Monday, July 6, 2009

The things people say

I have been meaning to write this post for LONG time about the comments people make about the triplets. Some are funny, some are sweet, and some are really downright rude!

I'll start with some of the very first comments ever made to me. These two comments I will NEVER forget, because they were made in the first 24 hours after birth, they were particularly hurtful, and they were made by my nurses at the hospital!

The babies were born just before 9pm, so it was very late after I went to recovery, got into the NICU for my first looks at them, and finally to my room. My nurse for the night came in, introduced herself and said, "Triplets! What were you thinking?" I don't remember what I actually said, I think I might have just smirked uncomfortably, but what I was thinking was, "I was thinking that I wanted another baby and I got 3! How special is that?" And I think I cried when she left the room.

Then my morning nurse came in, introduced herself and immediately asked whether we had used fertility drugs. I replied that we did have some help and she said, "I sure hope I'm not taking what you were taking!" Seriously???? Yes, she said that. Again, I can't remember what I said, but that one stung.

Since then, we have had many hurtful comments, and while I do believe people really don't think they are being rude, I still can't believe they say things like:

"Better you than me!"
"Triplets??? I'd kill myself!"
(OR) "I'd shoot myself!"

Mostly we get these two comments. In fact, we get these so often, sometimes we count how many times in one outing! 14 times is the record I think.

"You have your hands full!"
"God Bless You!"

To the first, I usually say, "I sure do." Sometimes I say, "better full than empty!" And sometimes I get that when I just have Carter and Brenna out with me, and I say, "and this is only half of them!" Which usually leaves them wide eyed, speechless, or laughing.

To the second, I usually say, "He sure did." Or simply, "thanks."

Then we move on to the very intrusive, I mean curious, comments. These people usually make one of the above comments first and then stop to get a closer look.

A lot of people ask, "All boys?" No, 2 girls and 1 boy.

"Are they identical?" Nope, all fraternal. Or I say, "no 2 girls and 1 boy" again, for those who I can tell don't get it! :)

Then they really want the dirt. Can you imagine a total stranger asking you how you conceived your single baby? I guess when they see more than one, all privacy goes out the window!

"Did you do fertility drugs?"
"Are they natural?"
"Do multiples run in your family?"

It really depends on my mood when I get these questions. Sometimes, I'll say, "we had some help". Or, "we did IVF".
Sometimes I'll say, "No they don't run in our family." Which doesn't really answer the question because I know that they really wanted to know if we used fertility drugs or not!
And sometimes, I'll say something like, "No we just did it 3 times in one night!"

These questions particulary bug me, because we did HAVE to do IVF to have another child. Our children, although conceived with the help of doctors and medicine, are in fact, completely natural! And when they find out we did IVF, people usually tell me about someone they know who had multiples spontaneously (which is what they mean by naturally) and how rare that is, as if to say those babies are more special than my "artificial babies". Sometimes even other triplet parents really point out that their babies were spontaneous, it feels like just to brag. For example, in forums, many triplet parents have their name at the bottom of a post and then "Mommy to A, B, C, spontaneous boy/boy/boy triplets". But I would never write, "Mommy to Carter, Brenna, and Emily, IVF b/g/g triplets. It just doesn't matter!

And then there was the woman, whom my Mom and I were chatting with at a park. We just had Drew with us, but my Mom was talking about the babies, and the woman asked (I still can't believe she asked this!!), "Were you drinking? Because I hear alcohol can increase your chances of having multiples." What??? Are you freaking kidding me??? She was totally serious though. I actually came up with this response on the spot, which I thought was pretty funny, "No, but I did take a LOT of drugs!" Meaning, of course, the fertility drugs, but I don't think she got it. Oy! But then I was mad, because if it were only that easy for us! If I could've sloshed back a couple of drinks and gotten pregnant, I most certainly would've. It would have saved us an awful lot of trips to the doctor, uncomfortable ultrasounds, almost daily blood tests, money for docs, accupuncture, anesthesia, freezing, storage, therapists, and no injections in my tummy, thighs and behind!

We also get these comments from more caring, understanding strangers:

"How do you do it?"
"You are so lucky!"

And the best comment I ever got was when we took the babies out shopping around 4 months old, and a man who worried me, because he looked a little scruffy around the edges, stopped, took a really long look, smiled, and said, "3 babies? Now that is heaven times 3!" Awwwww. I'll never forget that. :)

I know I'm forgetting some, but as is life with triplets plus one, I am out of "spare time". Lately, whenever somebody suggests we do something in our "spare time", they ALWAYS use the air quotes!


The Texas Trio said...

Right there with you! Most people just don't hear what they are saying. The comments hit my wife harder than me. One time when someone asked the "fertility" question she said "if you mean did my husband and I have sex to have them the answer is yes."

I am more on the sarcastic side. If I hear "God bless you" I say "he already has." Or the ever present "better you than me" I say something like "God only give you what you can handle" or "I agree."

It is amazing how many people think we set out to have Triplets. The worst I got was from a woman walking with her kids and another family. One woman said to the other "look how cute the Triplets are." Then the other one said "that's what you get with fertility drugs." To which I said "unfortunately not all of us are as blessed as you, to have a child without assistance." She promptly shut her mouth:)

Have fun!

Aimee said...

Unbelievable, sometimes people really don't think!! I just thought of another one, can't believe I forgot!

Marie said...

Aimee, I love your retorts. I can't say as though we have had the same comments as we have two daughters adopted from China. We often run into people who think that gives them the right to comment and pry as well. I have often been tempted to give a deserving retort but I usually chicken out! You are my hero!!


Reagan Leigh said...

I just loved this post! It was too funny! I can't believe the things people say, but then again I can (when I hear similar stupid comments because of Reagan's significant special needs). I love your comebacks!

Aimee said...

Yes, I'll have to do a separate post just for comments about Emily. Although, usually they are not quite so rude!

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness, Aimee! I cannot even imagine how I would respond to some of those comments! People just do NOT use their brains and obviously the ones who have had children easily definitely do not understand how it is! I love some of your retorts! I get the "you have your hands full" all the time too so I can only imagine how often you get it! I usually say "yes I do, but I LOVE it!" It's like people feel sorry for you if you have a lot of kids. I don't understand that!!! Anyway, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Aimee, I'm proud of you for writing that. I know it took a lot of effort!
God blessed you and Gee because you have a lot of love to give!!!!

Nicole said...

Way to go, Aim! Brave words that needed to be said...

Jennifer said...

Wow.. I can't believe people are so nosey! Wait, yes I can, based on the comments I got just while pregnant!! I LOVE your comebacks and I have to say, the " were you drinking?" made me inhale a little of the poptart I was eating!

Kim said...

Ugggg! People are just crazy. I get crazy comments all the time when I am out with the boys. They are not triplets and I still get the "bless you", "you have your hands full", "didn't you want a girl" type of comments! I don't know where these people come from - or who raised them!

Hope to see you soon!

Anonymous said...

I find multiples fascinating as do many people. That is why people ask questions/make comments. I recently got pregnant with twins and they were spontaneous. I personally think that there is a difference between getting pregnant with multiples spontaneously vs. with fertility treatments. A spontaneous multiple pregnancy is a rare and naturally occurring phenomenom. Getting pregnant with multiples via IVF, Clomid, etc. results in many multiple pregnancies. This is a purposeful, manipulated event. That's not to say that your children are "less special" in any way. I often have people assume that I used fertility treatments to conceive and I find it irritating. But it makes sense because nowadays more multiples are conceived...unspontaneously. I guess I wanted to give you a different perspective on this. People are going to be curious about multiples because it's not very common. I'm happy that you were able to take advantage of modern treatments to have the family you want. Take care.