On T‘s suggestion (and a fabulous one, I might add, that I cannot believe I never thought of before!), I bring to you a three-part series…what it’s like to be a triplet. Jen wins for doing her homework (as we joked…word count and all!) first and gets first dibs on sharing her perspective. Without further ado…Jen’s perspective followed by my thoughts.
Often times when people find out I am a triplet the first question they ask is, was it ‘natural’ or were our parents on fertility drugs? Um, like it matters right? Anyway the next question they ask is, what’s it like? My pat answer was always, ‘It was great, always had a playmate and someone to start the first day of school with”. Now, that’s completely true but I feel like that’s what they want to hear.
In a lot of ways my sisters and I act, well like sisters. Sure we fought like cats and dogs at times, can you imagine three pre-teens primping for the school dance at once? We shared homework frustrations, ‘umm, what’s the answer the question number 3?” And comforted each other when we had a bad dream, sister hugs are the best. We experienced the painful divorce of our parents and the grief of loved ones lost. We shared the joy of life’s milestones, new relationships, marriage, and the birth of my daughter. In a lot of ways, it was like having really awesome sisters but the only difference was we were the same age.
But really how can I explain in a sentence what makes being a triplet special? I feel like in the last year I can clearly see what makes my relationship so special with my sisters. We started out our sisterhood story on the same page, same birthday, same hospital, same struggle through prematurity. We grew up in the same house and went to the same schools through high school. But now our personalities, life experiences and passions have put us in different chapters but the same book.
Recently, I opened a new chapter in my life with the birth of my daughter. Isabel Ann unified us in a new way. My sisters went from never holding a baby to changing diapers over night. After her birth, I got really sick and my sisters were THERE. When I felt like my world was crashing around me, they lifted me up, pulled me through. I don’t think I could have gotten through it without them, in fact I am sure of it. Like never before, we were three sisters, STRONG. Being the fraternal triplet sometimes made me feel like I had to justify my triplet-ness to others because they were often mistaken for twins. This experience we all shared pulled us together and we are a unit. I think we always were but now, its clear.
I love that now more than ever we just pick up where we left off. We just have one running conversation going, through email, texts and phone calls or whatever. And of course, the first topic is always about their niece-y poo and then me ;) Maybe someday Isabel will be lucky enough to have a sister but if not she will have a mom and two aunties that share a pretty special bond and have a lot of love to share with her!
I love Jen’s perspective so much given she captures just how much we’ve grown together since she became a mom to our beautiful niece Isabel last September. Since then, I don’t think we’ve ever been closer, or ever felt so much in tune with each other than ever before. Jen talks about feeling ‘different’ as the fraternal sister, but now? I feel so much more that the three of us? We are a FAMILY. I know that might not make sense to some, but we are…we are what we have forever, together, and this year proved that we support, defend and love unconditionally each other. Forever.
And Isabel? Well, I don’t think I could love her more than if she was my own daughter…she is quite simply, the best thing that has ever happened for Jen, for us as sisters, and for our family. The tie that unites.