21 weeks 4 days

I’m officially in the hospital for the long haul… and let’s pray it’s a LONG LONG LONG haul. Somehow my head/heart isn’t capable in any way to go beyond today and I think that’s self preservation at this point. I let myself feel some emotion yesterday with my mom, husband, and a close friend, and that’s all I can tolerate at the moment. For the babies’ health and safety I can’t let myself get upset even though my heart is breaking. So today – I’m back to that numb place. A smile on my face. Able to interact with nurses in a stable way. I must keep calm in the storm and I pray to God for that strength constantly. Will I be ok if the worst happens? After stuffing all of this quite intentionally to avoid contractions – probably not. Who would be? Will I eventually be ok? Yes. Not on my own strength. With His. Because He’s going to have to carry me for a long while to survive those thoughts.

So for the moment. I live in hope and cling to some very very small odds that things could still be ok. That even if we lost baby A due to membrane rupture, that there is a slim medical option of somehow maintaining the other two for longer. I have no choice but for vaginal delivery prior to 24 weeks (viability) and the thought of that makes me literally sick as it not only means such a physical burden (and having had an UNsuccessful delivery of my daughter literally ties to my post traumatic stress) but the emotional burden of knowing they wouldn’t survive. So – I push it to the depths of the ocean and don’t allow myself to consider that. In my head/heart we MUST get past this point. So why burden my heart with it if I’m able to avoid that.

I talked to my OB this morning and although she was very honest she just has a way of presenting information in a compassionate way. I don’t often feel that way about the perinatologist although I know she’s top notch in facts and figures and info. We just don’t have the same point of view on life in general. So I’ve avoided her for the time. I’m sure I will see her this week at some point and hopefully be better prepared to hear what she has to say.

This is probably more emotion than I’ve ever dared write here but to some point I feel I’m starting to let myself share that in small ways. You can’t imagine the true emotion I’ve felt deep in my heart through ANY part of this journey. So yes – I feel I am surviving well and hanging in here strong in faith – but there are aspects of my head/heart that nobody should have to hear b/c it’s just too much to bear. So I give those things to God.

Last night I had trouble sleeping. There are very few scripture verses that I memorized as a kid but there is one that I remember fairly well. Last night He gave me that verse over and over and over again.

Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Yesterday my daughter was looking out my hospital room window at the Duluth hillside and said in a voice of amazement, “ohhh mommy! A big, tall mountain!”. Yes my love… I might be in the valley at the moment but that mountain is just outside my window and I have to trust the Lord to walk with me to the other side again.

PRAYERS – Hospitalized – 21+ weeks

Well I haven’t been sure of sharing this info with the world but at this point I can’t find my big list of family emails and my energy is lost on keeping people who need to know aware of critical changes. I’m not even sure who should know this – but in my heart I know people are praying and this is the world’s biggest prayer chain – so I’m going to use it.

I was admitted to the hospital this afternoon after some fears in my heart that things had been changing over the past week. My heart was right.

Without knowing a lot more about it this is what we know. Dilated 2-3cm. Effaced 80%. Membranes of baby A are coming through the cervix.

They haven’t given much hope but a glimmer exists. I’ll talk more with my doctor tomorrow. Please respect our space as we chose to share or not share as this continues. This is all so scary and emotional for us. If it weren’t a critical change I’d likely not be sharing. Please pray for my body to somehow manage to stop these changes. For her membranes to somehow remain in tact. For B & C, if A is somehow in danger. For our hearts and minds in the midst of this insanity.

We feel your love and prayers and appreciate your constant support.

Janelle & Family

Prayers Please

We had our 20 week ultrasound with a fully anatomy scan for each baby exactly a week ago today. Since the results we’ve taken some time to gather our thoughts/emotions and try to get in touch with family in a more personal way so forgive me for the delay in posting to the rest of you here. Please read below for details regarding those results and please keep us in your prayers as we live each day of this journey. Also forgive me for the lack of emotion at this time as I’m not really able to speak my heart right now. Thank you

January 23, 2012
I have an update on the babies. I’m going to try to keep this as simple as possible as our heads are spinning a bit. I also want to keep it all as clear as possible (to our current knowledge) so everyone has the same information. I imagine some of this could change as the weeks continue

Let’s start with a celebration and praise that we’ve made it this far! The other good news is we officially have genders figured out and each baby has their official “letter” placement. Baby A is a girl. She’s closest to the cervix in a tight little space at the bottom of the pile. Baby B is a boy and is on my right side. Baby C is a girl and she is on my left side hogging all the room. Baby B and C are both looking fine. C is a bit bigger than the others.
Baby Girl A is our worry at the moment. On Monday we had our anatomy scan and they discovered several major problems with her. They had suspicion a few weeks ago that she might have club feet and that was confirmed. Both feet are severely deformed. One curves in at a 90 degree angle and the other is pushed down straight from what I could see on the scan. She also has Spina Bifida. It’s at L5-S1 and includes a cyst on the outside of her body (so the opening of the spine is covered) and the spinal cord is visible inside of the cyst (it comes outside of her back but is within the cyst area). She has Chiari Malformation (her brain is lower in her skull than normal and part of it is being pulled down into her spine) and as a result of that malformation she also has hydrocephalus (fluid built up in her brain). Every single one of these malformations is directly related o the Spina Bifida itself and not a unique finding. They can’t tell us what her abilities will be after birth as every case even at the same vertebra level is different. She might not survive, she might never walk, or she could walk with braces. Her cognitive abilities seem to be connected to the severity of the Chiari Malformation to some degree. To be honest – we don’t know much more than that as we’ve only briefly met with a perinatologist regarding the details and neither of us have the emotional ability to research more of it at the time. She also has a small chance of a chromosomal abnormality on top of this (2-15% although at the moment they believe it’s closer to 3% based on no other anatomical findings). If so it would be Trisomy 13, 18, or 21. 13 and 18 are fatal. 21 is Downs Syndrome and does not affect survivability.
In addition to this I continue to be dilated to 1 and have now shown some funneling (Baby A’s membranes are starting to move through my cervix). In the midst of the rest of the news it was something I didn’t get more details on so for now I continue on bed rest at home. There is nothing they can do to stop or prevent dilation or funneling in my understanding, other than relieving pressure from standing/sitting etc.
There are no medications that they can give me b/c of the multiples. There is too much risk with a cerclage to attempt it (that is via 3 doctors who have looked at my case).
The next big piece to this puzzle is the fact that Baby A will need a pediatric neurosurgeon immediately upon birth and there isn’t one in Duluth. This means that I must move to Rochester by week 24 (viability begins then). I will be staying with Dan and Amy on bed rest for as long as I’m able and then likely admitted to the hospital there for the remainder of the time.
Right now we are very much taking things one day at a time. My body has remained pretty stable in the last few weeks of bed rest and I take comfort in that but we’ve been made very aware that things can change very quickly with multiples and there is nothing they can do to stop that. So we rest in peace knowing that God is in control of every bit of this journey no matter how hard it may be. We are not thrilled at the idea of separating as a family but count it a blessing to have Dan and family in Rochester to help care for me and to help navigate the Mayo system for us which is priceless right now. Family is continually here to help with Nora as well and we are ever grateful for that. My mom has been beyond amazing as has Nate’s mom.
We very much appreciate your prayers and support as we hang onto this roller coaster. We’re a bit numb at the time and appreciate some time to let this all sink in. Every day seems to get easier emotionally in some ways as I realize more and more that I can only take it one day at a time. I live in faith that regardless of the outcome for any of these babies – that God’s plan is perfect regardless of our possible hope or heartache. We could in no way get through these days without His strength leading us every step of the way.
We love you all.
Janelle, Nate & Nora

 

Triplet Ultrasounds – Second Trimester

Triplet Ultrasounds: 14 weeks, 18 weeks

Triplet Belly – Second Trimester

 

Triplet Belly: 14 weeks, 17 weeks, 18 weeks, 19 weeks, 20 weeks

Random Thoughts Are Just Dandy

  • I measured 27 weeks at 19 weeks. I wonder if I should keep track of my belly measurement? Could be interesting.
  • The emergency c-section from my first pregnancy (vertical) is oh so lovely (sarcasm) with raised keloid scaring – and is starting to stretch. My head secretly wonders what that will evolve into (scar revision?!).
  • Lately I haven’t realized how full my bladder is until standing up, and then waddle quickly to the restroom while holding as much of the weight of my belly that I can. Quite funny.
  • I didn’t have any cravings to speak of in the first trimester (with my last pregnancy I NEEDed apple juice).
  • I couldn’t even stomach the THOUGHT of red meat in my first trimester
  • Second trimester led to massive cravings for hamburgers and pizza (you can imagine my delight when Papa Murphy’s made a CHEESEBURGER PIZZA!!! OH my gosh good. (I had one slice of pizza with my last pregnancy and avoided it like the plague for the remainder).
  • McDonalds decided to do a Big Mac TV commercial campaign (2 for 1) during this exact time – which is just plain torture
  • I thought I was a “celebrity” at the clinic/hospital after all of our infertility trials and HELLP syndrome with my daughter. Ummm I think this one tops it. The nurses know me by name and give me hugs when they see me. Although with my last pregnancy the scheduling woman knew my birth date by heart and I thought that was impressive. I suppose the next step is for the Birth Place nursing staff to know me by name right?
  • I’ve formed a me-size hole on my side of the bed and am now trying to spend time on the center bump to even it out.
  • My hips are hoping for a new egg crate mattress in the near future.
  • Tylenol is now my friend – and it honestly freaked me out a bit when my OB suggested I’d be on narcotics to deal with the pain by the time we’re at the end of this journey (and obviously after).
  • I’ve somewhat given up on the triplet stroller search. I know which one I’d like ideally as it’s the only one available that holds 3 infant seats. However I’ve come to learn it’s very common that people don’t go anywhere or see anyone for 3-6 months after the babies are home due to limitations on risking their health. (One blog even mentioned having limitations of NO visitors for 3 months, and anyone helping with care needing to be 100% healthy for at least 2 weeks prior to being in the house).
  • My friends and family will go INSANE if they can’t see these babies for 3 months after coming home.
  • I do have access to a very reasonable triplet stroller thanks to a friend of the family and I think it will be our plan A until we know more what we’re dealing with when they come home. It would only work for older babies but maybe that’s not an issue. Am I really going anywhere on my own with 4 kids in those early months anyway? Maybe we could find two, double strollers that allow 2 Gracos to snap into until we know what we need/want?
  • I wonder if 3 Graco infant seats and a toddler seat will fit into our van?
  • I wonder how we’ll get infant seats into the rear of our van? One friend loads her kids from the rear. Good thought.
  • I wonder how strong Nate will be after this?
  • I wonder how weak I will be after this?
  • People think I’m crazy to try to breast feed 3. Maybe I am. But I’m gonna give it a shot for as many months/weeks/days/hours/minutes as I’m able for as many/few who will try it. For now I’m not gonna give up on it at the least. I still have ’em. I want to try to use ’em.
  • The thought of my body post-babies sort of terrifies me.
  • I never imagined altering my body – and yet God seems to have big plans for that in my future (I’m also BRCA-1 positive).
  • Somehow at the moment I don’t seem to care.
  • I’M PREGNANT WITH A LITTER!
  • God gave me my big family even with limitations of infertility and a ticking hysterectomy time line. Now we need Him to get us to the other side safely. (and maybe some help for me to survive afterwards as well?)
  • I’m hungry – all the time.
  • I’ve read that doesn’t go away – but the space to actually consume food does.
  • I love friend egg sandwiches with cheese before bed.
  • I’d really really really like to know the gender of my children already!
  • Finding three names that sound good together, but don’t rhyme too much or are too similar is really HARD. (or sound like the dog and cats’ names)
  • I love how unique my name is and want that for my kids.
  • There were 6 Nathan’s in my husband’s graduating class and they all usually went by their last name as a result.
  • My last name is Wourms.
  • Regardless of their first names, will they ever go by anything other than the “Wourms Triplets” anyway? I hope so.
  • What if 3 becomes 2? Or 1?
  • LONG ago I read of a woman who called her 2 kids “surviving triplets”. I thought that was morbid. But now I sort of get it. Even though that doesn’t sound right – neither does twins.
  • Just like most don’t know/realize that my daughter is not my “first” child.
  • I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to explain the answer: “Is this your first pregnancy” – “No, it’s at least my 4th” – “How many kids do you have?” – “1”. Nurses ask me this all the time as part of their questionnaire. Strange to think of what the response would be after all of this.
  • Nobody is comfortable saying that things might not be ok.
  • I know my babies are ok in Heaven regardless of my fears. 🙂 I’m the one that would need help getting through that. Not them. They’d have siblings to join and LOTS of amazing people to hug them for me.
  • I’d rather have them in my arms.
  • I pray every day that we’re all healthy through this journey. Most days I feel great about that. Some moments I live in fear of it.
  • My husband is not only a great man/husband/friend – but he’s one of the best dad’s I’ve ever met.
  • Every night I have to be touching him somehow (which is a challenge with 3+ pillows, a belly, separate blankets and a dog in bed – but I manage. One night in the hospital made me thankful for that and I will not take it for granted.
  • I have amazing friends, family and a God to lean on.

Thankful

Today I’m thankful for:
• Being in my own home
• Sleeping next to my husband every night
• SLEEP in general
• Feeling the babies move
• Nate felt the babies kick him HARD the other day and I cried
• I felt someone with hiccups for the first time this morning
• My parents and in-laws who have dropped everything and come to our rescue without a single complaint
• Grandparents that my daughter ADORES
• Friends and family who are willing to help out once in a while so my daughter can leave these four walls and play with a friend
• No swelling
• No meds
• Ultrasounds that allow me to see my miracles
• God’s peace at times that I need it more than anything else in the world
• Family and friends that encourage my faith and trust in Him
• My mom’s cooking
• My daughter’s understanding
• My husband’s patience and help when I feel stupid asking for it
• The three miracles bouncing around my belly – and the hope that they’ll be happy and healthy