January 1st 2012:
After a week of contractions (what I expected to just be Braxton Hicks) I was concerned when I had strange lower back pain New Year’s Eve night. It lasted for about an hour and went away as fast as it came. I told myself to go back to sleep and see how I felt in the morning. I couldn’t shake the fears so we packed up Nora and dropped her off at church with friends and continued on to the ER at 10:30am.
I had an initial ultrasound in the ER with the doctor there and Nate was able to see the babies moving around and they got normal heart rates on all three. The ER doctor was swamped with some sort of major trauma shortly after meeting with us so we saw him very little after his initial exam. He ordered IV fluids while he attempted to get ahold of the OB on call (who was, of course, in a procedure and took a very long time to respond as well). The IV team had to come after a failed attempt with from the nurse and even the expert had to try several times to get the needle in place. It was a tiny gauge which meant I was going to be there for quite some time to get the fluids ordered.
Shortly after the IV was set we were sent to an actual ultrasound tech in radiology. They were able to take a closer look at the babies as well as measuring my cervix with ultrasound. The tech gave every sign that things were fine and we walked (wheeled) away with relief that it was going to be fine. My cervix was still thick and high according to the tech.
Nate was going to head out and get Nora but I had a very painful contraction as he was preparing to leave the room and decided to stay which I was grateful for. They were taking my breath away and it scared me.
By the time the OB doctor came down from the Birth Place it was after 4pm. The last thing to do was an actual cervical exam. We expected the best after seeing the ultrasound ourselves. We were shocked to hear that she thought I was dilated to 1cm. WHAT?! How could this be? How could this happen? It’s too soon! She left the room to call the perinatologist and the other OB on the floor and get some advice. At only 17+ weeks there was nothing she could do for me but she wasn’t sure what to do with the triplet information. We took a deep breath. She returned and said that she spoke to the perinatologist and they both agreed that I should be admitted overnight for observation. I was stunned. Part of me was horrified with worry/fear and part of me was relieved that if SOMEthing was happening that at least I’d be in the right place.
She went over all of the details that no parent wants to hear. The high risk of miscarriage this early with triplets. The fact that they could do absolutely nothing to help me but observe what my body was doing and be there for me if something bad were to happen. She didn’t want me to be home if I was truly going into active labor. Thoughts that are hard to push to the back of your brain after a doctor says them to your face.
Nate left to get Nora. Friends were watching Nora all day and she needed to be with her daddy. He had to get dinner for her and pack up some things for me anyway so he headed out. I sat in the room alone until they had a room ready for me at the Birth Place. That took nearly 2.5 hours. It’s a long time to sit alone in the room with the fear of going into labor. I called my mom and she comforted me as much as she could between dropped calls in the ER where there was very little reception.
By the time I got into my room, Nate had organized my things at home and was on the way in to visit with Nora. I had a bit of a hard time on my way up to the room. They brought me up in the bed and took the same elevator that they had used to take me to emergency surgery when I was there to deliver my daughter 2.5 years ago. Then took me to the room next to where I stayed in recovery last time. I was thankful that the room this time faced a totally different direction. I suffered PTSD after nearly dying of HELLP syndrome with my daughter and it was hard to be back in those rooms in another scary situation. Even the smell of the soap bothered me. I kept praying for God to take those memories and replace them with thoughts of the bubbly 2 year old that was on her way to see me. It got better the longer that I was there thankfully.
Nora was such a sweetheart when she came to see me. She loved climbing in the big bed to cuddle. I saved the ice cream from my dinner tray for her and she thought that was pretty exciting. She had a bit of a hard time leaving (as did I) but eventually the thought of jumping in the elevator with daddy gave enough incentive for her to skip out of the room.
The doctor visited me again that night and gave me the same overview of risks and the fact that she didn’t have a “magic ball” to answer any of the what-ifs of the situation. The night went ok although I had a really hard time sleeping with the IV fluid running all night. I saw my doctor in the morning and she wanted to see me the next day for another exam.
January 2nd 2012:
My mom came to help out for the week (which I’m eternally grateful for) and came to my visit the next day (and was tremendous help with Nora while we were there). The Dr found that I was still 1cm but was glad to hear that the contractions had slowed since I was off of my feet and taking in more fluids. So her final decision was to continue with bed rest until the babies are born. She again had no answers for how this could all evolve but was at least hopeful that it could still be ok. She wasn’t able to do anything more than suggest that I stay off of my feet and avoid pressure on my cervix at all costs.
I’m allowed to: go to the bathroom, take a shower and get water/food. Everything else is restricted. Even sitting is limited.
Mom helped me sort and organize as much as she could and was non-stop playmate for Nora. I couldn’t have asked for a better help in a time that was challenging – and continues to be. I’ve spent my time so far trying to organize child care for Nora and figure out some sort of system for staying sane on the couch. I know that will become more and more of a challenge as this continues. After a few short days on bed rest my body hurts and I can already feel muscle loss. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared about what this is going to do to my body. I already had fears about a triplet pregnancy but with this added to it it sort of feels as if my entire body will be sacrificed for these babies. I’m here. I’m obviously willing to do anything for them but it’s not an easy journey and we’re only at the start!
I’ll continue to write as I’m able. I have limited times when I can sit up enough to actually type. I do have some new belly pictures to post but I’ll need to coordinate some help to get those supplies to upload.
A huge thank you to our families and friends who have come forward to help us with so many of these challenges and as always we thank you for your continued encouragement and prayers that this is indeed in God’s hands. We cling to that hope every day.
I’m thrilled to say that as I write this I’ve officially made it to 18 weeks. Somehow each of those numbers seems like an accomplishment worth celebrating now. I never imagined we’d be here so soon. I’m happy to say though, after a week off of my feet and heavy fluids, the contractions of all but stopped. I haven’t felt more than 1 per day at most. It gives me hope that this is worth it. It has to be. Please God.