June 26, 2007: Triplets are diagnosed despite a previous diagnoses of twins. My hopes of having a 3rd vaginal delivery are dashed, and I am unsure of how I feel about having 3 babies at once. I am offered selective reduction, which is terminating one of the babies to "save" the other(s). I was told that I would deliver preterm, and the babies are at risk for long term problems. I am 7 weeks pregnant, and I decline selective reduction. I ask that they never bring it up again. I later discover that Joel would have been the "selected" baby for reduction.
August 2007: My doctor and I discuss the details of the pregnancy. HE tells me that I am a good candidate to carry triplets because of previously carrying a post-term elephant (aka: 10 pound Ethan) only 2 years earlier. He is confident that I can carry until 32 weeks, maybe even 34. I leave the office confident, and it's amazing at the difference one person can make.
September 2007: At a routine ultrasound it is determined that I am carrying 2 girls, and that baby C is a boy. I am delighted to have mixed genders. I make the firm decision to breastfeed the triplets after a lot of research. I nursed both of my older children, and this is something I am confident I can do. My friends decide to throw me a baby shower, but I register for no bottles, and no formula.
October 2007: I am growing more and more weak, and the anemia that I have with each pregnancy is starting to grow extremely severe. I start on extra iron, with no relief from the horrible fatigue.
November 2007: I am thrown a beautiful baby shower, and I am overwhelmed at the generosity of my friends. At the end of the month I am growing more and more weak, and I am not sure how long I can go on. I have gained 75 pounds so far.
December 2007: I am on modified bed rest, which is laughable when you have 2 preschoolers running around. My body aches, and I now have to crawl up the stairs to our bedroom. Josh is now in charge of all of the house hold duties including making dinner every night despite working all day. I can only eat tiny bites of food, but I have managed to gain 85 pounds. I have been hospitalized quite a few times at this point, but I have a cervix of steel and I never go into labor.
January 1-16th, 2008: My body is beginning to show signs that it's done being pregnant. The anemia is very bad, and I am so big that I am unable to move around. Every part of my body aches, but I want to hold on for as long as I can. During my last hospitalization Dr. W offers to deliver the babies on 1/17. My blood pressure is not dangerous at 130/80, but my baseline BP was 100/70 and she's a little concerned. I decline, and I am discharged for the final time on 1/16/08.
January 21, 2008: It's Josh's birthday. We have family over, and I am miserable. I am mean and irritable...and I feel like it's time to give up. I am over 35 weeks pregnant. I am now seeing spots, and aurora's. I am throwing up all the time, and I have gained a significant amount of weight in only a few days....I know that I have symptoms of pre-eclampsia, but I am stubborn. I stay home. After all, I have a doctor appointment in the morning.
January 22, 2008: My body fails. I go to the doctor only to find that I am in the throws of HELLP syndrome. I am also in labor. They want to make sure that the NICU is ready for us, so they schedule the cesarean for 9am in the morning. I am admitted to the hospital. They give me medication to help me sleep, and I yearn to kiss my kids....but they are 25 minutes away at home with Daddy. I am alone.
January 23, 2008: Things happen fast. I wake up @ 7:30 am and buzz the nurse. I feel wet. It is discovered that I am 5 cm dilated and Baby A's water has broken. All of the OR's are full. I have to wait. I call Josh, and tell him to hurry.
Suddenly the room is full of nurses, and doctors explaining the procedure, the anesthesia, and having me sign forms. I can't believe that it's actually happening! Josh is still not at the hospital, and it's time!!!! It's been almost 2 hours, and I want him there. The anesthesiologist comes in and gives me my spinal, and they lay me on the table. I am alone. Just before Dr. V grabs her scalpel, Josh walks in.
In what seems like eternity, but is actually only a few minutes Delaney is born at 9:51 am. They whisk her away, but tell me she's big for a triplet and seems to be fine. Addison is born at 9:52, and I get to see her for a moment before she's taken to a bassinet that is in the room. They have to yank on Joel to dislodge him from my ribcage, but within 45 seconds Joel is out at 9:52 as well. I do not get to see him either, but I am told that all 3 babies are over 5 pounds and that they all seem to be fine. They are all wheeled to the NICU, and I am taken to recovery. I am allergic to the Morphine in my spinal, and they give me another narcotic to counteract the Morphine. I remember nothing of the next few hours.
The NICU discharges the triplets after 15 minutes. They are too healthy to stay in the NICU. They are wheeled to my room.
Things start to go terribly wrong with me. I lost a tremendous amount of blood, my blood pressure rose to 210/120, and I am so swollen that I can't feel any of my extremities. I am started on high doses of a lot of different drugs. I find out that my liver is not doing well, and that things could get very bad if it does not turn around soon. I have blood transfusions. I am too weak to hold the babies, let alone nurse them. I ask for better pain management, and I receive a dilotid pump. I was not ready for the c-section recovery.
The days go by in a blur of activity and depression. I was expecting to be discharged in 3-4 days, but that turned into more than a week. I was not doing better. Finally.....my pressures started to drop, and the swelling was getting better. I was released home, with home health care.
The babies thrived. Addison and Delaney were assumed to be identical twins, and Joel the "spare" fraternal brother. It appears to us (now one year later) that they were wrong, and they are all fraternal. Joel had prematurity issues, and positional issues. He was stuck badly in my ribs. He had rib indents on his head, and his ear was folded in half. He would go on to wear a molding helmet for those issues. He was very very small for a long time, but as you can see now....he overcame the prematurity issues. Around 3 months old, Joel really started to become Joel as we know him today.
The rest is history. I can say without a doubt that being PREGNANT with the triplets was by far the hardest part of this journey. Happy Birthday Babies!!!!! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of how far you all have come this year!!!! (Happy Birthday Daddy!!!! You are well into your 30's now! HeeHee!)