. Moreso with the first set since we were blindsided. But at around week 24 or so all of a sudden it felt real and the first time we held 2 at once we forgot that “normal” people only have one at a time. Welcome to the new normal. You will get used to it and one day look back on all of this with amazement that you were ever so scared. I’ll be following your blog and wish you a very uneventful, long pregnancy!

  7. JKP May 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. My husband and I just found out about two weeks ago that we are expecting triplets and like you we are less than happy about it. I feel guilty for not being happy, our fertility journey has been difficult and now I’m not grateful? What an a** I am! I appreciate your honesty on the matter and it gives me some hope that we may feel differently with more time. I’m wondering when you started to feel like it was all going to be o.k.?

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