Friday, October 2, 2009
Show and Tell: She's Baaaaack.
You know who she is. Wemberly is back.
For those of you unfamiliar, Wemberly is a little white mouse in an awesome children's book written by Kevin Henkes called "Wemberly Worried." I knew the book when I was in education but was reintroduced to it by my friend at Just Another Infertile. We are both Wemberlies. What do Wemberlies do? We worry. All the time. About all sorts of things, but in this case, pregnancy. Pregnancy, miscarriages, still birth, TTTS. You name it. If it can go wrong in a pregnancy, Wemberly reminds me of it.
Today I am 30 weeks and 5 days pregnant with our three boys. 23 days away from my scheduled C-section. We are in the home stretch, on the last leg, the finish line is in sight. (Choose your sports metaphor.) And although the likelihood of TTTS is teeny tiny now, and if the babies were born today, they would most likely be just fine, I am worried. What could I possibly be worried about? I am glad you asked! Today, I am worried about sudden and unforeseeable fetal death and Tetanus (I dropped a kitchen knife on my foot yesterday). Let me explain.
After crossing the threshold of Week 30, I began to relax. I pulled tags from clothes previously untouched and unwashed. I put art up in the nursery. I let myself get excited. Then suddenly, She was back. Wemberly is back, and has taken up residence in my subconscious. She keeps reminding me that anything can happen. People lose babies at the end of pregnancy. Abruptions are more common with multiples. She seems to implore me: "YOU CANNOT STOP WORRYING YET!" And while I admit to always having been a worrier in the extreme, even as a child, it has become worse. And I have a theory about that. Infertility conjured Wemberly.
My pregnancy with my daughter was a breeze: easily conceived, carried and born. Easy as pie! Pregnancy is so EASY! What I was meant to do! Then we started trying for number two. After a few months of wacky cycles, we managed to get pregnant again. At our ten week ultrasound, we found there was no heartbeat- and no baby at all- it had been a blighted ovum. Deeply painful, but we felt many couples had one miscarriage and it was not indicative of a bigger problem. Then we got pregnant again! The next month! Meant to be. We saw our daughter's heartbeat three times before the day when I laid on the table and was told the baby was "quiet." She had Trisomy 18, we later discovered. Then on to Clomid. No luck. Then IUI's with Clomid. On IUI #2, a BFP! Beta came back at 5, however. A chemical pregnancy. Then fallopian tubes removed. IVF is our only option.
It was during this time that the cute white mouse Wemberly began to chatter in my ear. The worries began to overtake the hope. Moving through IVF was a true test in my ability to work through each worry, one at a time. Then the discovery of triplets brought many new worries to life, each with their own statistics, likelihood and outcomes stamped on my brain. For me, knowing more is better, and I have become a master of navigating clinical studies and Perinatology journals. I know the survival rates for triplets born at each week of gestation.
Since the milestone of 30 weeks passed, and the survival rates went up, I am not so worried about them being born too early. Now I am worried that something will happen before they are born. When I don't feel each baby moving, I become nervous. I can tell who is moving accurately most of the time, so I will occasionally have to wake a baby up, just to calm myself down. As soon as an ultrasound begins, I hold my breath while the sonographer searches for heart tones on everyone. I am terrified to ever hear the words, "the baby is quiet" again. I have wanted to be pregnant for so very long, and love looking at my belly, full of babies. Although I know this will be my last pregnancy unless the unthinkable happens, I want it to speed up. I want to hold my sons, and watch them breathe, and know they are HERE. They are alive and ours.
Unfortunately, the statistics on "unforeseeable and sudden fetal death" are sparse. I am aware of how extremely rare it is, but know too well, in life and in the ALI community, that it does happen. I discussed this concern yesterday with Dr. P who said, "While it does happen, the risk is low for you. We see the babies twice a week and monitor them closely." I know this should be comforting. I should be comfortable with this answer. Babies are not always born to be brought home, though. I desperately want ours to come home with us, breathing in and out, crying and giggling and making our family complete.
I cannot wait to meet this little boy and his perfect brothers. (Nose, lips and eyes, with his arm over his face.)
Yesterday, all of the boys looked wonderful. Their little hearts were a-beating and they showed us they were breathing. Babies A and B (the twins) were both 3 pounds, 6 ounces, and Baby C was 3 pounds, 8 ounces! Big for triplets and growing at a wonderful rate. All passed their BPP's with flying colors! I know I "should" stop worrying, but until these boys are nestled in our arms, I will continue to be a Wemberly.
Go see what the rest of the class is showing today at Mel's Show and Tell!