Just a little over two years ago, I became part of a group of expectant quad moms who connected online. In a situation that could be otherwise isolating, we found ourselves sharing our experiences weathering quadruplet pregnancies. We encouraged each other and commensurated. After the babies were born, we maintained close contact, celebrating the small victories and sharing the challenges of raising quadruplets. Since there is no book about parenting quadruplets this group has become the go-to resource. About a year ago we began toying with the notion of taking a girls weekend trip to finally meet in person and to relax. At first it seemed like an unlikely scenario. After all, we don’t exactly live in the same neighborhood. Literally states and thousands of miles separate us.
Several months ago, Amber B. took the reigns as travel agent and coordinated our very first girls getaway weekend. She scored a condo in Gruene, TX, which is nestled down in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. In the months leading up to our trip, we communicated almost daily (sometimes several times a day). It wasn’t solely about the trip, but was more about sharing our daily lives, which made each of us feel “normal”. As each day passed leading up to the trip, our sisterhood grew stronger. I felt like a child anticipating Christmas morning as the trip grew nearer. Since this trip would mark my first time away from both the quads and George, I wasn’t sure what feelings it might bring. My thoughtful child decided to throw some whopper tantrums earlier in the day, which helped stave off any mommy guilt associated with my departure.
As soon as all husbands were firmly posted at their respective homes, the journey began. Amber B., Griselda, and I carpooled from Dallas. Meanwhile, Krista caught a flight from California and Becky from Michigan. Ashley headed from Houston to Austin to pick up our flying sisters from the airport. To our surprise, all six of us arrived at the condo within five minutes of each other!
The moment when all six of us united in person for the first time, can only be described as surreal. It played out like a movie scene full of heartfelt embraces, shrieks, and laughter. Although we’ve shared some of the most intimate aspects of our lives, meeting in person was all new. Even away from home, Amber B. was an expert at hospitality. After everyone was settled, she presented each person with a goody bag consisting of some of her favorite R & R items (e.g. Moroccan body lotion, Texas Trash trail mix, stationary, bath soak, body spray, peach tea, and facial masks) as well as hand crafted cookies from a mother of triplets.
In utter excitement, we chattered away until the wee hours of the morning. Despite only clocking a few hours of sleep for the night, we awoke refreshed the next morning as we sipped hot coffee together. It’s amazing what uninterrupted sleep without any responsibilities can do for a person.
In order to give our out of state visitors a taste of Texas, we headed to Saltgrass Steakhouse for lunch situated along the Guadalupe River. The spring weather was as stunning as our table side view. Much to our dismay, Griselda started feeling bad shortly after lunch. Although we begged her to stay and recover in the condo, Griselda opted to go back home. We missed having her for the remainder of the weekend, but we genuinely appreciated her commitment to keeping the rest of our group from experiencing quad mom contagion. Between the six of us, there are 29 children whom we hope to keep well.
After lunch, we meandered through Gruene and became accustomed to taking “selfies” of the group. When we saw a beautiful view of the river, decided it was time to trouble another tourist to take a group shot. Up to this point, we kept our identities as quad moms a secret. It was all too nice not having to field questions or remarks. For some reason, Krista felt compelled to reveal our little secret to the kind woman who snapped our photo. Instead of asking questions or making crass remarks, the woman stood quietly as she pulled an odd expression. It was as if something had gone terribly wrong. To our surprise, the woman casually revealed that she was a surviving quadruplet! I’m not sure who was more surprised at our unusual connection, the quad moms or the quadruplet herself. She graciously allowed us to take a picture with her to commemorate the moment. As the evening came to a close, our stroll through Gruene landed us at a serene wine bar, which served as the ideal spot for relaxation and more girl talk.
Our second day consisted primarily of pool time followed by a group dinner at the famous Grist Mill. Everyone found something they felt confident wearing at the pool, but Krista and Amber B. rocked bikinis! While at the pool, Becky demonstrated acrobatics from her former life as a competitive gymnast. This little quad mama can still do the splits!
As we took turns showering and getting ready to pain the town, we found quiet moments to relax and actually read magazines! My magazine stockpile usually becomes a fine motor activity for the quads and I never get a chance to skim them. It was a nice change of pace to say the least.
A girl’s getaway is never complete without a spa visit. Though we weren’t willing to sacrifice a day of togetherness, we still managed a spa experience, DIY style. Krista, Becky and I used parts of our goody bags to create a foot soak and cucumber facial, which went awry when the mask didn’t peel as anticipated. It may not have been the relaxing “spa experience” of our dreams, but resulted in laughter and memories to last forever.
As the weekend came to a close, the emotions were bittersweet. It was undeniably hard to leave such dear friends to return to our normal lives. Yet, I was more than ready to return to my family back home. On Sunday afternoon, I returned refreshed and rejuvenated. I’m not sure George had the same sentiment after a weekend of holding down the fort. He’ll be sharing his weekend stories soon…stay tuned!
P.S. This trip was such a success, we have grand plans of making it an annual thing. Don’t tell George though, I’m not sure he’ll agree to staying behind again. I am encouraging him to take a camping trip in the near future. He deserves time to recharge too!