I thought I had planned for everything. I really did. The nursery. The shared bedrooms for the other kids. The need for storage. A few family and friends I could trust to occasionally get a few hours for myself and, despite what everybody tells me, the fragile balance that is my sanity. After years of talking about it, months of preparation, and a bunch of worrying in between, I thought I was finally in a good place. I finally felt ready, even in a way that I never once during my first pregnancy and as a new mother.
My first time, I was pregnant with twins. As my husband and I needed a little extra help getting pregnant—a story for another time—we used IVF and so it was no big shock that we ended up with twins. It was supposed to be the same the second time around. Our first two children, Brian and Brenda, had just turned 4 and were about to enter pre-school. I could tell I wanted more children, but wasn’t sure how much longer we could wait before that window closed permanently.
I told myself 3 children total would be perfect, but also that I would be prepared for another set of twins or even triplets. At the beginning of my second trimester, I went to see my OB/GYN. The ultrasound revealed twins, and while my doctor definitely mentioned and I already knew from my first pregnancy that a third baby could be missed, especially by the second ultrasound. It was still a shock, an earth-moving, vertigo-inducing shock, to discover at 20 weeks that I wasn’t having twins. I was having triplets.
This, as they say, was a whole new ball of wax. Everything that had been budgeted, financially and spatially, had no room for error. There was no room at all for this problem. Naturally, we thought at first about moving into a bigger house. We had a house, not super-fancy or brand-new, but on the nicer side and in a good neighborhood. Which is to say, we could have gone out in the housing market and found a bigger home at roughly the same price as our current home. We would have to lose the realtor fee and closing costs and all that, but more than that, I was 5 months pregnant. The only way to seemingly make it work would be to find a new house and move in before moving out of the old house. And that was a problem financially in terms of showing the bank that we could come up with 6 months of mortgage payments for both properties. We freaked out for a couple days, but then we got to work. And this is where the basement comes in. My husband’s parents agreed to take some of our childhood mementos and store it in their house for a while. Then, we went to work.
Our basement is creepy enough. Bigger than a crawl space, it still has low ceilings. It was also unfinished in the worst way. God bless, we had some friends and friends in the construction business, and they ended up cutting us a break. We didn’t need the basement fully finished, but they did the waterproofing that let us feel comfortable storing kid clothing and other items down there.
While this construction was going on, we went back to the drawing board and to online shopping to get extra supplies. The Container Store has always been there for us when we needed additional home and kid storage. We increased our order for diapers and other baby items with Diapers.com. We made plans to get our triplet clothing at a great price with Stuff4Multiples. We also realized from our experience with twins that it doesn’t much to get the laundry hopelessly disorganized. And so, we found a personal label maker, It’s Mine Labels, that made clothing labels custom made for our kids—all five of them—Brian, Brenda, Carla, Christopher, and Colton.
And so, on March 21st, I got that sharp familiar pain, and our journey started. Dave, my husband, was great. I’ll never forget what he said as we left for the hospital. He kissed forehead gently, looked me square in the eyes with a look that was somewhere between earnest and calm, and he said, “We got this.”