My Life in a Nut Shell

3 surgeries for Endometriosis, countless medications, and lots of difficult years trying to conceive. We put the medical stuff on hold and decided to work on being parents instead. In July of 2000 we were blessed beyond all measure with a phone call announcing the birth of our daughter, Megan. Megan's birth mother had given birth the day before and was leaving the hospital. We had no warning that Megan was coming. At 4:29 in the afternoon we were a couple, at 4:30 we were parents. Deciding that we wanted a sibling for Megan, we looked into all our options. This time insurance covered IVF. One round and we were blessed with triplets, Abigail, Brigid, and Caroline. Did you know that there is a 70% chance of divorce in families of Higher Order Multiples? Almost two years after the triplets were born my ex-husband and I separated and eventually divorced. During that time both my Mother and Father passed away from cancer. In February of 2007 my sister came to live with us to help out. In December of 2008 she had to leave so now it is me on my own with the girls. In February 2010, Lisa passed away and finally found her own Peace.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Just Put One Foot in Front of the Other...

Man we've been busy.  I'm trying to get all sorts of things done before we start school in August.  So far we've been to the eye doctor.   Abigail got new glasses!!  She is adorable in them.  Then we went to the dentist.  3 kids = no cavities.  Abigail and Megan have NEVER had cavities.  Brigid had a very small one a couple of years ago.  Caroline is on her second cavity.  Not bad for a single Mom of 4.   We, well I, have been trying to get this house good and organized.   It's going pretty well with only a few items left to organize.        We've been swimming, visiting friends, enjoying life.  

The trio went with their Dad for another vacation week.  Megan refused to go.  She wanted to stay with me for a week and not visit with her Dad.  She has been refusing to go with him for most of the summer.  The upside to that is that she and I are having a lot of good, quality bonding time together.  The downside is that I don't get any time to myself.  At all.  Ever.  Brigid came back to us earlier than expected.  She got sick and the ex, rather than call me, didn't know what to do she he took her to the ER.  Ugh.   Long story short she just had a virus but she refused to go back home with him so I brought Brigid back with me.  This 2 kid thing has been a piece of cake.  Of course the ex didn't last the entire week with the other two either.  They were brought back early.  I'm pretty sure he could NOT manage the day to day life with these girls ever.   Some days it is a daunting task just to survive.  Trying to balance work, homework, baths, dinner, errand running bath time, friends, bills, etc. can be a logistical nightmare.  Yet I wouldn't trade it for everything.  

Which leads me to today's topic.   I'm hoping that a friend reads this and takes the advice to heart.  I'm not sitting in judgement here.  I'm trying to offer advice from someone who has been there.   This friend has just been through a rather nasty divorce.  (Hmmm sounds familiar)  She is struggling.  She has gotten lots of good sound advice from all of our mutual friends.  It's not being followed.   We all see the struggles.  We all hurt for her.  We are hoping that someone out there gets through to her so that she can get the help she needs.  If I hadn't gotten the help I needed to treat my depression I know I wouldn't be here today.  One of my favorite phrases that is hanging up in my kitchen and was given to me from my Dr.  is this:   "When I see how far you have come to get to where you are, I know you are a walking miracle."   It's taken a lot of work to get here.   The work I'm talking about has to come from inside.  You have to realize you have a problem then reach out to anyone, everyone, to get  help.  You will never get  better sitting in a puddle of denial about everything.   I'VE BEEN THERE.   All of our friends are sitting on the outside watching this beautiful soul disappear.  And we have fear that her children are getting lost because of it all.   Her actions are becoming more erratic.  It's hard to watch.  I've offered help.  I still offer help.   My offer does come unconditionally.  It really does.  Well mostly it does.  You have to want the help.  You have to use the help to get better.  Not to watch your kiddos so you can sleep more and hide from the world.   Your children, and you, will be better off if you get help NOW.   It's hard to take the first step.  I tried really hard for 2 years to not get help even when everyone around me was telling me too.   I am so glad I finally took that first step.   

So when you are ready, please call me.  You know my number.  You know where I live.  I am here for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bike Riding and stuff

So I've taken up a new hobby.  Bike riding.  I haven't ridden a bike since I was 18.   Yesterday my fat ass got up on a bike and I actually rode with the girls to the library and back.  That's about a mile one way.  That's huge for all of us.   There were definitely tears involved from Abigail and Caroline about it being too far.  Megan griped at everyone there and back.  Brigid was the only one who pretty much remained calm during the ride.  Well and me of course.  What a frickin' spectacle we made of ourselves.  We already attract a lot of attention.  Four daughters, 3 of whom are triplets, riding bikes down the street.  My big fat butt on a bike.   Then add the crying and screaming and people were actually slowing down to stare at us.  Wee. Ali said she pictured us in a scene from The Sound of Music.  All cheerful and everything.

My goal is to try and work up to riding my bike back and forth to school.  That depends on whether I can get the trio ready in time to catch the bus in the morning.  If I can I should be able to make it to school by 9 a.m. 

After dinner the girls and I got back on our bikes and rode to a park nearby.  I ended up meeting a 76 year old woman named Delores (cue the Jerry Seinfeld reference) who was there with her granddaughter.   She was 10.  My girls played and I chatted.  I found out Delores had just had her second knee replacement surgery, has two children, 3 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.  I enjoyed chatting with her.  Mainly because I just miss my Mom.  My Mom would be turning 75 next month.  Really I just wanted Delores to hug me.  I know, I know.  I don't like hugs but I would have liked a hug from someone who reminded me of my Mom.  I probably would have cried if she did hug me.  So instead we rode our bikes home.

Today was minor house repair day today.  I washed walls and spackled holes.  The girls helped flood wash the hallway.  We went to yoga and I ran errands.  I should have tried out yoga today but the idea of having an hour of quiet time was actually more appealing.  I ended up at Walgreen's where I bought posters and poster markers.  We are picking up my friends tomorrow from the airport and I get to meet their two new children from  Russia!  The girls wanted to do posters and balloons.  I hope I don't cry too badly.  Ali is coming with tomorrow to help with transportation.  She is worried I will scare the kids.  Just imagine being 2 and 3, landing in a foreign country where nobody speaks your language, walking down the airport corridor to be met by a large, crying woman with pink and white hair.  Oh boy.

Along with the transportation tomorrow I am also going to their house to tidy up before they get home.  I also volunteered to help a friend with yard work on Friday because her husband is having surgery this week. I'm actually enjoying helping friends out. I didn't realize how much I was neglecting while working that job I had.   I didn't realize how much stress I was under until I've gotten two months out from that place.  I feel badly that my children got neglected.  I feel badly that my friends got neglected.   While I'm not having Sound of Music days I am definitely having long stretches of stress-free time.

We also stopped this evening to take one fabulous picture.  Brigid in front of St. Brigid's Catholic Church.  Nothing like sharing a name with a saint. Brigid is MY hero.

Now off to bed.  Busy day tomorrow!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

I pick that one. No, wait that one. No! Wait this one.

I've been writing this blog post in my head for a couple of days now.  It seems that every Mom of multiples is weighing in on this one particular topic.  Let me start by sharing one of my favorite picks of my trio:
Abigail, Caroline, and Brigid at the First Communion practice.  3 very different girls.  3 very different personalities.  I can't imagine my life without them. 

Let add that I am pro-choice.  You can try and persuade me in any way you like including reminding me that I am a Christian.   Still not going to change my mind but that's not quite what this post is about.  

My infertility journey is a long one.  Just read my biography at the beginning of this blog.  Not one of my children came easily to this family.  I realize that most people will try and tell me that I should be anti-choice because Megan was adopted.  Megan's birthMother had a choice in deciding to carry Megan to term and to place her for adoption.  And to her I will forever be eternally grateful.
That's me holding Megan for the very first time.  That rather pained look is me starting to burst into tears.

Every parent of multiples, I'm talking 3 or more babies, is given the selective reduction speech.  The doctor tries to scare you into reducing 1-2 babies to supposedly take you out of the high risk category.  You are given many grim talks about all the dangers you and your babies will face if you choose to continue on with a multiples pregnancy.  Our lovely doctor, a reproductive endocrinologist,  gave us this speech each and every time we sat down in his office.  He even went so far as to try and schedule a trip to Memphis to have this done around the 13th week of pregnancy.  Apparently they don't have specialists here in little ol' Louisville who can do selective reduction. No matter how many times we tried to tell the doctor that we didn't want any part of selective reduction, he just kept on bringing it up.  We tried for years through many difficult surgeries and procedures to get pregnant.  There was no way in hell, no matter how severe the consequences, were we going to choose to get rid of any baby.  I didn't spend all that time, anguish, and money trying to get pregnant to all of a sudden become unpregnant.  

On our last visit with the RE, before we switched over to the maternal/fetal OB, we were again given "the talk".   My ex in one of his more brilliant moments began talking with the doctor about the doctor's children.  He had two daughters of whom he was quite proud.  One was in college.  One was at Manual.   He beamed when he spoke of their accomplishments.  When he was finished beaming, my ex asked him one very simple question.  "Tell me Dr. N.  Which one of your daughter's would you have chosen to reduce?"  Dr. N sputtered and was at a loss for words.  Selective reduction was never brought up again.

Which brings me to tonight's topic.  Yes I know.  I'm wordy.  There is a blogger out there who is writing about her journey through infertility.  Here's the link to her blog so you can read for yourself.

She did IVF, put in two embryos, and ended up with four babies, a singleton and ID triplets.  Very early on she lost on of the babies so she is pregnant with a singleton and ID twins.   She had decided to go for selective reduction and is going to reduce to a singleton.  Again her decision.  Remember I am pro-choice so I am not completely bothered by her choice.  I couldn't do it.   She has spent years trying to conceive and has been blogging about her journey.  She is active on many infertility websites as well.  What bothers me so very much about this blogger is her almost cavalier attitude about what she is about to do.   She talks of this choice with as much emotion as you would trying to pick out what to have for dinner.   She isn't worried about the risks for herself or her babies as much as she is making a life style choice.  She doesn't want triplets to interfere with her lot in life.  I don't get it. 

"Why would you spend all these years trying  to get pregnant, to then work so hard to get unpregnant?"  

She has been blogging on another site about her triplet pregnancy.  She takes belly pics and talks about maternity clothes and cravings.  "Um excuse me?  You are about to abort two of your babies.  You don't get to talk about your triplet pregnancy!!"   It bothers me that she is portraying herself as a hero to others who are making the selective reduction choice.  "Lady, you are not a hero.  You are a selfish person who coldly writes about your choice.   Please don't carry on about your positive mindset when you are far from being positive!"  She writes that SR was not exactly a hard choice for them.  

I'm pretty sure I would be more supportive if she wrote about the anguish and heartache involved in the decision.   If there were some genetic problem.  If she was so high risk that it put her or her babies' lives at risk .  There would be an outpouring of love and concern.  Of understanding.   Then she would be a hero to those faced with a very difficult decision.  But to say this wasn't a hard choice just makes her appear as cold hearted.   She doesn't understand why people are so aggravated with her.  It's not the choice itself as much as the attitude that has people so pissed off.  

I have had a lot of negative effects from having triplets.  I lost my marriage, my big, fancy house. My sanity.  It has been a hard battle.  I'm in a small apartment with bills I can barely pay and am starting over with a new career.  Yet I am so damn Blessed to have triplets!  I love my children.  All of them.   I love every single struggle and heartache.   They are a treasure.  A Blessing from God.  They make me laugh every single day.  My heart is going to burst with all the love I have for my girls.   

So which one (or two) should I have chosen to get rid of?

Friday, July 6, 2012

I could get use to this

It's been a busy week at Chez Harrigan.  The girls were with their Dad last week.  It was nice to get a break from noise.  There were so many days when I never even turned the TV on.  I kept myself busy helping friends, visiting friends, and just enjoying my down time.  The girls came home on Saturday.  We've been moving ever since.

We spent a lot of the week swimming.  Our apartment pools are finally opening from 10- 9 p.m.  They had been open only 3-7 everyday.  Today alone we went twice and it was wonderful.

With me starting school in August, the girls were excited to go and see where I will be going to school.   We went on Monday and all got makeovers.  With free services and receiving student discounts on everything, it cost me almost nothing.   Caroline only wanted french braids so that is what she got.

Megan wanted to look like Kristen Stewart so we did a semi-permanent color to try it out.  That way if she didn't like it, it would just wash out over time.

Abigail simply wanted a cut to make her hair a bit shorter for summer.

Brigid wanted a complete cut.  It suits her so beautifully!!!
(Yes that is a leprechaun foot on the bathroom door.  He came to visit for St. Patrick's Day and apparently he leaves footprints that don't come off.)

I wanted something so very different.  I had this hair color in my mind for a couple of months and thought if I was able to go to cosmetology school then I would get it.  If I stayed in teaching then I would not.  

It is so incredibly freeing finally allowing my appearance finally match my inner personality.  Those are pink highlights.  

Tuesday we hung out at home.  My allergies are killing me.  This is the worst they have ever been.  One of the things I'm allergic too is bluegrass.  I live in the frickin' bluegrass state.  

Wednesday was the 4th of July.  We went to Locust Grove which is the oldest home in Louisville.  I've been wanting to take the girls for forever and took advantage of the fact that the tour was free.  My girls actually really enjoyed it.   

Thursday was an epically busy day.  The girls were going to get manicures at Empire on Tuesday but we ran out of time.   So I took them back on Thursday.  It was so unbelievably adorable to see all 4 girls sitting at tables getting their nails done.  My girls chatted with the students doing their nails.  It was definitely an image of my future with 4 teenagers!!

After nails we went to Old Navy because I have to wear solid black pants and either a solid black or solid white shirt to school everyday.   I'm a pattern kind of girl so I don't have a lot of solid anything.  I found two pairs of pants for $7 each and two white shirts both of which were $2.50.   As I was looking at the clearance racks my girls started to look at their sizes as well.  I love that they don't even look at the regular racks.  They head straight to the sales!   They started finding jeans and shirts for $1.47.  I rarely, if ever, let the girls try anything on.  I just bring the clothes home to the girls.  It was so spontaneous as they each asked to try on a shirt in the dressing room.  The store was not busy so I said ok.  An HOUR later my girls had tried on just about everything on the clearance racks.  They had so much fun!  I enjoyed just sitting on a bench watching the girls smile through every outfit.   I ended up buying each girl a pair pants,  2 shirts, and a pair of shorts.  At a $1.47-2.00, I couldn't pass it up!!  

We headed to Kroger and shopped for dinner.  We came home, they ate, and then headed to yoga.  Yes you read that right.  Yoga.   I saw an ad for Yoga East that said they had classes for kids and scholarships were available.  I called and found out that my girls qualified.  I told them and they got so excited!! (except for Brigid who was very apprehensive)  I dropped the girls off for over an hour.  When I returned they all asked if they could do it again!   It turns out that they also offer a beginner's yoga class at the same time for adults.  It's been 20 years since I've done yoga.  I miss it.  So I think I'm going to drag this fat ass to class too.   I figure I can justify the expense (it's so damn cheap!) because it's for my health.  I'm really good at starting things and then not  finishing them.  Yet the girls LOVED the class and can't wait to go back again.  

After yoga, as we were diving home, I passed by a sprayground that is relatively new.  So an impromptu stop to cool off thrilled the girls to no end.  

Today we hung out at home and swam twice.  Tomorrow I plan to nap.  A lot.   Phew.