5 months

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Milestones this week: Emilia stands on her own with only the help of her arms. William remains the best eater when it comes to the spoon. I swear, Jackson said “Mama” not once, but 3 times.

We had our 4 month check-up this week (uh, actually it’s been 5 months, but I couldn’t get in, as usual). The babies are between the 40th and 60th percentiles for heights and weights (for their age, unadjusted). I’m happy with that. I was worried when they came home in the 5th, and then skyrocketed to the 80th. Now they’re right in the middle. Nice.

I’m getting sick of random strangers talking to me when I have the triplets in tow. It’s such a weird life – pushing people away from the babies, answering personal questions…being the butt of jokes….or downright frowned upon for existing.

Strangers ignore you and talk to (or about) your babies, pointing and staring, as though your family were on display. People are gutsy. Not to be thin-skinned, but I’m having a hard time dealing with the pity coming my way. If one more person says, “My, YOU have your hands full”,  I’m going to get…unfriendly.

For the first time, I took the trips to the doctor by myself. I finagled the triplet stroller through tight corners and doorways, and dealt with inevitable crying from 3 babies at once. I did just fine. Still, people couldn’t help but invade our space. In the elevator, a woman actually pulled back a visor to look at Jackson. Her husband was more tactful, telling her, “She doesn’t want your germs on the babies.” Without so much as a glance my way, she said, “I don’t have germs!” Really, lady? Could you be a little more disrespectful??

Heading back to the van, people talked loudly about us (not to us). One women yipped to the other, “Look, LOOK! Did you SEE that? It’s a TRAAAAIIIIN! HEHEHEHEHE!”

I admit: those comments hurt. I certainly don’t poke at other people’s babies, and giggle at their families.

That was after I took the babies to Super Target by myself. I used the triplet stroller, slung the diaper bag (a.k.a., the formula bag) over my shoulder, and put groceries underneath. Moving fast, I avoided eyes, and put on a face that said, “Don’t talk to me.” This worked for the most part. One person assertively approached anyway, and asked if she could look at the babies. How do you say no? I stopped. 4 more onlookers walked up. A mother yelled down the isle to her daughter (drawing even more attention), “Come look at this! Triplets!”

Yeah lady, we’re here for one day only…

One woman at the checkout said, “Are they all fraternal?” (implying assistance) I ducked out of that conversation, annoyed. It doesn’t matter if they’re spontaneous or not, it’s rude to ask. How inappropriate would it be if I asked about your baby’s conception??

You may wonder why our blog is “spontaneoustriplets.com”. It’s not a superiority thing. After discovering we were having triplets, the first thing Jason and I did was google “spontaneous triplets”. Nothing helpful came up, and we thought, “What the heck, it’ll make a great domain name .” People seek out those with similar stories. If you google “spontaneous triplets” now, our site is the first result. 25% of our traffic comes directly from google. Maybe someone should consider a play on “ivftriplets.com” (already taken, but you get the idea).

No one plans on having triplets, assistance or not. Women who spontaneously conceive are no more dissimilar than women who need assistance. We’re all dealing with a failure of the reproductive system. My body shouldn’t have dropped 2 eggs at once, and one of those eggs shouldn’t have split. The reality is, if I conceived triplets 100 years ago, my babies and I probably wouldn’t have survived.

I wish strangers would leave us in peace. Often, when they act friendly, it seems like they’re covering up their own shock and judgment. I see right through it. The most annoying comments are also the most frequent: “You’ve got your hands full!” and, “You poor thing!”

I’m not poor, I’m RICH. Triplets are DELIGHTFUL, and totally manageable (once you toss away your original plans for raising a baby). Triplet moms agree: We’re lucky to have had 3 babies at once, thank you very much. Save your pity for someone less fortunate.



  • Meri says:

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the comments just continue more and more especially as you begin to do more outings. However, the good news is it starts to become white noise. When we go to the zoo probably 50 people say, “you’ve got your hands full” but I hardly notice it anymore. It gets better. I had someone yell at me aggressively through a car window that I had too many kids. That was the worst I’ve experienced.

  • Beth says:

    Hi Esther – I love reading your updates and am glad the babies are all doing well.  As Meri says it doesn’t go away.  My trio will be 4 in December and what’s funny in our case is people usually ask about the boys being twins (since Reese is so much smaller).  I’m proud to be a triplet mommy so I always end up bringing on the triplet discussion by correcting the twin comment!  I love my kids (all four, can’t forget big sister) and am not afraid to show it :)

    Mommy to Kendall (almost 7) and
    Kye, Reese and Bryce (almost 4)

  • Brooke says:

    My two best friends were pregnant with twins at the same time and both were conceived naturally.  I had never thought before about how negative a well meaning comment could sound when referring to multiples.  Both of my friends were constantly asked if the babes were conceived naturally and after initially getting annoyed, both decided to go with it and say “heck no we did this all by ourselves.  We’re that good.”  It’s just rude and disrespectful for people to think that it’s any of their business.  Who cares how your babies are conceived, they will be loved and adored exactly the same.

  • pam says:

    This is only the beginning…but you get used to it. And I think people generally mean well by the comments. I have to put myself in their shoes. If I saw three sweet, adorable babies in one stroller, I’d probably be dumbfounded and say something dumb too!

    You will get “You got your hands full!” a million more times. Just smile and keep walking.

  • Jenna says:

    “If one more person says, “My, YOU have your hands full”, I’m going to get…unfriendly.”

    I love this line, so very Midwestern of you! :) Sorry people are all up in your business! Sounds like the “dont talk to me v ibes” were working though, and I dont think people do it to be mean or rude, people just like babies. And you have such a wealth of babies, and everyone of them cute as a button. But maybe you should just start timing your outings so that one of them is gauranteed to be screaming *Jackson* the whole time. I think people would be much less likely to approach a  screaming baby. That would probably get more stares though.

  • Anna Culp says:

    Seriously, people are weird! They’ll talk to your babies like you’re not there, then talk to you like your babies can’t hear. I wish I was more assertive like you– with just one baby in tow strangers were always trying to touch her. A grocery store bagger touched her face while I payed for the groceries when she was like 2 months old. Maybe you should make a t-shirt that says, “Yep, hands full.” I read an article by a mom of four who was always getting the “hands full” comment–she would smile and reply, “Yes, full of blessings” or something like that because she didn’t want her kids to feel the negativity of well-intentioned but rude people.

  • Diane says:

    Ditto to all the comments. It just keeps going, but it does get easier to deal with. I’ve recently been bringing my 2 year old triplets to the elementary school when I go to pick up my older boys. Most of the parents know us now and just make polite small talk. When the kids come out of school, however, they often crowd around our wagon, staring.
    My toddlers are a little shy and they often hide their faces or look down, but the kids don’t seem to notice and the parents don’t seem to stop them. As we were walking home last week, one of my girls kept saying “bye triplets, bye triplets!” This was honestly the first time the comments bothered me. Maybe it’s because I don’t usually refer to them as triplets (we usually call them the babies), or maybe it’s because I think they are starting to realize that people are staring. It actually made me kind of sad!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Oh, the comments! People really don’t think before they talk. I’ve found (in the past 15 months) that most people are genuinely excited to meet triplets, as many people have never been around many before. However, I don’t understand why people feel that because we have triplets, it’s an automatic invitation to ask all kinds of personal questions. I would never ask people some of things people have asked us before!

  • Laura AlOtaibi says:

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