A year ago right now, as I sit and type this, I was driving home from Madigan with everything still in a haze around me. What in the world just happened?? Am I asleep? Was it a joke? Did I really hear what I think I just heard??
At 9am I went for my regularly scheduled ultrasound. The one that would release me from being an “RE” (reproductive endocrinology) patient to being an “OB” patient. The one that would tell me all of my nervousness through the holiday and getting bigger faster than I had with Aiden was purely due to being pregnant for a second time, and that the baby was just fine. The one that would assuage all of my fears, expand my hopes, and allow me to email my husband (who was deployed) telling him all was fine. You see, when they’re on a submarine, time travels in it’s own patterns. He normally gets my emails almost daily (except if they go silent, which is a whole different thing), but I would get email in batches. Two here, a weeks worth there, sometimes the same emails for a second time (boy is that a downer when you see 10 new emails come through to find out it’s the same ones you’ve already read!). So with something as big as this, I was anticipating that he would hopefully get my email that night and I’d hear back within a few days.
So as I sat in the ultrasound, and hear “double” and then “triple” my first thoughts went not to how we would pay for/care for/take care of these three new babies. They went to “How in the world am I going to get this news to my husband?!?!” Our emails are screened for situations just like these – whether positive or negative, they don’t want sailors to get that type of news sitting in their rack in the middle of the night. It’s just not good when you’re trapped in a metal tube!
So after finding out, as I sat in the hallway laughing, then crying, then laughing again. My phone went to the first two speeddials that it has during deployments – Ombudsman (the link between families and the command) and the CO’s wife. Both went to voicemail. Goodness, what do I do now?! Part of me wanted to post on facebook. But, my husband should know first! On top of that, I was still only 12 weeks along and the last thing we wanted to do was to tell people that early, much less with something as crazy as triplets, with him still deployed and I didn’t know when he would find out.
I’ve seen some interesting videos online of people finding out it was multiples. Most involved the wife and husband sitting there and laughing, crying, or hugging each other. I wish I had a video to share with him, but at the same time I almost have something better – written tangible proof of our thoughts through the whole process, both mine and his. The one wonderful thing about email during patrols is it records those fleeting moments in life. The days where the email is me venting about a three-year-old who threw a tantrum in a store, to those rare moments of pure joy like finding out your family was going to double that summer.
Thankfully due to schedules and all, the boat was able to get the information quickly. And he was able to find out within 24 hours. The funniest part is that the whole patrol, his emails joked that it was twins (we thought there was the possibility, but never dreamed it could come true). His email that I received the morning of January 6th read, “About the twins, im just messing with you because its funny. I just want another i dont care how many, preferably a girl but ill take what i can finally get.” Little did we know…
Email on January 7th: “Well i guess calling them the twins didnt quite do it justice…I love you dear and i am so happy about this.”
So whenever we talk about the triplets and finding out about them, we have many more people involved in the story than most. From the doctor and nurse in the room whose faces were blank stares at the screen like they couldn’t believe what they saw, to the three-year old who was told he was getting THREE babies, and didn’t even question it, to an ombudsman and CO’s wife who likely had never had to disseminate THAT information to a boat before, to the CO, WEPS, and XO who all heard on the boat, to the crew of the USS Louisiana, SSBN-743(G) who will forever be in our hearts as they were part of one of the biggest moments of our lives.
My how our world can change in the blink of an eye. You never really believe it when you hear from those older than you how you should savor every minute, enjoy life as you can. Don’t worry about the dishes because you’ll only have this minute once. But after that experience? You learn that life really can change in an instant. For better or worse. And this time was definitely for the better.