Monday, October 3, 2011


Two weeks after delivering Eleanor, my oldest sister gave birth to her triplets. I really love my sister, but our dual pregnancies was a challenge for me. She announced her surprise pregnancy when we were trying for a family, which was hard. The next month I was pregnant, and, while planning our announcement, received the phone call that Megan was expecting not one but three babies. I was suddenly too overwhelmed by her news to share my own with our family. Megan would need lots of support, help, and love to carry and mother triplets, and I felt guilty asking the family for any of the attention that should go to her. I had previously been so excited to share a pregnancy with my family (who had waited years for me to get married and decide to have a baby), but after her announcement I didn't want to say anything at all.

I got over that shock and learned to give my family more credit (of course there is enough love for as many children as come), but never did feel too comfortable hearing about my sister's trials and triumphs.  Shallow, I know. I admit, I just wanted the focus on me and my little one-- I thought she deserved that. When I talked to someone about my baby I would hear, "And your sister is having triplets... how is she?" Or if I shared my aches and pains the reply would be "But imagine how your sister feels with three babies in there!"

So, yes, I was jealous.

The fact that she had her babies so soon after ours passed away felt like an appropriate end to our experience. I had planned to go home to Columbia to help with her original three kids when she went to the hospital for her C-section, but no one expected it to be so soon. Two weeks after my delivery was a bit of a shock, which I had to get over FAST!

I believe the week I spent at home with her was very healing, thankfully. I think the realization that not all babies come home from the hospital helped her feel grateful and excited for parenting triplets. My Dad, whom I have hardly talked to in a decade, showed up and we had a great time together. I saw, held, and cared for three babies in the NICU.

Plus, my sister is healing well and all three babies are great.

Let me show you...

4 lbs. 15 oz.

4 lbs. 3 oz.

3 lbs. 11 oz.

Dylan was the hardest of all for me to be around. She, more than the others, reminded me of Eleanor. She lost a few ounces after birth, and is just so small. She has scrawny little chicken elbows and knees, like Eleanor did, but I could see hers actually move through the plastic isolette. My tiny baby couldn't do that.  This tiny little baby just really shocked me... you know? 

Strangely, she is the healthiest of all three.  Weston and Courteney will be in the NICU for a few weeks on and off oxygen and other drugs, but Dylan was doing well enough from the beginning to never need oxygen, be placed in a less intensive room, and expect to come home much sooner.  Thus, she is the only one we are allowed to consistently hold out of her isolette and biliruben lighting. 

The first time I went to visit the babies I could only handle to stay for a few minutes.  The second time I came with Megan, who wanted to stay much longer  She took me to see Dylan, opened her isolette doors, and told me to reach in and touch her.  I couldn't.  Again, she told me touch her, so I gradually reached in.  I felt like Dylan was a ticking time bomb-- something that would explode if we had skin-to-skin contact. I started crying and shaking, which the nurses found endearing. They offered me a chair and tissues, but it took quit a while for me to settle down.  I never told anyone about my recent loss, I expect they just thought I was a very emotional aunt. 

I spent a week with the family in Columbia-- long enough to see Megan get home and comfortable-- and I will return when the babies come home from the hospital to help with the transition.  That will be another milestone to overcome, and I hope I handle it as well!

In the meantime, congratulations, Megan.  What an accomplishment!


  1. You know, my wise sister told me once, long before we had the Boy, that I would be amazed the things a baby could heal.

    And I am. Continually amazed at the power they hold in their thin little skin.

    Good for you, being a good sister and brave soul. You're in my prayers...

  2. What a touching post. I lost my first baby just barely after Ben and Brett had Cat, 2 weeks...3 at the most. The idea of going to her blessing and seeing her and holding her was such a daunting task...I thought I might burst from sadness. But I went and was so surprised at how much being around that little spirit helped me. I know it's not nearly the same for everyone, but I'm glad you were able to go see the babies. You're a strong woman Susannah. Our prayers are with you and my hat is off to you for being so willing to help, even in such a trying time for you.

  3. Thanks for sharing everything you did in this post. I'm really glad that you were able to be there with Megan, for you and for her. I know it was hard, but you would regret it for the rest of your life if you hadn't gone. Good for you for facing that difficult circumstance and managing to make yourself irreplaceable in the process. You are an amazing person, not to mention an amazing sister.

  4. Oh Susannah, I just found this site and am so proud of you! Thank you for embracing life at its fullest. You are a winner!


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