Triplets, Triplets, Triplets -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Triplets, Triplets, Triplets

May 15, 2003

Tift Co. --  There's a growing trend in parenthood, and it might just have you picking out your baby outfits in threes. Go to the grocery store or mall and chances are you'll see some weary parents pushing a triple stroller along. It's a more common sight in one South Georgia county, with the highest birth rate of triplets in the Southeast.

Whether it's play time at the Lawson's, Lunch time at the Greens, or bedtime at the Jones, you're sure to be seeing triple after spending a day at each of these Tift County homes.

"We wanted babies a long time, now we've got lots of babies," Betsy Jones said. "We've had the most sets of triplets as anyone town."

So why all these triplets here in Tift County? No one knows for sure, but multiple birth rates are on the rise, mostly because of the increased use of fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization.

Each of the three women had difficulty getting pregnant so they tried different drugs and procedures to increase their chances, who knew how well they'd work. "We used to walk in to the doctor's office where we'd have the in vitro done, and he has a triplet wall where it's just pictures of triplets, and I would say 'I don't want to be on the wall.' We're on the wall now," said Betsy.

The first triplets ever born in Tifton were the Lawsons, now three years old, Samuel, Sarah, and Claire. "When one wants to do something and sit down to do it with one then they all want to do it, like poddy training it's been a real challenge, get one in all three want to go," said Barbara Lawson.

Will, Hays, and Becca Jones are 14 months old, which means their home has been transformed into a series of gates and baby jails. "They could pull something over on top of selves, or team up to do it," said Betsy Jones.

For the Greens, some could say it's a little easier, not that they don't also have plenty to do, changing 10-month-old Tucker's diaper, or making sure Tanner and Macy's appetites are satisfied. But they benefit most from a support group of sorts that's developped in Tift County.

These families don't just have the same bumper sticker, but they have the same experiences. Out of that, grew friendships. Starting with Barbara helping Betsy.

"Betsy called me while she was pregnant and we would talk about how I survived and she could survive," Barbara said.

And now Betsy herself is a shoulder to lean on. "It's been great because hers are four months older and I get to find out what works and what doesn't work," said Betsy.

A long and winding road for these three families, each so excited by parenthood, they proudly display ultrasounds in their homes. For the first time they all got together for this group photo. It's not easy getting nine toddlers and infants to sit still.

The question then, if a genie were to have granted these moms three wishes would they have been for triplets? Each says they wouldn't change a thing. "We've been triple blessed in last year, brought a lot of happiness in our lives," said Marcie Green.

"Such a blessing, I tell people I don't know what it would be like to have just one baby around the house, it would be boring," said Trey Green.

"I love being a mom, it's the best thing in the world," said Marcie.

Three smiles, three laughs, and three happy families in Tift County.

 There were less than 4,000 triplets born in the United States in 1980, in 1997 there were more than 20,000. Women waiting until later in life to have children could also be contributing to the increase in multiple births.

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