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Is it Good Things or Bad Things that Come in Threes? - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Is it Good Things or Bad Things that Come in Threes?
I remember always hearing that things come in threes. Some peeople believe GOOD things come in threes. Some people believe that BAD things come in threes. Certainly if you look hard enough you can find enough things that can be lumped into multiples of threes, both good and bad. Certainly I can think of a lot of good things that come in threes... Larry, Curly & Moe. The Three Tenors. Sex, Drugs, and Rock N' Roll (okay, just kidding).

While I admit that there are plenty of good things that don't come in threes and that it's a construct we create for ourselves when we say things happen in threes... I sure do hope that good things do, in fact, come in threes.

Because apparently(G-d Willing) I'm going to have a lot of things in threes soon... three months of bed rest, three high chairs, three car seats, three cribs, three babies...

Yep. I'm pregnant with triplets. I tried to hide it for a while, but as osewalrus noted to his brother and sister-in-law yesterday, I'm not hiding it so well. Apparently, if you're pregnant with triplets, things grow three times as fast in the beginning, so yeah. Not so much with hiding it. Since most of the people I see on a regular basis are fully aware of the current State of the Cohens, it made sense to out myself on LJ.

So, today I went in for a super-duper-ultra-awesome ultrasound to check and see if there seemed to be any possible indicators that we should consider further invasive chromosomal testing. But everything looked great. The little parasites are all growing perfectly. They all have strong heartbeats. They're already exhibiting personalities (the troublemakers, babies A and C, clearly take after their father... the cooperative, perfect baby B clearly takes after me). So no further testing needed at this time.

You probably have some questions and here are a couple of the most common ones answered for your convenience:

Was this "natural" or IVF/IUI/Fertility Treatments?
The real answer to that question is that it's none of anyone's business. I certainly haven't asked anyone what position they were in when they conceived their child, and asking me a question like that is pretty much the same as asking about my sex life. However, given that I've not been terribly closed-mouthed about the need to have some assistance in that realm, and given that I do know some folks read this blog who might (unfortunately) need such information or support, I will say that while I believe that ALL pregnancies are "natural", yes, we did seek fertility treatment.

OMG! How could you have been so irresponsible? Didn't you know it's dumb to put that many eggs back?
Why yes, I did know that if I'd been doing IVF considering my specific issues it would have been inadvisable to transfer 3 embryos. But if you're asking a question like that, you've clearly not been down this road before. Everyone's situation is different. Everyone has different choices to make based on their own history and circumstances. In our case, we did not do IVF, we did IUI. I was very carefully monitored, a judgment call was made by a team of truly excellent doctors, and it turned out to be the wrong side of the gamble. So here I am.

Why are you telling people? Aren't you worried you'll jinx it?
At this point, I'm in my second trimester. Things are looking as good as they're going to. Everything is terrific. Yes, I could still have a loss. I could lose one or all of them. I firmly believe that if such a loss is going to happen, it's going to happen, regardless of how many people know. I also firmly believe that if I have a loss, what I'm going to want is the support of my friends and family. I'd much rather have that support than suffer alone because I told no one.

When are you due?
This is basically irrelevant, since I'll never make it that far. Suffice it to say, assuming all goes well, the babies will come out in September sometime.

Why don't you just reduce?
Because it's just not that simple. Aside from the halachic issues (halacha is the body of Jewish law), there are medical issues to consider as well. When you look at reduction from quads, quints, sextuplets and more, medically speaking, the answer is clear. But the risk/benefit ratio with triplet reduction is less clear. Yes, I will have a high risk pregnancy (though I should note that even twin pregnancies are considered high risk pregnancies). But we've very carefully weighed our options with our doctors (we have many now), our rabbi, and some close friends. It's a very difficult issue to consider and I hope that none of you ever have to consider it. That being said, our decision is not up for debate, nor will I listen to people telling me that it was morally or ethically wrong to have considered it in the first place. I have some very specific medical conditions that made it prudent to consider reduction among our options, and our rabbi agreed with us. If any of you find you have need (or even dire curiosity) for more details on what went into our decision-making process, I'll be happy to discuss it in detail privately.

That's enough for now, I think. It's pretty nifty, overall, but unbelievably terrifying. It took us weeks upon weeks to come to terms with the fact that this isn't just a cruel joke and I really am pregnant. With triplets. Seriously.
122 comments or Leave a comment
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cahwyguy From: cahwyguy Date: May 4th, 2007 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll keep thinking positive thoughts, and keep watching for good news. Life is always an adventure, but (usually) we're given challenges that G-d thinks we can handle and will lead us to grow.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. We can handle it, we just haven't worked out the details yet! We're pretty excited though.
magid From: magid Date: May 4th, 2007 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
B'shaa tova! B'shaa tova! B'shaa tova!

Wowie zowie! When you do something, you go all the way!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah no kidding! This certainly wasn't part of the original plan, but there you go. Man plans and G-d laughs...heartily. Well, I guess we're just making up for lost time. :)
farfalla_dolce From: farfalla_dolce Date: May 4th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope that no one questions your decisions or gives you any added stress. You have been through a great deal, and I am so truly happy for you. If there is anything I can do at all, please let me know.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
People are always going to question our decisions, and that's okay, as long as they respect that they were our decisions to make. It certainly wasn't easy to get to this point, and I don't expect it to be easy beyond this point, but at least we know that our choices were sound and based on the most objective evidence possible under the circumstances.

Thanks so much for your support.
gnomi From: gnomi Date: May 4th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)
B'sha'ah tovah!!!

(three exclamation points -- one for each of them)

::ponders knitting in threes::
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking you needed to come visit in early June to re-teach me how to knit during my agonizingly boring THREE MONTHS on bedrest. Because your little duck outfits (I think that was you) for babies are TOO CUTE!
either_or From: either_or Date: May 4th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
haha, FAQ...that's awesome.

this is very exciting!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could have done more but I realized I was getting snarky in my answers, even for the legitimate questions, so it was time to stop!
leahmiriam From: leahmiriam Date: May 4th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
You know I think it is way cool, but then I am not carrying triplets so I am free to feel this way. It couldn't happen to nicer folks. You both will rise to the challengs and reap all the joy times three!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)
now that we've gotten over the initial shock (that lasted about 6 weeks), I think we're on to thinking it's pretty cool, if a little bit, um, terrifying.
ichur72 From: ichur72 Date: May 4th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG OMG OMG! Wow! Very exciting news!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah... it's... well, definitely exciting! (and a little terrifying!)
indigodove From: indigodove Date: May 4th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, what wonderful news, although I'm sure it's a little overwhelming. I wish you, Seth and your family all the best!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
definitely overwhelming, but we ARE getting excited. :)
dear_jellybean From: dear_jellybean Date: May 4th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC) (Link)
As always, I think nothing but good thoughts for you.

And a FAQ - that's priceless. You should print it out and just hand it to people at parties, LOL. Sometimes I feel like that would be the best solution - to have cards that say "yes we've been married for almost two years now, yes we want children, and it's up to Hashem".

I hope you don't mind but I've shared your post/news with Bernard, who says "I wish her health and strength and I admire her honesty and hope that others learn from her example."

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't mind you sharing with B. This was a public post, of course, but beyond that, I always sort of expect that spouses will tell each other things (except in one case where I forbade my friend J to tell her husband C, but she knew from Day One what was going on and we were completely freaked out).

It's all good though.

(and if B admires my honestly, I really should share with him my initial posts of "OMG WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME!?" from my other blog. Heh heh. Please tell him I said thank you.)
From: gingy Date: May 4th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I am so unbelievably happy for you guys.

Also, I'm shocked that people would dare to tell you it's irresponsible to carry three babies at once.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
A triplet pregnancy is an extremely high-risk pregnancy. 80% of triplet pregnancies result in pre-term labor. There are a lot of people who believe that fertility treatment as a whole is irresponsible, or at least that people make irresponsible decisions with fertility treatment, because of the increased risk of higher order multiples (anything over twins). Many people right about the "twin epidemic" in this country. Admittedly, the goal of any self-respecting reproductive endocrinologist is to achieve a healthy SINGLETON pregnancy. That was certainly our goal, and we did everything we could to avoid having any other scenario.

There ARE a lot of people (and, unfortunately) doctors who are irresponsible in the fertility choices they make. For example, if a woman over-responds to ovarian stimulation in an IUI cycle and gets, say 7 mature eggs, MOST clinics would advise her and her husband to cancel the IUI and to abstain from intercourse for a period of time until well-past the ovulation point. However, I've known of many women who take that as their opportunity to ignore their doctor in HOPES of having higher order multiples. In another case, my perinatologist told me of a woman who came to him pregnant with sextuplets after an IVF cycle. They were all fraternal, so no mono-zygotic twinning occurred. The fertility clinic had transferred SIX eggs, which is disgustingly irresponsible.
mscongeniality From: mscongeniality Date: May 4th, 2007 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm not sure what it says about me that my first thought was 'wow, that's great' and my second was 'well, that explains the minivan!' ;-)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I almost posted the minivan question as an FAQ! :)

We almost didn't buy the minivan because Seth's car died the same week I found out I had triplets (the week before they told me I had twins). We felt like it might be jinxing the whole thing (at that point I really DIDN'T want triplets anyway, but I wanted at least ONE of them to survive!). But on the other hand, even if I weren't pregnant at that point, we probably would have seriously considered a minivan anyway, knowing full well that I was in the midst of fertility treatment and knowing that we weren't going to want to buy a car and then have to turn around and buy a van if I got pregnant.
hannahsarah From: hannahsarah Date: May 4th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
*ZOMG jawdrop* Sheesh, some people. Can I be your designated smacker? I could just follow you around and smack anyone who dares say anything like that to you.

I think it's wonderful. I wish you a healthy, easy, wonderful pregnancy and delivery, free from idiots who ask stupid questions.

{{{ extra wide hug }}}
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not all the questions are stupid. And there's a difference between a friend who KNOWS our history asking me if there was fertility treatment involved and a vague acquaintance asking me. (I do understand that it's a very natural question for people to ask, but I do wish people realized that it really is akin to asking me about my sex life) Most people in REAL life do not accuse me of having been irresponsible, but it's happened.

Most people have been very supportive, to be fair. Thank you for the well-wishes. We're going to need them!
lec210 From: lec210 Date: May 4th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
YAY YAY YAY! This is wonderful news!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now I agree with you. Six weeks ago...? Let's just say we were overwhelmed.
torahumaddachic From: torahumaddachic Date: May 4th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
BSHAAA TOVA!!!!!!!!!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. It's quite... an adventure. :)
kitsunebeast From: kitsunebeast Date: May 4th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Huge congrats! I'm so glad that everything is looking so good on the Super UltraSound.

You are both already wonderful parents, and I can;t wait to meet the new additions to the family (you know, when you feel like flying across the country with 4 kids under 5). ;P

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Everything looked absolutely perfect. The nuchal fold measurements were all at exactly the middle of the expected range. Couldn't have been more perfect, really. It's really quite unbelievable! I suspect it will be some time before I'm willing to bring all the monsters on a plane, but definitely, if we make it to the West Coast anytime soon, you're at the top of our list of folks to visit!
cellio From: cellio Date: May 4th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, congrats!

The only question on your FAQ that had occurred to me was "when?". Actually, I didn't previously know enough to even anticipate some of those questions...

Don't let B fool you; it might just be waiting for A and C to knock each other out before initiating world conquest. :-)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes! See, B is the smart, strategic one! Just like ME!

Some of those questions aren't so much FAQs as they are questions that naturally arise from a couple of the others. By far the two most popular questions, in this order, are "Was it natural?" and "When are you due?"... I hate focusing on due dates, even with singletons, because they're really due "ranges" and people get all worked up about the specific date... but with multiples, my actual due date is so irrelevant, it's not funny!
bluejeanjexy From: bluejeanjexy Date: May 4th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I have already said B'sha'ah Tovah, but I will mos.def. say it again - B'Sha'ah Tovah. And sorry if I was nosey with uncalledfor questions when you told me :-\
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)
you were not nosy. For the most part I don't mind the questions. What I mind is the implication of irresponsibility on my part. I also mind when people who don't already know our history of fertility issues ask me if this was "natural". Coworkers, for example, have no business asking that question. Acquaintences in shul for SURE have no business asking that question because that's ICKY.
kmelion From: kmelion Date: May 4th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Even though I knew, since I'm part of your fertility filter, I'm in tears of happiness reading this.

b'Shaah Tova three times over. May you and your family have only nachas and simchas from here on in... out?
zachkessin From: zachkessin Date: May 4th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
B'Shaah Tova
B'Shaah Tova
B'Shaah Tova

(I wonder does happyness in this case increase linearly with number of kids, or say quadradicly, in which case I should write it 9 times!)

bookworm1212 From: bookworm1212 Date: May 4th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Again, b'shaah tova b'shaah tova b'shaah tova!!

I like the idea of being your designated smacker. If ever hannahsarah is not available, I volunteer to smack (verbally or otherwise) people who venture their noses where it does not belong.

Also, I had a job opportunity come up last week that would maybe have been a good fit for you, but figured you weren't looking to switch jobs at the current time. Feel free to email me if I was wrong :-)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
You are quite correct... it's probably not the time to be changing jobs, considering I'll need my company to pay disability pay and benefits and all that while I'm on bed rest!

I stopped looking for a new job for two reasons: 1. things with my company vastly improved starting in early February and 2. I got pregnant in mid-to-late-February.
mindycl From: mindycl Date: May 4th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
its so cute seeing everyone else's reactions to this :). Kind of the same way I reacted when I found out. I'm still in shock :)!
zis770 From: zis770 Date: May 4th, 2007 09:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I know the feeling [: I was just saying this morning, how is Esther Chaya doing?? when you don't post I get nervous!

You're FAQ is very nice. And expect to get way more of people asking you #1, bezras Hashem in a guta shaah, IY"H!

lizziebennet From: lizziebennet Date: May 4th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope you won't mind my commenting. I don't think you know me... I'm on Mindy's friendslist and found you awhile ago through her--I love reading your recipes, and like your writing in general.

Anyway, congratulations (if that is an okay thing to say, before the babies are born, Jewishly?)!! I am so pleased for you, and just wanted to say so. :)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't mind you commenting at all. Thank you for the compliments... I haven't been posting much lately because: 1. I'm so darned exhausted with the whole triplet thing and 2. It's hard to write about my life leaving out little details like "oh yeah, and I'm pregnant with triplets..."


Totally fine to say congratulations. The phrase many Jewish people use is "b'shaah tova" which means something like "in a good time" meaning that while not counting your chickens, so to speak, the good news should occur in the right time when God wills it. (Jews are very superstitious about a lot of things, especially babies)
cleobatya From: cleobatya Date: May 4th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
all i can say is that you and seth are already the best parents for julian. 3 more is ridiculous and amaazing and fabulous. i wish you all only HEALTH and happiness and everything else falls into place somehow even though it is extremely crazy sexy cool.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
One way or another it WILL all fall into place. In the meantime, it's a bit overwhelming, but we are excited.
osewalrus From: osewalrus Date: May 4th, 2007 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Wheel of Kohelet, Turn Turn Turn ; Tell Us the Lesson The We Must Learn . . .

but as osewalrus noted to his brother and sister-in-law yesterday, I'm not hiding it so well.

"for a bird of the sky shall carry thy voice; the winged ones shall tell thy words." Eccl. 10:20

And of course: "Two are better than one, but a three-fold (umbilical) chord shall not be easily broken." :-)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wheel of Kohelet, Turn Turn Turn ; Tell Us the Lesson The We Must Learn . . .

Heh heh. It wasn't news to me, by the way, that I'm, uh, looking pregnant. It was just fun to tease you. Anywhozit, the news had spread pretty quickly despite my best efforts, so we gave up not telling people maybe a week and a half ago. I just didn't want to post on LJ until yesterday's scan.
From: have_inner_lady Date: May 4th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The little parasites are all growing perfectly. They all have strong heartbeats.

There is singing all through me at this good news!

So, you're on bedrest already? When do you want a visitor?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not on bed rest yet. Probably will be in June (though I certainly never turn down visitors. :) I'm hoping to keep working through mid-June, but I'm going to have to play it a little by ear.
From: cecerose Date: May 4th, 2007 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Mazel Tov! and Congratulations!

Good things come in whatever number or multiples they want to. In your case, "three". Baruch Hashem!

I believe that things happen for a reason. You've chosen to take the pregnancy to term -- for the right reasons. There's no need to explain your choices to us. It's a very personal decision.

Look at this way -- you'll get all your childbearing over in one fell swoop -- I'm so excited for you! and Seth! and the munchkin! Think of the tax breaks! (Just kidding.)

Good G-d. What does your mother and MIL think?

estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: May 4th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Mazel Tov! and Congratulations!

I think my mother is excited. I know she's overwhelmed. :) My MIL is excited. Shocker. :)

(And don't think we didn't think about those tax breaks!)

Thanks for your supportive words. We're excited, overwhelmed, joyful, ecstatitic and terrified all at once. :)
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