Photos courtesy of the wonderful and talented Brenda Bisharat (bisharatphotos.com)
Every year when February rolls around I can’t help but think of the very interesting February I had one year; four years ago now.
I was put in the hospital on February 1st, 2008 where I lay for 3 weeks trying to keep three babies in my belly for as long as possible. It was an interesting experience of growth both physically and mentally. While I tried to keep my babies safe inside my overstretched womb, I was alone in my hospital bed reading, typing, thinking, watching TV and being invaded by lovely nurses at all hours to monitor my babies. I had a lot of time by myself. I had a lot of time to think about my life and how three babies were going to fit in to it. I made it my mission to keep these babies inside for as long as I could.
I spent the entire night of February 22nd laying in agony. Preston was lodged underneath my left ribcage because he had nowhere else to go. His sisters were invading his space, which is a situation he still finds himself in. The nurses were forced to give me a painkiller, which I had managed to avoid the entire pregnancy.
That morning my perinatologist came in and told me that enough is enough. “You have done well enough. It is time to deliver these babies,” she said. I was 33 1/2 weeks pregnant. I hoped to get to 34 weeks, but based on the kind of pain I had experienced the night before, 33 1/2 weeks seemed sufficient.
I cannot express in words how excited I was to see my babies. I had given everything I had to take care of them and nurture them inside my body. I had given a lot of myself in the past 7 1/2 months. It had been difficult from the start to carry three babies. Chris and Ava had sacrificed by not having their wife and mom around.
Midday, February 22, 2008, I delivered three beautiful perfect babies. The gravity of the situation was intense, and I should’ve been scared or nervous, but all I felt was excitement. I couldn’t wait to see them. I couldn’t wait to make sure they were all okay. One at a time those babies were pulled from my body and the doctor showed me their tiny little bodies by lifting them up over the curtain separating my upper body and lower body.
The most surprising part of the day was when the nurses brought each baby to me and lay them on my chest. This is the most precious picture that Brenda took that day. In situations like these, delivering higher order multiples, one can hope for the best but expect the worst. I never imagined I would be able to hold my babies right when they came out. I had visions of them being whisked away to the NICU to be monitored and possibly be put on ventilators.
The night I delivered my triplets I could not sleep. I was so excited that, dressed only in my revealing hospital gown, I made my way to the NICU to see my babies. I held them and loved them. They were tiny, all weighing in the 3 pound range, but they were healthy.
Today, I seriously can not believe that these little 3 pound babies are now 4 years old. Each year has come with its wonderful moments and its difficult ones. There have been plenty of days that I have felt a little sorry for myself. With triplets, everything is a little bit harder. It is harder to go places, harder to go to public bathrooms, harder to load and unload the car, harder at mealtime, more messes to clean up, and the list goes on. Yet, it is slowly getting easier. It isn’t the kids that are hard, it is the pack, the sheer number of kids. Individually, each triplet is very well-behaved and fun to be around. But they are hardly ever an “individual”. They travel in a pack. It is this “pack” that is difficult. It is not rocket science, it is pure and simple math: one three-year old child is manageable, and each additional three-year old child added on becomes that much more challenging.
This past year they have started preschool where they have made new friends and learned a lot. They have grown more independent and their language is so fun to listen to. They can be without each other but they enjoy being together. They play with each other, and with Ava, all day. It is amazing to watch how sweetly they interact with each other and how passionately they can fight with each other.
It hasn’t been a particularly easy year this last year, but it has been an eventful one. We said goodbye to binkies, diapers and pull ups, cribs, baby plates and silverware this year.
They each have their own wonderful qualities. They are very different from each other. Elsa is very mature, probably the most mature out of all four of my children. She is a quick learner, a sweet and loving girl. She is a born princess and loves to look and act beautiful.
Violet is the most passionate and compassionate child I have ever met. If she loves something, she loves it with all of her heart. If she is mad, she is furious. She is full of love, and she has an awesome sense of humor. Violet will work hard at something until she gets it right – she has the gift of persistence and a hard-working personality.
Preston is the most lovely boy. He is all boy, which amuses me every day. He is a hoarder of things, and he loves gardening with manly garden tools. He loves me so much and is not afraid to show his love. He has been described by others as being very demonstrative. He is my handsome boy. His papa says that he looks like he is straight of a Normal Rockwell painting.
Happy 4th birthday to the best darn set of triplets in the world.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.