Thursday, June 16, 2011

One year ago

This is where we have come from. Babies ranging from 2lbs-3lbs 3 oz. They've come a long way.

This is Todd and Grey.

This is Todd touching Grey's foot.

A triplet pregnancy. Using those 3 words together is a very powerful statement. We found out we were having 3 little ones right before the first of the year. I really hadn’t been sick yet. At 7 weeks pregnant I went to see our high risk OB doctor, Dr. James Sumners. That is where the fun really began. During that appointment, he told me that there was “Good news! I don’t see another one hiding in there…”. I think I could have fainted them. After that he continued to tell me that I would need to eat 4000-5000 calories each day to gain the weight that I would need to gain for the babies. Also, we were left with some options of a abdominal cerclage. Not a traditional cervical cerclage, (where the cervix is stitched close)… but the uterus would be closed. The bottom of the uterus is gathered like a potato chip bag, and is sutured that way permanently.

I traveled for work from early January to mid February. We were in the midst of a medicare audit that was all-consuming. It did help me get off the pregnancy… and nonetheless, eating out every night helped me get my calorie load in for a while. One Wednesday early February I wasn’t feeling well, while in Columbus OH at work. Later that night the back pain continued to get worse… and I asked one of my fellow nurses to take me to the hospital. Realizing that we would never find it, we called the ambulance. They took me to the hospital in Columbus, and after many hours of pain and radiology tests, it was found I had my first and hopefully last ever kidney stone. I had managed to call my infertility doctor on his cell phone to talk to him at 1am, and he was able to talk to the ER doctor, as they didn’t really want to touch me. I stayed there 2 nights, passed the stone… and although didn’t have to come back to work in OH the next week, I knew my days of traveling were limited.

Surgery was done on Feb 18th. This surgery was done at 13 weeks. When we went to the hospital to have that procedure completed, I knew I would be there a couple of days, I knew I would be asleep during the operation, and I knew that I would have a scar. A few things that were not clear. 1. I was awake during the surgery, 2. I was there for 7 days, 3. I have a vertical incision extended to my belly button. It hurt, it hurt bad. Interestingly enough… I was a little uninformed, and I didn’t stop to think that the surgery would hurt worse pregnant because my uterus and stomach was continuing to grow.

At 18 weeks I felt almost recovered from the cerclage. I then was placed on precautionary bedrest, which is what is done by the high risk OB I saw that day. I spent the rest of the pregnancy trying to lay on my left side the majority of time. At that time, I was getting pretty significant carpal tunnel. I used to shrug off people that complained of carpal tunnel…. But let be the first to say, wow,… that was painful. I had it in both hands, and it can be pretty common in women that are carrying multiples. My hips really hurt from laying down, and all the weight shifting. At this time, I really had a hard time eating and drinking. I had to force myself to do both.

At 20 weeks, I started to monitor my contractions with a home health belt that I had to place on myself twice daily. That yielded a few nights here and there in the hospital for contractions some I could feel, some I could not. Many times it was because I was not drinking my 4 liters of water daily that was needed. I quickly started drinking a lot of water. I was started on some oral medication for contractions at about 24 weeks. It just made me more tired.

At 26 weeks I had a routine doctor visit (I had ultrasounds weekly from 13 weeks on). At that time there was noted to have a little protein in my urine per the urine dipstick. I then had to do a 24 hour urine test, and was found to have significant protein in my urine at that time… and was admitted into high risk at St. Vincent Women’s hospital. I knew I would be there the duration. I had contractions off and on for a few days, and was given IV hydration, which cut down on my drinking necessity. Off and on there were concerns regarding my urine protein, which was continuing to climb. Also, Lillian’s umbilical cord had some restricted flow, which was worrisome. I can honestly say I was in complete denial of having to deliver premature triplets at this time. Even though the NICU doctor had come and talked to me about the general NICU lowdown, and I had the NICU tour, I was not going to deliver these kids less than 34 weeks. Oh, how wrong I was.

On June 15th, Dr. Sumners came to my room, and sat down in the chair. I knew then, I was in for a talking. He said that my urine protein was quite high, and enough that he wanted to tentatively put me on the schedule for the second c-section of the day if necessary. At that time, I tried talking him out of it, and tried to tell him my reasons for not going…. But it fell upon deaf ears. I knew this time, he was serious, and we’d wait to see how the urine was, but likely the day was coming quickly. After our hour discussion, and reaffirmation… I knew in the back of my mind that it was looming. About 2 hours after that a nurse came in, asking me if I felt ok. I told her, no, was anxious, and had a back ache. Turns out I was contracting every 3 minutes. I was placed on a mag drip that night, and knew that was the nails in the coffin. I would be having the babies on June 16th.

Todd arrived early that morning, and planned on working from the hospital, thinking that I would likely not deliver that day. Turns out, I was going to. Family came in to town, I was taken to the Or at about 1030.. I really don’t remember that ride. Todd was prepped, and I was to get my epidural. Long story short, after about 8 epidural and spinal block tries, they were unsuccessful. I continued to contract. I continued to be uncomfortable. After refusing to be poked one more time, they gave me general anesthetic. There were heated conversations between the anesthesiologist and myself. He was mad that he couldn’t get it in, I was mad that he was acting like a baboon…. So indeed, I was better off with a tube between my vocal cords to silence me.

I was wheeled to the NICU to see the children, and I honestly just remember thinking that I was in the twilight zone. The epidural had actually kicked in, even though it hadn’t took before I went to sleep. The kids looked so small…. I felt like I had failed them. I felt as if I had left them to survive on their own…. In their little clear boxes.

I cannot really describe what I felt during the pregnancy. The best description was anxiety. I was anxious about how we would take care of them, how we would handle this as a couple, how our dogs would handle the kids etc. I felt anxious about everything. However, I must say… it was all worth it. The first few weeks of Lilly and Owen home were rough, and the when Grey came home in November; but we made it. I feel like after doing that, we can do nearly anything.

These are pictures that Brooke brought down to me when I was still on a Mag drip in high risk 2 days after delivery. I was really out of my mind when she brought these, and had a few choice words for Dr. Sumners that was rounding at the time. Thank goodness she kept an open mind about perhaps that wasn't my shining moment! These are only pictures a parent could love.

This was Grey.

This was Owen. He had just been taken off of the breathing tube, and ventilator.

This was Lillian. Can you tell she was Brooke's favorite??

Now when I look at the kids as they sleep (cause that is when they are the most angelic!)... I know that these 3 kids were meant to be ours. I know that I was selected to be their mom, and Todd their dad. I know that for some reason, (some sick joke) I was given the challenge to put my body back together again. We will rise to all the challenges... because we can, and we always have.

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