‘There are THREE babies in there.’ I yelled, ‘No there’s not!’ I couldn’t see all the blessings yet.’: Mom of 2 surprised with triplets, ‘My heart is full’

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“November 7, 2019, is a day I will never forget. It was one day before our 5-year wedding anniversary and it was also my ultrasound appointment for my third pregnancy. I was 8 weeks along. It is not a stretch to say this was the day my expectation for what life would look like ended and the reality of my future would be revealed to me.

I told my husband to go to work instead of coming to the appointment with me that morning. We already had a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, so we had been through the 8-week ultrasound before and fairly recently. I wasn’t having strong pregnancy symptoms yet, but I had known I was carrying our third and final baby for 5 weeks by this point. I got a positive test at 3 weeks on the dot. ‘This is really early… it could be twins,’ I told my husband.

We had just started trying. I wanted four kids, but my husband was set on three. I not-so-secretly hoped I could change his mind later on down the road, but starting over always worried me. The adjustment was difficult, and not knowing how the baby would sleep or their temperament always felt like a gamble. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to handle what was given to me. I never wanted to simply ‘survive’ motherhood; I wanted to thrive in it.

I laid on the table, nervous, and thinking about how I was about to see my last baby for the first time. The same sonographer who did my first two 8-week ultrasounds did this one. The screen was turned away from me and she took her time looking at it. She squinted, and I got nervous. Doubt and fear started to creep in. What if there is no heartbeat? I wasn’t feeling any symptoms. What if something is wrong? Finally, she said the words I had become familiar with: ‘I’ll show you in a second.’ A sigh of relief. And then she said, ‘I have a couple of surprises for you. There’s more than one.’

I instantly assumed it really was twins, which felt very shocking, even though I suspected it could be possible. I barely had time to process before she followed up with a sentence I’ll never forget… ‘There are three babies in there.’ I yelled, ‘No, there’s not!’ Panic set in. Suddenly, I was out-armed and out-boobed. I had more babies growing inside of me than I had Earthside! I started crying, laughing, swearing, apologizing, and then repeated everything again. I asked her, ‘What am I going to do? I already have two very young kids and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.’ How could I possibly be carrying three babies?

Instantly, I also needed to know they were all okay. She assured me they all had heartbeats and were measuring accordingly. I told her to stop the ultrasound and she asked me if I needed to make a phone call. I attempted to gather myself as I Facetimed my husband at work. I told him to sit down. He expected to hear it was twins. When I said it was triplets, we both just laughed. What were we going to do? It didn’t matter. We knew we were about to embark on a very unique parenting journey together.

Courtesy of Holly Bassler

It took all weekend to set in. I cried in the shower that night, running my hand along my stomach. It didn’t make sense to me. How was I having triplets? We have no history of multiples in either of our families. I previously assumed if I were carrying more than one baby, I’d have horrible symptoms, which I can say now is not true. This pregnancy ended up being my favorite. I was concerned about what my body would look like. How early would I deliver? I knew they would have to go to the NICU. I already had two very smooth and healthy pregnancies and births and now suddenly, I was ‘high risk.’ I couldn’t sleep that night and could barely eat the next day. I was in shock. How had we gone from expecting three kids under 4 to five kids under 4? God told me clear as day this was Him. This was the plan. But I couldn’t see all the blessings yet.

Courtesy of Holly Bassler

My maternal-fetal medicine doctor confirmed the following week the pregnancy was ‘tri/tri,’ which meant three separate sacs and three separate placentas, the best-case scenario for triplets. As the days and weeks went on, I started to get excited but I was also very fearful of losing one of the babies. They held on, each ultrasound measuring right on track. We learned at 16 weeks I was carrying three healthy boys. I had always envisioned myself as a mom of many boys. I entered the world of social media to find families who looked like ours would: multiple toddlers and triplets. Five kids under 4. I joined Facebook groups for triplet moms.

Before I knew it, it started to feel normal to the point where I forgot triplets don’t happen very often. My pregnancy progressed perfectly. By 28 weeks, the pandemic had begun but I trusted God’s timing. The pandemic was not a surprise to Him. At 34 weeks and 3 days, on Mother’s Day, I had my cesarean and met the beautiful finale to our family. Judah Silas weighed 6 pounds, 1 ounce. Jack Calvin was 5 pounds, 6 ounces, and ‘small but mighty’ James Christian was four pounds, three ounces. All of the boys breathed in room air. They were perfect. The surgery went smoothly, my body healed well, and the boys thrived. They were all home from the NICU within 3 weeks.

Courtesy of Holly Bassler

There are so many things I know now since having my boys. I won’t pretend like it wasn’t and isn’t hard at times. Through all of the challenges of preparing for, carrying, birthing, and now caring for triplets alongside our toddlers, God has shown up loud and clear every step of the way. Right away after hearing the news, my family stepped in to help me figure out a plan for what I would need for three babies and how much help I might need. My pregnancy was absolutely perfect, and the doctors repeatedly said how surprised they were the babies and I were all doing so well. They said I was one of the best triplet pregnancies they had ever seen.

Courtesy of Holly Bassler

When I got towards the end of my pregnancy, my brother-in-law graciously agreed to spend several weeks at our house to help with my toddlers because it was just too painful and, frankly, dangerous, to do all of the ‘normal’ things I had always done. Strangers reached out to me to offer their used baby items, buy us diapers, or make us a meal. Accepting so much help from others, something that doesn’t come easily to me, gave me the desire to someday pay it forward and help moms who find themselves in need—and to show them it’s not only okay to accept help but it’s crucial. Even though the pandemic was rampant when I gave birth and only my husband was allowed to be present and stay with me in the hospital, the time allowed just the two of us sweet moments with our boys—time we may not have gotten alone with them if we had been allowed visitors. I could go on about the blessings God provided during this time and all of the ways He showed up. It’s so clear to me how God was showing me triplets was truly His plan and He was in all of the details.

Courtesy of Holly Bassler

God’s plan for my life was so much bigger than even my dreams could hold. I hear all of the time God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but I don’t believe that. When God gives us more than we can handle, we get to see His strength show up in our weakness. We can grow better in our relationship with Him when we allow Him to fill in the gaps for us and carry us. We get to accept help from other people and witness so much good in humanity. My relationship with Him has grown and evolved in ways I never thought possible. He blessed me beyond anything I ever could have imagined. My sweet boys are now 5 and a half months old, exclusively breastfed, and have the best temperaments. Some days I am exhausted, but every day I am joyful beyond belief. Having five kids under 5 is hard, but I am thriving and happier than I have ever been before. I’ve come to realize I don’t have to look for the joy and blessings during difficult times. Rather, difficulty and joy can exist simultaneously. And, oh, how good it is.

Courtesy of Holly Bassler
Courtesy of Holly Bassler

I sometimes think back to when we told our family and friends. We decided to tell them immediately after hearing we were expecting triplets. So many people processed this news in horror as if it were their own journey. We even had someone tell us she was sorry. Some of the reactions still break my heart. My world would not be complete without any of these boys. Each one of them is an absolute blessing and a treasure in my life. I can’t possibly sum up everything I’ve learned in the last year. I would love to go back a year ago to the moment I heard I was carrying three babies. I would tell that panicked, terrified, and overwhelmed mama her life was about to be richer than she could have ever imagined, and even though her hands would, in fact, be full, her heart would be even fuller. I think about our dinner table when all of my babies are grown to have them and their families in our home during the holidays. I think about all of the wonderful memories we will make along the way. I think about how full my heart feels when I get to watch my toddlers interact with their baby brothers.

If I had a choice, I would do it a million times over. I regularly ugly-cry over how truly blessed I feel to have been chosen to be their mother. Now when I think of how many people said, ‘better you than me,’ I whole-heartedly mean it when I say, ‘Yes. Thank you, Jesus, that it was me.'”

Courtesy of Digital Dreamer Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Holly Bassler. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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