After we had reached a point in my pregnancy where everything was going smoothly, we were so excited to tell everyone we knew. Once it was out there, we received so many congratulations, but we also received A LOT of negative attention.
No matter where I went (and it always seemed to be at the grocery store) after I had started to show, I got so many questions. Most of the time, I was so happy to be able to say I was pregnant, that the questions didn’t bother me. That doesn’t mean, that sometimes, the questions were enough to cause my heart to ache a little.
My first encounter with a stranger, happened in the grocery store. I was doing my normal grocery shopping and a man asked me when I was due. I was excited to be at a point where you could tell my bump was a baby bump and not just plumpness, that I happily answered. I got the ‘classic’, “Are you sure there’s only one in there?” I then proceeded to answer, “Actually, I’m sure there’s three in there.” He looks at me in shock and says, “Are they real or fake?” Now, I know what he was asking. Did we do fertility treatments or was it natural? First, as a stranger, it’s not really your business how I conceived my children. You don’t ask someone with one baby what position they used to conceive their child. Why does it make it different because I am having more than one? On top of that, the last time I checked, my babies are made of flesh and blood, not plastic. So real or fake? Definitely real.
My second encounter, was with a woman, again in the grocery store. (By the end of my pregnancy, I never wanted to go into the store again) I was checking out in the self checkout line. She was behind me and asked me if I was having a boy or a girl and when I was due. I proceeded to tell her that I was due in June, but would be having the babies in May. I also told her we didn’t find out the sexes. Then she asks, “How many are in there?” I smiled and said three. Her mouth dropped and she asked, “Should you be walking around? Or even standing?” Well, last time I checked, pregnancy wasn’t an illness that rendered you unable to stand in a checkout line. I had to tell her that it was just like any other pregnancy. I was just having more than one. She smiled but you could tell she wasn’t convinced that I shouldn’t be in a wheelchair.
A third encounter I had, was at the hospital. I was with my husband and we were waiting for our sonogram. A woman next to me was about six months pregnant and would not stop complaining about how she already couldn’t sleep. How her baby kicking inside of her was keeping her up all night. Now, my babies were super active throughout my entire pregnancy. I had one baby in my ribs. Another in my belly button, and a third sitting right on my bladder. The woman turns to me and says, “You must be ready to go any day.” At this point, I was probably seven months pregnant. I heard this a lot. Because I was so sick, I had lost thirteen pounds my first trimester and by the time I delivered, I had gained that thirteen back and only gained seven more pounds. I was all belly. By seven months I was lugging that belly around and it probably did look like I was ready to pop. With multiples though, you want your babies to cook as long as possible. I told her, “Actually, I’m only seven months. I’m having triplets.” She gasps and says, “Oh my God. Could you imagine having THREE? That must be horrible. How on earth are you going to do that?” How exactly am I expected to answer this? First, it isn’t like I went up to a vending machine and said, “I’ll take three, please.” Second, you really do what you have to do. They tell you there’s three babies in there, so you take care of the three babies that are inside you. Third, I have no idea how I’m going to do it. I certainly know that being negative about a situation isn’t going to help. So I’ll stay positive over here and do my best while you keep your negative over there.
The fourth example I have, I got a lot. I cannot tell you the amount of times I heard, “God Bless you.” Now normally, this is really sweet. I would love to hear that because God truly has blessed us. He made us parents and not everyone gets to say that. We were chosen for an extra special gift and that’s the gift of raising three healthy beautiful children. So when someone says God Bless you and they mean it negatively, we always respond, He has blessed us.
The looks of disgust we get or the people that turn to their significant other and say, Thank God that isn’t us…if you think that those things don’t hurt, they do. We’re human just like everyone else We just grow more than one baby at a time. The next time you meet a multiples mom, please give them some words of encouragement! I’m flying by the seat of my pants every day. My babies teach me new things every day and I’m so lucky to be able to learn and grow because of them.