*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