Friday, August 5, 2011

My first column for

Identical Triplets Came as A Surprise For This Palos Park Mom

Meet Cassidy Novak, Palos Patch's new parenting columnist.
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I'm very excited to be writing for Palos Patch and would like to use this first column to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about myself.
Originally from Florida, I moved up to the Chicagoland area almost six years ago when I married my husband Clif. Our love story is pretty unique from the beginning. We first met after being paired up in a wedding.
I met the love of my life only six months after I was in a life threatening boating accident. After the accident I had to undergo extensive brain surgery to remove a blood clot covering the entire right side of my brain. I was left with five plates and over thirty screws in my skull.
Doctors said that I might have trouble walking, posess a speech impairment or even undergo a personality change. But by the grace of God, I walked out of the hospital and brain rehab only 10 days after my accident! The surgeons called me "medically unexplainable." I knew then that the Lord wasn't through with me yet and he had a purpose and a plan for my life.
Fast forward through a few years of being happily married to February 5, 2010 It was on that day that I found out we were expecting. The news came as quite the shock considering we hadn't even been trying to get pregnant!
Then at our first OB appointment I heard, "Surprise! You're having twins!"
The news was not surprising to my doctor because of how sick I had been during the early stages of my pregnancy. I was soon diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, or chronic nausea, and even had to go into the ER to get on IVs after losing 22 pounds. My pregnancy was off to a rough start, and certainly not as I had dreamed it would be.
After four ultrasounds from three different doctors I was sent to a Maternal Fetal Medicine Multiples Specialist who quickly found "Surprise! Baby number 3!" At this point, there were no words to describe all that was racing through my mind. When I had imagined growing up and having a family, let me tell you I had never played with three baby dolls!
It was a reality check of how quickly our lives were changing, and of how far I was from my family in Florida. My emotions were on overload. But soon we embraced that the Lord gave us these three blessings to bring into this world and raise at this specific time.
Whether a child is planned or a surprise, early or maybe late, each one is truly a miracle and a gift from God. Our triplets- Cadence, Chloe and Cailynn - were welcomed into the world on August 29, 2010. They all weighed over four pounds. (Which is phenomenal for preemies and multiples).
We just recently found out the girls are all identical as well. The chance of having natural triplets is 1 in 8,000 births. The chance of having natural occurring identical triplets is less than 1 in 500,000 births, yet another reminder to us how much of a miracle our little ones are.
Each day is quite the adventure in our home and I look forward to sharing what I've learned during this exciting chapter of my life. Parenting takes a great deal of patience and love. Just know you're not alone out there, we all need advice and encouragement from time to time! Let's all hold on and enjoy the ride together.
With that spirit in mind I am pleased to be joining Patch as your new parenting columnist. I will write about issues that affect all parents, as well as offer advice from local experts. The idea is for this column to be a place to not only get local parenting insight, but also to offer your own experiences and advice. So feel free to jump in on the comment section and share your parenting experiences.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Power's out- someone must be cutting a tooth!

So I thought I'd interject a blog about our interesting adventures over the last 48 hours.  You see, everyday is quite the adventure in our household (in fact as I am writing this blog one of my girls is chasing the dog in her walker, and another is chewing on the computer chord) ! But add in a 15 minute storm that shuts off the power on one of the hottest days of the summer (oh ya and having 10 month old triplets),  it then becomes quite the ADVENTURE! But my blog is not to complain, but to show how God's provisions are amazing.

Over the past couple days my mom and I decided whenever one of the girls didn't sleep well or finish their bottles/food that they must be getting ready to cut a tooth.  Now going on hour 13 of no power and it had reached about 81 degrees in the house, we were trying to wash our dinner dishes (that I cooked on our gas grill) by candlelight. All the girls were crying and miserable due to the heat and stress that they didn't finish their bottles and couldn't go to sleep bless their little hearts! The bottles, bowls, laundry etc.. was beginning to stack up due to four adults and three babies. I jokingly told my mom "power's out, someone must be getting ready to cut a tooth!"

Out of nowhere came a knock on our door from one of our neighbors offering us to stay at their home where they had a huge generator that ran the air and power in several rooms. They had a guest room up stairs for my parents to stay in, and they gave us the entire basement that had a huge bedroom, living room, office, and kitchenette.  So at 9:30pm we started the packing process of 3 porta cribs, 3 high chairs, clothes, bottles, formula, baby food, etc. It was no easy task! I don't know how Clif and I could have done it without my parents help.

The Maddens welcomed all of us into their home and we ended up having a much better nights sleep than we would have had staying at home of this I'm sure! The girls slept through the whole night and great at nap time too due to how dark and cool it was. After the girls would get up we'd feed them on the dresser, then bring them back over to our "baby-proof" home to crawl and play.

We were very thankful that Jim Madden had a connection with someone at the power company and immediately started making calls. He was so sweet explaining the dyer need for us to have power because we had triplets! Comed said it would not be back on for a couple days due to the severity of damage from the storms. Well Jim's calls worked, because there was three trucks on our street restoring our power in less than an hour. So we started the moving process all over again and thankfully got to come home to electricity! You realize how blessed you are when modern day conveniences are taken away. We are all so blessed to live in this nation. And we have so much to be thankful for! Another exciting adeventure to write in my journal. We survived!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

new opportunity!

I am very excited that I have been recently hired by to be  a columnist on parenting! Please keep me in your prayers as I embark on this new journey. My goal is to inspire/encourage others, touch lives, and hopefully cheer my readers up with the funny day-to-day stories I have to share from raising triplets!

I will post the articles on here as well- so you can give me your feedback! In the mean time, check out their site-

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In the News

There was much preparation that needed to be done in the months that followed. We had to move and find a new car which was no easy task. The search was on to find a ranch style home that had no stairs due the probability of bed rest do to being pregnant with multiples. And when looking for a new vehicle, Clif and I took three car seats and two strollers with us to every dealer and ended up test driving 11 different models before finding one that worked!

Also there was many decisions to be made of what we needed "3" of, and what we could get by with only one or two of that item. Basically the babies took over our home long before they even got here!

A couple months into the pregnancy, our story started some buzz. We were contacted by the SouthTown Star paper on wanting to interview us on the event that we were expecting natural triplets. They also had "googled" us and found out about my boating accident and extensive brain surgery six years earlier.
 It was amazing how they let us openly talk about the Lord and how he miraculously healed me, and had chosen us to bring these three little miracles into the world! From this article came a few more exciting events with the Chicago Suntimes picking up our story, then the WCIU "the u" asking us to be on there You and me this morning show. It was pretty neat being interviewed on live TV about our story!

 I believe everyone one of us has a purpose. That we are given  daily  occasions to be a witness in what we say and do. We feel very honored the Lord continually brings such opportunities our way  to be a light in this world

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How it became official...sickness and all!

We decided to tell Clif's family on Valentine's day that we were expecting, and wait to tell my family since I was going down to Florida end of February for my sister's Christa and Becky's baby showers. I wanted to share the exciting news with them in person. But unfortunately, come week six I was sick 24 hours a day. I ended up being one of those 1/2 % women who get hyperemesis gravidarum. After loosing 22 pounds and getting to the point where I was too weak to get up off the bathroom floor, Clif insisted we go to the ER. So upon my situation turning to this we ended up calling my family for prayers and telling them over the phone. I was very disappointed about this but knew it was important to have them praying.

Then right before I left for Florida I had a doctor's apt to confirm a heartbeat etc, and at this appointment they discovered we were having twins! So I did get to surprise my family after all and tell them we were expecting more than one! Everyone's reactions were priceless! I was not sure how I felt about it all considering how shocked I was to even be pregnant. But the idea of twins was pretty amazing!

It was also very special that my sister, sister in law, and myself were all pregnant at the same time.

Turns out God is full of surprises, because 4 ultrasounds (by 3 different doctors) later I was sent to a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist of Multiples. The nurse quickly turned to me during the ultrasound and said "hunnie, who told you your having twins?" I explained to her that I had been seen by 2 OBs and the ER doctor and had 4 ultrasounds. The thought that went through my mind was that they mis-diagnosed me and there was only one baby. She then says "Look at the screen". And there on the screen was 3 little baby's bouncing all over the place! I about had a heart attack. I started bawling immediately and my sweet husband Clif kept saying "I'm sorry!" over and over. There was no words to describe the emotions that FLOODED me at that moment. It was a real reality check at how far I was from my family and mom. In fact my mom never got to go to even one of my appointments or see an ultra sound of my girls. And she is truly my best girlfriend and I needed her so much at that moment.

I think we were at the doctor office for almost 3 hours that day. It takes a long time to scan 3 babies and there was quite the list of concerns the doctor had to go over with us from various things like twin twin transfusion to loosing one or all of the baby's, and the high risk and complications with my health (especially due to my brain injury). Clif and I walked out of the office that day with a whole new perspective on life. God had chosen us to bring triplets into this world. What a gift, an honor,and what a task that was at hand!

It was then that we pressed into God and thanked him for these  "3" blessings on the way. And we sought him for guidance on the MANY decisions we had to make in a very short amount of time. Then we asked for His peace to lead us and uphold us, and of course he did just that!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How it all began

On February 5th 2010 I decided to take a pregnancy test. I had been doing P90X and was on a pretty strict diet and wanted to make sure I wouldn't be harming "anything" in the process. Well let me just tell you how suprised I was to come back in the bathroom and see a positive sign, I feel to floor in shock!

We hadn't even been trying to get pregnant, but I was a couple days late. I proceeded to try and collect myself and called my cousin Sarah Ruth who is also one of my closest friends and living up here. She reassured me to not freak out quite yet and go get a few more tests. So I got 3 different types of tests, and before the sign could show up that the test was working - the positive sign showed up on all of them! I called Sarah back and she said "now we freak out!"

I had planned awhile back how I would tell Clif on the day we found out we were expecting a bundle of joy. I had bought a Dad's Devotional book and wrote a special message in the front cover. I also went out and got a little pink onesie that said "daddy makes me smile". Pink was the only color they had, and I guess it was foreshadowing the events to come! When Clif got home from work I told him I had an early Valentines Day gift for him and hid the video camera to capture the moment. He just kept saying "are you serious?" over and over! It was sweet moment I will always remember.

I was nervous and excited all at once. And at that point I had no idea what was to come. But I did know everything was in God's plan and timing for my life, and that every child (whether planned or not) is truly a miracle and a special gift from the Lord!

Friday, July 1, 2011

10 Months and counting...

It's hard to believe it's been 10 months since we have had our beautiful triplets! I have been asked numerous times to create a blog, so I figured it's time!
I will be going back over the exciting story of our unique family! Starting with the day I found out I was pregnant- up to the present.

Please feel free to sign up for "blog notifications" or share with family and friends. I hope our stories will help inspire, uplift, and bring a tear or two of joy.