Twinning Attitude!

Join Fran Pitre and friends for uplifting, supportive, healthy conversation and information on topics important to all moms (and all women) today!

Getting back in the swing of things! July 29, 2010

Filed under: Published articles,Update! — twinningattitude @ 9:04 pm

It’s amazing how being out of and away from the normal everyday routine for a week or so can throw you off so much that it takes several days to recover from what should have been time to relax and rejuvenate! Coming home from our 10-day vacation, just as we do every year, is a true opportunity to appreciate HOME in every sense of the word. We really enjoy staying with family, but coming home just feels so good, in spite of the loads of laundry and unpacking that needs to be done!

A welcome discovery made yesterday: Apparently, glo.msn.com decided to re-post my article on Marriage and Multiples that originally ran on June 3rd, and as a result, I noted LOTS of hits on the TWINSx3.com website as well as lots more “likes” on the Twins x 3 by Fran Pitre facebook page! So, A BIG THANK YOU TO MSN.COM for featuring us on your home page for a second time!! In case you’d like the link to the story, here it is:

http://glo.msn.com/relationships/married-with-multiples-1533391.story?gt1=49006

 

Thank you, MomsMaterial.com! July 7, 2010

Filed under: News and info to share!,Published articles,Thank you! — twinningattitude @ 6:32 pm

A shout out of thanks to Cammie Moise of MomsMaterial.com. Cammie and I were recently introduced on Facebook through a high school friend of mine, who is a cousin by marriage of Cammie’s! Thanks Julie!!  Cammie scrolled down the various Facebook entries I’ve posted over the last several weeks, and then visited this blog! She then requested that I guest-post on her blog, featuring the Washington Post article I wrote: God’s GIFT of 3 Sets of Twins. So, for those followers who have not read the story yet, and for a GREAT resource website to check out, please visit:

http://.www.momsmaterial.com

MomsMaterial.com is an awesome resource and information site for busy moms today!!

Thank you again, so much, Moms Material!  🙂

 

God’s GIFT of 3 Sets of Twins June 29, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Published articles — twinningattitude @ 10:09 pm

This story was published in the Washington post (washingtonpost.com) on their page “On Faith” on May 20, 2010.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/05/gods_gift_of_3_sets_of_twins.html

One reader asked if I would post it on my blog.

God’s GIFT of 3 sets of twins

By Fran Circe Pitre
author

My husband Bruce and I were raised in Catholic homes, taught traditional Christian values, and grew up learning from our parents’ examples of honesty and integrity. When we were married, we decided to center our relationship on our Christian belief system and to make our life choices by following the WWJD (what would Jesus do?) motto. Generally, this system wasn’t too hard to apply to the day-to-day circumstances that arose. However, after enduring nearly five years of infertility, we’d been pushed to our limits and came to a difficult cross road. We’d prayed for so long, had gone through every conceivable diagnostic test (some more than once), and undergone dozens of attempts at becoming pregnant through different medication options and via simple office procedures without success.

Eventually, our doctor told us that we had a slim chance at conceiving. We were highly encouraged and persuaded by more than one specialist to undergo the ART (assisted reproductive technology) procedure called In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). I turned to my uncle, a retired OB-GYN, for advice, and he agreed that IVF offered us the greatest chances at becoming pregnant. Well, telling a couple who’d been attempting to conceive for half a decade that a procedure would likely result in pregnancy was a dream come true. Part of me felt that “this was it … the answer to our prayers.”

Another part of me, however, needed to learn all there was to learn about the IVF process before I would agree to pursue it. While doing some research, I regrettably learned that our Catholic Church disapproved of IVF for various reasons, mainly due to the lives that would be created outside of the body. These are human beings that, once alive, do not all survive the transfer (to the womb) process, nor do they all survive the cryopreservation (freezing and thawing) process. I was caught in a painful moral dilemma. I knew many couples that had successfully undergone IVF, and while that procedure was the right decision for them, it was becoming apparent that it wasn’t the right choice for me. I fought and fought with this dilemma, wishing I’d never looked into it at all, but had just gone along with the doctors’ advice (including my own uncle’s). But undeniably, Bruce and I knew the facts, and we weren’t at all naïve. We understood that the laws established by our Christian faith were not to keep us from living freely and enjoying life, but to protect us from making unhealthy choices for ourselves that may adversely affect ourselves or others.

Ultimately, Bruce and I investigated and discovered a procedure that, while not unconditionally approved by the Church, could be pursued if certain conditions were met and followed precisely. This procedure was called GIFT (gamete intra-fallopian transfer). This procedure did not involve creating life outside the womb, but would still significantly increase our chances at conceiving. When we requested this option to our doctor, we were turned down because it was considered “out-dated technology”, a procedure that was “too involved and simply not done much anymore”. We sought out other doctors until we found one who, although still believed that IVF was our best choice, agreed to perform GIFT. Two weeks following the procedure, I learned that I was pregnant … with twins.

After some time, we planned to have one more child. Although we didn’t wish to undergo GIFT again, many more years had passed without my becoming pregnant. Eventually, we underwent GIFT a second time, and I became pregnant with our second set of twins. Seven years later, we learned that I was pregnant again, but without undergoing GIFT this time around. Learning that we were having a third set of twins was the greatest surprise of all. We now have a 15-year-old set of twin girls, a 10-year-old boy/girl set of twins, and a 2-year-old set of twin boys. God is so good.

My advice to couples enduring heartbreaking infertility: don’t give up! The answer is out there for you, but you must make the choices that fit within your belief system. Educate yourself and locate a doctor that not only you can work with, but one that will work with you while respecting and honoring your faith and beliefs.

All that any of us can do is to look back at the end of the day and know that with God’s guidance and direction, we made the best possible, informed decisions for both ourselves and for those lives that our decisions affect.

Fran Pitre is author of “TWINS x 3: a mom of three sets of twins gives her personal testimony that all things are possible with God.”

 

The story read ’round the world! June 22, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Published articles — twinningattitude @ 3:02 pm

About a month ago, I was asked to write a guest blog article for YourTango.com, a New York-based social/relationship website. Since then, Glo.com (a fashion and lifestyle online magazine owned by MSN.com), re-printed it for their site, and then on Monday, June 7th, this article was featured on the MSN.com Homepage. It was AMAZING to see it there, but alas, it only lasted for a few hours! Such as all news … it’s only new for a moment!

A few of my readers asked if I would please post the article on my blog, so here it is:


MARRIAGE & MULTIPLES: SURVIVING THREE SETS OF TWINS

by Fran Pitre, author of TWINS x 3

If someone had told me when I was 25 years old that one day my husband and I would be parents to three sets of twins, I would have laughed out loud. At the time—it was 1988— my husband Bruce and I had been married about three years. We were very much in love, building our relationship upon mutual trust, love, respect, humor and faith in God. We also had a very active, healthy and happy sex life, but we hadn’t yet decided it was time to start our family.

Some years later, we thought we were ready, and after several attempts at conceiving, we finally discovered that I was pregnant. What we didn’t expect (or plan for) was the news that we would be having twin baby girls.

They say that having a baby changes everything—and they’re right. For us the changes were multiplied by two (at least). Having never had one baby, we were suddenly the parents of two screaming, needy, demanding, exhausting little human beings who didn’t have any concern or regard for the fact that neither of their parents had slept or showered in days—or had even remembered to brush their teeth.

The first year following our daughters’ births was chaos. At times, I’d look in the mirror and hardly recognize myself. I’d gone from a 34B bra size to a 38DD—sounds nice, except that I was twenty pounds overweight and didn’t feel like myself at all. I’d evolved from a slender, sharp-dressed career woman to a mommy who wore “comfortable” clothes and no longer bothered with contact lenses.

By the time our girls were six months old, I knew the time had come to focus on weight loss, even though my husband, Bruce, insisted that motherhood agreed with me, and that I was very sexy. I suspected he wasn’t telling the whole truth.

In 1999, I became pregnant again … with triplets. This was NOT the plan, but do things ever play out as planned? Bruce and I did our best to wrap our brains around the reality of what we were facing, but I still I fell apart many times in the early days of my pregnancy. Bruce would sometimes find me sobbing on the couch, and he would assure me we’d get through it. My daughters, then four, would also bring me back to reality, reminding me that I didn’t have the time to cry and pity myself. I had to go on and care for my family.

Ultimately, we lost one of the babies at the end of my first trimester, but went on to deliver the other two healthily. And with two sets of twins, life was, to say the least, busy. Some days were so chaotic and tiring that one of us would sometimes find the other asleep in our daughters’ room following an attempt to settle them down, or we’d take turns sleeping in our guest room while the other was up all night with a screaming baby.

I thanked God every day that Bruce had such an even temperament, and that he was the hands-on dad that he still is today. Emotionally, I was all over the chart (especially during the early months following the babies’ births), but I knew that I could lean on Bruce because of his constant support, laughter and commitment to our family.

On occasion, I found myself thinking back to the days when it was just the two of us. We had less stress and pressure, had a whole lot more sleep, and a whole lot more sex! But then I’d realize that we were still happy, and that I wouldn’t want to change a thing about our lives. As for finding time for lovemaking… honestly, stealing away when the children are engrossed in a Disney movie gives way to the suspense of potentially being “caught,” which only makes our spontaneous encounters all the more exciting—and sometimes funny.

Once, one of our daughters walked in on us when Bruce had just gotten home from work. We had run off to our bedroom while the children were playing across the house in one of their bedrooms. Suddenly, the hall light streamed into our room, and we realized we were not alone! Bruce quickly told our daughter, “Honey, while Daddy was taking off his work clothes to put on his play clothes, he tripped and fell on Mommy who was sitting on the edge of the bed.” Our little girl, then 5, simply asked when dinner was. I told her “soon,” and she just turned around and left our doorway. Bruce and I burst into uncontrollable laughter.

Fast forward again to the spring of 2007, when we learned that I was pregnant again. We were completely surprised that I’d actually become pregnant again, but even more stunned to discover that we were, in fact, having our third set of twins. So, after another difficult pregnancy, our two youngest sons were born. We now had a girl/girl, a boy/girl, and a boy/boy—every conceivable twin combination.

This time around, however, I felt more than exhausted, more than emotional, more than overwhelmed; I was experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression. Several weeks went by as I tried to come out of it by myself. I woke in the night between breast feedings only to sob over the many challenges we were all facing. Bruce realized it was time to be leaned on yet again, and he stepped up. He supported me in all ways, including my decision to pursue help. And with time, patience and our matured mutual trust, love, respect, humor and faith in God, we got through another difficult challenge.

Today, our kids are 15, 10 and 2. We’re dealing with potty-ed and driver’s ed at the same time, and everyone is always going in different directions. Bruce and I are closer now than ever, having made it through so much together, and we cherish our quiet time alone.

As we have awesome, built-in babysitters, we often go out for a bite to eat and a walk on the beach (with our cell phones close at hand) so that we can talk, plan and enjoy each other’s company, as we always have. We also take time in the midst of the chaos to steal a quick embrace in the kitchen during dinner prep, at which point we often hear the kids say, “Ooooooh, Mommy and Daddy loooove each other!” I think this is a healthy example for our children to see. (Of course, they also know that we don’t always agree, because no two people always agree.)

I truly believe that if a person keeps himself or herself grounded in reality, keeps priorities in order, exudes a positive attitude, holds tightly to faith in God and finds the humor in everyday events, true happiness and contentment will naturally follow.

Bruce and I struggle day-to-day with finances, children getting sick, plans that fall through and with dreams that have not been fully realized, but we are committed to our marriage. Although we argue, disagree and have bad days (or weeks), we persevere and remember that we’re in this together—for better or for worse.

Does having three sets of twins make our marriage worse? Ask me some days, and I’ll say YES! But this is our life, and we know that we are all blessed with each other to laugh with, wrestle with, eat dinner with, share with and say good night to at the end of each day… and to be greeted by at the start of the next.  *