Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Birth Story

Remember when I promised the birth story within a week? Whoops!

My C-section was scheduled for 2pm when I was 34 weeks along.  To refresh: we were scheduled so early because baby C was supposedly 25%+ off of the weight of her twin baby B.  I only had to fast for 8 hours before surgery and so I did get up early (5am!) to eat a big breakfast.  I wasn't going to starve all day!  Of course at around 9am the hospital called to see if I wanted to take a 12pm slot instead. I wonder who really jumps at that chance? I would have literally had to leave my house within 10 minutes to make it there in time. We declined, I found out later they filled it, probably with someone who wasn't serious about waking up to eat.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in.  The room was nice and spacious, both my mom and DH were with me, I got to strip in front of everyone and wipe down with those stupid antibacterial clothes again.  Why do they even have you do it twice at home?!  Ugh, not a fan. The nurse checking me in was great, they hooked up the babies and asked lots of questions.  We discussed hippies and placenta encapsulation...and that weird thing where you just let the placenta fall off "naturally".  I did want them to delay cord clamping on baby C, if possible. 

My perinatologist stopped in and chatted, they offered a tube tie and that was literally the first time they brought it up.  I had not considered it at all and was not in any way prepared to make that choice.  In hindsight I wish I had it done. Oh well, I suppose I will have to figure out something when sex ever happens again.  I can't assume I'll be infertile since I've heard of lots of people ending up with additional children that way!

The sequence of events was a blur, I was wheeled down to the OR and had the epidural shots in back.  I was a little worried about these as I'd heard they are painful, but they weren't bad at all!  There was only some slight referring pain and I'd had worse than that during a massage, although I've been told my masseuse is ... well she's Russian and fits the stereotype.

They bent my legs up and put in the catheter, unfortunately my legs were bent when they went numb.  I really, really wanted to put my legs 'down' and even asked the doctors to do it at one point.  They laughed and said 'oh they're down'.  Definitely wasn't my favorite part and for hours all I wanted was to put my legs straight! It did get better once I could see them and my mind reconciled it.

Honestly, as they were putting the iodine on me I thought "never mind, don't want to do this, I'm fine being childless".  I was that terrified of the surgery, it didn't really get better, although I didn't have a panic attack.  I was fairly scared the whole time, mostly for their health and if they would be ok outside.  It's a lot of control to give up at the end, especially when you are doing it prematurely. 

So, the iodine being put on is the test to see if the drugs have taken effect, I was trying to decide if I could feel it or not, and ended up saying 'I think I felt that', but at that point they had already cut into me and I definitely couldn't feel that!  I don't think I'll ever get the iodine out of my bellybutton though...

As the babies were being born I remember thinking I should kiss them when they were presented to me, but my actual feelings were very numb.  I think it's important to share this part: I did not feel that 'rush of love' that everyone else talks about.  I was worried, fearful, numb and dizzy.  Part of those feelings are surely the drugs during the C-section, but part of it may just be me.

One thing I have failed to mention at this point: there are a lot of people in the OR, like a lot, not just 'a lot of people for my vagina', which to be honest at this point would probably be more than most people would be comfortable with after all my infertility experience.  There was about a team of 5 for each baby plus the two MFMs, the nurse practioner from my MFM clinic, the anesthesiologist and then at least 10 other nurses for support.  When baby A (H) was born the head neonatologist took him and I remember him waiving my son's foot at me from his crib.  It was honestly slightly disturbing as he was not crying (that I heard) and his foot was pretty limp.  Not really what I wanted to see, BUT in my head I said 'well he's not worried about anything' and that was slightly reassuring.

Baby B (L) was born one minute later and she was SCREAMING, so right away I knew she was fine.  She ended up having her stomach pumped because she had swallowed so much amniotic fluid. 

And of course baby C (V) took longer to be born, and I was anxious because she was the whole reason we were having this surgery.  I couldn't hear her cry over Baby L, but she was fine too.  Actually all 3 babies scored an 8-9 on their first APGAR and a 9-10 on the second one, which was impressive to me, I didn't really dare to hope for that. 

AND Baby V was only 5% off from her twin, so they were both fine.  However, she did have her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her foot and loosely around her neck, so it was good we delivered when we did and that I didn't attempt a vaginal birth (though honestly, who wants that for triplets!).

After all of that my DH left with the babies, which was good, I didn't want them to get mixed up with any other babies!  I started heaving, which is apparently super common and I was not at all prepped for that.  I got a few doses of various anti-nausea meds as they were stitching me up.  I was more worried that I was going to ruin their stitching up, but that's probably not a thing.  The doctors raved about my placenta, I believe specifically the twin placenta was pretty impressive.  One of them said 'I wish you could see it!', I'm sure if I had asked they would have shown me, but I wasn't interested at all. The process of being sewed up takes forever, but no staples! I only had internal stitches and glue for the skin with a honeycomb silver bandage (silver is a natural antibiotic). My scar looks great and I didn't have to have staples removed later (thank God). 

Once I was all set they took me to recovery, where I don't remember much except that we almost got in trouble for having both my mom and husband in the room at the same time (they were switching spots).  When I was ready for my room they wheeled me through NICU to see the babies.  I could barely raise my head and was still very nauseous, but I touched all my babies!  I try not to worry they didn't get that 'skin to skin' after birth, but there's only so much I can control and I have to let the rest go. 

Obviously once I was in my hospital room I wasn't allowed out of my bed and I was jealous that DH and mom were running back and forth from my room to the NICU and I couldn't go.  Although I was grateful that they were able to hang out with the babies.  Late that night the nurse came in and took out catheter, I was annoyed as seemed early and I had to pee within 6 hours of it being removed, which was a real chore.  I barely peed in time (about a half hour before the maximum).  I did love my hospital and (single) room! I was there for 3 nights 4 days, it was so nice to order food instead of trying to figure out what I was going to eat.  The last night was walking colostrum down to the NICU and seeing babies at 3am and I was so sad that I wouldn't be there at night anymore. It was hard to leave, I did not have that urge to leave the hospital, but this is probably unique to NICU moms as we just want to be close to our babies.  I could have stayed in one of their rooms on a couch, but I never did and the nurses urged me to rest at home while I could. 

So, routine C-section, it was great, recovery was ok and I didn't really use the binders I bought.  I was worried about the doctors leaving something inside of me (an acquaintance has received permanent disability from this happening to her), but they assured me there are nurses only responsible for the sponges, etc, they use.  You do hear counting a lot during your surgery, which is reassuring to me.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Oh...Hi!!

How are all of you? Apparently my blog has exploded in popularity during my absence, which makes me feel a tiny bit guilty for not updating sooner.  I'm even writing this on my phone for you, which means you have to excuse any weird misspellings or word substitues.

We made it to 34 weeks with the babies! I never had regular contractions (woohoo!) and, well, the reason we were scheduled so early was because baby C was supposedly 25% smaller than her twin...only she was only 5% smaller upon delivery.  However she did have her cord wrapped tightly around her foot (it took an extra minute to deliver her) and loosely around her neck.  I had felt her flip over a few days before delivery and I did not like it! I know of someone who felt her baby flip and then her baby passed, one reason I was honestly glad to have a multiple pregnancy since that decreased movability.

I am writing my birth story, as everyone seems to do, but I'll warn you it's pretty uneventful.  Hoping to have it within the next week!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Final Countdown!

The last week has been a bit of a roller coaster.  After getting the news that they would move up the C-section we had a scheduled NST on Friday.  Then that morning a couple fire alarms kept going off, which even when you are sure there's not a fire is a little scary.  So my DH stayed home to make sure nothing burned down. 

The NST was different from the one I had at 27 weeks, that one they brought in an ultrasound machine and made sure each baby's heart was properly identified.  This time the nurse just tried to find each with the little paddles, and then was unsuccessful with finding C, who was the whole reason we were there!  I tried not to be too worried, and truthfully I wasn't, although I did do some deep breathing.  Babies A & B were great on the NST, but since she couldn't find C we were referred to an ultrasound. 

Of course, then my DH decides he should probably be with me since there might be a problem.  The alarms had stopped going off (it was probably a dust build up, we don't use canned air on them yearly like you are 'supposed' to) and he drove down to meet me.  I still made it through the ultrasound before he arrived and everything was fine, baby C passed a BPP within 10 minutes (she had 30) and the tech was surprised how easy it was to get her pictures.

It took another little bit, but we got released and the weekend went wonderfully, I spent most of it on the couch.  Our next appointment was a BPP check on Wednesday, where Baby B had a heart rate of 190 a few different times, we did not get a lower rate on her.  Though my ultrasounds are completed very quickly, each baby has 30 minutes to pass and the techs usually only take about 30 minutes total.  The MFM sent us over to the hospital for some NST monitoring.  Obviously I know that low heart rates are a sign of distress, and I learned that a high heart rate can be an initial sign of infection. 

Oh and this was my first (and only) time with this ultrasound tech, I'm not sure if there is a way to do the heartbeat wrong, but I wonder if she wasn't doing it right.  She also annoyed both my DH and me by insisting on getting facial pictures of the babies. 'Oh look, how cute!' 'Can't you see the face!' (my DH wasn't looking up).  Now we are a perfect couple because we can both be rather unsentimental, but honestly 1) I think babies in utero look a little creepy and 2)we're meeting them in a week!

This was my also first meeting with this particular MFM.  She said she was sure I was dilated and had lost my mucus plug even though I didn't notice it.  While I liked her, I am not sure I agree I've lost my plug because I am obsessive about checking the toilet.  Old infertility habits die hard!  I suppose there is a chance where it could've slipped out, but I'd be massively surprised.  And I've only had a few 'real' contractions, so I am not sure my body is really 'there'. 

Once we got to the hospital the NST monitoring started, this nurse was able to get baby C on the monitor!  It was reassuring to have all 3 monitored.  And Baby B, upon being hooked up, had a heart rate of 140-168, no sign of 190.  The only bad thing was they kept me on the monitors for a long time.  It was so long that all the babies had been off their monitors, by rolling and kicking like little ninjas, for a half hour before the nurse came back.  I'm laying at a slight angle and am having horrible back cramps from staying in one place.  When the nurse finally came back she said she wanted to get the babies back on the monitors for a last check and then she'd adjust me.  She got the babies back and left the room, the babies promptly ninja-ed themselves back off the monitors, and I gave her 10 minutes to come back and adjust me.  Then I used my call button and told them to come adjust me - it was super painful!  Also it was noon and I was cranky about no real meal yet in addition to the pain.

We were cleared and released!  The MFM at the hospital (one that is in the practice, but not the same as the one above) was wonderful and said she didn't think there was any infection.  She also pointed out that both B and C would have elevated heart rates since they share the placenta. 

So barring anything happening (water breaking, regular contractions): we are set for a scheduled C-section next week!  I am not thinking about it, but I have read up on Pinterest for some tips, and asked my sister-in-law for advice since she's had two of them.  At my MFM appointment the doctor spilled the beans that my favorite doctor is scheduled to do the surgery!  She must've switched with someone because the week before she had told me she wasn't going to be available.  I'm so happy because I really appreciate her and love her sense of humor.  Plus she's a great doctor and a straight shooter on issues.  I did ask to have delayed cord clamping on baby C only (it's difficult and dangerous to do all of them), I want to give her an advantage since she is the smaller one.

This might be my last update for a while, or it might not.  I'm not sure what I'll have time to do.  I will admit that I am nervous about meeting my babies.  I find myself looking at pictures of moms with babies and feeling a little jealous when they look alike.  I haven't dwelled a lot on donor egg during this pregnancy, I've been focused on enjoying what I have, but I am nervous about the babies and bonding, etc.  I know they are mine, but I'm scared they won't love me, that I won't love them, and even about telling them (someday) that they aren't genetically mine.  I try to wait to cross bridges, so I haven't written much about this, but it does sometimes haunt me a bit.  Also I worry they will feel almost too 'special', being both triplets and donor egg babies, but I am excited they will have each other to rely on.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Little Complication

In every triplet pregnancy there's a moment of complication (probably), whether or not that leads to a delivery or just a quick monitoring stay in the hospital.  Today I had my 32 week appointment and it was the first time we'd measured them in 4 weeks, which is ok I suppose, I often wish they'd measure them more frequently even though they've explained it's not as accurate.

I'm not sure how accurate it is either way, to be honest.  My ultrasound tech (I've seen her for most of my appointments so therefore she is 'mine') admitted today that they had estimated a singleton incorrectly and were 23 ounces off.  TWENTY-THREE!  Obviously I hope that mine are being estimated mostly correctly.

So the news today was that Baby C (identical twin of Baby B) is about a pound off from Baby B, or 25%.  The Doctors get concerned whenever the twins are more than 20% off from each other.  There is no sign of a twin to twin transfusion, but it's still not great. 

The result has been:

1. I have to monitor and make sure each baby moves at least once every hour.  I think this is slightly ridiculous and probably will try to not stress about it.  Their suggestion has been to turn off everything and concentrate on feeling them if I think I haven't.  If I haven't felt them in one hour of concentrated effort then I am supposed to go to the hospital.  I've been home from my appointment for 2 hours and I've felt them all lots, so maybe this won't be such a big deal.

2. I got my first steroid shot and go back tomorrow to get the second one.  Even though I'm not in current danger of delivery they wanted to make sure the shots were administered.  Also, I had heard these shots hurt a lot, but if you have had PIO then they are a walk in the park.  Seriously it's a slightly burning sensation and that's it.

3. My C-section has been moved to 34 weeks, which means I have about two weeks to prepare myself.  OMG I can't believe it will be so soon.  I'm a little bummed about the NICU time, but I know they'll be in the best spot for them.  And hopefully the nurses will teach me a little something about caring for babies. 

4. Originally my C-section was going to be done by my favorite doctor, who was also the one we saw today, but sadly she won't be doing my new date.  I'm super bummed, I really like her even though I know all the MFMs are amazing.  She seems to enjoy all our questions and concerns and jokes about taking a vacation to Hawaii while the triplets are in NICU. 

Now, the other thing is that Baby C is squished behind Baby B and so... in my heart I don't think they are that far off in size, I think maybe the tech can't get good measurements due to the placement.  But 34 weeks is an ok time to take them, to be honest I'm pretty exhausted at this point and taking them a little early will at least give me a break (although that's definitely not a consideration of the doctors).

Ok now for trigger warning - bump pictures have been requested and I just took this.  I do post these, and will post baby pictures, on my private Instagram.  You can DM me on twitter for the account name if you want. 

Almost 32 weeks.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  I'd love for these babies to be super healthy 34 week babies!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You're Too Kind - 27 weeks

Honestly, you are all too kind, visiting this site daily when I haven't updated in a month!  It's a crazy time and I've thought about writing a few articles, but it's very exhausting to be pregnant with triplets and I like to lay around doing nothing a lot.  Well, I lay around doing nothing and ruing the fact that I can't do anything really meaningful like get the nursery ready or do laundry.

It's been very smooth sailing, until yesterday, and I can't complain at all about how it's been going.  I am nearly to my third trimester and the babies are viable, though of course I want them to cook much longer.  Yesterday I had a tiny (half a dime) sized spot of pink-ness, it freaked me out but I kept it together until my DH called, and then I started crying.  He had me call the nurse line, which predictably told me to go in and get checked out.

So we ran ourselves down to Labor & Delivery at my hospital.  Got checked into a triage room around 7:15pm (the pink spot literally just missed the office hours at my MFM).  The nurse got baby A and B on the heart monitor, but then decided to ultrasound to ensure we had the right babies at the right spots.  All babies had heartbeats (wasn't really too worried about that) and all successfully hooked up to the monitors.  They did a nice vaginal exam and I didn't realize that your vagina hurts so bad when you are pregnant.  It was the most painful speculum experience ever, which up until now was a couple of my IUIs. 

The doctor did a quick check: cervix was soft and appeared closed.  They tested me for the infection that can indicate preterm labor (FFN?), a bladder infection, chlamydia and gonorrhea (seriously, I've been tested for these two STDs more time in the past year!).  Everything came back negative, which is awesome.  They monitored the babies on heart monitors for a long while, like 40 minutes.  Babies were a-celling (accelerating) like champs, which is where the heart rate increases and indicates a maturing nervous system.  Apparently d-celling (decelerating) below an established baseline is not great, obviously it can indicate fetal distress, my babies did not pull any d-celling nonsense.

They also ordered a growth ultrasound (don't ask me why) so we had one done and they also checked my cervix official with a transvaginal ultrasound (hi, old friend!) - and as I'm writing this the OB called me back and said my cervix length is 4.7 which is apparently huge.  They only start worrying at 2.5, so I do feel a lot better about that. 

Babies growth is also really good, the measurements were taken at 26w6d and one baby (baby B) was on schedule, Baby A (the usual biggest) was 27w3d and Baby C was about 27w1d. It's nice that they are measuring ahead even though this is my first pregnancy and there can be a bigger chance of growth restrictions. 

So I was finally discharged at 11:55pm, and exhausted came home and collapsed into bed. I slept for six hours, called in 'sick' to work (I told them I had been in the hospital) and got up to start eating.  I missed dinner last night as I was too nervous to eat before going to the hospital.  I am going to try and make up for it today.

Things I have learned:
  • DH is cranky when kept from food and it is taking the hospital forever to discharge you even though you know everything came back negative. (Ok, so I already knew about my DH's crankiness)
  • Your cervix is soft and filled with blood, if it gets irritated (by having sex or a bowel movement) it will spot slightly.  I will only re-report to the hospital if the pink spotting is continuous or is bright/dark red.
  • Hospitals suck at getting you discharged.
  • Hospitals are kindof sucky places even when you are the patient.
  • I am insanely paranoid about picking up a hospital infection, though I assume that L&D is actually a pretty safe place bacteria wise.

**Trigger warning - bump and monitoring pictures**
 
 
 
 
 

What it looks like when you have 3 baby heart beat monitors hooked up to you.

Taken and posted that morning!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Pregnancy

This is mostly meant to be tongue in cheek, my pregnancy is going great and I cannot complain at all about anything. 

On that note:

OMG the skin tags and my Seborrheic keratosis is going crazy.  I've had it for a few years, even before I started estrogen, I wonder if it was linked with my premature ovarian failure since that would've put my hormones in middle age even though I was in my late 20s when it first appeared. I cannot wait to get all these frozen off, especially the ones that are in a group on my neck and collarbone.  Also just in the past week I have a new ones on my tummy and boob... thanks body!

I'm tired.  And I snore loud enough to wake myself up.  It's a hugely hilarious loop.

My back hurts, especially when I have to do something and sometimes even when I don't.  My lower back already had problems and I was probably a degree or 5 away from being swaybacked before pregnancy, also I have a bone spur in my upper back where most of the pain is currently.  But I have a massage from a prenatal specialist this week!  I am excited and hoping for even more relief (heat and ice have been good to me this past week). 

Ugh, eating, never been a fan.  I've always joked I would totally do soylent green, it would take a lot of pressure off me.  I tried to take my eating down a level because I wasn't feeling as hungry and once I did my night sweats really increased in intensity.  My acupuncturist said my body was probably starting to burn my reserves due to the lower (not low) calorie intake.  I have brought my food intake back over 3000 and the night sweats decreased again.  I think she's right, but I'm still dreading the plunge over 200 pounds, which should be very soon.

I huff and puff and gasp like a very heavy person after doing very little.  I understand why, but I still want to exercise and I jealously look in karate class (I've never done karate) and yoga windows.  It's hard to take it easy! 

My home is a certifiable mess.  My mom was over yesterday and she cleaned my cat litter boxes for me.  I shudder to admit the last time my cat boxes were fully cleaned was before my transfer.  If I had known maybe I would've tried to do more in my two week wait.  I have a plan set though, friends are coming over when DH is out of town during my 28th week.  We are going to clean and set up the nursery... and maybe ... paint! I picked out these swatches today:
Leaning towards green, because I love green.

Speaking of, my DH refuses to call it the nursery, he calls it the babies's room (yes, that's grammatically incorrect).

Ok, here's the down low on babies:
All good, all healthy.  Baby B was running a little behind at the 20 week scan, 14% off from Baby A (not her twin).  Obviously it wasn't bad enough that the Dr wanted us to come back more often.  We saw them at 22 weeks and they said everything looked good, next measurement is at 24 weeks. 

They all passed the EKG.  No need for a further follow up, no need for a neonatal cardiologist in the delivery room.  The cardiologist did mention that in premies, depending on how long they've gone, they may need a dose of Tylenol (or something else) to pinch off a little vein that connects the two large arteries that run from the heart to the circulatory and pulmonary systems.  In full term babies this vein automatically dies off, but in premies the system doesn't "realize" the babies are breathing air yet. 

I hope you enjoyed the update! I am very grateful to be here.  I can do this, some days are easier than others, but I'm sure it's that way with all pregnancies.  I've started buy stuff, which makes me more than a little paranoid, but I'm remembering to relax and take it one day at a time.  And not to look for symptoms that aren't there.......

my mom bought these, she's very excited.  The girl ones are interchangeable since
we assume Baby A (the boy) will be born first.




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

20w6d

I'm not really sure how to put my thoughts on 'paper' tonight. 

My last appointment with the MFM went great, there are no issues with the babies.  The CPC is gone for baby A and, obviously, he as no other signs of trisomy 18.  They have all their fingers and toes and their mouths and noses look ok.  I keep passing out at these, but I'm hopeful with so many of the scary ones behind us that this will stop. 

Of course, my anxiety has picked up since week 20.  I'm analyzing every wipe and twinge, looking for any sign of something slightly different. I'm beginning to feel like this is really going to happen and to be honest that's more than slightly terrifying.  I'm not sure how you take care of 3 babies, but it sounds like a lot of work.  I'm sure I'll love them all and won't be able to imagine my life without them.  Again, I assume.

I have managed to gain almost 40 pounds!  I am very excited since this was  my goal for 24 weeks, I've actually eased off the calories a bit, obviously I've been overdoing it since I'm so close.  Also I've been eating a lot of sugar, which can't be good for me or the babies.  (Although the soda pop Jelly Bellys are calling to me from the store.)  I have paid for the weight gain with some nice stretch marks on the inside of my thighs!

I'm hoping to get started on just a few things this week and make lots of lists.  I love lists, they make  me feel in control!  Plus then I can mark things off of them, slowly...  Tomorrow I am going to do laundry, but don't expect me to put it away.

***TRIGGER WARNING: BUMP PICTURE***


20w6d, they are a-kickin!