For some reason after I said I won’t blog as much, I suddenly have a flurry of ideas to write about. Three months in as a mother of triplet and I think the comment I have loved the most is from a friend who said I was an overachiever. I am sort of an overachiever in school and at work but I stopped seeing myself as one when I decided to take a break from the rat race and stay at home and be a home-maker. So it was really nice to hear someone call me an overachiever in the domestic sense and I don’t mean it in a competitive way, but in a funny, that sounds like me way. My friend was trying to conceive one baby and was married a lot longer than I was while I already had four just after two years of marriage.
People do tend to find it extremely hard to wrap their heads around the fact that we have only been married for two years. I know. Even I have difficulty wrapping my head around it. We just got pregnant so quickly both times. But I have an aunt whose back-to-back pregnancy was so close that her second and third child were a mere eleven months apart! People thought they were twins because they were born the same year but one was actually born in January and she got pregnant immediately after that and the other was born in November or December that same year (I forgot which month exactly). Now that’s mind-boggling isn’t it. I always thought the ovulation clock takes some time to return, but apparently not always.
But there are also comments I am tired of hearing and all mothers and parents of multiples will totally empathise. I think the most annoying one is you should try for a boy now. Uhm what’s wrong with just having four daughters? We feel complete but why do people sometimes see our family as incomplete without an extra penis. But taking my cue from Ms Gillespie whose book on multiples is my bible, I have learnt to be patient even with the most rudest of comments. People are curious by nature and their questions usually come from a good place even if it is conveyed poorly. And if you are a parent of multiples, you need to learn to be patient with curious onlookers poking their business into your family all the time. For example, when I was staying at the B1 ward at NUH and I shared a room with three other mothers, the only privacy I got was when the curtain closed around my bed. One particular visiting family of a patient whose bed was opposite mine had absolutely no boundaries and would pull my curtain open without warning and ask where my triplets were because they wanted to show the babies to visiting family members. What if I was breastfeeding or in a situation where I was not completely clothed? Besides, these are MY triplets, why are they showing off MY triplets to their family members. I was obviously still hormonal so I requested my husband to take care of the situation. This happened again with another family. I was glad to only stay in hospital for two days. I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I did one time almost get into a fight with a drinks stall auntie when I was pregnant. She insisted very rudely that there was no way I would have enough breastmilk to provide for three babies when I said its entirely possible and there are many mothers of multiples who solely breastfeed. I know that in the end I didn’t achieve this feat but I certainly didn’t need to deal with such discouragement, and more so from an outsider. I also had a massage lady who was suppose to give me postnatal massages during my confinement. And during the massage she said my triplets looked very tanned much like me while my daughter is very fair and pretty. She also said other nasty things I prefer not to mention here and I think she was cuckoo because it is rather strange that she would be so terribly rude in her line of business. She was obviously fired the next day and I tried to get my money back but the company who sent this lady convinced me to continue having the massages but with another therapist who had better bedside manners.
All this just after three months of having triplets. Now the girls do not understand what people say but what happens when they grow up and can start understanding and interpreting these comments. How will they internalise these comments and how they see themselves and each other? I have people asking me whose the prettiest? Whose the smartest? Whose the laziest? I think its natural to have such thoughts of comparisons, but I am of the camp where I think its better these things are said out of earshot or just stay in one’s head. They are questions that do the child no favours. But my husband pointed out that the girls will have to learn to deal with them gracefully and shielding them from it will not help. I am not sure what I should do yet, but I think I should also learn to deal with these questions gracefully so as to be a good role model for my daughters. Learning to deal with matters gracefully is not my strength as you can see from the above, but my husband is really good with this and he will take the lead.
Sometimes I think its not such a bad thing to stay at home, away from all the judgment, questions and stares.