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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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An Interview With a Mom of Triplets

Our boundless curiosity about the ability of a human to raise three tiny lifeforms at once led us to sit down with our own commenter, iceberg, who has survived the first few years and emerged unbroken. She'll be in the comments to answer any other questions you might have!

"HOW DID YOU HAVE THREE BABIES?" I ask with a meaningful glance!

For that, you'll have to wait for my upcoming feature, "Bake-at-Home Babies."

We're very excited! For the record, let's state I deliberately got clearance to ask that super-rude question for humorous purposes.

Oh, girl, that's not EVEN close to the rudest. People have straight up asked if we used fertility drugs, etc., to have them, including a new coworker, like, 3 seconds after I met her for the first time.

One day I was walking in the park with them in their wagon, this woman with her about-7-year-old kid walks by and asks if they're triplets, I say yes, all fine and good, then as she continues to walk next to us, casually says to her kid something like "You can't do that naturally, you know." SO rude, not to mention completely inaccurate and bizarre – I'm sure her kid barely even knows where babies usually come from and couldn't give two shits anyway.

My friend just tells gawkers: "Yes, they are SCIENCE BABIES, deal with it." I've always had a soft spot for: "This is what happens when you have multiple orgasms when you conceive, so, uh sorry for you and your single babies." Okay, let's get down to it. Does having three babies put three times as much strain on your marriage, or a billion times as much?

I can't really compare, since I only know what it's like having three! Everything in that post about babies and sleep deprivation was 300% true; frankly I was a little surprised that someone with "only" one baby got as close to the way I feel as she did, but no sleep is no sleep, you know? As far as the strain on our marriage, I was unprepared for how much less in control of my emotions I would become through sleep deprivation and stress, and for how vicious our fighting became. I don't want to go into too much detail, but yeah, it's an ongoing process and a conscious effort to actually be decent to one another- we are still basically in survival mode.

I guess that you've only ever had three babies, so you don't necessarily even know what a single baby would be like, but did you ever hate people with one baby who complained? No judgment.

No! You experience what you experience. A friend of mine said he felt guilty for complaining about being tired to me, and I was like, someone always has it worse, you know? Like, I am not starving, or a refugee from a warzone, or a child soldier or something. Never give up your right to complain! Haha. It is a bit hard not to be like *laughs bitterly* when someone with no kids at home complains of tiredness, but I try to keep it in perspective.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

It costs all of the money. No, it was rough when they were all on formula, but now they eat real foods; bananas and Cheerios (or as I call them, "Toddler Chow") are really cheap, and being vegetarian helps in that respect too. We do go through about 4 gallons of milk a week though – thank God no one is allergic to cows milk.

How long did it take you to see individual personalities appearing?

We saw glimmers really soon; they didn't crystallize into full on personalities, I think, until at least one year old if not later – the Ringleader has always been determined and fearless, the Clown has always been cheeky and quick to laughter, and the Quiet One has always been... well, quiet, and sweet.

How much sleep did you get in the first year?

Nowhere near enough! Sometimes it could be like 2 hours in a night, and even then that might not be consecutive. I was basically a zombie. A friend of mine and his wife just had triplets; it's been "fun" watching his brain melt the same way.

What helped? Groups for moms of multiples, blogs, child care, being in a country with better health care, your partner, stiff drinks, denial, love?

Before the babies were born, we did a sort of preparedness class at the local hospital – we toured the newborn ICU (NICU), learned some helpful information and met other parents-to-be. I made a really good friend who ended up having twins a few days younger than our kids. We almost never see each other because it's hard to organize and have time but we keep in touch via Facebook and email.

Our mothers came over one after the other for the first 7 months, stayed with us and looked after the kids and helped with cooking and house work. I literally don't think I would have survived those first months without them.

I also recently joined a Facebook group for local parents of multiples – everyone is really supportive and nice and we feel less alone in the struggle, I recommend it.

Since the babies got old enough to return affection in really concrete ways (like hugs & kisses) that definitely helps! It kind of ameliorates the flailing, kicking and biting of the tantrum times. They are actually super affectionate, it's really sweet.

And of course the Hairpin has saved my sanity by having such a mix of escapism and honesty in its writing.

Oh, that's nice to hear! It was so helpful for me to keep writing and prevent my brain turning to mush that first year, especially. Okay, level with us: do you ever ever want another baby?

Hell no. Once this lot are potty trained and the dog goes, I never plan to deal with anyone else's poop EVER again. This might sound selfish, but unless you have cloth-diapered triplets I don't think you can understand how dehumanizing it is to be literally almost wrist-deep in (other people's!) shit every day. My husband wants more because he is insane, but I told him if we have any more we are using his uterus.

Did they wake each other up constantly?

Not really, once they're asleep, but if any of them are acting up the others might get annoyed. The Ringleader yelled at her brother "gotosleep!!!" when he was clowning around at naptime the other day. But if one is let cry for too long in the wee hours of the morning they do tend to wake up the rest so Cry It Out isn't really an option if we want to remain functional – it's easier to quietly extract one and calm them down than to get all three back down at 3 in the morning.

Do people totally maul you in public?

YES, people are so weird. Random people have literally stopped their cars to take a photo of them in their 3-car wagon when I walk down the street with them. People have questions, people take photos (sometimes without asking), people freely give their opinions on my age and weight... The first time I took just one of them out in public it was completely bizarre because literally no one even gave us a second look; I felt oddly invisible as that NEVER happens when all three are with me.

Now that you have three gorgeous, gorgeous (OMIGOD, I have seen pics on Facebook) toddlers, are you happy it happened this way, or do you still kinda wish you'd had baby-baby-baby spaced out?

Well, like I said before, once we're done with diapers I am done for life, and they'll always have their little gang for support, which might not be the case with siblings further apart, and although my pregnancy was probably as extreme as being pregnant 3 times I only had to do it once, so there are pros, but then if you have an older kid they might be able to help with the next one, and feeding one baby has GOT to be easier than feeding 3 at once. And then there's times like teething and the terrible twos which just make you want to run off to Costa Rica and leave them behind. But then the wily little jerks will do something like trotting around the living room ALL HOLDING HANDS and giggling, or do the Happy Dance when you come home after work, or run at you and throw their arms around your neck for a hug, and it makes your heart feel three times too big for your chest, and you can't imagine missing out on any of these crazy little nutjobs. Like, if we only had one, who would we not have?

Thanks so much, iceberg! We're looking forward to "Bake at Home Babies."

390 Comments / Post A Comment

iceberg

squeeeeeee I am here, if anyone wants to Ask A Triplet Mom anything else :)

noodge

@iceberg I LOVE THIS MOAR PLEASE.

EpWs

@iceberg YOU ARE A BEAST, lady. Moar please forever.

graffin

@iceberg First of all, as a father of a single 1 year old child, my thoughts on triplets are "NO NO NO NO NO!"

How did you get financially prepared for three babies? The cost of formula, diapers, and daycare has been keeping us living paycheck to paycheck for the past year.

What kind of support system do you have from family?

raised amongst catalogs

@iceberg I didn't think it was possible for me to like you more than I already did (which was a lot). Berg!

iceberg

@noodge We are teaching them about emotions, so when they watch the Lion King and Mufasa dies, The Quiet One (TQO?) repeats in monotone "Sad. Sad. Sad. Sad." until we acknowledge that yes, the baby lion is sad.

noodge

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher uuuggghhhh toddlers learning emotions is the best! have you started doing the "show me [emotion]!" game?

iceberg

@graffin Hahahahahaha "prepared". We cloth diaper a lot of the time, the initial cost is big but then you just wash them instead of buying more; we get disposables (and baby wipes) in BULK via subscription on Amazon which cuts costs and we don't have to go buy them, so time-saving; we were given a lot of formula samples b our pediatricians office but we did ave to seriously rework the grocery budget there for a while; as I said up there we had free childcare for the first few months and now we pay a girl an embarrassingly low wage (but she does get a 2-3 hour break when they nap) to look after them while we both go to work.
EDITED TO ADD: currently we have no "blood family" support physically, but I get emotional support via email/FaceTime, and we have a lot of VERY dear generous friends who are helping out a lot.

wee_ramekin

@iceberg Do people have to be taught about emotions?! I had no idea! What do you teach them? Like: "That feeling you are having right now is happiness/sadness/anger/frustration"? My mind is blown.

EpWs

@wee_ramekin Does anyone offer refresher courses in emotions, btw?

iceberg

@wee_ramekin & @noodge re emotions - it's not teaching them how to have emotions so much as naming emotions that exist, just like how you name farm animals or whateve ("this is a grape, this is a cow this is happiness") and yes we play the emotions game - three frowny toddlers trying not to laugh is pretty funny, and when they pretend to be sad they do thissort of mocking "boo hoo hoo" that is really hilarious

Emby

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher

:)
:(
:'(
:']
:/
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8|
:O

Megasus

@iceberg OMGGG you were such a wonderful interview subject! Has anyone ever asked you if you ever feel like a dog because you have a little of children? (I'm sorry, I was trying to think of a the rudest thing a person could say, and that's probably it).

fabel

@iceberg OMG you are a triplet mom! but you only have two nipples #thingsI'msuresomeonehassaidtoyou,right

TheLetterL

@iceberg This was great. Moar please, indeed!

Someone please make a poem with the line: "this is a grape, this is a cow, this is happiness."

Ophelia

@fabel Oooh, let's see if we can come up with the very worst thing someone has ACTUALLY said! (@iceberg, will this be hilarious, or will we just drag you to the end of your rope?)

wee_ramekin

@Ophelia Noooooo! That seems mean and overly indulgent, kind of like the lookalike thread yesterday where everyone was like "I look like Angelina Jolie HUMBLEBRAG!!!".

Ophelia

@wee_ramekin Ah, yes - I was thinking it would be more towards the ridiculous, but I can see how that would quickly turn...

iceberg

@Ophelia Well, I feel like the worst ones are pretty much up there in the interview. Lots of people like to tell me I look too skinny or whatever. I just want to tell them to buy me a cheeseburger. No, no joking, buy me a cheeseburger. Or the coworker that said she wished she was as skinny as me and I was like "Honey you don't want the life that goes with this body."

Ophelia

@iceberg Ugh, ugh, ugh. There are so many layers of awful in that comment. I would totally buy you a cheeseburger, but mainly because I think it'd be fun to have lunch ;-)

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg Yay! As soon as I saw the headline I was like ICEBERGIE?! So excited to read this! I wish I had time to read it now but I just dropped an entire glass bottle of tea on the floor and spent a lot of time cleaning it up, so now I have to get back to work. I am way too clumsy to have triplets.

iceberg

@fondue with cheddar not at all, I am terribly clumsy and am forever walking into small people and knocking them over. They have diaper-padded bums though, so it's okay.

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg They're also very resilient! I accidentally left a baby gate unlatched while watching my niece and nephew, and he fell head-first all the way down the steps (he had a HUGE head when he was 2). I was like OMG HE'S GOING TO DIE AND IT'S ALL MY FAULT. But other than a little blood from biting his lip he was totally okay. Scariest moment of my entire life. My heart is racing just thinking about it.

claire@twitter

@iceberg Can I just tell you that "Like, if we only had one, who would we not have?" is maybe the most beautiful sentiment I've ever read? And also, can I ask you if multiples run in your family or your spouse's? Multiples run on my dad's and my mom's side but not in my spouse's but I am a little terrified at the idea? (Less so after reading this!!)

iceberg

@claire@twitter thank you, and to answer your question, they do not. but also, to be honest, there is something about asking if they run in the family that feels a little too close to "did this happen naturally or not", not that that's what you meant but just FYI. I'm sure for people who did have them naturally *spoiler alert?* it's probably not touchy at all but yeah.

claire@twitter

@iceberg thanks for answering! I hesitated really strongly before I asked because of what you said, and I won't ask it of people in the future. I am truly sorry if I offended you! Your family sounds beautiful.

iceberg

@claire@twitter Not at all. I think if it's not followed by a meaningful stare and a "soooooo...?" then it's probably fine, but in my experience it IS usually followed by the more invasive question.

claire@twitter

@iceberg oh mannn. Someone below also brought up the "self-interest/panic" angle, as well. I look forward to reading more from you! This was incredibly interesting and ALSO a complete pleasure to read.

packedsuitcase

@iceberg It makes me sad for a lot of reasons that people act like just because your body did something theirs didn't, they get to ask all kinds of questions about it. A while back a friend of a friend was having triplets and was having the hardest time picking a stroller. I'm a researcher by nature, and was so super excited when I saw a triplet mama in Target that I headed over to ask her what brand she had and what she thought of it. Totally didn't realize she was bracing herself for the uber-rude barrage of questions (which, okay, me treating her like a research subject was not exactly the best thing to do when she and her husband were just trying to get some milk, dammit) until I saw her eyes. Once she heard the question, though, she brightened up and was a total wealth of info but I felt bad for giving her that "Oh crap, here we go again," feeling.

Also, I have nowhere else to put this but my friend is having twins and she finds out the sex on Friday and I am just dying to buy her the cutest of cute little baby things. Like a little pair of owl hats. Or blankies. Or something.

ALSO! Okay, another question - night nurses. How do you go about finding one or pricing them out to hand a friend a Visa or something so she can pick one out herself? I have a really big group of friends and I'm sure we could chip in and get a night nurse for a night, but I have no idea how to go about navigating this. I mean, I'm picky about who watches my cats. And they're CATS. So if I were her, I'd want to pick the person interacting with my kids. But then how do you "give" somebody a night nurse?

God. I'm so rambly. Sorry. I loved this interview so so so much.

iceberg

@packedsuitcase you're very sweet! i haven't had a night nurse, i've no idea but they sound pretty great. dunno where she's sposed to sleep though. OH yeah she's not sleeping. hahaha.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

@iceberg I posted this on the Facebook wall of a MOT that I know. Bless. I hope for Mother's Day you get lots of sleep.

iceberg

@Claire Zulkey@twitter tell her that yesterday I had a shower for the first time in DAYS, and I don't remember the last time I brushed my hair. she is not alone.

Neve Garrett

@iceberg This is wonderful. You are wonderful! Thank you for this.

crane your neck

@iceberg Just chiming in to say that you were a great interview subject! Your attitude is so admirable and your kids sound awesome. Thanks for this piece.

thebestjasmine

@packedsuitcase Hey, my friend who just had twins had family chip in to get them a night nurse for some nights. I think there are just some websites that specialize in them, so they're all vetted by the site and stuff, and she just paid through the site. It was an INCREDIBLE help to her, I cannot even tell you.

Verity

@fabel The "only having two nipples" thing does make it all sound even more impossible. I am a triplet, and my mum breastfed (although also used bottles) and I have no idea how she managed it. It it ridiculous.

@iceberg Ha, on the subject of showers, I remember my mum saying that people would ask her when we were babies about what her routine was, and when she showered. Cue hollow laughter.

sparrow303

@iceberg @packedsuitcase YES there are websites for night nurses! I used to be a nanny myself, and my family also had a night nurse. They do get paid more than regular sitters, and usually if there is a spare bed or sofa, they are allowed to doze off while (if) the wee one sleeps, I think.

Try a local nanny agency (google it); they've probably got the info for ya.

Simtow

@iceberg Story of my life! My 3 youngest sisters (I'm 1 of 7) are triplets, so it's interesting to read and compare. This year is 3 proms/3 graduations year. :-)

iceberg

@Simtow SEVEN. did you single kids ever get a bit miffed when (I assume) the triplets got a lot of fawning public attention?

Simtow

@iceberg Ha, actually no, because all 7 of us are girls so we got a lot of attention for that on top of the triplet mania.

EpWs

@Simtow Hold up, your mother had...*counts*...four girls already, and then got THREE MORE AT ONCE? WHERE DO WE SEND HER MEDALS.

Simtow

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher When they were born (in September) my parents had 5 kids 5 and under: me, starting Kindergarten, my 3-year-old sister, and newborn triplets. I told my mom if they'd waited 10 years we could've had a TLC show.

EpWs

@Simtow Parenting: beast mode.

par_parenthese

ICEBERGIE!!! I haven't even read it but I had to come down here just to say I AM SO EXCITED HOORAY!

par_parenthese

And now I've read it and *sigh* total crush on you right now. You are super-duper cool.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@par_parenthese I was just thinking this same thing. Ugh, lady crush.

iceberg

@par_parenthese ahhhh you really don't know, I am quite awful.

EpWs

@iceberg Tough, we love you.

Ophelia

@iceberg but that's why we LIKE you.

In all seriousness, you don't seem awful at all.

par_parenthese

@iceberg *snorts in disbelief*

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iceberg Well, that actually makes my crush crushier, just so you know.

iceberg

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose like, i may have hissed at one of them to shut the fuck up last night, but in my defense she had been screaming hysterically for about a half hour and it was two in the morning, and then I hugged her and we watched a half hour of Lion King until she fell asleep. Did I mention my husband is in another country so I am temporarily single-momming it right now?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iceberg Oh girl. That's some tough shit to deal with. I fully believe children evolved to be cute so we wouldn't throw them out the window. Same with puppies.

par_parenthese

@iceberg I mean, you sound normal? I hiss at my students all the time and they don't EVER scream in my ear at two in the morning. And I agree -- kids' cuteness is directly related to the survival of the species.

MY CONCLUSION STANDS AND MY CRUSH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT.

EpWs

THIS IS SO EXCITING OMG.

Okay, Asking A Triplet Mom: in the possible event that one of my friends someday gets pregnant with multiples, what are the best things to buy for a mom of more than one (pre-babies, after-babies, etc?)?

highjump

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Buy them a night nurse I'm guessing?

BosomBuddy

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I'd like suggestions for this, too. A good friend of mine is having twins and I want to get something useful, because I have no clue at all.

iceberg

@highjump I have never had a night nurse, but I think I would quite possibly perform sexual favors for anyone who got me one. If that's not in the budget, onesies in a range of sizes (because EVERYONE gets you the tiniest and then they grow out of them and you have NOTHING) up to 12 months. Preemie sized stuff was bafflingly hard to find. And I mean really preemie - ours were less than 3 pounds each and the disposable diapers they wore in the hospital were NOT EXAGGERATING about the size of a panty liner.

highjump

@iceberg I was wondering how many weeks they were when they were born and other pregnancy and birth stuffs, but I assume that will all be covered in Bake at Home Babies?

EpWs

@iceberg Next baby shower I go to, I'm hijacking everyone invited and making them all throw in on the night nurse fund.

Ophelia

@BosomBuddy Other stuff I'd love (but feel weird asking for since it's not really "showery") is: a dog walker, someone to come in once a week and clean the house, and gift certificates for massages. But I'm only having 1, so I can't imagine doing this with 3...Iceberg, you get so much respect.

Regina Rizzo@facebook

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher: I'm totally doing that too!!!!

Lily Rowan

@iceberg I'm so glad to hear that about the bigger onesies, because that's what I tend to give! On the assumption that what you said about everyone buying the tiny ones was true, so I'm glad to have confirmation.

wee_ramekin

@Ophelia Those are all really cool ideas! Could you just tell your best friend, or whoever is helping arrange the shower, and then have her tell everyone? That way it's not coming from you?

Also, as a friend, I would SOOOOOO much rather sign up to dog-walk a friend's pooch than buy onesies or diapers or something. Not that those things aren't useful, I'm just more of a Show My Love w/ Actions person, so that would be such a great gift for me.

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher also, after babies, their preferred source of caffeine, and disposable diapers in the current size of the child/ren

TheRisottoRacket

@Ophelia My college girlfriends and I already decided that when we start actually having children we'll take turns buying each other maid service for a while after baby comes because holy shit who doesn't want that.

Ophelia

@wee_ramekin Yeah, I'll probably mention it to someone who's non-traditional about having to give a "present" and let them kind of find like-minded others? I'm kind of terrified of receiving too much STUFF (which I will then have to cram into our apt), so this is also a nice way to quell my panic.

wee_ramekin

@Ophelia Doooooo it. I had never really thought of stuff like this before you mentioned it, and as a person who envisions quite a few baby showers in her future, I am really excited about this idea. I'm going to make little books of "chore coupons" for all my baby-havin' friends from now on! (Confession: I love cleaning other peoples' houses/doing other peoples' dishes. I don't feel nearly the same fervor for my own messes, sadly.)

Ophelia

@wee_ramekin Any time you want to come over, you just let me know ;-)

BosomBuddy

@iceberg I like night nurse idea, but I'm worried these people will be afraid of having strangers look after their babies? Any ideas for negotiating or considering that? Is the best option just to wait and ask?

iceberg

@BosomBuddy Hmm that's a good point. Other people may be more sensitive about that than I am. I guess asking is a good idea, and opinions may change after a few sleepless months. ;)

Ophelia

@BosomBuddy To chime in - I love the idea of help with housework, but I'm uncomfortable with the idea of a night nurse - I think asking the mom is probably the way to go? But ask me in July.

NeverOddOrEven

@Lily Rowan
I end up doing this too, but mostly because I have no concept of the actual size of a newborn.

Lily Rowan

@NeverOddOrEven Uh, you know that they put ages on the tags, right? (Not that they necessarily relate to the actual baby's actual size, but who knows the baby's size before it is born? Nobody, I say!)

iceberg

@Lily Rowan and multiples tend to fit smaller than their actual age, before about 18 months anyway.

NeverOddOrEven

@Lily Rowan
I know, but the sizes always look off to me! But I guess the image of Baby that I have in my mind is probably a few months old, when I typically meet them.
And I err on the side of too big for the same reasons you mentioned.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I have a question! And it's one of those rude ones (maybe, I don't know). Was breastfeeding an option? It seems like a complicated idea in my head, with three babies and two boobs.

iceberg

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose see below :)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iceberg Ah, that is interesting! Thanks!

TheclaAndTheSeals

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I just imagined slo-mo topless baby juggling. I am terrible.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@TheclaAndTheSeals If by terrible you mean AMAZING, then yes.

iceberg

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose to be more specific you can b/f two at once using the "football hold" (google "football hold twins" if you don't mind loking at boobs) and give the other one a bottle - usually I think the recommendation is to rotate feedings so that everyone gets boob 2 times out of every 3 feedings?

Verity

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Butting in here, but I am a triplet, and my mum breastfed! Not exclusively - she used bottles as well - but quite a lot. She would rotate so that at one feed, baby A would get the left breast, baby B the right and baby C the bottle, and then switch at the next feed. (I'm not sure how she had time to sleep.) We have photos of her feeding two of us at once, using a big cushion on her lap to support the babies.

allofthewine

Basic questions! Maybe I misread this, but it sounds like you have two girls and a boy? Are the girls identical? Do they all share a room? And, will they in the future? Do you dress them alike in little sailor costumes?

dj pomegranate

@allofthewine oh my god little sailor costumes. I want to put sailor costumes on all babies, all the time.

iceberg

@allofthewine yeah, 2 girls and boy. they are not identical AT ALL, so no Olsen twin fortunes in our future sadly. We don't dress them alike as my husband forbids it on tweeness grounds, but sometimes we do a theme like everyone's wearing stripey t-shirts and jeans... for a recent cowboy themed birthday party they all wore plaid shirts, which was disgustingly adorable.

Judith Slutler

@iceberg Bahaha I would dress them all in clashing colors or do, like, pattern mixing

Ophelia

@iceberg what do you do for Halloween?? The possibilities!!

dj pomegranate

@Ophelia I am imagining toddler Marx Brothers and dying of cuteness.

stonefruit

@Ophelia Tiny Beastie Boys! Tiny Run DMC! The options, they are ENDLESS.

wee_ramekin

@stonefruit AH THE THREE LITTLE PIGS!

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin THREE BLIND MICE!!!!

iceberg

@Ophelia Yeah I haven't got time to make costumes for babies who don't even know what Halloween is, so I haven't crossed that bridge yet. I was planning to dress them as bogans, in sweatpants, tiny wifebeaters and a few fake tatts, but then it was really cold and they were sick over H'ween, so... next year?

wee_ramekin

@iceberg ...the hell is a "bogan"?

RK Fire

@stonefruit OMG, dying.

iceberg

@wee_ramekin Google image search bogan. Basically an urban redneck? I don't think there is an American equivalent, but Britney Spears minus the money and fame comes close.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@iceberg
Haha, I read about bogans the other year and had kept meaning to ask you if they are real, or just a thing the writer made up!

iceberg

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Interesting fact, Eric Bana used to do a recurring sketch with a bogan character called Poida (Peter). I'm sure it's on YouTube.

TARDIStime

@iceberg Bogan: trailer trash living in houses.

highjump

iceberg, you once alluded to a story about chopping all of your hair off very suddenly when your children were really young. You said you were finding hair wrapped around babies? Please tell this story.

EpWs

@highjump SECONDED

iceberg

@highjump my hair was about 3 feet long at that point (yay preggo hormones + lack of time to get cut?) and I shed like a mofo, so hairs kept turning up wound around tiny fingers, toes and necks, and memorably one time I had to pull one out of a tiny arse. we got paranoid about this cutting off circulation, so I made my husband chop off about a foot or so (and lost my curls BOOOOOO), and now I keep it in a bun usually. Not going for the hair equivalent of mom-jeans, thanks.

RNL
RNL

@iceberg I was a nanny in college, and the mom of my first family was terrified by this story she had heard about a hair wrapping around a tiny penis and... well, I'll let you fill in the rest. Didn't happen to my little guy! THANK GOD.

iceberg

@RNL *nooooooooooo* *faints* - ALSO, PSA for moms to be of baby dudes: they WILL get boners when you change their diapers, it is gross but totally normal.

RNL
RNL

@iceberg And then sometimes they'll giggle and touch their little boners and look at you and as a nanny you're like "HOLY SHIT WHAT DO I DO?"

I also used to babysit my godparent's twin boys. One time when they were... four? five? one came to me with a shit-starting grin and said "Sometimes I like to touch my brother's penis. And sometimes he likes to touch mine."

Me, outwardly: "Oh really? Tell daddy and mommy later."

Me, inwardly: "HOLY SHIT is my choice really between 'act like incest is totes cool' and 'freak out and potentially sexually scar these kids for life'? REALLY? This is beyond my pay grade for real."

iceberg

@RNL the girls went through a phase of grabbing the little dude's wang in the bathtub - just to yank it really hard like they were trying to pull it off. Thankfully they kinda just stopped on their own, although we did tell them off. He still likes to check if it's there occasionally.

Emby

Which one is your favorite?

Emby

No I'm kidding. I don't really have any questions at the moment, but I do have loads and loads (and loads!) of admiration for you and your family.

iceberg

@Emby Thanks. Whichever one isn't screaming is my favorite.

wee_ramekin

"Our mothers came over one after the other for the first 7 months, stayed with us and looked after the kids and helped with cooking and house work. I literally don't think I would have survived those first months without them."

Not to rain on this whole parade, but this fact must make your mother-in-law's recent death so much harder to deal with. I'm so, so sorry.

iceberg

@wee_ramekin Pretty much. She was such an incredibly capable and caring person and it is a huge blow. BUT they did get to meet her and love her and we have lots of photos.

EpWs

How many times has this happened so far:

EpWs

sorry 'bout the huge picture y'all

wee_ramekin

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher You can fix that!

Inside your < img src= > tag, put width="some number" height="some number" after the image url.

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin A-like so:

< img src= ' www.yourface.com ' width="some number" height="some number" >

...but take out the spaces (though you can have a space after the last "" after width).

EpWs

@wee_ramekin Fascinating! But I am out of edit time (boooo) and I don't know what the numbers should be, but in the future, BAM, it will be fixed. For now we all get an obnoxiously large picture of the triplets from Brave shooting each other out of a bow.

wee_ramekin

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher For a picture like that, I'd probably do width="300" height="200". When I include that info in my HTML, I usually play about with it a little bit after I originally post until the proportions come out right. But numbers in the hundreds are generally what you're shooting for.

EpWs

@wee_ramekin Gracias, amiga.

wee_ramekin

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher De nada, palabra arrancadora de mi corazón.

Emby

@wee_ramekin Or if you're bad with HTML or just lazy, go to www.imgur.com and resize it there! That's what I always do. Here's a really really tiny elephant to examplize:

EpWs

@Emby Tiny elephant!

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher <3 u wordsnatchie - it hasn't at all, but only because they haven't learned to cooperate yet - I dread the day.

EpWs

@iceberg SOON

Urwelt

@wee_ramekin This would also be a great opportunity for the people who run the website to slap an overflow:hidden on this div!

wee_ramekin

@Urwelt (I don't know what that means. But I am interested in finding out!)

Urwelt

@wee_ramekin CSS is a language that describes how websites look (related to HTML). If they make a small alteration to the CSS, they can make sure that excessively large images don't stretch the page.

To break it down: the comment section is a division ("div") of this web page. You can write a rule that says "if anything overflows the set boundaries of this div, hide the part that overflows". The way you would write that in CSS is "overflow:hidden".

wee_ramekin

@Urwelt Thanks for explaining; that is really interesting, and I appreciate you taking the time to tell me about it :).

highjump

What is your tolerance for cutesy dressing? Do you dress them alike for pictures or anything? Semi-alike? Do they each have a color or anything like that?

Elsajeni

@highjump Relatedly, did you do/were you tempted to do any kind of cutesy matching-names scheme? (When I was a child I used to be babysat by teenage twins whose names rhymed. Personally, I think that was unkind of their parents. On the other end of the matchy spectrum, my cousins who are twins have matched sets of initials -- E.C. Lastname and C.E. Lastname -- which I think is cute.)

ponymalta

@highjump This first baby of 2013 story made me laugh because the baby in question is named Shane and his brother is named Shawn. I can see being like, "I can't think of another name, let's just basically give him the same one, okay?"

iceberg

@highjump I talked abovre about cutesy dressing, but I forgot, we did have Star Trek onesies at one point! When they were tiny we did color code a bit - each one had a color that was the color of their bottles, blankets and majority of their onesies.

We WERE thinking of matching names but in the end we hought it was a bit cruel. Each of them has a middle name that is inspired by the first name of a grandparent though so that's kind of nice.

adorable-eggplant

@iceberg Star trek onsies! Eeeeeecute.

kingstitcher

@highjump
Aleeah and Alianna.

Amphora

@iceberg My dad is a twin and his name rhymes with his brother's. His name also rhymes with my mom's. He's given up trying to be dignified about it.

karenology

@ponymalta I have a cousin named Daniel, and his younger brother's name is...wait for it..."Danny." It got ultra confusing when they grew older, and Daniel went by "Dan" and some of his teachers called Danny "Daniel."

Heat Signature

Love all of this so much, especially "It is a bit hard not to be like *laughs bitterly* when someone with no kids at home complains of tiredness, but I try to keep it in perspective" (YES YES YES) and the very last paragraph, because in the same day I both want to run off to Southeast Asia AND have a third child because my two boys are so amazing and wonderful and wouldn't it be GREAT to have more.

dj pomegranate

I have a question! How did you feel when you first found out you were growing MORE THAN ONE!? Did you suspect before you knew for sure? Did the doctor just say, like, "Oh, interesting, there seem to be six arms growing inside you..."?

EpWs

@dj pomegranate "...thankfully, there appear to be three bodies as well."

iceberg

@dj pomegranate Weeeell that one is kind of related to how we got to have three? soooo if it's ok I might answer it when we get to that part.

Lily Rowan

@iceberg Ooh, that actually is a part? Exciting!

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I'm still laughing at this.

7 vidas

Thank you for sharing!

Judith Slutler

iceberg!!!!!!! This is so awesome.

What is it like now that they are all walking? Is it hard to walk down the street with them all tagging along, or are they still at the age where they can go in the stroller? Do you have a car?

Ophelia

@Emmanuelle Cunt Did you get those toddler leashes so you can keep tabs on them all?

Judith Slutler

@Ophelia Oooh I thought about mentioning that, but then I felt just sure that they'd get really tangled up together!

Ophelia

@Emmanuelle Cunt Oh, god, a Rat King of toddlers.

adorable-eggplant

@Ophelia Ahaha, that is the most awesome/creepy thing I have read all day.

iceberg

@Ophelia you just made me spit out cola at "Rat King of toddlers" -thank you! Haha. We don't use leashes but either herd them all together but don't cross streets, or cross streets but have to hold hands with them (works best with more than one adult present, or two have to kind of share an adult hand) OR put them in our wagon:

Ellie

@Ophelia I wish I could like this comment 20x.

Ophelia

@iceberg OHMYGOSH that WAGON! Squeeeeeing all over the place here.

Judith Slutler

@iceberg That is a sweet wagon.

Blushingflwr

@iceberg That is an awesome wagon. In DC sometimes you see daycare workers herding children to the park. Sometimes they all have to hold hands, but sometimes they have this awesome little rope that each kid holds on to, with a grown-up at each end. It's adorable.

EmmaM

@Blushingflwr Here in Prague when groups of small kids go out in a class together, some or all of them wear loud reflective vests and it is basically the cutest thing ever. Like, Madeline, except instead of little blue uniforms in two straight lines it's safety vests. A friend told me she once witnessed a group going on the subway together with two teachers. They sent one teacher to the top of the escalator and the one at the bottom just handed a kid off to a stranger one by one so the stranger could deliver the kid to the other teacher at the top. I DREAM of this happening to me on a semi-regular basis.

EpWs

@Ophelia This will never stop being funny

Ophelia

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I know this is lame because it's my own comment, but I just came back and was scrolling through the thread and it made me snort again.

EpWs

@iceberg RE: the wagon--do they each have "their" car that they're possessive of? Is Ringleader also Wagon Leader?

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Kind of? The Clown tends to get pretty possessive about his blue seat, and the Ringleader does usually sit in front, but she and the Quiet One will occasionally swap depending on where they feel like sitting. They pronounce swap "sop", and the Quiet One will be like "Sop. Sop! Sooooooooop!" if she gets it in her head that she wants to swap something with one of the others

kellyography

LOVE! This was a great read. Those jerks holding hands and being adorable. Who do they think they are?!

iceberg

@kellyography RIGHT?!

Blushingflwr

I don't know if they're identical or fraternal, but if they are identical - how did you tell them apart when they were newborns? I was pondering this the other day, and how I am almost hopeless in discerning identical twins from each other unless they have dramatically different haircuts or styles or something, and wondering what would happen if I were faced with identical babies.

adorable-eggplant

@Blushingflwr I would go with wristbands.

iceberg

@Blushingflwr they are very different now but whe they were first born it was like girl, girl with mole on shoulder, boy with more hair than girls.

E
E

@Blushingflwr My brothers are identical twins. My mom painted the big toe of one baby to keep them straight. When they came home they had hats and wristbands saying "baby A, baby B".

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@adorable-eggplant Facial tattoos?

Blushingflwr

@E @iceberg - Okay, that makes me feel better. In my imagination I saw myself mixing them up and then feeling like the worst mother in the world for not being able to tell my precious babies apart (apparently the day I imagined this was an angsty day).

@Blushingflwr My Ladyfriend is an identical twin, and her parents color-coded everything. Ladyfriend's stuff was green -- green headbands, green bedding, green hats, green onesies -- and her sister had blue stuff.

Bittersweet

@E My mother is an identical twin. My grandmother dressed her and my aunt the same all through their childhood (not to be cutsie, because it was practical), but always put my mother on the right in the crib (and in photos). My grandfather was hopeless at telling them apart, though.

iceberg

@Bittersweet we do SORT OF that except it's the same t-shirt in different colors, just for the girls and then the boy has different stuff.

Blushingflwr

@S. Elizabeth My fear would be that one day after bathtime I would put the green one in the blue clothes and vice versa!

C.SanDiego

@Blushingflwr I know I'm so late to this discussion but I just have to tell you this story.

A friend of mine is dating an identical twin, and her boyfriend's brother recently had a stroke (at 28, let's not even talk about it, but he's totally fine). Turns out it was because he has some sort of genetic blood thing, which his parents knew about because they were tested for it as babies, except that it was my friend's boyfriend who tested positive. Except not, because at some point, their parents MIXED THEM UP AND NEVER FIGURED IT OUT UNTIL NOW.

iceberg

@C.SanDiego OMG

LydiaBennett

@Blushingflwr I just had to come out of lurking to say that my jaw just hit the ground and bounced and then hit the ground again and I made this wind knocked out of me sound, because OMG. Also that episode of Full House where Uncle Jesse mixes up his twins and is trying to figure it out by fingerprinting them? This has always been my fear!

peaches

@C.SanDiego How is this possible? If they are identical twins, they have the same DNA and thus would have the same genetic propensity to stroke. Unless I'm missing something?

priscillamalarky

@peaches I was wondering the same thing; perhaps C.SanDiego means congenital (i.e., something that emerged in utero but is not genetic)?

I've had a seizure disorder my whole life (it's NBD, complex partial seizures), and my docs are certain it's due to a small scratch in the temporal lobe of my brain that is a congenital--NOT genetic--birth defect, but I think a number of my friends who know about this seizure disorder don't get this distinction and I've been asked on a few occasions (speaking of rude questions) things like, "Oh, are you gonna have your own kids, or adopt? Are you worried about passing on your epilepsy?" Now I just smile and go, "I'm not worried, because it's not genetic... but even if it were, there have been lots of pretty great epileptics throughout history. Like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Julius Caesar, and your good friend me."

Anyway, yeah, I'm sure she meant congenital, or you're right: both twins would have had it, unless they are in fact not identical twins but fraternal twins who look similar enough so that they could be mistaken for identical twins (some fraternal twins look almost identical).

@priscillamalarky Seconding this.

Oh, and the "mixing them up in the bath" thing -- birth marks! They're helpful!

C.SanDiego

@priscillamalarky Sorry, I totally dropped that and then jumped ship.

I don't "do" science so I'm sure congenital is what I meant, and I don't know all of the murky details because this was one of those "holy shit, you are not going to believe this crazy thing my boyfriend's crazy family did this time" stories, but I swear it's true!

ponymalta

A friend of a friend is pregnant with triplets and we were like, "How will you feed three babies when you only have two breasts?!?" It sounds like you formula fed, which is the only possible solution, but did you ever think enviously of that three-boob lady from Total Recall?

Ophelia

@ponymalta I have a friend with multiples, and she pumped for a while, but always supplemented with formula (and eventually switched over to exclusively using formula). I think it's just the only way to not either go totally crazy or be constantly hooked up to a breast pump. (ETA - not the "only" way, I'm sure, just the only one I can think of, personally)

iceberg

@Ophelia yeah that's basically it. I gave it a shot but lasted 6 weeks. Mainly pumping, because they were so premature they did not develop the correct "suck/swallow/breathe" reflex until about 3 weeks after they were born. Full term babies can usually do it instantly, from what I understand, but preemies are basically dry fetuses and just aren't developed enough sometimes.

iceberg

@ponymalta that lady has been mentioned a LOT of times when discussing breastfeeding, just FYI.

eleventyone

@iceberg I am studying (multitasking?) for my child development class and read about the "suck/swallow/breathe" reflex right as I was looking at this. Thanks for making my procrastinating seem relevant!

Also, rock on with your 3 lovely little ones. Dunno how you do it!

iceberg

@ponymalta ALSO, if you see this - encourage the mom-to-be to investigate maternal grants at her hospital - the hospital waives their bills to help out struggling families, especially w more than one.

christonacracker

Are you going to use those awesome puppy backbacks with the baby leashes??? I totally would. Also, I would constantly pretend to be Gandalf herding my raucous dwarves.

ponymalta

@christonacracker I had one of those leashes! My brother and I are just a year and a half apart and my mom said it was exhausting dealing with both of us as toddlers, because if she stopped paying attention to me for half a second I would immediately try and throw myself into traffic or leap into a body of water.

iceberg

@christonacracker see above comment with wagon pic :)

Ophelia

Are you secretly Daenerys Targaryen?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Ophelia Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt, Khaleesi Of The Dothraki, Queen of the Sea of Grass, Protector of the Realm, A Frozen Chunk of Ice in the Sea of Water, Mother of Dragons and also Three Toddlers.

RK Fire

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose She takes what is hers, with fire and blood.

Heat Signature

@Ophelia A Song of Ice and Fire (notice how I use the name of the book series and not the television show because nerdz) references will ALWAYS get an upvote from me.

TheBelleWitch

This is so awesome! Ok, question for iceberg and any other moms: I'm pregnant, and stories about early sleep deprivation and marriage struggles are scary (on more hormonal days, they're REALLY scary). Any advice on how you coped? Did anyone find the newborn days not to be a hellish cycle of despair? (Everyone likes telling pregnant ladies horror stories, somebody throw me an optimistic bone here.)

iceberg

@TheBelleWitch My friend with twins recently said it's like a roollercoaster, sometimes you hit sweet sopts and sometimes it's the scary parts... Ours started sleeping through the night, THEN began teething, then got through that, then more teething, then began sleeping well again... as they grow older they can do more stuff but then it becomes a tradeoff with willpower - like, I can hold my own bottle and feed myself with a spoon, but instead I'll throw it across the room and poke my sister in the eye.

Ophelia

@iceberg This is reassuring...I feel like all I hear lately is "you will never sleep again" and that's terrifying.

JGro

@TheBelleWitch I only have one baby, but the newborn days are really fun! I hated my pregnancy and it was much harder on our marriage than having the cute little bear in our lives.

iceberg

@Ophelia You will, just not until you can teach Junior how to work the TV remote an watch cartoons quietly. IIRC, my nephew was 4.

Joking aside, a sleep schedule and a night-visiony audio/video monitor are very helpful. When you hear crying, you look on the monito - if baby is sitting up crying, go in, it's real. If baby is lying down crying, they don't mean it and will probably go to sleep again on their own (this only applicable once they CAN sit up tho I guess)

heyladies

@TheBelleWitch My second is 11 months old and I will say there are so, so many wonderful things about the early baby stage that I really was able to appreciate the second time around (my first is 6--both girls). Newborn babies sleep a lot. As the recovering mom, feel free to join them! Also, they are easy to take pretty much anywhere and they love snuggling with you all the time. Should you ever need to hand off the baby, you will have about 1000 willing takers. They get chubbier and more adorable as time goes on. They start crawling, and responding to you and make the most ridiculously adorable laughs when you blow on their bellies (which you will want to do as often as possible). Later, playing peekaboo or pretending to sneeze an object off your head will elicit the same delighted laughter. And you and your husband will experience these moments and delights together (and so many more!) and you will feel like the luckiest people on the planet.

catfoodandhairnets

@TheBelleWitch Just 1 baby, but better than expected. Yes really very, very tired (still not really sleeping after 7 months), but also lots of fun. I thought newborns were boring, but the speed of development is actually quite fascinating. You'll be fine, delighted, charmed, frustrated. Everything is temporary.

no way

Like catfoodandhairnets said, everything is temporary. We're only a few months into parenthood (it feels like it's been years) but I try to regularly remind myself that everything constantly changes, the good and the bad. If they are not sleeping well, or eating tons, or colicy, just wait a couple weeks and it will all be different. And then it will change again.

Also, nobody knows anything about a specific baby, and there are conflicting opinions/experts on every single topic. Every person on this planet is a little different, and that starts when they are born, so, yeah. Don't look for answers, just try things out till something works (this is especially annoying when you couple it with the first bit, because who knows if something actually worked or if it just changed).

Finally, they learn to smile just when you really need them to.

Carrie Ann

@TheBelleWitch There is hope! My 4-month-old is not a great sleeper/napper, but we do OK, and I only truly feel terrible like once a week, if we have a really bad night/day. She's sleeping one long stretch of 5-6 hrs per night, surrounded by 2-hr stretches usually. So I sleep from about midnight-8:30 am, with breaks in between.

As far as the relationship stuff goes: for the first few weeks, my husband and I were sort of in honeymoon mode, actually (minus the sex). I was so impressed with his awesome dad-ness, and we just took it very easy on ourselves and each other. We were a team of two who only knew as much as the other about this baby stuff, so we were very supportive. We still are like that for the most part, but we've also had some big fights and I've definitely had some truly evil thoughts about him and he about me I'm sure. But you know, we also bought a house that turned out to be a money pit, and that put the same stress on our relationship, which made me understand that these things can be weathered. Just be aware of the stress, and don't put undue pressure on yourselves to be perfect or the same as you were, or undue importance on the moments when you flare up at each other or feel despair. Try to laugh with each other about the crazy baby stuff as much as possible.

Also, general advice for people like me (anxiety-filled, tending toward fatalistic): it might help to sort of anticipate that the worst will occur. Sounds counter-intuitive, but I went in assuming my babe would be colicky, wouldn't ever sleep, wouldn't nurse right, that I would have PPD, etc. Then, when she nursed like a champ right away, it felt like a huge victory. When she adapted to sleeping her longest stretches at night, it was like, "OK, so she doesn't sleep 8 hours, but she does sleep in 3-hour stretches at a time, which is manageable!" Assuming my husband and I would fight a lot also made the fights we do have seem less concerning, and makes me feel proud of us for mostly being good to each other.

Elleander Morning

@TheBelleWitch
Ours slept 7 hours straight most nights at five weeks old. There are easy ones.

In case you get one too, you should know you can never tell other parents these things. You will get facepunched.

AniaGosia

@TheBelleWitch This is so late, but I wanted to offer hope. Assuming you have some maternity leave, you can manage it. I co-slept with our little guy (for too long really, but I totally recommend it for the first few months) and so I felt like I got plenty of sleep - when he needed to nurse, he just woke up and latched on. I only had to be semi-awake for that. And I took naps when he did during the day. Plus, like others have said, it goes by so fast. I would say, take it as easy as you can for the first 6 weeks or so and don't pressure yourself to bounce back to pre-baby anything for a while.

Mila

I remember when I was going through a especially sleep deprived time with my first child, talking to a friend who wanted to have babies, and she said "I really think having triplets would be cool." And thinking "Are you fucking out of your mind?" And then four years later she had triplets! Okay, so my question: please describe the moment when you found out it was going to be triplets.

iceberg

@Mila *looks at ultrasound screen* "oh shit."

expanded version to come with following article :)

RK Fire

Ahhhh iceberg!! <3 <3 <3 Since you live in Australia and because my husband and I played rugby when we first met, a thought of mine is that you can have a family rugby 7s team! ;D Or whatever your sport of choice is, if any.

iceberg

@RK Fire thank you! haha. one of the girls is built like a rugby player :)

EpWs

@iceberg It has finally occurred to me that you have three bebes, in Australia, which means AUSTRALIAN ACCENT BERGY BITS and I am pretty much dying at the thought. (I'm in America, children with non-American accents can be counted on to kill all of us pretty much dead.) Add in the rugby and I think you can solve wars.

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher weeeeeell we live in the US (but all our family lives in Australia, so lame), but because they hear us talking mostly they have Aussie accents; i expect they will end up with some kind of hybrid.

They pronounce "bird" as "behhhd".

EpWs

@iceberg I WILL TAKE IT.

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher You should hear them say "pants" (pehnts)
;)

TARDIStime

@iceberg Search "Kristina Keneally" on youtube - she's from the US but moved to Australia and was the NSW premier for a bit.
Hers is the most properly hybridified (it's a word now, OK?) Aus/US accent I have ever heard.

Tuna Surprise

Yay! I love a nice cool iceberg!

So my question is: do you ever fantasize about developing a discipline style like Captain von Trapp in the Sound of Music? I always wonder if I had quints whether I could control the chaos with a good whistle.

PS. One time in a store, I hear a bunch of people murmuring with delight and turned around to see a 'parade of triplets'! A guy (presumably dad) was walking down an aisle with three little girls (2 or 3 years old) in a row behind him. They all had matching hot pink coats on with hair in identical braids with beads and THEY WERE SO CUTE!!! They were smiling and waiving to people as if they were in a parade. Gah! It was the cutest thing I ever saw.

PPS. A girl I went to high school with was a younger sister to identical twins. Her parents wanted one more and her mom got pregnant with triplet girls. This was all in the 70s. This woman took so much scorn from people who had no business commenting on other people's fertility. I wish you best of luck in your encounters.

iceberg

@Tuna Surprise yiiiiikes I can barely keep my head above water with three! Haha. Ours are actually super sweet and well-behaved as long as there's other people around, in public they are generally wonderful, but at home with one or two parents it can get a little harrowing.

DrStephanieDVM

@Iceberg why do they do that??? My Twins do the same!

Elleander Morning

@DrStephanieDVM mine does that too! Is that a thing, behaving for strangers?

TheRisottoRacket

Thank you for being so honest in this, it's always nice to hear parents actually say "this is sometimes amazing and sometimes not so amazing."

Totally not trying to one up, but my step-sister had quadruplets two years ago after already having one child, and goddamn are people nosy and rude when she's out and about with everyone. She told me once she thinks that's what celebrities must feel like, with that constant invasion of privacy and no one giving a shit if you feel uncomfortable or not.

iceberg

@TheRisottoRacket Yep. Pretty sure my babies already think they are celebrities. I just cannot even imagine how much more difficult FOUR would be!!! PLUS an older one. My friend with tweins says she often thinks of me when she's having a bad day.

par_parenthese

@TheRisottoRacket OMG the rude comments. A friend of mine has 8 kids (she and her husband are the most fertile people on the planet; two of the kids were conceived 6 months after her tubal and a couple YEARS after her husband's vasectomy) and the comments she gets in public are absolutely ridiculous. I think if she were wearing a shirt that said "PLEASE COMMENT ON MY REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES" it couldn't be any worse.

iceberg

@par_parenthese Hahaha, I have been thinking about an FAQ t-shirt for a while.

TheRisottoRacket

@iceberg They're very good about doing alone time things with the oldest and making him feel very special on his own, but he's only just under two years older then the younger kids, so the lack of age difference makes it easier for him to play with them. My step-sister and her husband are dreading high school already though.

thebestjasmine

@par_parenthese A friend has four pretty close in age, and the three oldest are girls. She says that people say to her "Oh, you finally got your boy!" so much, and she's like "MY GIRLS CAN HEAR YOU." Ugh.

par_parenthese

@thebestjasmine And there was much facepalming. I mean, can we have a nice happy medium between the time when you couldn't say the word "pregnant" in polite company and now, when total strangers are all DO YOU KNOW WHAT CAUSES THAT HURR DUURRR

Craftastrophies

@thebestjasmine One of my friends has three boys, and now when someone says 'oh, THREE BOYS!' they finish the sentence by saying 'We're a handful!' because that's always the next part.

And then she gets rageface because sure, some days are hard but please not to tell her lovely children that they are a hassle.

iceberg

@Craftastrophies Aww. About 90% of people that talk to us say something like "You've got your hands full!" and I'm just like "Yes. Yes, we do." (thanks Captain Obvious)

Craftastrophies

@iceberg I just react really badly to any statement that is basically 'respond to me! I am important and have something to say about your life!'

I am bad at small talk.

rabbitrabbit

I can understand why it's rude to ask if triplets are the result of fertility treatment, but of COURSE everyone is silently wondering! Doing in vitro etc. doesn't mean you sign away any claim to your privacy, but if it were me I think I'd have a reasonable expectation of the (perhaps unwanted) effects of making this choice. I'm not sure that curiosity about the provenance of triplets is on par, for instance, with assuming things about maternity/paternity based on race. Some people would argue that (born at the same time or not) there are ethical issues with having children full stop, let alone two, or four or ten. We can all agree to disagree about this, but I'm not sure I think there is anything morally outrageous about being curious whether someone had triplets because of in vitro.

Ophelia

@rabbitrabbit Curiosity is one thing, but asking a stranger or acquaintance about her medical history? To me, that's rude. People don't need to ACT on curiosity, and there's really no "need to know" whether someone had fertility treatments or not.

iceberg

@rabbitrabbit There is nothing wrong with being curious, and actually I have told friends and coworkers details (and I'm abotu to share them albeit semi-anonymously) with y'all in my next article, BUT if you ask whether my triplets were naturally conceived or not, be aware that what you are actually asking is "Does your reproductive system work? What about your husband's?" and THAT is rude.

rabbitrabbit

@iceberg Good point!

iceberg

@rabbitrabbit and I want to address this "Some people would argue that (born at the same time or not) there are ethical issues with having children full stop, let alone two, or four or ten."
I'm getting the feeling that you think these "ethical issues" give you the right to interrogate people about how their children were conceived, possibly with an eye to judging them (implicitly or explicitly) for their choices, which NOPE.

rabbitrabbit

@iceberg Well I certainly didn't say that I think I have a "right to interrogate people about how their children were conceived" - I agree it's rude and invasive. The larger point is just that having children isn't ONLY a personal choice; it's also a social one.

iceberg

@rabbitrabbit No, you didn't, and I guess I got a bit touchy on that one. I guess I'm not sure what your point is? like, we are all curious about all kinds of things, but what is it that makes people think their curiosity trumps my right to privacy about my junk?

rabbitrabbit

@iceberg No, you're right! It doesn't. I guess maybe my point WAS just that people are curious (I'm curious!), and so I can understand the instinct people have to ask. But I see from your comments just how invasive and inappropriate this can be, especially when people think they have a right to information that actually couldn't be more private/personal. Definitely understand a bit better why this is important!

highjump

@rabbitrabbit Do you ask people about other personal decisions with social implications like the cars they drive, the homes they live in, who they vote for, or what they eat? Because to be honest, with the amount of time I spend a Five Guys my beef consumption probably has a greater negative effect on the world than the vegetarian iceberg family's triplets.

rabbitrabbit

@highjump In fact, yes! Ha. So maybe that makes me an asshole in your eyes - but if we didn't talk about carbon emissions (the cars people drive), politics (who people vote for), consumer choices (the houses people buy and the food they eat), that wouldn't be a world I want to live in - nor is it a world that exists. I totally understand better why, in the case of baby-making, the personal cannot always be political. But just because something, in general, is a "personal decision" does not mean it can or should live in a vacuum devoid of criticism from others!

par_parenthese

@rabbitrabbit "I completely changed my lifestyle because an acquaintance lectured me about my failure to live up to a worldview I didn't even share at the time," said Nobody, Ever.

Sure, you talk about that stuff with your friends because you're friends. But a) it's a give and take, not just me telling them what they need to do, and b) I just do not have the right to ask people about their personal decisions if I don't have that kind of relationship with them. Period.

highjump

@rabbitrabbit Like I said, I spend a lot of time at Five Guys and never once has someone gone into a Five Guys to admonish me personally about the beef industry.

I actually knock on people's doors to tell them who they should vote for, but that is during election season and my list of doors is targeted to people who might actually listen to me. Don't confront individuals about the hows and whys of their children (especially if the kids are right there!) for the reasons iceberg already outlined.

par_parenthese

@rabbitrabbit I feel like we're talking past each other. I don't think anyone is saying, "Don't have conversations with your friends about these issues."

I do think it's a good rule of thumb when someone says, "Strangers walk up to me and ask me personal questions," not to reply with, "Well, these so-called personal issues aren't as personal as you think they are." Whether you intend it or not, it sounds like you're saying that it's probably sometimes OK for people to confront strangers with challenges about their personal decisions.

wee_ramekin

@rabbitrabbit Also, even if there are moral/environmental/social implications to having any number of children...what is a parent going to do? Be like, "Woah! You are right! Triplets really do take up so many resources! Better just get rid of them!".

I think you can make an argument for having this discussion with a friend who is considering whether or not they want to have multiple children (IF they are a close friend and IF they ask for your input). But once your friend has conceived, the only point of that discussion would be to shame your friend for a choice that you don't agree with. They're not going to abort or go all Jude the Obscure and kill their children because you familiarize them with Malthusian theory, ya know?

iceberg

@wee_ramekin haha yeah "Oh my god you're right... Guess I'd better return that one, she has the biggest carbon footprint."

wee_ramekin

@iceberg "She farts A LOT."

superfluous consonants

@iceberg YES. Upon announcing my pregnancy, I was asked by multiple unrelated people whether we had been "trying." Which (besides making everyone in the room picture our sexytimes) basically means, "so was this an accident?" It would be a win for society if we could collectively figure out which "innocent" questions are actually ENTIRELY about your junk.

leonstj

@wee_ramekin - Haha I thought this was crazy too! I mean, I am totally willing to be a judgemental jerk about MY PRECIOUS EARTH when people are like, objectively, obviously terrible (I'm looking at you, people still driving Hummers) in ways that have zero benefit.

But I feel like three kids is...um, well how about this? We seem at a reasonable amount of people now, and I intend to have no kids, so Iceberg & Mr. are just making up for me?

I mean, 3 kids doesn't really seem unreasonable at all. Like, if somebody was all "I am going to have so many babies I can start my own NFL Franchise (50+ players / team)" I might bitch at them. But I mean, if somebody isn't making brand new little people, who is going to pay into Social Security when I'm old?

(Thanks in advance mini-icebergs for paying into social security when I'm old!)

wee_ramekin

@leon s Mini icebergs are called "bergy bits"! I'm not lying, which makes living in this world really great.

iceberg

@wee_ramekin and now I will have to start referring to them as the bergy bits.

Ophelia

@superfluous consonants I am SO tempted to answer, "Oh, no, this is going to be a virgin birth" whenever someone asks that question.

Bittersweet

@leon s I get what you're saying, but where do you draw the line on kids? I mean, 3 kids isn't unreasonable and 50+ is quite unreasonable (eek, my uterus hurts just thinking about it), but where do we draw the line on how many kids people should have so we can take care of our PRECIOUS EARTH?

That's right, we don't draw the line anywhere. Because it's not really up to us to make or pass judgment on other people's big life choices, like how many kids they have. My best friend from grade school has 9 kids, which is 8 more than I have (or want to have), but she's a terrific mom and I'm happy for her. Making moral judgments on the amount of resources her family uses is no better than making moral judgments on someone because they are of a different religion (or no religion).

stonefruit

@iceberg I mean, plus which, my parents had three kids. They just didn't have them all at once. I suspect the level of judgment is also related to the "ZOMG-D multiples" thing, which is just rude and tacky - it's not like they, or me and my sibs, had any choice in the matter!

thebestjasmine

@rabbitrabbit Well yes, but once they actually have the children, what's the point of those questions? Are you suggesting they put one back?

Verity

@wee_ramekin "Done because we are too menny."

siniichulok

@iceberg Oh yes! I'm kind of amazed by this, and I'm only having one. I can't count how many times people have asked me, "was it planned?" And then right after, usually before I can answer, "did you use IVF?" And I'm all like, "what--so you think I'm simultaneously a silly young irresponsible twit who shouldn't be having children yet AND someone who's Too Old and whose system is not supposed to work or something? I'm only 34 for G-d's sake!" And these two rapid-fire questions has come from strangers, receptionists, acquaintances, friends, you name it. It does feel an awful lot like, "Are you sure you're qualified to have this child? And do your PARTS WORK?"

Also, I love this piece and I can't wait to read part two!

packedsuitcase

@thebestjasmine "Whoops, sorry, honey, you lost - back in the ute you go! Might be a little cramped now that you're 7, but you liked it once, it'll be fine."

iceberg

@packedsuitcase UTE. <3

siniichulok

@siniichulok Which is not to say at all that having one baby and being pestered about it is at all comparable to having three--I'm sure that I don't and won't get nearly the amount of intrusive questions and comments that you did and do. But even experiencing such a tiny fraction of it--I'm in awe of your attitude!

Craftastrophies

@iceberg Also 'growlers'.

I have a few lesbian couple acquaintances who got pregnant and had babies. And you know, I was SO curious about the process, because I find that stuff really interesting. But I did not ask, because it was rude and not any of my business. If I were closer with them, or they had indicated a desire to talk about it, then maybe I would have. But as it is, their bits and what they do with them and why are totally not up for discussion.

KidPresentable

@rabbitrabbit Malthus was racist and extremely limited in his perspective, to say the least. You might as well be asking lemon-sucking questions about phrenology. Overpopulation rights itself once a community has access to birth control, women's education, social stability (no more "shit better have extra kids because half of 'em are gonna die") and, amusingly, time-killers like TV. The fact that the first world has plummeting birthrates and skyrocketing resource consumption ought to be proof enough that population isn't a sincere environmentalist's best target. You'd be better off using your no doubt charming personality to talk people out of consumerism instead of pursing your lips about the occupations and ensuing fruit of other people's loins.

Claire Zulkey@twitter

I feel like asking people if their multiples are fertility-drug induced is a little in line with asking whether lung cancer sufferers smoked: DID YOU DO SOMETHING TO DESERVE THIS OR COULD THIS HAPPEN TO ME???
(yes, obviously, children=cancer.)

iceberg

@Claire Zulkey@twitter Haha I hadn't thought about the self-interest/panic angle to that question.

Threein3

Loves this! I had three single babies in three years and I have always been curious how this compares to multiples. A friend with twins said my way was harder, but I am not sure I agree :)

iceberg

@Threein3 well, she has two babies and two boobs and two arms (I assume!), soooo. mad props to you though!

Threein3

@iceberg to clarify, she said she thought having two kids less than two years apart was harder than twins, not that twins was harder than triplets.

iceberg

@Threein3 Ohh ok. No I thoguht she was saying that three of different ages was harder than 2 of same age.

Miss Maszkerádi

ICEBERG!!! You are so cool!

I was all about to ask the annoying question about if you had trouble remembering who was who when they were little, but then I saw that they're not identical, so nvm.

Seriously though - when I imagine having kids in the DISTANT future, I have this honest to god paranoid fantasy that I'll have twins and will mix up who is who. "Oh my god - I put Maria down over there but she crawled over to where Theresa is sitting, and they're wearing identical outfits, and I DON'T KNOW WHICH OF MY CHILDREN IS WHICH!! I've forever lost their souls and identities - they will never be understood - their lives will be an endless Kafkaesque parade of alienation and misunderstanding - KILL ME FOR MY CRIMES!!"

iceberg

@Countess Maritza Heh. yes, we wrere lucky in that respect, I had the same thought. Yay shoulder mole!

Miss Maszkerádi

@iceberg I just remembered an absolutely hilarious short story by Josef Skvorecky (in the novel/story collection "The Swell Season") in which a pair of identical twins named Karla-Marie and Marie-Karla spend the summer cleverly switching places and playing various tricks to convince the lovelorn 18-year-old Danny Smiricky (the author's frequent semi-autobiographical protagonist) that they are one person, and that person is a witch.

TheclaAndTheSeals

@Countess Maritza One mom of identical twins I know painted her boys' big toe nails, one in blue, one in red. Kind of brilliant.

leonstj

@TheclaAndTheSeals - I knew a pair of twins growing up, who were SUPER identical. Once we were hanging out at their place in high school, and we asked the parents, "How do you tell them apart?"

Their response: "Until it was obvious to us, through personality and how they moved/acted/etc, we didn't really bother."

weeSpring@twitter

@iceberg Is there stuff that you definitely needed three of? What could you get by with just one of? (Asking for our weespring.com users. We have a lot of parents of twins, but not many triplets just yet!)

iceberg

@weeSpring@twitter sorry you might have to be a bit more specific?

PatatasBravas

@iceberg I assume they mean more like "do we need three bottles, or can they share one or two?" or "can we stuff all three into one crib or do we have to actually splurge on three of those, or maybe can they just be tucked into three shoeboxes if that is the case?"

iceberg

@PatatasBravas ahahaha yeah I just don't know if they are talking about like plates or furniture or clothes or toys or...? mostly you actually need more than 3 of smaller things, and we didn't even GET a pack n play (portable playpen) because the maxiimum weight allowance is like 30lb, which they outgrew collectively in a few months.

Dancercise

This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing, iceberg!

myeviltwin

Wow! Interesting article. As you can guess from my username, I am a twin. We are identical. For our whole lives, we haven't been able to go out in public without getting lots of stares from strangers, intrusive questions, etc. Also people asking, "are you twins" with a tone suggesting that they want us to acknowledge their genius for figuring it out. Ugh, no point to this, other than, it can be trying to be on the receiving end of all the attention! Sounds like you are doing well, Iceberg.

iceberg

@myeviltwin yeah mine just look like 3 the same age, they look related but could also pass for not-related, so sometimes people think I am like a daycare nanny or something... and EVEN STILL even though one is clearly a boy snd they all have varied hair color I still got asked if they were identical sometimes. Like, do you know what identical means?

Blushingflwr

@iceberg My best friend and I were often mistaken for sisters. One day, we were walking down the street, and this guy said "are you sisters" and we said "no". His follow up question was "are you twins?" To which I replied "if we were twins, we'd be sisters". Some people do not understand much in this world.

Faintly Macabre

@Blushingflwr Because I've been taller than my 3-years-older sister since maybe age 14, a lot of people couldn't tell who was older. This obviously meant that we were twins, or even identical twins! Even though we are not at all identical, just sister-looking. Some people are dumb.

Verity

@iceberg Person commenting on a picture on my sister's Facebook of the three of us as babies: "How did you manage to all have slightly different hair colours despite being identical?". We are two girls and a boy. Take a moment to consider your question. (And they're not just slightly different! I have red hair, the other two have dark brown.)

iceberg

@Verity hahahaha ohhhhh I bet that gets old real fast.

Verity

@iceberg Yep. THINK FOR A MOMENT, WE ARE CLEARLY NOT IDENTICAL.

katiemcgillicuddy

Iceberg, goddammit, you are awesome, and I look forward to the Bake-At-Home-Babies installment (particularly curious as to what sides you would serve).

iceberg

@katiemcgillicuddy thank you dear!

PatatasBravas

@iceberg I like thinking of you as a really smart and funny iceberg with three floating ice units that you calved. But I am looking forward to the feature in which it is revealed that you are (gasp) not exactly the same as your icon in the same way that RH&C is not exactly Rupert Grint which still confuses me.

Your stories are the best though! Thanks for sharing them!

par_parenthese

@PatatasBravas I am dreading the moment when it is revealed that you are not exactly the same as your icon, because I get that tight feeling in my loins chest whenever I look at it.

wee_ramekin

@PatatasBravas "I like thinking of you as a really smart and funny iceberg with three floating ice units that you calved."

Little icebergs are called "bergy bits"! Hee.

PatatasBravas

@par_parenthese oh but I am David Tennant Ten, the non-Hand one, in real life. Definitely.

par_parenthese

@PatatasBravas I am dead on the floor right now. :'D

EpWs

@wee_ramekin BERGY BITS

ayo nicole

Thanks for sharing this!! I always wonder about raising multiples (and probably should, because they run in my family).

hallelujah

Ahhh this is so exciting! iceberg, you're incredible.

iceberg

@hallelujah thank you! I am enjoying this immensely, just FYI to y'all

dk
dk

My husband and I are still lost in the "should we put cream on that? will it go away on its own? should we let him keep sleeping? never wake a sleeping baby! but does he need to be picked up? is he ready for solids? which solids? not that solid!" land of new parents (6 months today!), so if we had more than one it would be so tempting to try out multiple options. Give this one peas and that one carrots! See which one learns to talk first! Dress this one in super gendered clothes, and that one only in polka dots! See which one ends up going to college! etc. My question: how tempted are you to perform similarly weird experiments with your offspring?

iceberg

@dk Ahh, I think we talked about that kind of stuff before they were born, and I know you're kind of joking but like, I guess there is just too much practical work involved in just keeping them alive and clean every day to think up devious plots. We have enjoyed teaching them odd things like fist-bumping and saying "nasty" ("nat-see!") or "gross" ("g'ose!" and saying bye bye and blowing kisses to anything and everything, which led to the Ringleader saying "buh-bye poop!" and blowing a kiss when I flushed the toilet the other day.

EpWs

@iceberg Your children sound hysterical, which probably contributes to their continued existence.

Craftastrophies

@iceberg When I was in primary school, one of my best friends was a hippie-bogan. Her younger brother had a mullet and often wore a black tshirt with the sleeves cut off. When he was about 3 they taught him to sing 'bad to the bone' and it's a shame that youtube didn't exist then because he would have been famous.

iceberg

Y'all too, just to clarify I am open to answering mor ehere than I would if you came up to me in Target or whatever, because this is the PIn, and it feels safe, and people are curious and that's fine. I guess I feel like the Hairpin is a close friend i feel comortable sharing with. <3 u all.

hallelujah

@iceberg Oooh I have a question! Have you noticed any gendered differences between their interests? Like, is the boy into cars while the girls dig dolls? Or vice versa? I'm a staunch "gender is a social construct" type, but I know some people who SWEAR their boys just came out more rough & tumble, etc. I feel like with 3 the same age you'd have some interesting insight on that.

@iceberg <3 u icebergie!

leonstj

@hallelujah - I am fascinated by this question and just replying so I see the response!

HeyThatsMyBike

@iceberg This is all great! Thank you for both the article and your commentary. If I'm ever faced with multiples, I will immediately find myself right back here, absorbing all of it!

Ophelia

@leon s Ditto, and considering sending the response to my matchbox-car-loving, fluffy-red-dress wearing little sister (that was her at age 5).

iceberg

@hallelujah yes and no... they all like toy cars and the movie Cars, but the boy likes them a little more, I would say, and he is the only one who has pretended other things are cars (like, bits of sandwich, a piece of wood, a cardboard box etc). They all have their special stuffed toys for bed, which we call their babies, but only one of the girls has been into human looking "dollies" so far. At first we joked that the Quiet One was a little butch - her build (rugby player), hairstyle (curly mohawk) and mannerisms ("tell me i'm pretty or i'll bash ya" attitude) and the Ringleader was the pretty girl, but noe the Ringleader is more "sporty" type activity wise and the Quiet One is a little dimpled sweetheart, so. maybe they're too young for any serious analysis just yet ;)

PatatasBravas

@iceberg And I imagine that they'll change their minds about their preferences and "types" a few more times as they go along.

Especially teenagerland, that should be a good time!

leonstj

@PatatasBravas - omg no I did not consider the fact that the house will one day have more teenages than grown-folk. That must be terrifying.

HeyThatsMyBike

@iceberg Also I am very glad that you're alluding to the fact that you're going to discuss in vitro in an upcoming installment. I feel like the topic of in vitro reminds me a little of our Hairpin discussion of miscarriages a month or two back in that it's something women don't really talk about (not saying they should! Privacy, etc. - totally support that), and therefore there's a bit of a lack of practical non-doctory information about it (i.e. What's it actually like? What do you have to do? Does it make you a crazy hormone monster? Does ANY insurance company actually cover it?). All in spite of the fact that it really isn't an uncommon route for couples to explore. So I really look forward to that - and thank you in advance for sharing information about something so incredibly private and personal!
(And if I read your allusions wrong - then whoops. My bad. Reading comprehension FAIL!)

iceberg

@HeyThatsMyBike yes and no *smiles mysteriously*

HeyThatsMyBike

@iceberg COLOR ME INTRIGUED!

Craftastrophies

@hallelujah I recently read a thing, which I now cannot track down so it's just some person telling you on the internet, which must mean it's super reliable. But anyway it was saying that basically, toddlers get super into gender because 2-4 is when they are learning to distinguish themselves from others, and construct identity, so gender is an easy way to do that. This is the age a lot of kids get into princesses, for example. But then they grow out of it really quickly, in terms of development and being independently into it. It's just that, often, they are really positively reinforced for being into appropriately gendered toys and clothes, so they often stick with it much longer than they would if no one paid any attention to what colour they were wearing.

sandwiches

This is a really lovely interview and I am really excited for upcoming installments! Babies! Baby production and development! Why so endlessly entertaining?

but oh gosh this is making it really difficult to keep my ~~~baaaaabiiiieees~~~ feelings crammed into the dark corner of my mind where they need to stay though

iceberg

@sandwiches we have spares, you want me to lend you one for a bit? ;)

wallsdonotfall

@sandwiches me too, for the past few hours I have been slowly rocking in silent agony/joy about my sudden, overwhelming (and separate!) desire for babies and Korean barbeque.

PatatasBravas

@wallsdonotfall The Korean barbeque food baby is a more temporary fix!

sandwiches

@iceberg ...only about 65% of me dislikes that idea ;)

sandwiches

@wallsdonotfall Oh, Korean food...

Better to Eat You With

@sandwiches I have actually no real desire for babies at all, but I'm eating this up with a spoon 'cause you are all so interesting when you talk about them.

Tuna Surprise

More questions!

Do two of them ever play favorites and leave the other out?

iceberg

@Tuna Surprise ood question! The Clown (the boy) and The Ringleader do seem to interact a bit more than they each do with the Quiet One BUT (a) she is quiet, so maybe she just doesn't like clowning around as much as they do - she watches them from the couch and says "Silly!" to us about them (pronounced sih-yee) and (b) she was a little slower to develop interaction - she was VERY delayed making eye contact, to the point where autism conerns were raised, but now she is on par with them as far as all that - so they just were interacting earlier than she was.

iceberg

also if anyone is interested I could talk about how I had to learn to eat for four while pregnant, or how during the last few weeks I felt like that guy in Alien right berfore the chest burster... well, burst his chest - much internal jostling and little elbows and knees and feet scraping across my giant belly in weird moving lumps.

PatatasBravas

@iceberg HOW DOES ONE EAT FOR FOUR

I am imagining, like, little orcas swimming around inside a belly thanks to your description above. Like some Lisa Frank shit of playfully jostling dolphins in a whimsical swirl. Except contained by a t-shirt or a caftan.

Basically just recount all the stories you want while I rest my chin in my hands and gaze adoring at your Arctic form.

sandwiches

@iceberg Please do!

hallelujah

@iceberg Were you much bigger than an average ("average") pregnant person? I mean, I only had one in there and I was a HOUSE. Cannot begin to imagine what 3 were like.

honey cowl

@iceberg Color me interested!!!! I have been reading this entire thing with great enthusiasm. I have nothing to add that isn't totally selfish except BERGIE YOU BE AWESOME

withatwist

@iceberg I want to know about all of that, please.

stonefruit

@iceberg Please do feel free to share recipes and/or tips on eating for four. Because I literally can't imagine it, and I feel like I have a healthy-sized appetite for one.

iceberg

@iceberg ugh you guys I'm out of time, will try to answer this thread tomorrow if not before.

EmmaM

@hallelujah That question just reminded me of the episodes of Friends where Phoebe is having triplets and is using her huge stomach to balance things (like plates of food) on and it made me giggle!

thebestjasmine

@iceberg A friend's wife, when she was pregnant with twins, wasn't gaining enough weight, and so was searching for high calorie things in the grocery store to eat (she ate a lot of pot pies, if I remember correctly). Then a close friend was pregnant with twins last year, and told her doctor this story, hoping she would get the same assignment, and her doc was like "...yeah, you don't have to worry about that."

iceberg

@PatatasBravas <3 u tatie! Re: eating for four - I was given a diet plan by my OB because diet is really crucial to proper development, particularly protein and calcium. I was supposed to eat 4000 calories a day, but it was also divided into specifics like, x portions of grains per day, x portions of protein, dairy and so on (with lots of examples of different things to eat), so I did it that way rather than calorie counting. Being vegetarian at home made it hard to get all of the protein; I drank shit-tons of milk and ate sooooo many nuts, hard boiled eggs, and cheese. Basically I would bring a giant shopping bag of food to work every day and eat something every hour on the hour, just to get enough food down me.

By the end I had gained about 60 pounds (exactly what I was supposed to gain according to OB's nurse practitioner)... but by now I have lost about 85 or so. I'm actually skinnier than I was before I had them, but I was very sensitive about it for a long time because a lot of the weight loss was linked to (technically undiagnosed) extreme post-natal depression and exhaustion, so when randos would come up like "omg you are so skinny how did you have triplets???!!!" I'd be really tempted to give them some fucking depressing real talk.

iceberg

@hallelujah I was over 200lb by the end which isn't that big objectively but it's much more than my frame is built to handle. I reached maximum occupancy a couple weeks before the end and spent about the last week just sitting in the Lazboy just sobbing and going "There's no more room! Ribs don't stretch!"

I was on strict bedrest for the last three weeks of pregnancy because my body could no longer handle doing anything but being pregnant, so I basically just sat in that recliner all day eating and doing internet on my iPhone - it would have been pretty great except for the mild-ish contractions which I was having about every 20 minutes or so (yeah for 3 weeks) and the being stretched from the inside out.

OooYeahAboutThat...

@iceberg I feel like "like" is the wrong emotion, but *EMPATHY* as post natal depression runs in my family and effects everyone differently! Its always an odd thing for people to compliment you on something you have complicated feelings about.

EpWs

@iceberg Totally feel free not to answer this if it's too personal (or if it was answered elsewhere!) but how big were your crew when they arrived? I would imagine that three babies of any size would hit maximum occupancy, as you put it (such a great phrase!), pretty quickly, especially on a small person.

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher They were just under 3 pounds each - SUPER TINY. But they were also in there with a bunch of fluid (gross) and a placenta each, and yeah I am built pretty small so it was kind of full up. The Ringleader kept trying to make more room by pushing her foot as hard as she could against my ribs.

iceberg

@PatatasBravas yes, at first little fishies, but more like a small burlap sack full of fat labrador pups by the end

EpWs

@iceberg Just under 3 pounds each is still 9 pounds of baby, PLUS TRIMMINGS. Your body is a champ.

iceberg

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher and I forgot to mention my coworker who was also pregnant at the same time and gave birth to one 9 pound baby - that's right her one kid weighed MORE than all of mine together.

"plus trimmings" hahahahaha love it. OMG someone ask me about the boob wreckage and the muscle separatey thing in the next installment . I will scare y'all.

celeec4@twitter

This is super adorable to read about! And yet, also terrifying. (Ohgodbabies). Thanks for this, it really put a smile on my face on a crummy day.

...but seriously, anyone else kind of terrified? Ohmygodbabies.

iceberg

@celeec4@twitter Try borrowing a friend's baby overnight, if possible. It'll give you some conception of the reality of not being able to be like "fuck it, I'll do it tomorrow"

celeec4@twitter

@iceberg Yeaaah, so I'm one of those gals that has said forever that they don't want babies, and as cute as I think they are...they scare me. Hahhaaha. So your interview has been both wonderfully adorable and scary to me?

I failed out hard the one time I was babysitting my cousin's toddler. Woke up from sitting down for "just a moment," to my mother laughing at me and the tiny spawn poking at my thigh and telling me to get out of his dad's chair.

ETA: Thankfully my mother insisted on accompanying me, even though I insisted, how difficult could it be? Ahahaha, no. No. No.

packedsuitcase

@celeec4@twitter Oh, I'm terrified of babies. I love them (and apparently make "baby face" when looking at pictures of my friends' kids), but taking one home? Being responsible for it? SCARY! Dudefriend says that anytime I hear stories about babies and pregnancy I just see the very very worst in them (whereas he only sees the best and it's love and rainbows and family night vs. my sleepless nights and poopy diapers and constant fighting). I mean, I want them someday. Just not while I'm suffering from Baby Terror.

celeec4@twitter

@packedsuitcase Yaaaay, I'm not alone~! They're totally adorable, but I also fear them. Fear them so much.

martinipie

I know this thread is SUPER HUGE ALREADY but a relative is pregnant and was saying she wanted to use cloth diapers, and and a babysitter who has only babysat disposable diapers and ALREADY felt the poop sitch was out of control, how was cloth-diapering THREE babies? When she told me she dreamed of cloth diapers I was like (to myself) "that shit [literally] cray."

iceberg

@martinipie they are still in diapers, but we only use cloth when it's one or both of us at home (we don't make the nanny do it) and we don't do it overnight bc the cloth ones don't hold enough - we get overnight disposables. I fucking hate cloth diapering, it is literally the worst, but it has saved us a shit-ton of money.

empathicalist

@iceberg - Your response to this makes me think that you should write for a personal finance blog on budgeting for bebes, and smart money-saving tips.

Ophelia

@minijen Also, fun (and frustrating) cloth diapering tidbit - if you don't own a washing machine, it's not as cost effective as you might want it to be. My options are either to hire a diaper service (which is about the same price as buying disposables), or to wash them in the laundromat (which, to do it right, will cost me about $40/week and involve washing poop in a public place). I thought about it, but am probably just going to buy 7th generation disposables. I'd take on the labor if it really saved enough money, but in my case, though it'd be slightly cheaper, it's not cheaper enough to warrant the time involved with the laundromat.

thebestjasmine

@iceberg One benefit of cloth diapering (so I've been told, especially by my mom who did it with us) is that kids get potty trained earlier, because disposable diapers are way too comfortable these days, so kids don't see the point!

dk
dk

@Ophelia Yes, exactly. I love the cloth diaper concept in theory, due to the whole "I already own all the diapers - I just have to wash them," but we don't own a washing machine so NOPE. I started to use a service, then realized: wow, cloth diapers SUCK (he is soaked immediately! they are huge and bulky!), so we went disposable and never looked back. Luckily here in the lovely San Francisco Bay Area, there is a composting diaper service, so for $30 more a month our diapers are turned into fertilizer or something. And that's how I've convinced myself I'm not killing the planet.

iceberg

@Ophelia Yeah we had a washer and dryer, but then we bought this amaymay combo washer/dryer - you chuck the diapers in dirty (you have to hose off the poop but that's another story) and pull them out clean and dry a few hours later. That makes a huge difference because we're so zombified we used to forget to switch them from the washer to the dryer alll the time.

zeytin

@iceberg Does the poo just go down the drain or do you have to collect it in bags and put it in the trash or something?

iceberg

@zeytin we have a spraying hose with a small showerhead, that attaches to the sink (you can also get ones that attach to the toilet somehow), and we just kind of hold the poopy diaper in the toilet bowl above the water level and hose all the poop off into the toilet and flush it, then wring the wet diaper out and chuck it into the laundry bin until we have a load's worth of diapers and then wash them (usually twice a week or so these days).

SORRY THIS IS SO GROSS.

laurel

This has been super interesting and entertaining to read so thank you, iceberg. Your family sounds out-of-control adorable.

Do they do any weird stereotypically twin stuff, like speaking in special languages or plotting world domination?

iceberg

@laurel sorry I missed this question before. They definitely gabble amongst themselves but I think they're just making sounds at each other, and have recently started interacting rather than just playing near each other - they do things like run around holding hands, or running up and down the hallway in a giggly shrieking mob, or hug-tackling each other, or playing tug-of-war. Thank goodness they don't seem to have learned to gang up on us in any meaningful way yet, as we will be outnumbered!

laurel

@iceberg <3 <3 <3

Ophelia

@iceberg You should probably start studying basketball strategy re: zone defense.

empathicalist

We should totally make the baby shower alternative registry happen. Options would include things like night nurses, maid/housekeeping service, etc. Kind of like alternative bridal registries for honeymoons and such.

Craftastrophies

@minijen I found this a couple years ago and have generally found these things to be well received. http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=34 A few times, with people who are very private, I've given them the list and asked them to choose a couple things from it, if they'd like, and I'd follow through.

empathicalist

@Craftastrophies - Lovely!

Verity

Oh, girl, that's not EVEN close to the rudest. People have straight up asked if we used fertility drugs, etc., to have them, including a new coworker, like, 3 seconds after I met her for the first time.

I was listening to a comedy routine recently about having triplets (the comedian in question is now a family friend, as we saw his show once and my parents both got all excited and contacted him separately to say WE WERE THERE WITH OUR TRIPLETS LET'S TALK ABOUT MULTIPLES) - he talks about how everyone will come up and ask, "are they natural?". So very rude.

Stupid questions are so annoying. As a child, my siblings and I were constantly being asked, "but if you're triplets, why do you have different colour hair?". It got infuriating.

Verity

@Verity Feel free not to answer this - I know it's sensitive - but did any medical professionals mention selective reduction to you? I was discussing this with my parents (Dad's doing a project on triplets at the moment - he and my mum are going to Geneva this week to see some) and it wasn't really in use when my mum was pregnant with me, so it wasn't mentioned as an option.

I am, incidentally, the result of fertility drugs. It is weird when studying sexual reproduction in Biology and seeing "risk of multiple births" in a list of negative consequences for said drug in your textbook. Not that I would want triplets , I think(so much work!), but it's weird to see yourself described in that way. I don't want to be a negative consequence.

iceberg

@Verity I can't remember how much I mentioned it if at all but I feel like that question will be better answered in my next piece? just because it goes better with the whole conception thing.

You are NOT a negative consequence! As much as i complain about how hard it is, I love those little fuckers and I would fight to the death to protect them from harm.

Verity

@iceberg That makes sense - thanks!

I can definitely see why people would think of multiples as a negative consequence, but it is still a bit weird to read.

AllisonWonderland

Great interview! I once had a coworker who was the mother of (college-aged) triplets. When she first told me her three kids were triplets and I said the typical, "oh, wow," she also said, "And you wouldn't believe the questions I got when we first had them! Some people have even asked me if I did in vitro." I was so glad she said this--I think it's a great tactic. I can't imagine that I would have asked her that question myself, but it made me instantly aware to never ask that question of her or anyone else--and without her having to reveal personal details about her pregnancy one way or the other.

iceberg

@AllisonWonderland Haha, that IS a good tactic. I may steal it.

teaandcakeordeath

Im so late to this, but I just wanted to say how much I love your comments in general, and how much I loved this interview. Looking forward to part 2!

iceberg

@teaandcakeordeath thank you :)

iceberg

Y'all the Ringleader and the Quiet One were giving each other boosts to climb over the arm of the couch last night. They have learned to work together to achieve goals. We are DOOMED.

HereKitty

@iceberg Go, babies! Iceberg, thank heaven you squeezed in this interview before they reached their terrifying new developmental stage. This was awesome -- thanks!

C.SanDiego

@iceberg There seemed to be hints of a follow-up; did I miss it or did it just not happen because of the departure of Nicole?

I so wanted to hear more about the Bergy Bits!

whateverlolawants

Yay, we got to learn more about you and your kids! I always enjoy your comments. Thanks for being open to this interview.

Magdalena@twitter

@iceberg Hi! I am hoping to write a series of blog posts for Forbes about extreme consumers, and would love to have a chat to a busy mom of triplets who I see as an ultimate extreme consumer of any baby product. The series is introduced by Brian here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brianmillar/2013/05/28/how-a-blindfolded-kung-fu-master-can-open-your-eyes/

Please let me know if you'd be interested to have a chat!

1963248500@twitter

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The cost of formula, diapers, and daycare has been keeping us living paycheck to paycheck for the past year. films en streaming

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I also recently joined a Facebook group for local parents of multiples – everyone is really supportive and nice and we feel less alone in the struggle, I recommend it. how to get rid of dandruff

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I guess that you've only ever had three babies, so you don't necessarily even know what a single baby would be like, but did you ever hate people with one baby who complained? No judgment. ibcbet bandar bola

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always been determined and fearless, the Clown has always been cheeky and quick to laughter, and the Quiet One has always been... well, quiet, and sweet. stove repair

bill.marks

sensitive about it for a long time because a lot of the weight loss was linked to (technically undiagnosed) extreme post-natal depression and exhaustion, so when randos would come up like "omg you are so skinny how did you have triplets???!!!" I'd be really tempted to give them some fucking depressing real talk.
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jimmyrapper

superfluous consonants I am SO tempted to answer, "Oh, no, this is going to be a virgin birth" whenever someone asks that question.
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jimmyrapper

iceberg One benefit of cloth diapering (so I've been told, especially by my mom who did it with us) is that kids get potty trained earlier, because disposable diapers are way too comfortable these days, so kids don't see the point! dale buczkowski

jimmyrapper

@wee_ramekin and now I will have to start referring to them as the bergy bits. brother lc75

danialkhatri

I made a really good friend who ended up having twins a few days younger than our kids. We almost never see each other because it's hard to organize and have time but we keep in touch via Facebook and email.Rugs

bill.marks

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danialkhatri

SO rude, not to mention completely inaccurate and bizarre – I'm sure her kid barely even knows where babies usually come from and couldn't give two shits anyway.Tarot

jimmyrapper

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danialkhatri

I say yes, all fine and good, then as she continues to walk next to us, casually says to her kid something like "You can't do that naturally, you know." Fridge repair

mans

LOVE! This was a great read. Those jerks holding hands and being adorable. Who do they think they are?! is bubblegum casting legitimate

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@superfluous consonants I am SO tempted to answer, "Oh, no, this is going to be a virgin birth" whenever someone asks that question legal steroids

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You can't do that naturally, you know." SO rude, not to mention completely inaccurate and bizarre – I'm sure her kid barely even knows where babies usually come from and couldn't give two shits anyway. the best flight simulator game 2012

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