87 hours and 14 minutes until my C-section. 12:15 on Monday. Are we really almost there?
A long and reflective post is working in my mind, but I have a feeling this body of mine will not allow me to post it until after the boys' birth. I could give a laundry list of the aches and pains accompanying these last few weeks, along with all the interesting things my body is doing, but mostly, I am grateful. I am so grateful to be here, and so hopeful that the boys will make it until Monday and thrive after they come into this world.
Their breathtaking movements are so encouraging, and their NST's have been wonderful. But. There is always the small chance that something could happen, and I need to hold them in my arms, hear their voices, touch their skin to know they are truly well and here to stay.
Several people have asked the excellent question of why the babies will be born at 34 weeks if I am not in labor. Why not wait until 35 or 36? GREAT QUESTION! And I have a great answer. :)
In every pregnancy, the placenta supplies oxygen and nutrients to the fetus(es) and eventually becomes less efficient at this job. Studies show that multiple babies' lungs and bodies mature faster, but their growth slows considerably after week 30-32 because the placenta(s) have done their job and cease delivering enough nutrients to the babies. In our case, we have seen the rate of growth on all of the boys slow because of both the space limitations and the placental deterioration.
Our doctor's office will NOT deliver triplets after 34-35 weeks. If the rate of growth stays good, they will go closer to 35 but not after. This book, called "Triplet Pregnancies and their Consequences" asserts that the fetal death rate for triplets is the LOWEST when they are born between weeks 35 and 35. While getting to 34 is great because of the increased lung development and eating abilities, going past 35 puts the babies at other risks, and they generally (according to my doctors, and what I've read) do better outside the womb.
In the case of our boys, their weight has gone from being in the 40th percentile to less than the 20th in two weeks. The Doppler studies which examine the quality of blood flow from the placenta into the babies' cords, bellies and hearts has become elevated- they are having to work harder to get as much nutrition. When Dr. P told me this on Tuesday, of course I asked if we should deliver NOW? Was this dangerous? She said, "No, not dangerous. It just gives us the information that they are going to be ready to come at 34, and that their placenta is aging." She said it is not a bad sign, it is just indicative of what is happening. Because their fluid, NST's and BPP's continue to be wonderful, she (and I) feel good about getting to 34 weeks, which is THREE DAYS AWAY!!
Again, this is only my understanding from our doctors and nurses, as well as the neonatologist we spoke with. I know some who have 6 pound, 36 week triplets, but it is not going to be us, and that is okay.
I seem to have "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffet stuck in my head, once again.
"Come Monday, it'll be all right.
Come Monday, I'll be holding you tight..."
If you need to give it a listen, here you go.