Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hope, creeping in

*Thanks to each and every one of you who commented on our last post and gave us so much support. I loved reading all of those comments, and keep looking them over again. Whoever put it up on LFCA, a special thank you!*

Since we learned on Saturday night that we are not carrying twins, as we'd thought for four weeks, but triplets, it has been a cycle of disbelief, shock, excitement and acceptance. I felt comfortable with the slightly increased risk of fraternal twins, but now we are dealing with identical twins with a fraternal triplet, which comes with many more risks.

The identical twins can have a unique problem (since they most likely share a placenta) called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, where one twin "donates" its blood to the other through the placenta, making both ill. One or both twins can die from this condition which affects 10-20% of identical twin pregnancies. I have done quite a bit of reading about it and in the last ten years, many new treatments have shown promise, such as a laser ablation surgery that operates on the placenta while the babies are in utero. There are other therapies that can help, and if worst comes to worst, they will sometimes tie the cord of the sickest twin, sacrificing it and saving the healthier twin. This sounds terrible and it is, but it is does not occur with every pregnancy. The MFM clinic I will be going to starting on Monday (woo hoo!) is the only clinic in six states to perform the laser surgery.

Also the risk of preterm labor and low birth weight is higher with triplets. They are happy if triplets get to 32 weeks. Bed rest, medications, and cerclage are a few treatments that can help delay labor, but they are no guarantee.

Now that I have laid out the biggest risks, and my biggest worries, let me say: we are getting used to the idea. At first, we started talking about reduction which has its own risk of miscarriage. But I've read a lot and talked to some helpful nurses and doctors, and I am starting to wonder: can we do this? My husband very much worries about the time after they are born which would be INSANE, even with help, but I worry mostly about the pregnancy, clearly. I worry that I'd be on bed rest for a long time and my daughter would hate it.

Despite all these worries, we are starting to feel that we do not want to reduce. I have no religious convictions about it whatsoever, and am completely pro-choice, but I am not sure if I can do it. After seeing the tiny gummy bear-like shapes floating around inside of me, and the strong flickering of all three of their hearts, I don't know if I have it in my heart to stop it. We adore them already. That said, if our MFM doctors advise us that we really should or must, we will reconsider.

For now, I am trying to make myself eat because suddenly, the nausea is much worse, and cannot sleep. I get so overheated at night, that I open our window and stand in front of it while the cool air comes in. The only time I sleep well is from about 4 am on, and my daughter gets up at 6. After the scary bleeding, I am so happy to have symptoms to reassure me! I am reading triplet blogs, with good and sad endings, and learning more about identical twins. I am being hopeful, and am secretly chanting in my mind: "We can do this." I hope I am right.

"Once you choose hope, anything is possible." -Christopher Reeve


  1. I am still in awe of this news. It literally makes me cry with happiness. I hope you can keep all three, because they are truly a miracle and I believe that the universe brings these things to you for a reason. You are meant to be their mommy, they need you.

    I pray for you and light incense on your behalf every night and ask Gwan Yin to watch over all of you.

  2. I am still shocked to here this news for you.
    I am quite facinated by multiple births.
    So I read a few blogs with quads or triplets.
    I had a feeling someone I was following, was going to expect triplets or quads sometime soon.
    I am honestly telling the truth here!!!
    The very next day you announced you had 3 on board.


    Praying for you to have a happy and healthy pregnancy for you and your little miracles

  3. I too am in shock and awe. I cannot wait to read along as your story continues to unfold!

  4. WOW! That makes me nervous as we transfered 2 embies and had AWESOME chances of having twins however they've only seen one on ultrasound. We're 11 weeks tomorrow and we keep having a feeling that they're going to pick up another on ultrasound later in pregnancy, lol.

  5. "We can do this. I hope I am right."

    Well I know you are right! I have seen your motering in action and you my dear can do it all!

  6. I definitely think you can do this!! My mom carried triplets to 37 weeks and that was 27 years ago so anything is possible this day in age! I can't wait to follow your journey! Congrats!

  7. Hope is an amazing thing... cling to it! Sending prayers and good thoughts from afar!

  8. You are an absolute inspiration. Your thoughtfulness and strength are so cool. And I hear ginger is great for morning sickness - my friend that carried trips made ginger syrup and lived of it for the first trimester!

  9. I love the quote at the end! I believe it - 100%
    I am glad you are doing your homework and looking at the situation from every angle. I can't wait to hear how your appt goes! Good luck hon!

  10. Hope.

    Without it, how would any of us who have struggled keep moving forward?

    Continuing to think about you...

  11. I can't believe there are triplets - LOL. Congratulations! Stay hopeful and I am keeping you in my prayers!

  12. You can totally do this!

    I guess this explains even further all of your extreme symptoms these past few weeks.

    So excited for you guys.

  13. Everything is going to be fine!!! I"m praying for yall honey!! ((HUGS))

  14. Hold on to that hope! I wish I could promise you that everything will be fine, but of course I can't. I will say that in my small town, a friend who graduated from high school with me has three incredibly healthy, fat, adorable triplets who she carried to 38 weeks. The only reason she delivered then was that she basically begged our doctor (we saw the same MFM doc) to take them out, she was so huge and uncomfortable. So I know first-hand that not all triplet stories end as mine did. Some do, indeed, have very happy endings. :) I truly hope that yours is among those stories.

    I understand completely how you feel about reduction. Even if someone told me that we would lose all three babies, I don't think we could have elected to reduce. Bizarre to say, I know, but once you have those lives growing within it's just next to impossible to end one (or more) of them.

    My heart--and hope!--are very much with you and your family. xxoo

  15. I have fraternal triplets, and know a lot of people on both sides of the reduction issue - women who did reduce, and women who did not. Women who had identicals and women who did not. Women who had one placenta with their identicals and women who had two placentas (lower risk). If you would like to talk about the reduction issue (or about triplets in general - I've been there done that), please feel free to email me. I only just saw your posts saying that you've got three a-brewin' in there and I know how shocking that can be. (I was first told I had twins and later found out I had triplets).

    Please don't hesitate to write if you need some venting space or advice or just a virtual shoulder: chezperky [at] gmail [dot] com

  16. Yay for hope!
    I've been reading Ms. Perky's (above comment) blog for a long time. She's one awesome woman. Listen to anything she has to say.

  17. Good luck to you! I'm wishing you and your three miracles a Happy, Healthy 9 Months!!!!


  18. Carrie, you.can.do.this! *cheer* I'm living all of the overwhelmed emotions too right now.

    Like you, I'm pro-choice and we have discussed reduction, but regardless of how scared I feel about the triplet risks, I just can't bring myself to seriously consider it.

    After educating myself about reduction on several forums and online, and reading that they inject potassium chloride into the baby's heart, I just knew we couldn't go through with a reduction.

    The only circumstances under which I might reconsider would be if the baby had some profound abnormality that would seriously impact the baby's quality of life or lifespan, or if all of their lives were at serious risk.

    This is such a personal decision, and nobody can give advice about what is right for you and your family. Just trust your feelings.

    Thank you for all the beautiful comments on my blog. xoxo