In a word I am a mother. My children are my life’s work. I have five of them so I really could use of few concurrent lifetimes in order to raise them properly, but alas, I’ll have to do the best I can with my ration of time. Did I mention those five children are all under 5 years old? Or that three of them are 7-month-old triplets? No? Let us begin at the beginning.
In 2004 my husband and I bought our first house, an over-priced two bedroom tear-down that we poured our hearts, souls and buckets of money into. Two years later on March 2, 2007 our first baby was born, a daughter. Sixteen months later another daughter arrived, July 14, 2008. We reveled in our children’s milestones and marveled at the most mundane events, including but not limited to massive diaper blow-outs.
Prior to our marriage we’d both agreed that four children was the ideal family size for us. As my youngest daughter’s second birthday loomed I began to wonder if my children were school-aged when we decided to try again, would I even be willing or (mentally) able to re-visit the baby stage? If my daughters could hop into the car with their juice boxes and oatmeal pies in hand and buckle themselves into their boosters could I even fathom bringing a helpless, hairless needy little creature into our family? I wasn’t sure of the answer. The obvious solution was to try right away, of course!
Months turned into more months and the plus sign eluded us. Meanwhile, the economy grew more and more concerning and we desperately attempted to adapt our business model to be more durable in a down economy. We buckled down, battened down the hatches, tightened the belt and all those other colloquialisms that mean we started living on the cheap.
On my daughter’s second birthday I felt funny. And by funny I mean I felt like the night before I’d downed a handle of Jim Beam while running a marathon. Something wasn’t right. I had an extra pregnancy test lying about so I figured I’d better take it to rule that out so I could get on with my daughter’s birthday party. I like to call these “sanity tests." My sanity test was a solid, bold pink line guaranteeing life was about to be turned upside down! I was pregnant!
In the corner of my mind I knew I was pregnant with twins. I just knew. I speculated to my husband, sister-in-law and my mother, but was hesitant to advertise such a suspicion. I chose to go to my first OB appointment without my husband. I mean, who wants to take a man-size child to ask inane questions and whine about how long the wait is? Not I!
My pregnancy was confirmed with a urine test and my dr. performed a quick ultrasound to take a peek at the heart beat. I watched silently as the black blobs and white orbs appeared on the screen. I felt the heat of shock rush through me as I instantly identified two sacs, each containing the awe inspiring flutters of beating hearts. I had my phone to my ear instantly to call my husband as my OB measured the fetuses to get an accurate due date. I was shaking and laughing and crying all while trying to convey details to my husband. Perhaps it would have been wise to tolerate his complaints. It was a surreal experience.
Thirteen weeks later at my first anatomy scan I had the most heart-pounding, mind-boggling, fear-inducing experience of my life. All I really remember from the occasion is the sonographer saying, “Mrs. Burg, I don’t know how to tell you this so I’ll just say it. There are three.” To which I replied, “Three what?” Twins one can wrap one’s brain around. There are two of many organs and extremities, including breasts which are an obvious concern when it comes to babies. Three, now three is unnatural. Three doesn’t make sense. Three is inconceivable. Pun intended.
Our two-bedroom bungalow would not even begin to contain a seven person family. We made a radical decision and moved from our trendy up-and-coming Northwest Atlanta neighborhood to an established suburban neighborhood chock-full of minivans, white picket fences and bicycle littered lawns. We traded in the SUV for a minivan and happily began letting our roots creep deeply into the granite encrusted Georgia red clay of Lilburn.
My triplet sons were born at 9:42, 9:50 and 9:55 on Mach 13, 2011 at nearly 38 weeks gestation. Each was born healthy and went home with me just 48 hours after delivery.
I am a mother. I sacrifice. I endure. I love unconditionally. And I constantly screw-up along the way. I can only pray that my repeated parenting faux pas will not land my children on "America’s Most Wanted" or worse "Jersey Shore". At the end of my life, if I know my children felt they were loved, I can die happy. I am just like you.
I'd like to share my guilt-free parenting message along with my experiences and advice with the reader. I hope you'll join me!