Bet ja never thought you would hear from me! Not sure who is still reading this but I just wanted to give a quick update on my life as I felt I needed to tell my story to the end.
My girls celebrated their 2nd birthday yesterday! Life with triplets has been an HUGE adventure. There have been many tiring days and many days filled with lots of laughter and fun. It’s become so much easier now that my girls are little humans and starting to talk. A friend of mine said she wishes all babies were born at 2 years old and I didn’t quite understand it until we reached 2. They are so incredibly precious and I am grateful beyond belief that we were chosen as their parents.
On the 20th June 2012 our lives were dramatically changed forever. I stood in my bathroom looking at a positive pregnancy test. After 5 years of infertility, 7 IVF’s and much money poured into the bottomless pit of treatment, we had somehow managed to fall pregnant all on our very own.
Stunned doesn’t even begin to describe how we felt.
In February of this year I had left the pill. I actually have no idea why really just that I was tired of taking it and wanted to try sort my PCOS out once and for all. I went on a diet and managed to get back to my pre-triplet weight. I saw a doctor specialising in hormones and she tested my thyroid and vit D levels among a huge amount of tests. My thyroid levels were low and my vit D very low so I started taking thyroid meds and a vit D supplement. Only one problem and that was my period was missing. The doctor told me just wait coz all my other levels were fine. So I did just that.
On 28th May I saw my gynae for my yearly check up and he did a scan which showed my awful PCOS ovaries and he told me he can see Im not ovulating and suggested I go back on the pill as there is no point in being off it unless I want to fall pregnant (which I didn’t). So I started prov.era to start AF. Ive used prov.era before and knew to expect something in a few days to a week. Nothing happened. Dr said its fine just take the pill, which I did.
18th June I woke up feeling terrible, put it down to food poisoning and took anti-nausea meds throughout the day . Had to drive home from work and stop on the side of the road to dry heave. Got home and was sick for the rest of that day. Drove myself to the hospital and they wanted to do a pregnancy test. I laughed at them and refused.
20th June I woke up feeling terrible again and decided well I might as well test because I need to know what the hell is going on. I dug out an expired internet cheapie test and peed on it. When I saw two lines I nearly fainted right there in my bathroom. Hubby didn’t know I was doing a test and when I shoved it in his face he didn’t even know what it was and when I told him it’s a pregnancy test he asked “but who’s is it?” haha. Its funny now but at the time I was bewildered. First beta was 8500, I was already 6 weeks. I worked out I had ovulated just before the gynae appointment on CD 120+!!
Im 30 weeks now and we are expecting a little boy! Other than extreme morning sickness (much, much worse than with the girls) all has been going well and even up to today my hubby and I cannot believe we created a baby all by ourselves!
I wanted to share my story because miracles do happen and there were times (which I have shared on this blog) where I literally couldn’t anymore. It took every ounce of my being to get up and try again. Don’t give up, keep going you will get there one way or another.
Thank you for your comments on my goodbye post. I never realised how much my story has impacted others!
My decision to stop blogging was based on trying to let go of the past. I sit and stare at my daughters and often think “but Im infertile”. How the hell did this all happen. Infertility was part of my life for so freaking long. I lived and breathed it every day. Every.single.day for 4.5 years I thought about it, read about it, researched it, dealt with it and now its gone. Its like having a splinter in your finger and every day you look at it and wonder how the hell can you get it out. It hurts like hell but starts to become familiar, its your normal. Then one day you look down and its gone. You have immense relief yet you cant believe its gone. How did it happen without you even realising? So in saying this I felt that I need to start cutting ties with my previous life, so I can try and get on with my current one – this blog included. I cant keep living in such disbelief. We had professional newborn photos taken and I look at this person sitting there and still I cant believe its me holding 3 babies.
To be honest I miss blogging, I miss you guys but I dont know how to get this to work. Maybe start a new blog? But then I wonder if Ill get time to blog.
I know Im suffering from PND, I knew it would come as I was warned about it, especially when you have multiples. But as with infertility induced depression you just have to deal with it as best as you can. At least this time round I have 3 beautiful daughters that remind me just how far Ive come.
Ill let you know if I start a new blog, I think Ill have to because I cant blog here any longer its too painful and I dont want to be reminded of IF. Please tell me Im not the only one who feels this way? If you have been pregnant/adopted after IF, do you feel such a disconnect with your current life?
We have had all 3 babies home for a while now.
Its been wonderful, hectic and rewarding. Dont get me wrong Ive had a few WTF moments. Last Sunday at the 6am feed when none of them wanted to eat was an example. I was tired (no night nanny on weekends) and fighting with a baby who keeps on spitting out your precious expressed BM makes one a little testy but other than a few of these incidents its mainly been going really well. Their 6 week check-up went perfectly and the doctor is very happy with their progress.
I tried BF’ing but it didnt turn out so well and since the babies had 5 weeks of feeding via a bottle in the hospital they seem to have nip.ple confusion even though the nurse at the NNU said its impossible at such a young age I seem to disagree. They flatly refuse the bo.ob. So I pump and feed them with a bottle. It is alot like double work but thankfully with my day nanny being so excellent Im able to take 20 mins every so often and pump. My milk supply is so much better now. Ive been told that it only every comes in properly after 6 weeks with prems and now I believe them.
During this time my beloved gran of 93 years of age passed away which devastated me. It was her funeral yesterday and I flew to Durban for it, leaving my day nanny with the trips for the whole day. I was pretty stressed about leaving them for so long but it all went well.
I believe the key to your sanity with multiples is feeding them at the same time, this has been going well. Ive taught both my day and night nanny how to do it and it takes around 45 mins to get them all done. If a baby is refusing to eat then I dont let it bother me, I let them sleep and if need be give them a few mls top-up if they wake up before the others. It seems to be working. They all wake up around the same time and feed at the same time. Ive ordered this bottle and hope that this will help even more to feed them all at the same time. We have also started introducing tummy time which has made their necks strong enough to almost hold them up by themselves. They are really doing so well and every day I see a change in my babies.
It all still feels a bit surreal but Im slowly getting into the swing of things. Motherhood is good, it makes me happy and I love my children more than life itself.
I had my 6 week check up and my gynae has put me on the pill. Yes, for birth control. We have decided to rather take the pill for now, a whoops would be wonderful but I want to give our trips all my attention for now. Maybe in a few years we will try again for another, we still have 13 frozens afterall…
As for the fate of this blog, Ive decided to stop blogging. I never thought a “parenting after IF” blog would be right for me and I was right. This blog is called Wheresmy2lines afterall and my 2 lines turned into 3 girls which I am eternally grateful for. I will leave my blog as is for those that might happen across it and hopefully find some sort of hope from my story. I had a happy ending and you can too, whether it be from IVF, DE, surrogacy or adoption. It can happen, dont forget it.
I would like to end my blog with a heartfelt thank you to the entire IF community. Thank you for keeping me sane during many dark times, your comments and advice kept me going. Ive found many friends in the computer who I will still follow to see where life takes you. Ill still be around on Fertilicare offering advice as far as I can but I will no longer blog here. So sadly this is goodbye…
All my love and best wishes for the future,
PS if you want to contact me leave a comment here, Ill check in from time to time.
Having your babies in the NNU is hard. Fucking hard. No matter how much I prepared for it, living it is a different story.
How much guilt I would feel at seeing my children in the NNU.
How much I want to take my children home.
How much I would learn from the NNU nurses.
How much I would miss my home and sleeping in my own bed.
My breastmilk is only coming in properly now, 2 weeks after birth. No-one told me it could take this long, even with the help of meds.
Expressing is painful (does the pain ever get better?). My days revolve around bo.ob time, I have to plan everything around 3 hours so I can be back in time to express.
The amount of bills that would be rolling in. I have a stack of bills that need attention. I think I might have been sent a bill by the cleaner for emptying my bin, no-one misses an opportunity to send you a bill.
Medical aid is super-stupid, no-one understands what it means to have triplets.
Medical aid will find any opportunity not to pay, you have to stay one step ahead of those bastards.
How much I would miss my big tummy and how much I want my un-pregnant belly to go down. Im just waiting for someone to ask me when I’m due.
How much I appreciate my husband. Seeing him with his daughters is an amazing feeling.
Grab a cup of coffee, this is going to be a long post…
On Saturday the 4th December my blood platelet count was 163, my gynae wanted to deliver as soon as the platelet count dropped to below 150 so we all decided that Monday 6th December would be the DAY. My blood pressure was hovering between 125/80 – 140/90.
Platelet count is taken to determine the clotting ability of your blood, without this you can obviously bleed to death, anything below 100 and I would have had to undergo general anaesthetic (to prevent possibility of bleeding too much or a hematoma in my spine) instead of the spinal block which would have meant I would have missed the birth of my children.
Thankfully my platelet count on Monday was at 152 which meant I was good to go. I must say that I had to trust my my gynae here 100%, he has delivered 115 sets of trips and I knew he wouldn’t risk anything by delivering too early. It was difficult though to trust that at 33 weeks everything was going to be OK.
Monday 6th December 2010 arrived. I was calm as a frikken cucmunber. We took some last photos, did the NST test and DH and I sat chatting excitedly. They came to tell me that they had moved the c-sec to 6:30am, half an hour earlier because my anaesthetist was sick and the new anaesthetist had other appointments. Fine by me. So I got ready and wheeled through to the theatre. DH went to change and then all of a sudden my gynae was running out the theatre and there was a HUGE commotion going on. What had happened is a lady 31 weeks pregnant with twins had arrived at the hospital vomiting and the NST test indicated her twins were in distress. They had to deliver immediately and she was wheeled passed me. In a strange coincidence her gynae was also mine, so she basically had my gynae, pead, anaesthetist, theatre staff and theatre all ready for her to deliver. Afterwards my gynae said to me that her uterus had ruptured and that 5 minutes later, she and the twins would have died. Id like to think that it was meant to be that she arrived at that time and everything was in place and she delivered safely. Her twins are in the NICU too now and they are doing well.
Anyways so I got wheeled back to the hospital room for an hour which is when the nerves set in a bit. Hubby and I sat there just staring into space and he actually said to me – “I don’t know what to say”. Then we finally got wheeled back again, hubby changed and we were taken to the theatre. There were alot of people in theatre all chatting and everyone seemed excited. Hubby started the video camera and I got my spinal block, my legs went warm straight away and I had to have help lying down on that tiny table.
They put the blue partition up and my gynae started. I felt nothing which was great. I was so proud of hubby as he filmed everything and didn’t feel like he was going to pass out. My paed then said “he is down to the uterus” and I was like wow, thats amazing that I can feel nothing. Hubby then jumped up and said “oh my word” as my waters of Trip I (A) broke. Then the most amazing sound – a crying baby. My gynae held A up (and she wee’d!) so I could see and then passed her to the paed. Then Trip II (E) arrived and afterwards the assistant told me that she was already crying as her water broke which is obviously a great sign of lung maturity. My memory goes a bit fuzzy here. I remember feeling a bit woozy and on the video you can see my gynae really pushing and moving my tummy to get Trip III (G) out. She was the smallest (strange because I felt her the most throughout the pregnancy) but also cried as she came out. They then whisked all 3 of them to the NICU whilst I was stitched up. As instructed by me before all this hubby went with – I was scared someone would steal them :) and he got all of it on video. I was stitched up and taken to recovery. Ive actually never felt better. I got a bit of the shakes but nothing serious and then I was taken to High Care which is a formality with having had triplets. I was given a couple of shots and then lay there wondering what the hell just happened! My mom, sister, BIL and MIL then came to see me and we all chatted and I was shown some photos of the babies. They were perfect, pink, breathing on their own and weighed as follows – A: 2.04kgs, Apgar 8,9,9 born at 8:22am; E: 1.78kgs, Apgar 9,9,10 born at 8:22am and G: 1.68kg, Apgar 8,8,9 born at 8:23am.
My memory isn’t too good for the rest of Monday but I do know that I asked for a breast pump and was truly amazed when I was able to pump and something actually came out. Afterwards I read that this is the colostrum that collects during the pregnancy but I was happy that they could start with that (little did I know that they wouldn’t eat their first meal for over 36 hours, instead they received a drip with proteins etc). On Monday evening I was wheeled on my bed to the NICU to finally meet my children. I held A and held back the tears, it was by far the most amazing feeling in the entire world. Its actually almost overwhelming. Im crying as I type this.
Monday night was a nightmare, not because of pain but rather because the morph.ine sent me for a loop. I was flying with the stars and by Tuesday I had to ask them to stop with the injections or i would loose my sanity.
On Tuesday I was moved to Maternity and was able to get up for the first time which I couldn’t do on Monday due to the morph.ine and the electronic compression socks that were attached to me. I then went up to the NICU again in a wheelchair this time so I could see my children again. It was a bit scary then as they hadn’t been fed and I could see the amount of weight that they had lost, they looked skinny and wrinkled which obviously freaked me out. They only started feeding at 3pm on Tuesday and started at 3mls every 3 hours. In the NICU they always check to see how much food has been digested by aspirating what is left in their tummies via their feeding tubes. If there is nothing then they increase the feeds. As of this morning A was on 18ml feeds, E on 24ml and G on 21ml feeds so they have increased alot since Tuesday. Every day I can see an improvement and all but A has reached their birth weight again. A battled a little with her breathing and had to get oxygen but the other two have been OK. A also doesn’t digest her food as well as her sisters which goes with having a premature digestive system.
Im expressing every 3 hours and we rotate who gets the breast milk. Im up to around 25mls an express which is basically one round of food for one of them. The expressing has been difficult. After getting lots of colostrum I basically got nothing on Wednesday and Thursday which was disheartening to say the least. The two drops I was getting I syringed up and took it to them in the NICU. The sister just put it on one of their dummies so she could have a taste. I was feeling very down as I watched other mothers bring full bottles of EBM to the NICU. It was explained to me that due to the fact that the babies were prem, that my body was trying to play catch up and expressing at 33 weeks vs 40 weeks is a different story. I started on meds to bring on the milk and that seemed to help as I started getting a bit more by Friday. I unfortunately didn’t get to speak to a lactation consultant as I suppose they felt there was no need as my babies were not with me but I really would have appreciated some help with one of the sisters actually sitting with me to let me know that I was at least expressing properly (I know how hard can it be?).
I had a few tears inbetween all this which was difficult as my mom, dad and MIL were hovering most of the time so I had to at least try and pretend that I was OK. Visiting hours are ridiculously long, like 4 -8pm and it was hard to try and hint that I needed time to myself and to express. My mom was insistent on sitting with me and thankfully my hubby stepped in and said that I needed to rest (my mom wasn’t impressed but that is a whole other story). Its extremely difficult to be on the same wavelength as family/friends as they are so super-excited and whilst I am too, having your babies in the NICU is a completely different story than having the babies with you. You are stressed that they are still OK, being looked after etc etc. No-one will quite understand unless they have had a baby/babies in the NICU, which is why I have appreciated the support from 2 wonderful moms who have been there – Marcia and Roz. When I got sms’s asking when Im being discharged with the babies and when can people visit them in hospital or when I saw massive full term babies rooming in with their moms in the hospital rooms or heard families oohing and aahing over the babies, I tried to not let it get to me. The babies still have a long road to travel in the NICU, I haven’t even dare ask when they might be coming home although a sister mentioned around 6 weeks time. Im just taking it day by day.
My days are now filled with expressing and visiting them in the NICU. The sisters there are very nice, some nicer than others. Most understand how an.al we are but I can see others get a bit irritated with all our questions but hey I literally dont care, all I want to know are the updates and know they are doing well. Yesterday we both held a baby using kangaroo care which was wonderful. My DH is totally and utterly smitten with his daughters as am I and I often have to pinch myself. This time last year I was facing my 6th IVF failure and now I have 3 daughters. In un-frikken-believable….