Thursday, March 18, 2010

One month and two days ago

In an operating room full of people, with a window through which I could see the softly falling snow, I heard my firstborn daughter's cry for the very first time. I knew her voice immediately: it was the unmistakable cry of my baby girl.
Her sisters soon followed, each with an equally vigorous greeting for the world. Marina was 4 lb 9 oz, Leila 5 lb 6 oz and our little Ariana weighed in at 4 lb 7 oz.
As soon as I was out of recovery I was wheeled up to the NICU and got to hold them all for 15 minutes or so before I was taken to my room for the night.
They were healthy and perfect and spent less than 24 hours under observation in the NICU before being moved to the regular newborn nursery on our floor for the duration of my stay. They were quite the celebrities; the first triplets in the collective memories of the nurses who cared for us who all made it to the regular nursery. I was fortunate to have a quick and easy recovery from my c-section and I will always cherish every second of those first four days we spent in the hospital getting to know each other.

So began our journey as a family of five.

I'm finding this parenting gig incredibly intense in the most wonderful ways and I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to continue to share our story in this space. My heart is just too tender from growing three sizes and the details feel too personal. However, I didn't want to drop off the face of the planet without letting you know how things turned out. Suffice it to say that having these three babies is the best thing I have ever done and I am so grateful to have the chance to be their mom. Good luck in your own journeys and thank you for stopping by and offering me encouragement and support along the way.

Monday, February 15, 2010


This was the state of the belly at 34 1/2 weeks, the day of our last prenatal appointment. They had a hard time getting the fetal weight estimates because the babies were so big and intertwined, but it's looking like they might all hit the 5 pound mark; we'll see tomorrow (tomorrow - egad!).

A nice surprise that occurred over the last week is that all the swelling in my legs and feet disappeared, to the tune of a 10 pound weight loss from the water bloat. I've actually felt fantastic the past week and have had the best appetite of my pregnancy, which is ironic as tomorrow I can't eat or drink anything after midnight and my c-section isn't scheduled until after lunch. Hopefully nerves will overcome the hunger and hypoglycemia, otherwise I'm going to be one grouchy mama-to-be.

The babies have been super-active lately, pushing each other around, finding their way under my ribs and being generally entertaining. I can't wait to meet them in person.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

33 weeks

Holy moly, there are going to be three tiny babies living in my house very soon! I have to admit that I'm starting to freak out just a little. Up until now it's all been about managing the pregnancy and hitting those all-important viability milestones. At my appointment last week the doctor gave me clear instructions about who and when to call and when to head in to labor and delivery should I go into labor. I gave him a breezy answer about how I don't plan to go into labor before my scheduled c-section date in two weeks and he looked at me in all seriousness and said "you realize you've passed the average delivery date and these babies can come at any time?" I thought that they would try to stop labor before 35 weeks but apparently not, they'll just deliver them. Gulp. He gave me a course of steroids for the babies' lungs just in case.

Overall, things are going great; the babies continue to measure in the upper 70% percentile for size which is awesome, I managed to work until last Friday and now have two weeks off before the delivery (another reason for those babies to stay put) and other than being tired and swollen and suffering with a horrible rash due to PUPPP for over a week now, I feel good. Speaking of PUPPP, it is horrific. It itches like the fire of a 1000 mosquito bites (and I'm allergic), it covers my feet, legs, lower abdomen and the back of my arms and is as hideous to look at as it is itchy. Combine it with the swelling that happens in my legs over the course of a day and it is misery of the highest proportions. I'm on my second prescription steroid cream and while it helps, I still wake up every hour or two at night scratching my skin raw and have to get up and put cold compresses on my skin. The only thing that helped for the two days I was being treated were the intramuscular betamethasone shots I received to help the babies' lungs mature but once that was out of my system the itching came back with a vengeance. I actually made my husband scrub out the bathtub and help me in and out of the bath so I could soak in tepid water which helps relax me so I can at least get to sleep at night. The "good" thing is that it should go away when the babies come out.

Our home renovations are nearly done, we're just waiting for our new bathroom window to be installed. It was very trying having the work done while heavily pregnant and unable to move any boxes around myself, but now that it's over, we love the results and I'm so glad we did it. I cannot imagine going through that with small children around. I'm having a couple of friends come over this weekend to sort through all the baby stuff I've been given and then I might be able to declare us nearly organized.

I have some great belly shots, but I couldn't find the camera cord, so they'll have to wait.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

29 weeks and counting down

Time is flying by, I can't believe I will get to meet my babies in just six weeks! It was a huge relief to sail past the 28 week mark with no issues; I finally feel like I am counting down to their arrival rather than up to various milestones. At our most recent appointment they estimated the babies' weights and they are all in the 90th percentile for multiples which is great news. Still no signs of pre-term labor or other health concerns on my part, so that's wonderful. I was so afraid that I'd be on bed rest at this point and although I'm slowing down and getting more tired, I'm grateful that I'm still able to lead my normal life and continue working for the time being.

We spent our winter break having work done on our house which was chaotic but productive. The babies' room is now painted (and free of hideous '60s era wall paper) and we found a dresser that will double as a changing table so now I have somewhere to start putting all the baby clothes that people have been giving me. My long-awaited laundry closet has been built and the rest of the basement painted and carpeted so we now have usable guest room and office space. Next week the bathroom remodels start, but hopefully all will be complete by the end of the month.

My appetite is still not great but I manage to eat at least one decent meal per day. The nausea/food aversion is worst in the morning when nothing appeals and my gag reflex is really strong but I'm usually able to eat by lunch time. In terms of foods that I can enjoy, I am able to eat meat, beans, rice and the like so we've been treating ourselves to Brazilian, Greek and BBQ of late. Too many fresh fruits and vegetables cause me some digestive problems, but I fit in what I can. Sleeping has been challenging as I find it harder to breath even propped up on a pile of pillows, but I generally wake up feeling pretty rested. Still thirsty all the time and loving the icy beverages (rootbeer, seltzer and Gatorade) plus just chewing on ice cubes all day long. I've started noticing a tightening of my belly that must be Braxton-Hicks contractions; they're not painful in any way, but it's odd to see my belly seize up and squeeze around the babies.

Last week we visited a family with 10 month old triplet girls (plus an 11 year-old, a 14 year-old, two greyhounds, a cat and two cockatiels). It was really fun to see them in action and the little girls were lovely. Mom and Dad were really encouraging and supportive and appeared to love their chaotic lives; it was reassuring to see first hand that life with multiples can be fun and rewarding. They gave us a couple of boxes of clothes and three bouncy seats that their girls had grown out of and we also bought their Triple Decker Stroller. Next up, car seats.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

24 weeks

Twenty-four weeks and holding strong. Dr. Awesome told me at my last appointment that if my cervix hasn't budged by now, it probably isn't going to open prematurely and took me off the weekly monitoring schedule. Or, as he puts it, the "million dollar ultrasound machine" schedule. Now when I go in every two to three weeks, he checks the babies for movement and heartbeats using the "hundred thousand dollar machine." I don't get to have any more million dollar scans until the babies are big enough to weigh and they start doing the biophysical profiles. While I know this is the best possible news, I'm going to miss those high resolution scans and weekly confirmation that the babes are alive and kicking.

Fortunately, they now let me know on a regular basis that they are alive by kicking the heck out of me. Baby number 3 is the most active (or perhaps just has the most room); her territory is the upper right quadrant of my abdomen. In fact, she is pounding out a little rhythm as I am typing this. I also feel babies 1 & 2, but as they are both on the left side and kind of overlapping, it's harder to distinguish who is responsible for the movement unless it occurs at the very top or bottom of my belly. I've been able to see and feel them from the outside but so far my husband has missed the show.

I had the follow-up appointment with my new cardiologist and my heart is fine, so that's a relief. The new cardiologist was quite the character. I told her that they are all girls and she turned to my husband and said "poor you" to which my husband replied "as long as they all love their daddy." Without missing a beat, she turned to me and said, "oh, they always love the daddy; it's the mommy that they hate." She had a couple of other good lines, we quite liked her. In other pregnancy fun, I'm retaining a fair amount of water and having a lot of swelling in my legs and feet. Still dealing with mild nausea and now reflux and figuring at this point that it's not going away until after the babies are born.

We're still working on setting a price with our contractor so we can get a few improvements done on our house, hopefully they'll be starting work in a week or two. I ordered fabrics for the girls' room and have started to look at baby gear but haven't bought anything yet. I figure that as long as I have it all picked out, we'll have plenty of time to buy things as the time they will be needed draws nearer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

22 weeks

Finally, a belly shot to prove that I am indeed pregnant:
Phew, I'm tired. I just returned from a trip to the west coast to see my family. The babies went crazy on the flights there, kicking and squirming like I had never felt before, must have been the changes in pressure. It was a good trip, but a little more difficult to travel at this stage in pregnancy than I had anticipated (see photo). Airplane seats were uncomfortable, walking through airports dragging my bag was tiring and having to fit into all sorts of unfamiliar compact cars was a challenge. Despite the minor inconveniences, it was fun to show off my bump and I was always mindful that this would be my last solo trip for some time to come, so I tried to get as much quality time as I could with family and friends.

My mom and I took a trip to the most wonderful wool shop where she treated me to gorgeous wool to make sweaters, hats and booties for the babes. She did not, however, approve of my choice of deep plum, mauve and sage green as she is still firmly of the opinion that appropriate colors for babies are white, cream, pale pink and pale blue. Ahem.

Although I somehow managed to gain four pounds this week (!) I am still dealing with background nausea and threw up twice. It's more irritating that incapacitating, but it would be nice to just feel "normal" again. My monitoring appointment on Wednesday turned out to be another fetal survey which was very difficult to get through as I can't lay on my back for more than five minutes without feeling like I'm going to pass out. I had to keep rolling from side to side and sitting up during the exam and wasn't really able to concentrate on watching the babies on the screen because I was so uncomfortable. They all look fantastic and are starting to look pretty darn cute, if I say so myself. Cervix is still holding strong and Dr. Awesome told me everything was looking perfect and that I didn't have to come back for another two weeks.

I did get some sad news: my cardiologist died this week very unexpectedly. It was quite upsetting, even though we'd only met him once, both my husband and I had enjoyed talking to him and felt very comfortable having me in his care. And his poor family, losing him right before the holidays, so very difficult. It was a sobering reminder of how short life is and how precious these three new little lives inside of me truly are.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

20 weeks

I just returned from my weekly monitoring appointment. My cervix is still holding strong and all three babes are looking good. I was catching up on some other triplet blogs and realize how different the management of triplet pregnancies is depending on the doctor and the hospital. So many women seem to be put on mandatory bed rest, or are told how much weight to gain or otherwise terrorized into very conservative behaviour without any indications that it is necessary. My doctor, who delivers ~30 sets of triplets per year, has fully informed me of the possible complications of this pregnancy, and monitors me accordingly, but has put no restrictions on my activities. I really appreciate this sort of approach; I know I'm in a high risk category of pregnancy and I feel well taken care of, but no on is trying to instill unnecessary fear in me. Good thing, too, because I am a total worrier and prone to assume the worst.

For example, last Friday I came home from a busy day/week of work and noticed that my ankles were so swollen that I couldn't see my ankle bones. I freaked out, assuming that I was developing congestive heart failure (I am being following by a cardiologist, after all) or pre-eclampsia and was going to die, lose the babies or both. Seriously, I was sobbing uncontrollably. My bewildered but ever rational husband consulted Dr. Google and informed me that this sort of swelling was normal for any pregnancy and managed to calm me down. At my appointment today, I asked Dr. Awesome about it and informed me I had possible courses of action: (1) to ignore it, or (2) to put my feet up and that whichever option I chose, the swelling was only going to get worse as the pregnancy progressed. Can you see why I love Dr. Awesome so much?

Everything else pregnancy-related is going well, I still have loads of energy, good appetite despite the mild lingering nausea and am occaisonally feeling the top two babies move, although it's a lot more pinching and sharp poking than the delightful tickles that most people seem to experience at this point. Still no food cravings (I'm being to think that this cravings business is a convenient excuse to eat a lot of junk food :) although I do enjoy my daily ration of the extruded chick pea snacks that we get at the local Indian grocery.