For those who meet me and find out I have 3 children they are, most of the time, surprised. Sometimes they think I'm younger than I am (I was born in 1978 - yeah, I know, I'm "old" to some of you) or they just think I don't have a family because of what I do.
Often times people ask, "How do you do it?!" The answer is simple..."I DON'T KNOW." I really don't. Although, when I think about what I go through on a daily, I can truly handle a heavy load that come with high levels of stress. And I mean HEAVY. But everyone feels that way at some point in their lives if not every day.
I met my husband, Vuong (pronounced VONG), in high school - YUP HIGH SCHOOL - and we've been together (mostly) since. I guess you could say he was my high school sweetheart, though, we didn't get together until after I graduated (so, maybe that would mean I was technically his.). Anyway, check us out - we've got that 90's flava going on...some say we look the same but I beg to differ:
He officially asked me to be his girlfriend on June 27, 1996 (as of today, we've been together a little over 21 years...is that crazy or what??). Our younger brothers were with us when he asked me. His brother, Vinh, wrote our special day on their calendar and my brother, Joe, high-fived me like crazy. Cute AND corny.
Here's a photo of us today:
We eventually married on January 26th 2002 during a snow storm. Eek, right? I was also pregnant with my 1st child - a boy. Double EEK.
Most of Vuong's family were excited because, apparently, having a boy as the first born child is known to be "special and lucky." I had what was considered a "high risk" pregnancy where I was diagnosed with oligohydramnios at the end of my 2nd trimester. This condition is where the amniotic fluid is low and can cause deformation or, worse, death of the fetus.
Long story short, I was able to get my fluids up and carried my baby to term. We had our son, Christian Tai (pronounced "Ty") on June 4, 2002 (at 7 lbs., 6 oz, and 20 inches long). He came out with one club foot, jaundice and appeared VERY thin-looking compared to other newborns I've seen. Still, he was beautiful. and had a full head of hair. Here are a few photos of him from then until now.
Fast forward to November 13, 2004 and our 2nd son, Ashton Duc (pronounced "Duke"), came into this world. This birth was so much easier than the first and he came out right after the 2nd push. He arrived weighing 7lbs, 4 oz at 19 inches long and looked exactly like me. For some reason, I was both amazed and weirded out by it...like here was my little twin. Here are photos of him - you be the judge.
Finally, our last child, Ava Quyen (pronounced "Quinn") arrived on June 8, 2009 at 7 lbs. 8oz at 20 inches long. She was extremely solid...almost muscular yet a bit chubby. Not even sure how to explain it but I was ecstatic nonetheless...I FINALLY HAD MY GIRL.