Part two: Pregnancy Continued
In May I had my first of 3 baby showers. It was special because my oldest sister, Keesha who lives in Texas, was able to come. We were so abundantly blessed by friends and family alike. We received a 2nd crib and mattress at one shower, money to purchase a quad stroller at another, and a lot of essentials like diapers!
At 28 weeks, I still was amazingly on my feet. My belly started to become a hindrance, knocking over my coffee and on more then one occasion hitting Evie and pushing her a couple of feet to the side or over completely. I have a stain in my Bible from my coffee and made sure to label it with the date and cause so that I would always remember that moment. Night time was mildly uncomfortable, but I was still resting well. Knowing that the babies could come at anytime I was in full “organize the Andrews household” mode. The cribs were assembled. Baby bags packed. Diaper station ready. Even baby food was organized.
Only one week later (29 weeks) I was complaining of the difficulty of sleeping. Restless leg syndrome came on in full force as did heartburn. A lot of my friends have told me how full they started to feel due to baby taking over stomach space, however, that was NOT the case for me. I was indeed hungry ALL the time. At my OB appointment the baby belly measured 33 weeks, which seemed low for me. My doctor told me that this was because my belly was not only growing forward but I was wide too. This shouldn’t have surprised me as the babies tended to be transverse instead of up and down.
We had another 1.5 hour ultrasound and met with the specialist. This was a meeting that was I very much anticipating because we would be discussing my preferences for the birth, which was going to be a scheduled C-section. (Yes, triplets have been born vaginally but it is like Russian roulette in that if even 1 baby doesn’t turn head down, or if any heartbeats decrease, or my uterus doesn’t work as an efficient contractor then I would end up with a C-Section anyhow. Plus, Ella was butt breech the entire pregnancy with no signs of changing.) The specialist didn’t so much as “listen” to my desires for their birth as humor me. I don’t think he cared one wit about MY needs and desires. Pictures of the babies being born was met with a NO. Hospital policy or his agenda ruled over anything I would’ve liked or asked for, even though I had done a ton of research about c-sections and birth plans prior to our meeting. I read those plans the other day and I don’t believe any of it was crazy or unreasonable. It was the second worst doctor appointment we had. With my stress level so high it was no surprise I started to getting very mild contractions all the way home from the appointment. Normal pregnancy complaints abound at week 30, feeling hot, tired, stretched, and RLS.
At 31 weeks I’m tired but showing NO signs of premature contractions. At this point they start doing stress tests on the babies and all are passing with flying colors. My activities are slowing down as carrying this load is exhausting. Even though I was not working out during the pregnancy it still was great on my heart, which was strengthened to a runner’s heart rate, which I thought was pretty cool. Shawn ran a half marathon to get such a low heart rate “all” I did was carry triplets.
Surprise! 33 weeks and still no impending signs of going into labor. I bet that “gloom and doom” doctor would’ve been SHOCKED!!!!! All the things I’ve already written about were still going on. The baby’s movements were still good. My belly was moving and shaking. Full of knees and elbows. We were surprised on our now weekly US to see that Grant at the very top still had plenty of room that flipping around was not yet impossible.
At 33.5 weeks things got “interesting.” This is when the ultrasound measurements of the umbilical cords started to show that Grant especially was not receiving as much blood as he should. This will cause decreased growth and if it worsens to the point that the placenta pulls blood from him…death. The hypothesis for this is that it is related to the positioning of the triplets placenta’s which were on the front of my belly. Thus as my belly enlarged the placenta’s were stretched and strained, becoming less efficient in their job as nutrient providers. Therefore, I received steroids to mature their lungs faster and they recommended a C-Section immediately. Shawn and I chose to be monitored every other day instead and went home. Some days the measurements were better, sometimes the same. A week after our initial news (July 20th) we returned to the specialty hospital with bags packed, “just in case.” Grants (and now Ella’s) numbers were about the same and their recommendations were the same. We chose to hold out, preferring that I be hospitalized for daily monitoring and Shawn drove the 2 hours back home. His plan was to return on that Friday for a visit.
My day in the hospital always started with an early stress test and visit with the doctor. Nothing changed except Grant’s positioning. Left, right, up down…he moved A LOT. The rest of the days I was free to wander the hospital, read, etc. I was under no physical restrictions as I had not dilated even 0.5 cm. I’m sure I was a sight to behold in the gift shop. On the morning of July 23rd this all changed for us. Shawn and I had both agreed that if the ultrasound readings indicated no flow (or minimal) then we would proceed with the C-Section. Thus, on this Friday morning at 35 weeks pregnant, plans began to deliver the triplets at 1:30p. Calls were made and Shawn, about to leave for work, had the patients rescheduled. More on their birth in Part Three.
Did you ever have to make a decision that wasn’t the choice of your physician? How has that impacted you life journey?