My husband and I were at our “Parenting Multiples” class. I was almost 27 weeks pregnant with triplets and had been in a puke-filled panic for the entire 27 weeks. After years of trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, infertility treatments, multiple losses, I was still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the the fact that I was actually pregnant. Let alone with three babies. I felt like the entire process to get pregnant had become all-encompassing and the actual goal, a living, breathing, pooping child, had faded into the background. But now we found ourselves faced with the reality of three poop-machines and didn’t really know where to begin.
Every pregnant woman quickly finds out that everyone they know (and even random strangers you don’t know) has an opinion on pregnancy and parenting. We discovered that the best way to derail all the well-intentioned advice was to disclose the number of humans currently occupying my uterus. There was almost always the same reaction: the shocked look, the “wow, you’re having a litter!” comment, and the inevitable question “what are you going to do?” Since no one appeared to be able to answer that question- least of all us- we signed up for a parenting multiples course at a now-defunct Boston parenting mecca.
I waddled into class that night, tired after another long day of teaching/going to the bathroom every twenty minutes. The room was filled with enormous bellies and nervous parents-to-be. The perky instructor introduced herself as a mother of elementary school-aged twins and invited everyone to go around the circle and talk a little bit about themselves. The other couples shared their stories, of surprise at discovering twins during a second trimester ultrasound, of excitement when their adoption agency called to say they’d been matched with not just one, but two babies, of the joy of hearing two strong heartbeats. Then it was our turn, “Hi I’m Emily, this is my husband, and I’m 26 weeks pregnant with triplets.”
And then it happened. The shocked looks, the “wow, you’re having a litter!” comments, and from the instructor, the “what are you going to do?”
Wait, what? It was all I could do to not burst into tears.
What do you mean “what are you going to do?” YOU’RE the person who is supposed to have the answers, who is supposed to tell us that it is going to be alright, who is supposed to tell us WHAT THE %^# WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!
Needless to say, our parenting multiples class was not the we-found-our-people-calm-down-you'll-be-fine moment we had hoped it would be.
Fast forward almost four years and we survived. We discovered answers that worked for our family as we went along, we tried plenty of things that didn’t work, and somehow made it to the point where our tiny trio is now in preschool. There were some amazing moments, there were some terrifying moments, there were some poo-filled moments, and we survived.
Back before I was even pregnant, I was investigating a foray into the world of perinatal education and support. Career plans got put on the back burner for a while, but the whole triplet adventure ended up helping give definition to my hazy vision. That feeling of utter hopelessness that I experienced the night of our parenting multiples class became a drive to alleviate that panic for other families.
Three Birds Family Education & Postpartum Care was born to focus on providing Massachusetts families of multiples guidance and a knowledgeable shoulder to lean on. As a teacher and doula, I’m honored to help you find your family’s answers, ensure you that you are doing an awesome job, and empower you feel confident in your choices.
And I promise never to ask what you’re going to do.
Because I know what you’re going to do.
You’re not only going to survive, you’re going to thrive.