Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is the part where you hold my hand.

This is going to be long, but this is our story.

One year ago today we went to the Dr. for our first ultrasound. I was 8 weeks pregnant and we had just returned from an 11 day vacation out "West" with my parents where we drove over 5,000 miles in an RV and actually returned with all of us remaining friends. :) Unfortunately, I wasn't much fun on vacation since I had "morning sickness" the entire trip.(which ended up being "all-day sickness from 6 weeks-30 weeks!) My mom and I joked that maybe it was twins since I was so sick. I had always said I thought it would be so much fun to have twins. (yes, I was one of those that was niave about how much work it would be and how much extra risk there is to the pregnancy.) Jeff told me to quit saying the "t" word but my mom and I still joked about it and I secretly wished. Little did I know that another "t" word was in my future! 

When we went to the Dr. for that first ultrasound I was so excited that I had been feeling sick because it made me believe that this pregnancy was healthy. Since I had experienced 2 miscarriages over the previous 2 years, I was just so happy to be pregnant, but I was so anxious to hear a heartbeat so when the Dr. was taking extra time and wasn't saying a word, I finally spoke up.

Me: Is everything ok?
Dr: Yes, I'm just looking all around.
Me: Do you see a healthy heartbeat?
Dr: Well...*long pause*...I actually see 3 healthy heartbeats.
Me: uh hum, what?
Dr. I see 3. 
*long pause*
Me: Jeff?
Jeff (from where he is sitting behind me): Yes? (said in the deepest, most serious voice ever)
Me: Are you still with me? 
Jeff: Yes.
Me: Then this is the part where you hold my hand.

So Jeff came up beside the table and held my hand the rest of the appointment. Tears of joy and absolute shock were now falling down my face. I just couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to think. Jeff didn't really even speak. He didn't know what to think and honestly I think he was scared. After the appointment, we barely said much to each other in the parking lot before getting in separate vehicles and both driving to work. We were ecstatic, shocked and mostly unsure.

It took us about 5 days before we told anyone else the news. Everyone had the same reaction.....TRIPLETS?!!!  Oh my gosh, but everyone was excited for us. They knew how badly we wanted a family. 

Immediately I started reading an online message board called the "nest" which has a multiples board where MOM's (Moms of Multiples) and MOM's-to-be can chat about all topics relating to their high-risk pregnancies, preemies, challenges of raising twins or more and everything in between....and I mean EVERYTHING in between. :)  I'm not quite sure what I would have done without that message board and the wonderful mom's I have met on there. I truly consider some of them to be close friends and I haven't even met them in person. But the bond we share as moms of multiple babies is amazing.  I follow many of them through their blogs and I know some of you have started reading their blogs as well. 

Once I read every article and book I could find on triplet pregnancies I was ready for my first high-risk OB appointment. I met my Dr. at 12 weeks and pretty much saw him every 2-3 weeks until I reached 20 weeks and after that I saw him weekly. I felt pretty darn good throughout my pregnancy except of course for the "all day" sickness, but honestly, I was so excited that it was a healthy pregnancy that I was actually glad I was sick. Not every moment, but you know what I mean. 

Around 18 weeks, the ultrasound tech guessed it to be all 3 girls even though I would have sworn I was having 2 boys and 1 girl. I think because I always envisioned myself to being a mom of boys. Not sure why I thought that. The tech was pretty sure, but we decided to wait until the 20 week ultrasound to see again before we shared the news. Sure enough...3 GIRLS! 

A few days after Christmas at one of my regular appointments, the Dr. decided to send me over to the hospital to test for pre-term labor based on some of his measurements. I was so scared! I didn't want these babies to come that early. I wasn't ready and was so worried about their health. I had to stay overnight for some tests and started the series of my now-favorite FFN test which basically tests to see if the babies are likely to be born within the 2 weeks following the test. Luckily it came back negative, but from that moment, I was placed on bedrest at home to make sure these babies kept growing as long as possible. I was so relieved that the girls were ok, but I was also so disappointed that I was on bedrest. I'm usually a go-go-go type person so for me to stay in one house, let alone, on one couch all day, every was a bit daunting, but I knew it was for the health of the girls so that is all it took for me to do it. 

I literally just sat around and waited for my wonderful baby girls to grow. I still felt great and really it wasn't until about 33 weeks or so that I really started to feel the heaviness of my belly and started to get uncomfortable. My goal the entire time was to make it to the Dr's recommended "full term for triplets"-- 36 weeks. I was uncomfortable, but if it was for the health of the girls, then bring it on!  Over the weekend I noticed that my ankles were really swollen and my feet were super puffy. Since this was new for me, I decided to call the Dr. just to let them know. He had me come in to the hospital for some testing and sure enough, I was starting to develop the symptoms of pre-eclampsia. At 4:06pm, the Dr. said I was going to have the girls that night....say around 7:30pm?  WHAT?!  Did he just say tonight?  I wasn't ready, I still had 9 more days until 36 weeks!  I felt was just swelling. Well, what did I know. I wasn't a Dr. so no argument....just sit back and get ready. My mom rushed home for my bag (packed and ready...but at home) and also our camera!

She made it back in time with the camera and Jeff got suited up. So at 34.5 weeks I had a c-section that went very smoothly. I remember seeing the girls for the first time and looking at Jeff for the reassurance, that they were all healthy and doing ok. I could see it in his eyes...we were truly blessed. Anna Caroline was born first at 7:19pm weighing 4 lbs 7 oz,  Ava Jane was born next at 7:20pm weighing 5 lb 3oz, and Alexis Marie was born third at 7:22pm weighing 4 lbs 2.5 oz. They were absolutely perfect and we were now a family of 5. 

The girls did great and just needed to gain a bit of weight and maintain temperatures before coming home at 8 days old (Alexis) and 11 days old (Anna & Ava). 

I didn't have a clue how the news we learned a year ago would change our life forever, but I feel so incredibly blessed and fortunate that this is my life. I get to wake up each and every morning next to a wonderful husband whom I love more now than ever and spend my day hugging, kissing, and loving 3 beautiful little ladies. The girls are nearly 6 months old and doing fantastic. Being a stay at home mom is one of the most challenging things I have ever done, but it is also THE MOST REWARDING. What more could I ask for?


Kristen Callaway said...

You have Me goosebumps and tears welled up in my eyes! You are truly blessed and you deserve it. You and Jeff are wonderful parents and I can't wait to see the Thornhill family this weekend!!!

Harris Boys said...

hey marie. thanks for sharing your story with us. funny that you and your mom joked about it being twins. I guess you never imagined it to be triplets.

what a beautiful post and how incredibly blessed you are. I thank God everyday for my boys!

and go you for making it so long with triplets, you don't see that very often, you were very lucky!

the schirano triplets said...

oh my gosh, what an incredible story and just a beautifully moving post...thank you for sharing it!

Annie said...

Hi Marie, I'm new in your blog and I like it. I really enjoy your story and be a stay at mom is the most wonderfull thing that we have. I'm also a stay mom with twin girls and recently start my own blog.

I hope will be friends.