When the world is waiting for you to give birth

When I created the Instagram account @triplets_of_copenhagen, it was first and foremost to have a place to document the “journey” that lay ahead of us as prospective parents to triplets. Since we had just moved from Oslo to Copenhagen half a year ago, I thought this was a great way for family and friends to be able to follow everything that happened in our life. The reason I chose to write in English was to get in touch with the international triplet parent community, and in that way get some “inside information” about everything that was awaiting us.

Already from day one I decided to show my everyday life as honest as I could, so that I could give a real insight into the big life changing experience it is to get triplets. I posted weekly photos of my growing belly, told about all the preparations, the pain and the controls we were going to, and I shared thoughts and anticipations of everything that happened and was going to happen. And the number of followers increased steadily with 10-20 people a day.

When I was 33 weeks along, we decided to post a video clip showing my belly to give a better idea of ​​how big it really was. And the next day I suddenly noticed that I had lots of Dutch followers: The video had ended up on a couple of websites in the Netherlands, and I thought it was absolutely crazy when I suddenly went from 2000 to 4000 followers in one day. Little did I know…

A few days later, I posted a collage of my pregnant belly pictures from week 13 to week 35, and then it really took off. The video and the picture went viral, and during the week I got 200.000 new followers from all over the world! It was a surreal feeling every morning when I checked Instagram and had gotten tens of thousands of new followers during the night. I had actually gotten more followers than the population in Norway’s third largest city – and my birthplace – Trondheim!

The explosion of the number of followers was one thing, but at the same time I also got lots of inquiries from media around the world who wanted to know more about my pregnancy and why I chose to share pictures of the my belly. The number of media inquiries peaked the day before I was to have my planned caesarean section, and I remember responding to mails on the phone in the taxi on my way to the hospital the night before the birth. There were big news sites like The Sun in England and Bild in Germany, and I felt this was too exciting to refuse. You almost get a adrenaline rush in such a situation of unexpected attention. Little me from Norway who never had any wishes to be visible in this kind of way. I was mostly thinking about how fun it will be for the kids in the future, where they can look through an album filled with articles from the likes of The New Zealand Herald and the Daily Mail to the Huffington Post and Cosmopolitan.

And for all the new people following my page, they came at the perfect timing! They could watch the last countdown to the birth, and when I was rolled into the operating room early in the morning of September 12, I felt that a whole world was holding their breath. It was an amazing and unforgettable day, where I finally got to hold all three babies for the first time and at last could relax in the realization of knowing that everything had went well. The babies were in great shape and hardly needed any extra help except for the feeding tube. No incubator, no creepy devices that made scary sounds. It was almost like we were floating on cloud 9 when we went to bed late that evening.

There was only one thing we had to do first. An entire world was waiting to hear the happy news. I felt in a way that I owed it to them, after all the positive attention I had received. And I wanted the picture to be published on their actual birthday. So we sat down together and made a final effort that day, and just a few minutes before midnight, we published a post on Instagram with pictures of the babies. The text was as follows:

At 08.55, 08.56 and 08.57 today we welcomed our beautiful babies to the world. (Three heart-eye smileys)

Iben – 1950 g, 48 cm (pink heart emoji)

Filip – 2070 g, 48 cm (blue heart emoji)

Agnes – 2335 g, 47 cm (pink heart emoji)

Everything went really well, and we are so happy and relieved.

 

To date, this is my most liked image, with 94.125 likes and 5614 comments.

Bikinis and swimsuits

Reklamelinks/Affiliate links

For those who have followed my stories on Instagram, know that I have been looking for bikinis and/or swimsuits that can hold my postpartum belly in place. I don´t have much time in hand, so I decided to look at H&M’s websites and find some that I can go and try out in the store downtown. And I thought I might share my selection with you! 🙂 So here you are:

White high waisted bikini from H&M

Black high waisted bikini from H&M

Cut-out swimsuit from H&M

Strapless swimsuit from H&M

High waisted bikini from H&M

White swimsuit from H&M

Shaping swimsuit from H&M

High waisted bikini from H&M

High waisted bikini from H&M

Mikael and I

Just seconds after I got the news about expecting triplets, my thoughts went to Mikael (who was just 1.5 years old at the time) and how he would deal with this massive change and how it would effect our relationship with him.

Now – a year later – I will say it went much better than feared, but that there have still been some bumps in the road. Mostly in the relationship between him and me.

I got a sick leave as early as 17 weeks pregnant because of nausea and dizzy spells, and was told not to carry or lift my son. Because of that, my husband started to change all the diapers and do all the carrying, while I laid more and more on the couch as the months went by. Mikael started getting a strong attachment to his father and would be mad at me at times for lying down. He would say things like: «Don’t sleep mommy» while I would try to reassure him that «I am here, and I am watching everything you do», but parts of me were crushed. I was so sad not being physical able to commit to him a 100 % in the time before his three siblings would arrive and our life would change forever. And I cried many times because I felt a sort of detachment from my little son.

Then the babies arrived, and we were anxiously waiting for the moment where Mikael would meet them for the first time, the day after the birth. I also missed him, being away at the hospital for 1.5 days.

The first meeting with the babies was a success: He was so calm and looked at them with a serious and curious look. But at the arrival he just wanted his father. He wouldn’t go to me at all. I got so so sad, but had to put on a brave face and pretend everything was great. I decided that I would do everything in my power to win him back, and I knew that I had some work to do.

The first time I changed his diapers after the triplets arrived, it felt so strange. My 2 year old son looked like a gigantic kid lying on the changing table. I remember feeling a sort of disconnection between us all of a sudden, which felt awful. I guess my mind was overwhelmed with everything that had happened, but I really just wanted it to be like it used to between us. We came home from the hospital after 9 days, and every morning Mikael called after his father when he woke up in the morning.

I kept giving him all the attention I possibly could, and we tried to work out the days so that I could pick him up from the kindergarten and put him to bed at night. I could still feel some anger from him towards me, and even though he coped really well with three new siblings at home, I could see he still felt I was a bit unavailable because of all the time I was sitting in the couch breastfeeding and pumping. But as time went by, things got smoother day by day.

And after three months he finally yelled «mommy!» one morning, and I knew we were back on track. Me and him, him and me. And I understood how much I had missed us.

Mamma og Mikael.

Copenhagen guide – my favorite places

Picnic at one of the bridges over the lakes called Søerne

 

Nice places for a walk:

Søerne

Frederiksberg have

Kongens have

Botanisk have

Amager strandpark

 

   A summer day at Amager Strandpark

 

Cultural:

SMK (Statens Museum for Kunst)

Louisiana

Glyptoteket

Tivoli

 

At SMK – museum of modern art

Botanisk Have, where they have a great greenhouse

 

Cosy streets / areas:

Torvhallerne

Værnedamsvej

Kødbyen

Jægerborsgade

 

One of the many nice restaurants in Kødbyen – Copenhagen’s meatpacking district

 

Sightseeings:

Christianshavn

Nyhavn

Amalienborg Castle

Canal boat ride

 

In Byoasen, you can meet goats, rabbits, chickens, etc, and it is all for free

 

Children activities:

Zoologisk have

Experimentarium

Byoasen i De Gamles by

Skydebanegade playground

 

Skydebanegade playground is so lovely! 

A wandering sensation

I had never imagined in my wildest dreams that I was to become a wandering sensation – but when I learned that we were expecting triplets, I soon realized that this would be a reality. Suddenly I remembered an episode from when I was pregnant with my first-born and saw a poor man pushing a triplet stroller up a snow-covered hill, and I immediately whispered to Anders: «Phew, I am so happy that won’t be us, haha!” While I shushed at my mother who commented a little too loudly, since the triplet father only was about 5 meters ahead of us. Little did I know…

Already after 23 weeks I looked full term. Throughout the summer, I was asked by strangers on the street if I was due soon, whereupon I had the pleasure of giving them the surprise of the day by saying that it was actually several months until the birth (“Really ?!”) because there are three babies (“Triplets?! Oooh, you will have your hands full!”)

The last few weeks leading up to the caesarean section in week 36, it was clear that my belly was far beyond normal. I preferred to wear tight-fitting tops and dresses over my belly, and with my slim body shape the giant belly stood directly out, but from behind you couldn’t see that I was pregnant. I remember the shocked gazes from passers-by when my giant belly appeared completely out of the blue and I noticed how people at the mall stared, pointed and clearly talked about me. I really felt how it is to look different or recognizable. And I wasn’t always comfortable with it.

The first 5 months after the triplets were born we could hide a bit behind our twin pram, since twins are pretty common nowadays and don’t stir much attention anymore. Occasionally we were able to give an old lady or a young mother – who had the time and interest in looking down into the pram – a little surprise, and they usually responded with both enthusiasm and emotion.

Eventually, however, the time came when the babies grew out of the twin pram, and we had to pull out the two monster strollers we had stored away in the basement. The first one a 108 cm wide one with three carry cots in a row (so wide that it does not fit through any normal doors and must be folded and carried out for us to be able to use it), the other a more narrow type of stroller (84 cm), but with two floors so that it is too high for me to be able to look over the top, which makes me have to look from side to side while pushing it to not run over anything or anyone.

The maiden voyage was with the stroller where they lay three in a row, and we were quite excited when we walked down the street on a test trip a Sunday morning in the sunshine. Anders first with the wide load, and me with Mikael in his stroller. And we certainly made heads turn! We stopped for a moment, and immediately someone came over for a chat. And while we stood there I noticed how people stared and I could clearly hear a buzz and the word “triplets” all around us. It was just as if people thought we were deaf?! My immediate reaction was to giggle and be shy, but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel proud of the three cutie pies in the stroller.

It is all about our mood. Sometimes it is nice to meet a stranger’s eyes, smile back and talk to people that approaches us. But we have also noticed that if we walk a little fast, stare straight ahead or talk to each other and wear sunglasses, then we almost always get to walk in peace and do not notice all the stares. Either ways, the children will soon be so big that people will see them more as normal siblings, and there will be less attention. So until that time, we will try our best to become confident in the role as the local circus squad.