My Birth Story

I knew pretty early into my triplet pregnancy that a C-section would likely be my birth story. And honestly, I was perfectly fine with that. After struggling for so long to have a child of my own, I didn’t care too … Continue reading

One Key to Getting the Triplets to Bed

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Routine is EVERYTHING in this household.

I knew before the babies were born that we would have a pretty structured household and now a year and a half into parenting I can attest that as chaotic as my days are structure is everything.  Not only is it what I need, my kids thrive on it!

So, when it comes to bed time routine we got it down triple time.

Daddy usually gets home from work around 5:30 and it is GO time from there. The kids eat dinner and we have our usual Justin Timberlake dance party following the meal. Up next is where the wind down begins.

Bath. Every single night. They love it (most of the time). As they have gotten older, their tub space has gotten smaller. After their bath we lotion them up and put them in their pajamas

We usually have about 10-15 minutes of play time, work on puzzles, drink their milk, look out the window for dogs, read stories.   These moments are our daily moments where the 5 of us actually get to just share in quality time together as a family.

One important key element to bed time (and nap time) is the one and only “lovey.”  And by one and only I mean one and only–you better not lose this thing! Our babes have snuggled their lovies for a very long time and they definitely are very attached to them.

Bed time is at 7pm, so the triplets know our time is coming to an end as we sing our “night night” song: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” The kids don’t really know the words, but they know it is our night night song and say “Amen” over and over while Daddy and I sing.

Following our song we pray, which is truly such a sweet moment that we have started with the trio. Half the time they are not praying and likely not even understanding the meaning behind it, but one day they will. They know when you pray you say “amen.”

We put each baby in their crib, give them a kiss and tell them how much we love them and say goodnight. The triplets don’t usually make a fuss and usually always sleep through the night. We also have night lights and sound machine that runs through the night.

TaDa…that is our bed time routine.  It is fairly simple. I don’t know that there are any secrets–I think there is just one key ingredient: ROUTINE!!!

The Triplets usually always sleep through the night.  We have worked hard to teach them to work things out on their own and they do a pretty good job.

Our morning starts at 7am. All over again. Sometimes the babes wake up at 6:15/6:30, but either way, we don’t go in their room until 7.

Bed Time Routine in One minute

 

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To My Friend Who is Dreading Mother’s Day

To My Friend who is Dreading Mother’s Day,

This Mother’s Day, I celebrate YOU.
I know this is a hard day. I know you are dreading it. I know it can be agonizing and painful. I know your heart hurts–it hurts on a lot of days, but on this day, it especially hurts. I know this day is just a reminder that your womb is barren and longing to be fruitful. Trust me, I know. I know that Mom’s every where are celebrated and you’re desperate to relish in a role so special and honorary. I know over the years you have formed a special place in your heart for your baby who has not yet come.
Friend, this Mother’s Day I celebrate YOU. I celebrate you because you are strong and brave. I celebrate you for not losing hope. I celebrate you because you are a Mama and we are just waiting on the Lord to work out every little detail. I celebrate you because fertility treatments suck and those bruises on your bottom from daily hormone shots remind you that your womb is not full. I know you are exhausted emotionally, physically, and mentally. My friend, I know.
I celebrate you because the scar on your tummy represents someone who you didn’t get to snuggle with for very long because he was welcomed into Heaven’s gates sooner than what you imagined. I know you’re grieving, Mama. I celebrate you because it takes a lot of bravery and a lot of strength to bury your baby. My heart breaks for your loss, Mama. On that day when your baby went to Heaven, I know it was heart wrenching-the ugly cry kind of heart wrenching. And even though you can’t snuggle your angel baby, you are still a Mom.
Mama, I celebrate you because even though your baby left your womb far too early in pregnancy, you are still a Mama. I know you were dreaming of her and planning every little detail of life as a Mommy. I know you think of her and what she would have looked like. I know this season may feel lonely. And I know that this Mother’s Day is hard.  Mama, I want you to know that you not forgotten.
Mama, I am sorry the adoption process is taking forever and that it is such an emotional roller coaster. I celebrate you because you are patient and adoptions takes a special kind of Mother’s heart. I celebrate you because you have hope and you are an inspiration to so many.
Mama, I celebrate you because you take in kids that need a home until they find their forever home. I celebrate you because being a foster parent is not an easy job. I celebrate you because you show an unconditional kind love to children who so desperately need it.
Mama, I celebrate you because even though you haven’t actually given birth you are a Mom to many. You have a Mother’s heart and although your body didn’t stretch as a baby grew inside, you are still a Mama.
Friend, on this Mother’s Day, I celebrate you! I know it is a hard day. I know you just want it to be over. But I hope on this Mother’s day this, you will know that someone somewhere is thinking of you and celebrating the strength and bravery in you. It is okay to cry, Mama. You are not alone and although it is sometimes hard for us to fully understand the Lord in all His ways, I trust in the details of the story He has made for you. I celebrate who you are. You are inspiring, strong, beautiful, and full of bravery. My friend dreading this Mother’s Day, even though your journey hasn’t turned out how you hoped or imagined it would be, you are a Mama and this Mother’s Day, you are not forgotten!
Sincerely,
I once was you.

@thefortintrio

The Fortin Trio

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Dear Infertility, I hated you

Dear Infertility,

I hated you.

You steal dreams. You break hearts. You bring grief.  You consume lives.  You are the reason I couldn’t get pregnant on my own.  You drowned my heart in deep misery from the inability to become a Mother how most women do.  You told me that my body wasn’t good enough.  You may have been a huge part of my story, but you never defined me. And on this day, two years ago, I kicked your ass. I defeated you. I showed you that there is victory in infertility and God finally planted life in my womb.

Infertility, there are so many things you brought with you when you entered my life.  It wasn’t just that I couldn’t get pregnant.  You brought me more tears than I ever thought I could shed.  Because of you I laid on my bathroom floor in complete emptiness after countless negative pregnancy tests time and time again.  I had to endure shots, bruises, and all kinds of meds because when you are infertile and you seek fertility treatment for help, that is what you are in for.  You are expensive and exhausting physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Infertility, you drowned my heart in disappointment and agony.  And truthfully, it was pretty painful every time I heard the words “I’m pregnant” from someone other than myself.   And yet, in the midst of all of that-you brought me hope.

As much as I hated you, Infertility, I am also so thankful that you were my story.  You made me strong. Even before I got pregnant, my strength was rising. Not only did I feel like Superwoman after all of those injections, meds, blood draws, doctor visits, etc. but I found strength emotionally, as well. I learned how to be brave and walk our story with faith trusting that God knew every single detail better than I did. I learned how to be courageous as my husband gave me a progesterone shot that hurt like you wouldn’t believe every single night for 2 months so I could get and stay pregnant. Infertility, you taught me that I am never alone in my darkest days. Never did I imagine I would be labeled as infertile. Nor did I imagine that we would seek fertility treatment. However, infertility, it is because of you that I get to be a Mom to Charlize, Sawyer, and Jax. This love that I get to experience with them is absolutely undeniable. It is the greatest feeling in the world and if you weren’t apart of my story, I would be missing out on a truly honorable role as their Mommy. It is because of you that two years ago I found myself lying on a Doctors bed waiting for two precious and perfectly made embryos to be transferred to my womb. Infertility, God used you in in my life to make a platform for my story and reach the hearts of people walking the same pain I was in.  And it is because of you that I have a greater understanding of what hope really is.

Infertility, I don’t hate you, not anymore. God makes beauty out of ashes.  You were my ashes, but God made you beautiful.  If it wasn’t for you-for the extreme heartache you caused me, the lies you told me, the grief you brought my heart over and over again- not only would I not be a Mom to my darling hope triplets, but I can now truly grasp on to how powerful and remarkable it means to have hope in Jesus Christ.  Hope anchors the soul. Hope does not disappoint. Hope is having faith for what seems impossible.  It is trusting God when it feels hopeless. My journey to parenthood was nothing short of hope.  God had every single detail orchestrated from the second He planted the seed of Motherhood in my heart.  Infertility, today, when I really reflect on those years when you were apart of my life, I can only say, Thank you.

Sincerely,

Mama of Hope

@thefortintrio

The Fortin Trio

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Mom vs. Mom

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A couple weeks ago the perfect storm hit our household. It is the hardest when your kids are sick. Sickness in our household means triple everything… the snot, the fevers, the tantrums. However, not only did this storm include our sick triplets, but my husband and I were also sick, along with my parents, with whom we live with.  In the midst of all the snotty noses and fevers, I also somehow managed to dislocate a disk in my back. This made feeling sick look laughable.  I have never had a back injury before and this was incredibly painful, especially while trying to provide the love and nurturing care my babies needed. It indeed was the perfect equation for the perfect storm.

The storm that I was in quickly brought me back to the heart wrenching and painful season where I faced and dealt with postpartum anxiety and depression after the birth of my babies.  I could feel myself becoming incredibly overwhelmed by my kids so easily. I was short tempered, exhausted, and running thin on energy and physicality.  I could not lift them or bend forward.  Not to mention, the nasty cold that seemed to raid our entire household was lingering, if not getting worse, for everyone. I had to find friends and family to help me in my home because my inability to lift prevented me from being able to provide the care my babies needed and required.  However, it wasn’t just me who was run down and running on empty fumes and snot, but the triplets were, as well.  They were whiny, cranky,  misbehaved, and just not having it either.  We were all spent.

One morning I had just given my son, Sawyer, his nebulizer treatment. He fought his way through it and it was hard on my body trying to hold him still without putting too much pressure or movement on my back.   It was frustrating for us both and only built more anxiety in me.  We finally completed his treatment and I needed to change Jax’ diaper.  He hates getting his diaper changed.  He kicked like a strong karate kid several times and even got me in my stomach once. That was when I lost it.  The weight of the week came out of me like a ticking time bomb.

“I am just trying to change your diaper!!!” I yelled. I screamed really.

At this point I was crying.  Jax was too.  Guilt succumbed me. I looked up and Sawyer was staring directly into my eyes. I was immediately ashamed of how I responded. How could I be so angry over this? How could I respond with my own frustrations by screaming at my child–over a diaper change nonetheless? What did Sawyer see when his deep blue eyes just stared into mine? Did he see what I saw? Did he see all my imperfections as a Mother? Did  he love me any less? Did he see the failure that I am?

Within in seconds, I was crying… the ugly kind with snot all over my face and tears that uncontrollably rolled down my cheeks.  It was in that moment where God revealed His grace to me as my son Sawyer leaned in to give me a hug me.  Instantly I pulled all three of my kids as close to my body that I could. My tears were overflowing. I could not stop crying. “Please forgive Mama! I am so sorry for yelling. I love you so much. ” My heart was so ashamed and I was so disappointed in myself as a Mom.

I kept thinking about Sawyer and wondered if he saw me the way I saw myself in that moment.  Did he see the anger and exhaustion? Could he tell that I was spent? run down? overwhelmed? Did he think I was failing him and his siblings as a Mom?  Did he actually love me any less?

And the truth is, Yes.  Sawyer saw me in my weakest most vulnerable moment. He saw something ugly in me, as his Mom. However, Sawyer responded to me in the same way Jesus responds to us. My also tired, whiny, energetic, and sick boy leaned in and hugged me.  He extended grace and love towards me in one of my lowest mom moments. Through this beautiful act of love my son showed me, God gave me a glimpse of his sufficient and unmerited grace. Grace is what we desire the most when our guilt and wrong-doings are exposed. This was truly a remarkable moment to have my son showcase to me such a beautiful picture of Jesus. We always think it will be the other way around, but God uses our kids to teach us about His grace, His greatness, and His glory.

I am not proud of this moment and I know there were many other ways I could have handled the situation, but this experience caused me to really think about how I feel about myself as a Mom and how my kids really see me as their Mom.  At one point I even said to my husband, “The last week has taken a tole on my heart.  I feel like anything good about me as a Mom has been sucked dry.” Even though my son responded to my actions with such love and grace, I still struggled to see the beauty he saw in me. The same beauty Jesus sees in me.

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However, the truth is it is always easier to find the negative and point out everything I am doing wrong and not accomplishing as a Mother.  I am not patient.  I don’t have confidence.  I am short tempered.  I am mean. I don’t use kind words all the time. I am constantly behind on laundry and cleaning. I give my kids candy with breakfast sometimes.  I don’t know what I am doing.  I am not worthy. I am always failing.

The beauty in our children is they don’t see us like this.  We will never be perfect. and our kids may see our short-comings, but they are quick to love us when we fail them.  Even in our short-tempered, ugly parenting moments our kids see us as loving, nurturing, caring, fun, strong, and playful.  They see us as their heroes.  If only we could have eyes like our children, especially in the moments we are not proud of, I believe it would really help us parent better and learn to walk through parenthood with grace, forgiveness, love, and imperfections.  And ultimately, they see us the same way Jesus sees us.  They see our flaws, but love us through them.

Sawyer didn’t see me the way I saw me. I mean, he probably was like “Woah, Mom!” But he followed my anger with a hug.  That is love. That is forgiveness. I was still his hero. Within minutes the triplets were laughing and dancing and the moment was forgotten.  It was a moment, though, that I will never forget.  It was a moment that taught me a valuable lesson in Grace.  It taught me how to be a better Mother for my children.  It was a moment where God used my son to show me Jesus. It was a reminder that Jesus is the answer to my brokenness.  I know I will continue to fall short as a Mother and will have more moments that I wish I could erase or handle differently.  However, this powerful moment showed me how much I am loved even when I fail.

@thefortintrio

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Our Vacation U-turn

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I was supposed to be in Acapulco, Mexico this week bronzing on a sandy beach with a cocktail in hand surrounded by my very best friends soaking in the warm sun and cherishing every second of a kid-free week!

But I am not…

Several months ago, my husband surprised me that he was taking me on a very special getaway with our closest friends for an ENTIRE week. We haven’t been on a real vacation since we decided to try for a baby years ago, so this was really exciting.  An entire week of relaxation on a beach surrounded by people I love felt like a dream.

We found sitters for the triplets. All the details were made and booked. I got a new bikini. Everything was falling into place so perfectly. Just a couple weeks out of the trip, my husband realized his passport was expired.  It felt like a little bump in the road.  However, what normally you think wouldn’t have been a big deal, turned into a real vacation nightmare.

Ryan somehow managed to not submit all the paperwork when he applied to have his passport expedited, so his renewal was of course denied. Things, unfortunately,  just got worst after that.  Long story short-after many phone calls and in person visits there was nothing we could do about Ryan’s passport mishap, which we still don’t have in hand, by the way. We fought to the very last minute to resolve the issue and hoped to find ourselves on a plane headed straight to vacation bliss, but instead we found ourselves doing what we always do: parenting, marriage-ing… what a vacation.

Talk about disappointment. A week vacation for a parent is like winning the lottery. We needed this break.  The time away, the sound of the ocean breeze with no interruptions, adult conversation, romance… all of it. We needed all of it.  After so much planning and preparation, our week away turned into pure frustration. For whatever reason, it just wasn’t in our cards to make this trip.

My husband knew how disappointed I was that this vacation was not happening, so in normal “Ryan” fashion he did the best he could last minute to pull off something pretty amazing even if it was just for one night. He managed to get us a one night stay in the most remarkable hotel I have ever stayed in: The Montage in Laguna Niguel.

Literally, a dream.

16763675_979071680984_2108402518_o-1We stayed in one of their gorgeous bungalows right on the cliffs. It was absolutely breathtaking.  We could hear the ocean waves from our room and the weather was perfect. Ryan and I needed this quality time. It is so easy to get caught up in parenting and the chaos of our daily lives.  With the triplets, we are constantly in full blitz mode. I know how important it is to have quality time with Ryan and make our relationship a priority, but to be honest, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

To be able to deeply connect and relish in this one night together meant a lot to me.  Not to mention, soaking in the quiet air and sun beaming on my skin as I literally did absolutely nothing as the hours passed through the day felt pretty nice, as well.  I sported my new bikini. Took a LONG luxurious bubble bath in a huge tub. I slept in a king size bed. I took a peaceful walk on the beach and soaked in God’s beauty.  I felt like royalty.  I did absolutely nothing. I was lazy and slept in. I drank champagne and enjoyed romance with my sweet Ryan.  It was certainly no week vacation, but it was its own kind of perfect and I loved every single second of it!

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@thefortintrio