Leigha and the Triplets

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Glory!

I love the internet and I have for over 7 years now. When I first found out I was pregnant I joined a group where everyone was due in March of 2001. It was a large website so there were many moms on there. I have formed some of my best friendships from this group (and could tell you some hysterical stories about a few psychos along the way). I wouldn't give the internet world up for anything.

Although it doesn't shock me too much anymore, I am continually amazed at the people who fake pregnancies. We had a few people fake on my playgroup board in the beginning. We even had one lady lose her house, around Christmas time, when we were all pregnant. I know some of the moms sent her boxes or packages. I didn't, I didn't trust anyone that well yet. I am glad I didn't, as she turned out to be a faker.

I have met a bunch of the moms from my playgroup over the years. I would do anything for them. I will NOT do anything financially for people who I have never met. I know that the internet is full of people trying to con others. I get it.

What I will never understand is why people are obsessed with faking triplet pregnancies. On Triplet Connection, there have been many fakers. Most of them are "called out" eventually. Sometimes it takes the detectives (triplet moms make GREAT detectives) a bit of time, but they get the job done. We have had people go so far as to post birth certificates, ultrasound pictures, etc. Unfortunately, they always end up being someone elses.

I don't mind the fakers too much, they sometimes amuse me. They must really have a void in their life to take that much time to keep up this charade. However, I was thoroughly annoyed the other day and my anger got the best of me.

Last week I posted a video tape of Matthew walking with a grocery cart for the first time. I was extremely proud of him! I love reading comments that my readers make (HINT....comment MORE all of you lurkers!). A few days ago I saw some comments that Chrissy made. She made a comment about how it was great he did that, but she was new to my blog and wasn't familiar with Matthew's story. She asked someone to fill her in. At first I wondered why she just didn't take the time to go back a bit in my blog to read about it, but decided just to click on her name and post to her on her blog. I did, I wrote a basic summary of my pregnancy problems and complications that arose. She had beautiful triplets! She has identical twin girls and a fraternal son.

A day or two later I receive an email from someone who purchases Signing Time videos through my link (HINT, HINT). She let me know that Chrissy had left a comment on her blog previously but left a link to a different blog. On that blog she had identical twin girls and a boy who was a year older. I had to work, so I couldn't do anything about it right away. When I got home from work I started looking at the two sites. I had 5 minutes before I had to turn around and go back to work. I was IRRITATED to say the least. I had wasted my time to post Matthew's story for a FAKER! I normally sit back and let other people out the fakers, as I was once called a faker during my pregnancy (am I dreaming all of these diaper changes?). This time, I was too flustered and in a hurry to let this one go. I decided not to post on the real blog, as I saw her parents posted there. I instead posted on Triplet Connection. I posted both the real and the fake site.

The worst part was I had to leave; I couldn't even watch the drama unfold (yes, that's what happens when you are always home at night...this becomes entertainment!). When I got home it was almost amusing reading the posts. I guess this girl had really flown under the radar and no one had even suspected her. However, it didn't end there. It seems that this person has a few personalities on the board. More and more information is still coming out. I think some people forget that their IP addresses can be traced and linked together. I have learned SOMETHING about computers along the way!

Supposedly this person stole an entire family. The "real" Chrissy does have twin girls and an older son. This has happened to a bunch of my friends. It's the internet, I am fully aware that it could happen to me. It wasn't the fact that this person was a faker, stole pictures, etc. We are used to that on the board. It was more the fact that she was posting on a bunch of our blogs about our kids, her fake kids, and giving advice. Like I need advice from someone with MPD?!

This is not the first time I have encountered a faker and it certainly won't be the last time. Nothing will ever come close to what Jennifer Dibble (now Rubio) did. I don't think anyone could out do her!

For those of you who aren't familiar with her story, you better grab a drink for this story. As I have said previously, my March 2001 Playgroup is very close. We have known each other for years. We have traveled to visit our friends all over the country. When our kids were around 2 we had someone join our group. Her name was Jennifer Dibble. She was really nice and fun to chat with. Later that year she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Our group was just in awe of her because she was keeping very positive and handling it well. One of my best friends from this group and I became really close with Jen. We chatted all the time and even got to know each other's families.

One of the girls met her during the summer and was suspicious about her cancer being real. When you are on the internet, there is no way of knowing for sure. She thought that Jen looked too healthy and acted completely normal. The only thing you could see was a bandage on her chest. We were all curious at that point. It wouldn't be the first time someone lied.

The reunion that year was in Las Vegas. I was the hostess. Jen had said she was coming up with her mother and grandmother. I wasn't sure if she was really going to show up or not. I figured if she showed up, then she was legit. If she didn't show up, then probably another faker. Well, she showed up! I tested her right away. In front of her mother and grandmother, I informed her that Leigha had some mysterious spots on her but the doctor said it wasn't chicken pox. I wanted to warn her since she had cancer. Right in front of mom and grandma she said it was fine. She went on to discuss her cancer later. She wasn't faking!

Jen, Crista, and I became even closer after the visit. We were turning our webcams on and just chatting after the kids were in bed. Around Christmas time she took a turn for the worse. Her kidneys were giving her problems. I literally watched her lose about 30 pounds in a month. She was always cheery though! She did her make-up and hair every day. She wasn't going to let this beat her.

In May, Jen called Crista and me and told us that the doctors were saying that she might not make it much longer. We dropped everything, put our families out, and flew down for a weekend to visit her. We had a lot of fun, but she was visably worse than she had been before. She was a bit unhappy that her friend was going to throw her a fundraiser to help out with the medical bills. She was very uncomfortable with that. They had the fundraiser and it went well.

She also was able to make it to Vegas in July. She seemed to be the same. She had scabs and scarring on her chest from the port and bandages. She was still throwing up a lot, but she still looked great!

Sometime early that fall, Jen was frantic. She had a birthday party for one of her boys. Her in-laws offered to take the younger three (her older two are from a different father) home so she could rest after the party. She was served with papers in the morning. Her in-laws were taking her to court. Jen was frantic. They were making her show paperwork from when the ambulance had to come to her house and for other things. I watched her search (on webcam as I tried to calm her down) for the paperwork. She was freaked out.

The day she was due in court, I received a phone call from her mother. I feared the worst. Her mom said that Jen was sick, but not with cancer. She had faked it! At first I told her mom I would be there for her. She was sick and she needed help. However, over time I realized she was beyond help. She had the nerve to tell me that she didn't understand why she didn't have her boys home. Jen would repeatedly tell me that she was a good mother and they should be able to come home. Yes, what was I thinking. She is a great mother! Jen had been telling her family, and most importantly her 5 little boys, that she was dying and they were going to lose her. How could I not have seen what a great mom she was?! Silly me.

Jen never really appologized to anyone. She kept saying she couldn't say anything about it. The sad part, Jen got exactly what she wanted. It seems that since she started having kids so young, and had so many in a short amount of time, that she felt trapped. Now she has visitation rights, and from what I hear she blows those visits off all of the time. She is a part time mom, with almost no responsibility. Just what she wanted!

There was some good that came of it. It brought some of us together more. I also made an amazing friend, Tamara. Tamara was Jen's ex sister-in-law and the one that started figuring it out first. It's just too bad that I had to meet her through Jen. Tamara is a professional photographer and I always joke with her that since my pictures ended up on the news and Dateline NBC, does that make me a professional photographer? Or am I famous because my smudged out face was on the news?! I had to find some humor somewhere!

For anyone who wants to get more disgusted with this story, you can read more about her and her lovely cancer at these links:
NBC News in Fort Worth, TX

Dateline NBC

Needless to say, nothing shocks me anymore. I don't donate to anyone on the internet and I never take anything anyone says as being the truth. The biggest downside...I have to hear my mom say "I told you so" repeatedly. She called Jen a faker from the beginning. I guess you should always listen to your mother!

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. I can't believe you were involved in the Jen Dibble fiasco. I remember watching this story when I was in the hospital after giving birth to my triplets. I must have seen the Dateline story because the text you linked to is familiar. I also watched a special about fakers when I was in there. Remember the woman who faked being pregnant with HOM and got all sort of donations before she was found out? I thought they did that story in the same show but I seem to remember the HOM mom being on an ABC special. At least I saw both in the hospital. When you are recovering from a triplet pregnancy and c-section you tend to remember that story!

Lori (PA triplets)

Anonymous said...

Aha! I finally got to hear the whole story of the cancer-faker!! That was on PP right? I have always heard vague references to it but I could never figure out the whole story.

- A random lurker (who followed everyone from PP to TPP to NOTI, and randomly clicked on your blog in your signature, which got me reading other triplet blogs even though I don't have triplets)

MaryBeth said...

Wow, that is crazy! I had never heard that story, and I've never really even seen a faker on TC until this most recent one, that I know of??? I am constantly amazed at the crazies of the world...

Kei said...

I remember when I was pregnant with Sarah, I belonged to storksite (which eventually was taken over by parentsplace/ivillage).
One woman came into our messageboards & chats, saying she was expecting quads, then later she was on hospital bedrest, then lost them. When the community started to send flowers, organize sending money, etc, the hospital had never heard of her. When everything came out in the open, we found out she had used someone else's u/s images, but she used her own name. Her husband ended up losing his job because she was using his computer from the university he worked at!

So... my hubby & I are always a bit skeptical about things on the internet.
The Down syndrome communities I've been a member of have also experienced their share of fakers.

*sigh* You'd think people would have better things, more constructive things to do with their time than weave this elaborate web of deception which inevitably gets uncovered.

Lesa said...

The whole thing with "Chrissy" hits close to home. I was recently the victim of a woman who claimed my triplets (in fact, my whole family) were her own. The woman had done an incredible job of detailing "her life" with my family. Sick, sick, sick. I'm still trying to get all Photobucket pix she stole removed. No easy task. If only they could use that talent for deception in a positive way...

Anonymous said...

Fakers are so screwed up! I don't have multiples, but a woman on a parenting board I belong to tried to tell us she was expecting her FIFTH set of twins. She was obviously called out!
By the way, I've read through your whole blog and I don't believe that you've ever posted your story on here. Just as a heads up.
Melanie

Cathy said...

Hi Melanie! The funny thing is that one of my students was a twin and I think they had 3 or 4 sets of twins in their family. So that doesn't shock me. I know many people who have multiple sets of twins.

It's amazing what lengths some people will go to make up a fantasy world.

When you said that I don't have my story on here, do you mean the birth of my triplets?

Anonymous said...

Alright, I did just find a post where you sort of talked about what happened, but it was like 2 sentences. So I guess you sort of did, but never in-depth.
The twin-lady was so obviously a fake. I think it was probably a teen faker, who knew absolutely nothing. Told us she had her first set of twins at TWELVE, and she was expecting her last set, at age 55. Oh yeah, the first set was from being raped from her father. And, they were born at 44 weeks. Uh, yeah right!
But the Jen Dibble thing is ridiculous... I can't imagine anyone going to such great lengths! She sounds seriously screwed up. Do you know if she ever got help?
Melanie

My name is Tammie said...

OMG OMG OMG! I remember extreemly well watching that Dateline! I was shocked at that whole story and it has stuck in my head ever since! I can not believe (no, I really can, I am not calling you a faker) that happened to you! So crazy! People are so sick. I am so glad that you called out "Chrissy" I fell for her act all the way.

Cathy said...

Melanie-

I am still not understanding if you are asking about my birth story of the boys or something else. I know I started this after they were one, so is that what you are referring to? I guess I didn't realize I hadn't gone into my pregnancy.

Michele S said...

Cathy- Is she calling you a faker??? BAHA! I didn't know you had to "tell your story" to have a blog!

There are three other spontaneous triplet moms just here in Vegas, so you are hardly that "special"! Plus, you've been to my house half a dozen times, unless that was a figment of my imagination. Was that really you on the phone at 8:15 this morning on a SUNDAY? Maybe I'm not real either. If I wasn't real, all these little people would be gone and I'd be taking a nap. Damn it!

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry! That is what I was talking about. You said you were mad because the faker didn't read it on your blog. You only have 1 or 2 sentences about what went on during your pregnancy on your entire blog. Just wanted to give you a heads up!
Mel

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

I've often wondered if anyone thinks I'm faking it. I mean - when you read the blogs of families with triplets - I can see how strangers might think "That can't be real. They have got to be making it up!"

Yeah, we lead a glamorous life, huh?!

Mir said...

Hi there,

Delurking to say OH MY GOSH!! I've been on message boards here and there over the past few years and I can't imagine that any of them are fakers -- I guess I'm just very naive!

I have followed your story for a few months now. Your boys are a few months older than my son, who will be two in a week, and Leigha is only a few months older than my daughter, who started first grade last month as well. I love reading about other moms with kids my kids' ages, especially since it is a big gap! And I must say yours is such an inspiring story -- I'm often exhausted with just my two - I can't imagine trying to get things accomplished with three my son's age!

There are so many people out there with issues. The worst part is that they're procreating (and often over and over again)! My father has said that the Internet has brought out the "freaks" and introduced them to others like them -- I guess he's right! While it's wonderful, it can also be dangerous.

jandmwhitchurch (TC) said...

I live in the DFW area and I remember this woman. DH and I were still ttc and I was just flabbergasted that someone would do that to her children. You are such an amazing friend how awful she would take advantage like that.

Brenda said...

(((HUGS)))!! I know you and C were so much closer but I remember driving to work thinking about Jen and her family and crying my eyes out. I am so much more leery about what people post now days. I hate being a cynic but you have to sometimes.
Thanks for being such a great friend! One of you March Mommie friends!

loren said...

The strange people we meet online!

I would imagine that finding out someone is a faker (like Jen) would feel a little like a death. But what's worse is trying to figure out how much of your friendship was real.

I posted a little something about YOUR post on my site because you summed up just about everything I thought. Not to mention that whole thing with Jen is just completely astounding.

If you haven't had others say this: thank you for having the guts to out the faker on TC. You may have spared someone else the same hurt feelings.

Anonymous said...

Cathy,

I wish you would follow up with Jen's Mom. Her Grandmother passed away last May due to lung Cancer. She loved this woman dearly & she learned a huge lesson when this happened. Tamara has skeleton's in her own closet & I am sure she would hate to have those revealed. At the end of the day it doesn't matter. If you consider her a friend & a support then that is all that matters. But there are some lies behind her her truth & it troubles me that she plays the game & has yet to be caught. I am sorry that you have to deal with fakers. Makes no sense at all. I wish your family the very best always. I hope they all grow healthy & happy!

Cathy said...

Jen-

While I feel for your family and the loss of your grandmother, that doesn't change anything that you did to your friends and family. You never returned money you should have, you never really appologized to those you hurt so deeply, and you constantly told me what a great mother you were and you deserved to have your kids back.

The fact that you bring Tamara up is pathetic. Her past has nothing to do with what you did, you are lashing out at her because you got caught in your lie.

You told me your weren't seeking help because your lawyer told you not to. I never saw you show any true remorse for what you have done to your friends and family.

I didn't realize you read my blog, but that's fine with me. This post started because of a current situation and it brought back some painful memories. If I help even one person from being a victim to a "faker" then it was beneficial.

I really hope that you eventually went to seek help. I wish you the best of luck with your life.

Anonymous said...

Cathy,
Yes I do read your blog. Regardless of what everyone thinks I did care about you & talked w/you a little bit when you were pregnant w/the boys. I have apologized to the people who would listen & I do care that I hurt so many people. I just wish that the truth had been told. Dateline was not the truth & that is what I have to deal with. I really don't think there is a good enough apology to any of the people that I hurt. What I can say is although it was not aired I pay a price every day for what I did. It's hard to say when the debt will be paid. I am getting help mentally & physically. It will take years of extensive treatment to get close to being normal. I do know that I love my boys & we have discussed this very openly. I did what I thought was right for them. They are with their Dad's. The 3 little guys have a wonderful father who puts them first. He provides them with love & a stable home. I am not able to provide them with much stability right now, so as hard as it is to admit they are where they should be.

I was not using Tamara as an excuse for my mistakes. I just struggle with knowing that she does know the truth & she chose to go on TV & put the faces of my children out there. The 2 oldest boys are in an awkward situation because she is still a part of their lives. They know the truth & they know that airing their faces on TV accomplished nothing. My boys have forgiven me & they love me because I am their Mom. Tamara has a very long list of things I could have referenced, but I didn't want to involve her children or people who have nothing to do with it. I am not sorry for what she went through & I know that makes a lot of people angry, but it is the truth. My parents & family did not deserve to be attacked like they were. All they did was support their daughter(and yes they know it was wrong)That is what parents are supposed to do.

I have learned a very big lesson. I lost a lot of people who were very dear to me & my boys. It makes me sad, but I totally understand. I look at your site because I want to see how you are & I am amazed at how well your little guys are doing. My "baby" was a part of the March Moms for several years of his life. He remembers the visits & asks me about things on occasion. I hope that you can read this & understand that my intention was never to hurt anyone & it certainly wasn't about money. Few things I can prove & that is one of them. I never asked for money & challenge anyone to show proof otherwise. I wish it were as easy as paying the money back. Unfortunately for the people who cared about me it has nothing to do with money.

I have probably rambled on long enough but I certainly am sorry for all the pain & shock that I caused so many people. The damage will never be repaired, but I am still a Mom, daughter, sister & friend & all I can do is try to repair what I broke. You have a beautiful family & it makes me happy that things are going so well. Take care & you truly were my friend.
Jen

Anonymous said...

You don't think your family deserved to be put through the public humiliation? Is that wat you are saying Jen? Thats interesting, maybe you should have thought about that before you went "skirting" aroud taking peoples money and feeding people full of crap, ie. your own family. As far as your boys forgiving you because your "their mom" well, you hit it on the head,your "their mom." they certianly didn't forgive you because your a GOOD PERSON. I met you once and was heartbroken to see such a beautiful person in such pain, I guess that goes to show that beauty is only skin deep and evil goes all the way through. Your a freak, sorry.
Cathy does have a beautiful and you should read her blog to see what a beautiful family looks like. You should be reminded daily of the misery you caused people. So, if Dateline didn't air the truth, I'd be interested to know what exactly the truth is? Feel free to forward that along when you cook that one up!!

Take Care,
AS