Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is that two????

These are the words I spoke on this day one year ago. Yep.....December 18th is the day we found out there was more than one "in there." It's also my mom's birthday today - what a gift she received last year!! I'll apologize in advance for the length of this post -- this is more for my memories than anything else. While I'll never forget the day, I'm sure some of the details will be forgotten....I know I already don't remember everything. Feel free to check back another day for my next post....or read on. (There is a cute picture at the very end, though!)

I knew I was pregnant when I went to this 6-week appointment. Let me rephrase - I had blood tests in previous weeks that indicated I was pregnant but as we walked in to the doctor's office, I was scared to death there wasn't going to be anything there. I had been down that road before just 6.5 months earlier (although I never made it past the second blood test, I did end up in the OR so I'm sure you can see why) - I was a bundle of nerves. If you ask D, I was more than a bundle. There had been many tears shed the night before because I was so scared of what we were going to see - rather what we weren't going to see.

We waited in the waiting room, appearing to be patient and they finally called my name. We had to stop for the routine - temperature, blood pressure. My heart rate was sky high, a telltale sign of my nerves since I was doing a pretty good job of keeping myself composed on the outside. My stomach is churning now just thinking about how I felt that day! The nurse showed us to an ultrasound room and we waited for what seemed like an eternity and it was probably only a few minutes. My doctor, Dr. N, came in and we got started.

Let me back up to earlier that morning when D and I were eating breakfast at a near-by establishment. I was having a moment of excitement and it was the first time I think either of us said out loud "What if it's more than one?". Of course, we laughed it off despite the fact we knew there was a chance it could be multiples. Throughout my visits to my doctor and with changes to my treatment they always brought up the chance of multiples. They spoke to me in percentages and because of the nature of my work, I evaluated those percentages like I do every day and determined those percentages weren't material. I didn't completely dismiss them - but I did think "Oh - that will never happen to me." Then D said the unthinkable -- what if it's triplets. Ha! Triplets? Yeah - we have a better chance of winning the lottery. I said that. I actually said that.

So we're in the ultrasound room getting started. I'm shaking. D is silent.....despite the fact that I'm almost squeezing his hand off. Dr. N begins the ultrasound but forgets to turn on the monitor that D and I can see, but he turned it on before he said anything. At this point, I've seen enough ultrasounds of my lower abdomen to know, generally, what I'm seeing and after a split second of silence and a huge jump in my chest, I say...."Is that two?????" You know that feeling of surprise where your body feels hot and cold almost at the same time? SO had that feeling in that moment. As if that weren't enough.....Dr. N replies, "Yes......................and number three is right over here." Triplets?????? Did I hear that correctly?? We were quiet for a time and Dr. N was getting measurements of all three, all the while saying " My goodness. Triplets." Tell me about it!

After finishing the measurements, Dr. N focused on the heartbeats. For the life of me I can't remember if we were able to hear the heartbeat that day -- I'm imagining we were able to but I know we could see the little pulses in baby A and baby B. The third did not have a detectable heartbeat and Dr. N told us that it could be because there wasn't a heartbeat or it could be due to the location above A and B so we weren't sure at that point whether it was truly triplets or if it was twins. So he finishes the ultrasound and we talk about the next step - return in a week to monitor "baby" C and the others and he talked a little bit about the risks we would be facing with carrying multiples. Most of that conversation was a blur but I do remember the words "selective reduction" being thrown out there as he talked about carrying triplets. I knew he was just doing his job as a medical professional and explaining to me all of my options, and although we were still in shock at the thought of two, possibly three, babies, I refused to even entertain thoughts of that procedure. D agreed.

As a testament to how fantastic that office is, the nurse stayed in with us after the Dr.left just to make sure we were okay. We were ecstatic, but we were also still very shell shocked. I was still shaking..........and laughing at the irony of how I was crying the night before because I was afraid there wasn't one baby. The nurse told us to take as long as we wanted so we could enjoy the moment and she asked me if I needed something to drink. I told her I was fine and D said "But I'd like one..." You had to be there to get the humor, but it was quite funny.

We left with our ultrasound pictures and an appointment for the following week since they wanted to monitor me very closely until they were sure it was twins or triplets. And huge smiles on our faces. It was still morning.....but there was no way I was going to work that day! My sister works near the doctor's office so D and I stopped by to see her and share our news. I didn't say anything to her -- I laid all 3 sets of pictures (labeled Baby A, B, C) in front of her and told her to read carefully. She flipped!!!!! We chatted for a minute while I told her about the visit and then I called my mom from my sister's speaker phone. She was in a restaurant having birthday breakfast with my dad and Carter.

The conversation goes something like this:
Me: "Hey! We're done!"
Mom: "Do we have a baby?"
Me: "We do - everything looks great!"
Mom: "See.....all that worrying for nothing! Okay - well you go on to work and I'll see you at dinner tonight."
Me: "You didn't ask me how many there are." (Keep in mind....since I had already determined the risk of multiples was "immaterial" - we never really talked much about this possibility with our families).
Mom: "I didn't know I needed to ask how many." "How many?"
Me: "Definitely two. Possibly three."
Mom: "Oh my God. Three????"

Hahaha. It was quite funny. I can imagine the look on her face and we were going to tell her in person, but my sister wanted to hear her reaction. I could hear my dad in the background echoing everything my mom said "Triplets? Who's having triplets? Is that A on the phone???"

The rest of the day is a blur. I know we saw and called close family and friends - we weren't ready to be completely public with the news since it was still early, but how do you keep that a secret??????? We spent the day, and really the next week, with our head in the clouds. After we came down from our high, we started to process what everything meant, but for that week and over Christmas, you couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces.

It would be a cycle of emotions from ultrasound to ultrasound - and we had tons of them. My first trimester was, dare I say, easy. No sickness. None. I wasn't overly tired. My appetite had increased a little, but there was no blaring "symptom" of pregnancy and that was hard for me to process since I knew I was carrying at least 2. I would have a great high right after the ultrasound and as the time went on towards the next ultrasound the nerves would return until, usually the night before, I would find myself in a puddle of tears - convinced, sometimes, that there was something wrong.

As for "baby" C, after our second ultrasound just after Christmas, Dr. N was fairly sure it was not going to develop but he wasn't prepared to tell us he was 100% sure. After that ultrasound, D and I were pretty comfortable in our belief that a heartbeat had never developed and we were at peace with that. I know people handle that kind of situation differently but we accepted it and felt truly blessed that we were going to have twins. Knowing what was in store for us later on really reinforces the fact that things happen for a reason and they happen the way they're supposed to.

So that's that. One year ago, today, was truly the beginning of the biggest change in our lives. What a difference a year makes!!

Happy birthday, Mom! (Grandma!)


Jessica said...

Wow! What a post! I'm sure writing it brought it all back too. What a difference a year makes, right? Makes this time of year so very special...and I'm sure it always will!

Megan W said...

Boy, your experience brings back a LOT of memories! Expecially the conversation about SR. That was about the hardest thing I have ever been through - being told that if we didn't "selectively reduce" one of our precious babies, that we were dooming all 3 to a life of horrible mental and physical defects because I wasn't big/tall enough to carry them much past viability, if that far. Horrible horrible horrible. I am teary thinking about it.