Tag Archives: multiples

A 5 year tale of transformation

5 years ago this afternoon, a few new friends were over making iron on t-shirts with the aspiration of starting a mom’s group at church. I didn’t know how these women would become a life support for me while Owen was on life support (and continue to support me in the years to come). Little did I know that Tony Maroni’s pizza would be the last meal I had with all four of my children healthy. I didn’t know my little sister would be a rock at home so I could hop in the ambulance and focus on breathing.

These past five years started with a mother’s worse nightmare coming true … and have taught me what healing feels like. It’s taught me how surrendering brings strength. When you can’t breath … a mother’s hug, a friend’s card in the mail, a therapist’s ear, a Sunday morning church service, a family remembering your baby brings the air you need. My family and friends have literally breathed for me at times.

To my friends and family, thank you for walking these 5 years with me. Thank you for carrying me when I wasn’t able to stand and for bringing the sunshine through my rain storm.

I still cry during the month of May at random times of remembering what life was like. I am still moved by other women’s stories of loss and wish there was something I could say or do to lessen their pain, knowing all too well there isn’t anything I can say or do but listen, pray and just show up.

Thank you for being a part of a beautiful story of healing. You have helped me. You have helped my family. Without you, this might not have been a story of healing but rather just tragedy. Owen’s story is a beautiful tale of transformation. A beautiful monarch butterfly and you as the cocoon that have wrapped me with protection and shelter.

As Logan and Weston have told me, Owen lives in my heart now.

Love, Mel

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Filed under Grief, Owen's Gone, Posted by Melissa

Triple Wonder

Like so many times before, I am captured by the awesomeness of having triplets.  As these boys grow bigger, their personalities are becoming more and more defined.

I think of how different my brother, sister and I are from each other.  Sure we have lots in common, but we are all very different.  So often we credit these differences to our birth order – or that our family was in a much different place when we were born.  For example, my parents lived in Chicago and were learning how to make their way in the world when I was born.  My brother on the other hand, was born when my dad had settled into his career and we had been living in Waukesha for almost 10 years.

These triplets don’t have any of those differences.  They were all born at the same time, in the same place and were brought home to the same house and have the same brother.  The only difference they have are their genetics.  It amazes me in how many possibilities two people really have when creating a baby.

1 egg + 1 ‘fishy’ = 3 VERY different little boys

The combinations and possibilities are endless.  One fussy baby vs one laid back, low-key baby.  Two babies who like to move and grove, almost rolling over and squirming out of their bouncy seats vs the other who just lays there and doesn’t really do much but smile.  Two babies with soft, silky skin vs one baby with eczema.

I am so excited to see them grow up and how they will continue to define themselves as individuals and how they will be similar.

I’m interested to see how Jaden will compare to his brothers too.  Having had a very different birth than the triplets, I wonder if this will affect him in any way.  Will the two of us have a different bond?  Will he ever feel the difference?  Or will the triplets feel it?  But which differences are a result of his birth order vs his genetics?  And is there any way to really tell?

One thing I did learn is that I make crazy faces at my kids.  I’m at full blame for Jaden’s animated facial expressions … Doug might have had a little something to do with it too. wink wink.  Let’s face it, our kids are destined to use large hand gestures and lots of facial expression.

An ex-coworker came over with her two girls for a playdate.  I took Claire (2 years old) to wash her hands.  I was helping her scrub her hands … singing some sort of made up song and she looked up at me like I was nuts!  I stopped dead in my tracks and was suddenly aware of what I must have looked like.  I am so used to Jaden and I goofing off together, I forgot that this was not the normal way people wash their hands.

My kids are destined to be weirdos … sorry boys!

Proof that Jaden is a weirdo just like his mother.  Wasn’t hard to find “a few” photos …

Oh wait … that last one was when I had Bell’s Palsy.  Whoops!

Kids are a mystery and gift from God.  Who knew I would be so blessed with not one, not two but FOUR beautiful boys!

Love, Mel

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Filed under Mommyhood Meditations, Posted by Melissa

We’re Learning

The triplets and I have been learning a lot these past few days!

On Tuesday evening we tried cereal for the first time.  More came out than in that’s for sure!  Logan didn’t last too long either.  You can see in the video below when he starts to freak out.  It’s a lot to do all at once!  But the triplets and I are learning and we’ll get the new feeding thing down.  Or at least I hope we do!

Just yesterday, I found that Logan and Owen can sit up … sort of.  We need to do a few sit ups to tighten up their abs.  Not only are they learning how to sit up, from this video I learned that I should NOT be a video commentary.  Please excuse my nonsensical mommy talk.  It’s a little peak at what it’s like when it’s just me and the boys.  I never knew I talked that fast.  Is that normal?

In addition to the mom thing — I’ve volunteered to help with Teacher Appreciation week at Jaden’s school.  I haven’t helped with anything this year and I was feeling guilty.  (I mean come on — being very pregnant is NOT a reason haha)  So I thought, what the heck — it’s just collecting some gifts and assembling them into baskets.  It would be something I could do in the convenience in my own home, at whatever hour I found time.  Easy, right?  Ugh wrong!  Like every thing in my life (or so it seems) it’s gotten a little crazy!

We’ve been blessed with generous gifts from fellow parents, however in the form of cash.  That means I’ve got to go shopping.  Whoops, didn’t plan on that one!  It’s also meant drafting reminder notes to be sent home with kids.  Another whoops!  We got this great idea to send home a worksheet with the kids to have them fill out.  We would then create a book for each teacher as a thank you.  Holy cats did that one blow up in my face!!

The first wrong move was that we wanted to include the paraprofessionals.  Since mom is one at Summit View, I know how much being included in ‘teacher’ things means.  But what I wasn’t planning on was that each para helps multiple teachers.  And sometimes, they help a different teacher in the morning than in the afternoon.  How on earth were we going to do that one?

I tried to be good and get another mom help out.  I used my new Zumba class as an excuse.  “I would do it, but I’ve got Zumba tonight ….”  I tried!  Tried is the key word there.  BUT when I heard that the other mom I was working with was had to show her home for the first time the next day, my heart-strings pulled.  I found myself putting labels on worksheets with her until 10pm last night.  We got it done tho!  But I lost out on time with Doug and putting Jaden to bed, and a feeding and (very important) watching American Idol.

Along with the triplets, I’m learning too.  I’m learning my limits.  I need to do things that make me happy and keep me sane.  But with my babies, I need to be realistic on what I get involved with.  If I get in over my head, it becomes work, rather than a relief.  So while volunteering and giving is a love of mine, I need to keep it in gear and not get in over my head.  It’s just sad because I’m really good at saying yes!

Love, Mel

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Filed under Milestones, Posted by Melissa, Triplets

Another Triplet Gadget

More gear for the triplets has arrived!  We bought a triplet table from another triplet mom in the SEWMOT (SE Wisconsin Mothers of Triplets) group.  It was a great deal!  The mom and her husband dropped it off for me.  (thank you!)

What I wasn’t expecting was for it to be so large.  I mean it’s as big as our kitchen table!!  I don’t know how big I thought it was going to be … well I was thinking it was going to be at least smaller than our family kitchen table.

I was anxious to try it out.  So one night when all three boys were awake at once, I plunked them in there.  Take a look!  They are still sort of small for it, so I put blankets in front of them to help them to sit up.

Weston – Logan – Owen

Guess who this is – Mr Bug Eye.  It’s a trick question!  It’s NOT Owen it’s actually Weston.

And Logan has started the bug eye business too.  So funny.

He just looks freaked out in this one.  I’m sure I’ll get this look more and more as they get older.  I can hear it now “Mom what are you doing?”  or “Ugh you are SO embarrassing!”

I was giggling over their little legs just dangling underneath.  haha

Weston is laughing at something on the counter?  Logan looks freaked out and Owen is too chubby to hold himself up.

I think I’ve found a home for the table.  I’m really looking forward to starting cereal in it late April.  Can’t believe how big they are getting! (139 days old today)

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Filed under Milestones, Posted by Melissa, Triplets

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  The boys and I had a little photo shoot while Jaden was at school.  There are a bunch of just Owen as he was the ‘cooperating’ baby today.

Love Logan’s face in this one!  Arm behind his head like a sexy little man!

Owen (left) Weston (middle) Logan (right)

Owen (left) & Logan (right)

I entitle this one “Love Hurts”  (Logan)

I’m also a huge dork and made Doug Valentines to take to work.  I would have normally made them for Kohl’s – but since I no longer work there I get to have Doug take them to his work!  He was such a good sport (after giving me all kinds of grief of course).

The top:

The bottom:

Into the fridge …

TaDa!!  Tiny looking ice cream cones – complete with cheesey Valentine’s day jokes inside!

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Filed under Holidays, Photo Shoots, Posted by Melissa

Gingerbread Casas – Some Assembly Required

The day for me to go somewhere on my own with the kids arrived.  Every year we have a cousin Christmas get together at my moms.  The same afternoon I had my six-week follow-up appointment.  It didn’t make sense for me to drive out there for my appointment, back into Sussex to pick up the kids and back to Waukesha again for the party.  So, I decided it made “sense” to bring the babies with me to my doc appointment.   I put on my big girl pants, packed up all four kids and headed into Waukesha for an afternoon doc appointment and an evening of cousins. I don’t know who was more nervous, me or Doug!  Before leaving, Doug gave Jaden the talk that he needed to be a big helper since I was on my own, and boy was he!

It was the little things that helped out a lot.  For example, I didn’t think thru how I was going to load the stroller because, the genius who invented the Triple Decker stroller decided that it didn’t need brakes!  Probably because no sane person would go out in public alone with three infants haha!  The no brake issue hasn’t been a problem before since it’s always been Doug and I, but when you are alone in a parking structure it can be a little interesting.  Jaden stepped in and helped out though!

Mom met us in the waiting room to help watch Jaden while I had my appointment.  There was just enough room to wheel in the stroller … no turns or maneuvering was allowed.  Nurses had to come to us to get a peek.  When I went down the line unzipping the kid’s car seat covers, I discovered a Batman comic book in Logan’s car seat!  Big brother packed it for him so he could read … ha  And Jaden continues to see what he can get away with!

After the doctor I had some hats, clothes and a Christmas card to drop off at the NICU.  All the ladies were so excited to see the boys!  We caused quite the back up in front of the NICU, but they were so happy to see them it was TOTALLY worth it!  The double pom pom hats I made for the boys.  While I had made two to donate, I think I’ll have to keep making them!  It was about a three hour adventure, but we made all of our stops and back into the car safely.  Next stop, YaYa’s house!

The past few cousin get-togethers we’ve made sugar cookies, but this year we thought it would be fun to have a gingerbread house competition.  Mom even googled to find a house that Jaden would be able to touch, decorate and eat!  It’s all Jaden could talk about for a week and a half!

We divide into three teams: girl, boys and me/Jaden.  We open up the box to Jaden’s house and wouldn’t you know … it’s not assembled!  The other two kits were ready to decorate.  How do you tell Jaden we can’t decorate it tonight?  Simple, you don’t! I make the frosting and set to work right away, keeping him occupied with occasional squirts of frosting in his mouth.  I get all four walls up – no problem!  When the first side of the roof goes up it gets a little tricky … it slides one way, and then the other.  What a disaster!  But no to fear, Jaden has happy as a clam as long as he could keep eating the candies!  I finally gave up … Jaden didn’t seem to care.  Rather than a ginger bread house to decorate, we had a gingerbread pile!  I think we won the competition hands down!

Now all hyped up on sugar, we loaded all the kids for the ride home.  Jaden crashed from his sugar high before we even made it to the freeway.  The first outing alone with the four kids was a success!  I think I could do it again … well maybe not any time too soon, but definitely again some time.

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Filed under Holidays, Jaden Story, Posted by Melissa

Meeting Auntie Sherri!

The last (but not least) member of our immediate family finally got to meet the boys on 12/23!!  Sherri flew in from Nashville on the 22nd and was to our house bright and early on the morning of the 23rd to meet her three newest nephews.  If you know and love Sherri, you know there were tears (of happiness of course!)

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Filed under Posted by Melissa

It’s Official …

I’ve officially resigned from Kohl’s.  I know it’s been a long time coming but it’s so weird that it’s actually done.  Mom watched the little boys while I went to meet with Christy (my boss).  When I pulled into the parking lot my heart started to race.  It was so weird walking into the building again.  Funny since I’ve done it almost everyday for the past four years!

Do you know who got on the elevator??  My #1 fan, Viv!  She was getting on with her friends and it only took her 10 seconds before she recognized me!  There was screaming and shreeks and hugs. (For those of you who don’t know Viv from the 6th floor … she is … well … sort of my stalker.  She found out I was having triplets and has been VERY interested in me ever since.  I’m usually greeted with hugs and lots of questions.  She’s a cute grandma sort of person, but she can be kind of overwhelming.)   I shared some photos with her and she wished me luck.

I didn’t make it far onto the floor before being spotted and stopped for all kinds of updates.  It was really great to see everyone again.  I missed the people who I work with!  They were disappointed that I didn’t bring in the boys, but understood with the cold weather.  I promise I’m going to bring them in after the New Year.  It’s really hard for me not to bring them in … but I know it’s best for them so they don’t get sick.

When I gave Christy the news of me not coming back, she wasn’t all that surprised.  She said she wished there was a way I could come back, but understands.

It’s just so crazy to think what a HUGE change my life has undergone over the past year.  This time last year, Doug and I were just married and we were still settling into our new house.  I was very into my career and wanted to prove I was deserving of a change of responsibility.  Jaden was an only child and went all day at Kohl’s daycare.  Now to think he’s in 4K, on his way to kindergarten, has 3 brothers and will be home all day with me during the summer!

I’m excited to be a stay-at-home mom.  I think what makes me nervous is having Jaden and the babies together at home.  I’d be a pro with having one or the other, but the two together is frightening.  Both need a lot of attention in two very different ways.  We’ll find a way to get it to work, just might be an interesting transition.  To add to it, I’ve got to get Jaden to the bus stop each morning at 8:23am and be there at 11:23 am to pick him up starting after the New Year.  I sure hope feedings don’t land around that time!  I guess I’m guaranteed to get out of the house every day … haha!

Last night we went to Doug’s company kid’s Christmas party.  Jaden got to sit on Santa’s lap and received a Wii!  I think Jaden loves it and was super excited to start playing right when we got home.  I also had the chance to meet a few of Doug’s coworkers AND get lost in Richfield.  Doug said to take the first right … ummm it was the 4th right!  Slight difference.  🙂

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Filed under Jaden Story, Photo Shoots, Posted by Melissa

Winter Snapshots

Shoveling after the blizzard of 2010.

This one took a few tries … watch Jaden’s face!

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Filed under Photo Shoots, Posted by Melissa

A Typical Outting

Many of you have asked what it’s like taking triplets out in public … well let me tell you it’s a trip!  Everyone loves a baby … and can’t help themselves when they see three!

Disclaimer: this post might sound like a rant or negative.  Let me clarify, yes it’s a bit of a rant.   But deep down I know it’s a compliment that everyone is so interested in us and know that people mean well.  It’s just a little ‘celebrity’ shock that I need to adjust to.  The other part is that people say really dumb stuff!  Think before we speak.

Our first outing was to Target after a doctor appointment.  Doug had the shopping cart and I had the triplet stroller.  The hard part was not carting the babies around … it was being stopped every two feet with someone wanting to admire the babies.  One lady actually reached in like she was going to touch one of their faces – I almost karate chopped her hand off!

It felt like every single one of them said “You’ve got your hands full”.  I should start a tally!  Note to readers: please don’t say that to a mother of multiples … she already knows she’s bitten off more than she can probably handle and has already accepted that she’ll be driven nuts and will lose her mind if she has not already lost it. I really just want to reply with something like “you think?”  or ” DUH!” or “Is that supposed to be inspiring or make me feel better?”  Just like when I was pregnant and people would respond with “Oh my, I think I’d kill myself if I found out I was pregnant with triplets”.  Really?  I don’t think you would and thanks for the support!  Dumb … people say dumb stuff!  Forgive them for they know not what they do ….

Another mom of multiples (and photographer that took the triplet newborn photos) shared this YouTube video with me.  A family had their oldest follow them around the zoo with a video camera to capture the crazy stuff people say when out in public.  This is pretty much what it’s like going to Target these days for the Bissing family.

The other part about going out is that you get asked the same question 12 times in a row.  For example:

  • “Are those triplets?”  – Nope they are giraffes!
  • “Where you on fertility treatments?” – No … have you started menopause yet?

Again, I know people mean well, but you try telling everyone you pass by at Target your ‘specs’.  I’m a girl.  My name is Melissa.  I’m 27 years old and weight 150 lbs.  I’m a girl and I have two younger siblings.  I’m thinking about making t-shirts for when we go out in public.  Here’s what they would look like:

And it’s time for another video.  The SE Wisconsin Mothers of Multiples group shared this over the forum a few weeks ago and I just about peed myself!  This is such a great example of the convos I have just about every time someone hears about the triplets.  See when I said during my pregnancy that I was just a freak of nature … I was right!

I think I could rant for a few more pages, but I think you get the idea  🙂  Shopping is just going to be easier alone for the next 18 years.

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Filed under Advice, Posted by Melissa