I am pregnant!!! What an amazing blessing! We are so thrilled!!
I wish I could say this has been a stress free experience. It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. On Nov. 2nd, we were told the best news ever...We were pregnant! To which I cried and started saying over and over, "Thank you Jesus!" We cried with the doctor, nurse and receptionist who had practically become family over the past 8 months journey here. Our doctor is an amazing man. He said to my great thanks...It is Him you should thank. I do nothing. Oh bless you Dr. Pinto for your faith in our great God! We went home and called tons of friends and family who have given us endless support and prayers over the last 5 years. All so precious to us. Austin and I went and had a nice steak dinner and came home in a state of blissful shock....we were finally here...parenthood.
One week later we were back in the doctor's office to find out (as Austin said) "Who's in there?" At this point I felt very sure that both embryos had taken. I was twice as sick, already showing a little, etc. The sonogram begins. Immediately we see two sacs! We begin to cry....we are having twins we say together! Such a blessing! We wanted twins so badly. Babies are looking good....heartbeats are strong. I ask, what's that as I point to the flat screen displaying my babies on the wall. The nurse, Amy, says....hhhmmm...well....um....that is a third baby! GASP! Austin immediately sinks to the chair (which is thankfully) underneath him. Our faces blank....we both say..."what?" and "are you sure?" Austin looks very pale and I am speechless but thinking First, how could this be? We waited to freeze the embryos until day 5 and 6 to insure they wouldnt split and then my next thought was...WOW! This is awesome! We take our pictures of the three new additions to the family and head back to work, along the way calling all those prayer warriors who have been holding their breath with us to know how many.
That afternoon the doctor asked us to come back in to confirm himself and go over a few details with us. By this time Austin is in good spirits and singing, "One little, Two little, Three little Fatheree's" I think, ok he was just freaked by the money it is going to take to raise three at the same time. All is going to be fine. The doctor comes in, sits down, very grave look on his face. He begins to outline the risks and complications common with triplet pregnancy. Retardation (I HATE THIS WORD, but is one that is used by everyone we talk to in the medical community from this point on) Blindness, and even death. Not to mention all the risks to me and my health. He says he knows our beliefs and convictions but is obligated to give us the option of fetal reduction. I begin to cry uncontrollably. I now know why Ausitn looked so grim earlier. He understood this when it wasnt even on my radar. Kill one of my babies?! Is this a horrible dream? Havent I waited 5 years to be pregnant? And now someone is actually telling me if I want healthy babies then one needs to die? This was an unimaginable thought to me. We left the doctors office (in separate cars) and headed home. I prayed harder than ever remember doing so before. I cried out to God to protect my children. My children! These babies are now more real to me than I could have ever imagined. These are my babies, a part of me and I couldnt love the more. We found peace in knowing that the Lord would hold our babies and focused on a healthy pregnancy. That weekend we celebrated Austin's 30th birthday with 50 friends, some in from Houston and some from Dallas. This lifted our spirits, to have our home filled with those we loved most and who had shown us such love.
The week of Thanksgiving arrives. We have an appointment with the OB I have selected to deliver the babies. Austin hasnt met him so this is an interview type of thing. The doctor is very encouraging. He has delivered 6 sets trips at or after 36 weeks. A miracle worker! We are feeling very good about this. At the end of the appointment the doctor asked if he could take a look at the trips. Of course! Love sono's...seeing my babies. His older, very small screen didnt leave me much view, but Austin could see. The doctor checks for heartbeats....all there...he tells me the risk of losing any now is down to 5%. AWESOME! Loving this doctor's appointment so far! Then he becomes very quiet. He and Austin are pointing at the screen and I am not sure what we are looking at. I say, " Is everything ok?" Hhhmmm....he says. Well get dressed and come back into my office, let's talk. Oh great! There it is....something is wrong. I sit back down with Austin and the doctor comes in. He says, I am not sure but it appears that you do not have a membrane separating your twins. This means that my pregnancy is now a much high risk for the babies. This puts the babies at almost certain risk of the cords tangling, killing both babies almost instantly, therefore having to deliver the third baby immediately...which would probably be very premature. AND (yes he goes on) There is a much higher risk for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. He tells me that if the twins share a sac (no membrane) and a placenta this would make them MONO/MONO twins, very rare resulting from a late split, and there rate of healthy meaningful life would be about 30% chance. Crying uncontrollably again. He encourages me to have my fertility doc look for the membrane on his more fancy sono the next day. He says that selective reduction with mono/mono twins is the only certain way to insure a healthy pregnancy for at least two of them. We leave crying and overwhelmed.
Very next day at the fertility doc's office. He meets with us. Does his sono. Says there is no membrane and that he doesnt expect it to develop. Furthermore, a bleed has developed behind the twins. This could be my bodies way of naturally letting go of one of the twins. I am on modified bedrest until further notice. No travel by car. I decide I cant go to Houston for Thanksgiving. No way am I leaving my doctors radius. He says to expect bleeding. How did we want to proceed? Are you kidding?! I want all three of these babies to be healthy and I want to know that for certain right now. I am hysterical. I have struggled with panic in the past but controlled it well for years. Not today. I am made it home, day before Thanksgiving, and cried for hours. I could never make the decisions that appeared necessary for these babies. I prayed. Lord, please make this decision for me. Please Lord I want all three of these babies, healthy and full term. But if a decision has to be made...please make it for me...I cant. Our next doctor's appointment was a week away. An eternity away.
After a week of forced rest (sounds good, but more like a prision than one would think) we went back to the doctors office, many tears and worried days past. Nov. 28th, 2007. Amy begins the sono. Singleton baby comes into view first.....heartbeat is strong! Twins come into view....there is no movement....no heartbeats. She confirms....It appears by measurement that we lost the twins shortly after my last sonogram...both of them. Crying resumes....and yet the most guilty feeling of relief. The Lord has answered our prayer! Yet we have just lost two of our children. But we have one very healthy one. How can these two emotions coexists in my brain? Relief and Grief...
The remaining baby has little arm and leg buds....Now I am crying for joy of this life that looks so strong. Wait! What about the bleed? She says, looks good. No longer an active bleed. Relieved again. But the feeling of relief only bring guilt because how can I feel relieved when I just lost the twins? The cycle continues that day and hasnt gone away.
Austin and I have a different kind of news to deliver this time. I feel strangely ashamed to call and tell people this news. Like we have failed in some way. All those same people we love give us no surprise by weeping with us and continuing to love and support us. We decide to take the day off from work and try to sort out our emotions. I have a strange peace that I dont understand. I will take it for now. When we arrive home the news is waiting for us there...afresh. We decide we need to get out of the house. We go to the movies. When we get out we feel some what better and distracted. I check my cell phone absent minded....seeing all the missed calls of those reading our bad emails and calling to comfort us. The news was waiting for us again. We got home and sat down. What now? We cry again. This day has seemed so long. Let's just go to bed.
The next morning I am awoke by cramping and intense fear. I move from the bed to the couch and call the doctor. Amy calls me back. She says your baby should be fine. Just do not strain in any way. Dont even lift the laptop from my lap. (Something by then I have already done about 100 times) I am back on modified bedrest. I am going back to the doctor on Monday, Dec. 3rd to check for what we hope to be a strong heartbeat and healthy baby.