When the time came for us to start expanding our family, we decided this time around we weren't going to find out the gender. We had already done the whole finding out, picking out a name, and customized nursery thing when we found out our first-born was going to be a boy. This time around, we wanted to be surprised (and holy hell, were we ever). Since we were "actively trying," we found out very early on that I was pregnant again. We were excited, of course, but it's very different when finding out you're expecting the second time around. More of a been-there-done-that, here we go again kind of thing, but nonetheless, we were thrilled. My nesting mode kicked in pretty early on and I gradually began to prepare the house for baby #2. Little did we know we'd soon find out that we'd be preparing for a litter instead.
In the beginning of pregnancy, depending on when you find out, there really aren't many physical changes. The dead giveaway to others was that I was no longer drinking. Hello, red flag. You can only avoid people for so long before things start to look suspicious and since I had no complications with my first pregnancy, we had no problem telling some of our close friends and family about baby number two's pending arrival. Right around seven or eight weeks, I started to experience the dreaded morning sickness. Morning sickness, in its truest form, is the spawn of Satan. It's debilitating and for a full-time working mom of a toddler, it made things that much worse. I'd like to kick whomever drummed up the term 'morning sickness' down a flight of stairs. In reality, mornings weren't always the worst part. I felt sick, all day long, for weeks. Dry-heaving on the way to work is no way to start your day off. Barfing at 4pm is no picnic, either. Even so, I chalked it up to different pregnancy, different symptoms. An instance of "this, too, shall pass." My pants, this time around, did get tighter a lot sooner, but again, I thought nothing of it since people always claim to grow/show sooner with a second pregnancy. I was actually secretly excited I got to slip into maternity pants so early on. Those full panel waistbands are what dreams are made of.
I wasn't scheduled to have my first ultrasound until the anatomy scan, which generally takes place between 18 and 20 weeks. At my 12-week checkup, we got to hear the baby's heartbeat and my midwife ordered an ultrasound because I was measuring bigger. No cause for alarm as this was a routine drill to make sure I was in fact as far along as I was measuring. I was actually super excited by this news since we'd be able to see our baby sooner than the anticipated anatomy scan. We were to return to my doctor's office the following week to see our 13-week bean on screen.
The morning of the ultrasound I was anxious and excited. Even though this wasn't our first rodeo, all we wanted to hear was that our baby was safe and well. We decided to bring our then two-and-a-half-year-old son, Jake, with us in hopes that he'd potentially start to grasp the concept that he was going to be a big brother. In customary ultrasound fashion, I entered the room alone so the tech could obtain all the measurements and whatnot of the baby. As I lay there pantless, I began making small talk with the tech since silences can often make me want to laugh out loud. So, to prevent myself from looking like a mental patient, I asked to tech what the most number of babies she had ever seen on the screen was (the irony of this whole thing just kills me) and she proceeded to tell me "three" which led her into a few stories about delivering "the shock of a lifetime" to these unsuspecting expectant mothers. I then began to ramble about my friend from high school, Alesia, who had triplet boys just two months before Jake was born. Phrases like "I can't even imagine" and "I don't know she does it" rolled off my tongue as I further went on to refer to her as my hero. After our brief conversation, the tech went into the waiting area to bring in my husband, JR, and Jake. Unbeknownst to us, we were moments away from a bomb bigger than Hiroshima.
Now, keep in mind, I never saw the screen and this chick had quite the poker face so I had ZERO idea what was about to go down. As JR came to my side, she turned the screen exposing two different screenshots. I saw an 'A' and a 'B.' I tilted my head to the side like a dog, and in confusion I asked, "Oh, twins?!" I glanced up at the tech for clarification and she slowly shook her head from side-to-side. I then looked at JR, and I mean, he didn't know what the hell was goin' on, but clearly, neither did I. She then went on to ask, "Remember what we were just talking about?" (as in all that triplet talk) "Baby C is over here," she said while flipping to a different screen and then verbally confirmed that I was, in fact, pregnant with triplets.
"C?!? See what?!," I bellowed. This was the closest I have ever come to having a stroke. One look at JR and he was whiter than Elmer's Glue. We briefly lost sight of Jake but turns out he was only playing in the bathroom. Thank God. I immediately began sobbing, and let's be honest, they were not tears of joy. I exclaimed, "No, no, no! How did this happen?!? I'm not an infertility patient! How are we going to afford three more kids?! Our house isn't big enough for three more kids! HOW, DID, THIS, HAPPEN?!?!" Panic. Shear panic was setting in. What the fuck were we going to do and who in God's name conceives natural triplets anyway, I thought.
After my vision returned to normal and JR picked up his lower jaw up off of the ground, the tech said, "Well, in case you were wondering, they all look good and they are all healthy." No words have ever calmed me down sooner. She then handed me what seemed to be 89 ultrasound pictures. Clear as day, there were our three babies: Baby A, Baby B and Baby C. The other half of our family was right before our eyes. We walked into that room as a family of three and walked out as a family of six. There was no better time to deliver our news to the world.