Thursday, August 20, 2015

life, in a nutshell: part III

Just days before Thanksgiving, I had my 'confirmation' ultrasound at the hospital. With three little turkeys cooking, it was time to find a high-risk doctor. This office was home to four perinatologists, one of which came highly recommended time and time again. He was often referred to as 'the best' and his reputation in the high-risk pregnancy world was nothing short of stellar. I had doubts that a doctor so well-known may not be accepting new patients, but as luck would have it, he was. I was to return to the office in two weeks for my first appointment with Dr. Brian Mason. 

Meeting a new doctor for the first time can sometimes be tricky. Not only would I be spending a lot of time in this office, but I was also putting myself and the lives of my three unborn babies in the hands of someone I had never met before. I was ABSOLUTELY seeking the best and was hoping Dr. Mason would live up to his reputation. 

The morning of my appointment, I had an ultrasound and shortly thereafter, I was taken to an exam room. I was soon greeted by Dr. Mason, his P.A. and two medical students. He greeted me with a firm handshake, a friendly smile, and an entourage. I greeted him with a, "How the fuck did this happen?!" He was funny, quick-witted, slightly scatterbrained, and a tad bit cocky.  He was everything I dreamed he would be. When he spoke, people listened and it didn't take long for me to realize that he was, in fact, some sort of high-risk wizard. The man knew his shit. I knew at that moment that this was going to be a match made in triplet pregnancy heaven. 

As I sat there on the exam table, he laid out the basics; the frequency of my appointments and ultrasounds, potential complications, and more or less, the projected timeline of events for the duration of my pregnancy. He was very matter-of-fact and made it well-known that the road I was on was going to be a tough one. He assured me that he wasn't God, but that he would do everything in his power to ensure the health and safety of our pending litter and me. The entire office quickly learned who I was by name and face as I was, at the time, their only patient pregnant with triplets. This office would soon become my home away from home.

As the weeks passed and my pregnancy progressed, we looked forward to finding out the genders. My suspicion of identical twin girls (Baby B and Baby C) and a boy (Baby A) was soon confirmed and we could not have been more excited. My husband always used to say, "I think it would be cool to have twins." He also always dreamed of having a little girl. Luckily for him, it was buy one, get two free in my uterus that day. 

Week to week, this pregnancy was already so different from my first. So much so, it was like being pregnant for the first time all over again. Once I hit about 20 weeks, my stomach began to grow at warp speed. Before I knew it, my belly was already measuring somewhere in the mid-30 week range. At this time, Dr. Mason and I agreed that now would be a good time for me to start my medical leave from work. My early wake up calls and daily routine were beginning to be too much for my body. From here on out, I was on house arrest.

I was really enjoying my time at home with Jake but as I steadily grew, so did my exhaustion and discomfort. I could no longer pick up Jake, give him a bath or lay with him at bedtime. Laundry, walking up and down stairs and cleaning began to feel like I was participating in a triathlon. I soon had to surrender to help and accept the fact that I couldn't physically do a lot of the things I once did. The well-being of these babies depended on my sedentary activity so I soon adopted a sloth-like lifestyle. My life had succumbed to seven to eight hours a day of laying down, eating lunch in my bed, and endless hours of TV. I was beginning to feel like a perfect candidate for TLC's 'My 600lb Life.' 

Throughout a triplet pregnancy, there are several milestone weeks that, ideally, you want to make it to without any complications. First one being 23.5 weeks, which is viability. Despite a major hiccup in my pregnancy, (TTTS aka twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome) all three babies made it to 29 weeks, then 30 weeks, then 32 weeks. An average triplet pregnancy lasts between 29 and 32 weeks. Anything past that is "luck," according to Mason. 

At this point, I had surpassed the norm and we were goin' for the gold. Mason had no doubt that I would be able to make it to 34 weeks. The thought made me want to cry, but I knew I had to just suck it up. My stomach was enormous and painful heavy. Some nights, when all the babies would shift, I swear to God my skin was going to split. Day in and day out, I kept telling myself that this wasn't about me; it never was. It was always all for them. 

Mason took off to the other side of the world for a 10 day vacation and returned just seven days before my 34th week. Upon his return, he got wind of the fact that one week prior, I had been transferred to the Birthing Center for contractions. It was then his P.A. called me to deliver the news that these babies were going to be born on April 20, 2015. Finally, our babies had a birthdate.

 I did it.

1 comment:

  1. Jackie,
    Once again, beautiful story.....they just get better and better xo