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26 Weeks – Now!. Pregnant with Triplets:
26 weeks and I have another scan, for the first time since the beginning of all of this I’m pretty relaxed, I’m not sat at home in my own world thinking of all of the bad news I might get instead I’m pottering around as normal feeling pretty chilled and happy that I will see my babies again. The film crew are on their way but meeting us at the hospital so I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to do my hair and face, all in all I can actually say it’s a good day!
We arrive at the hospital to be greeted by the documentary team who film us walking in the hospital entrance from every blinking angle including from behind, I’m dreading watching it back, I’m getting pretty huge and I’m certain I waddle! I check us in at reception and we only have a short wait until Miss P calls us in to our scan.
For the first time ever our small baby is being good, she is in a good position to see her heart and all of the chambers and they all look good! And the best news of all…. She has more than doubled in size and now weighs approximately 1.3pound! We were told 2 weeks ago it would take a month for her to get to a pound! She has beaten all of the odds! Miss P hadn’t finished all of her checks but little baby decides she’s had enough of being good so rolls over so we can’t see anything else we need to!
Miss P goes on to check the other 2 babies and it’s a bit tough as they seem to be squashed close to each other kicking and punching one another …. As usual! It takes a while but we get a lot of the necessary measurements and they seem to be growing perfectly and are only a couple of ounces under 2 pound each!
Miss P notices that the little baby has rolled again and is back in a good position so starts doing some further checks, the room went silent and for some reason suddenly there was a bit of an odd atmosphere, I had a terrible feeling something wasn’t right, I kept trying to block that thought out of my head, I closed my eyes trying to tell myself I’m just thinking too much into the silence and it will all be ok, it felt like no one spoke for ages! I opened my eyes and looked up to Miss P and she stared down at me with a saddened look on her face. I wanted to burst into tears, I knew something wasn’t right and judging by the way she was looking at me it wasn’t something small! I tried to hold myself together.
Looking back on it, for the first time ever I wanted the cameras to sod off, instead of focussing on what I was about to hear, half of me was worried about what my reaction would be on camera! Miss P took a deep breath, I knew based on that she was braising herself to give me some pretty crap news!
Our small baby has fluid on her brain, it could be a bleed or some other form of fluid, there is no way to be certain. The amount that’s been measured is 80% more than any baby should have on their brain! I can feel myself filling up but I’m also choked up, I can’t speak, I don’t know what to say, I just keep looking at Miss P hoping there will be some good news to follow but the look on her face tells me there isn’t! She suggests we take a bit of a break and before she has even finished her sentence I’m up, wiping the scan gunk off my belly, grabbing Martins hand and storming out of the room! I can’t process any of this in my head! The start of the scan was so positive! Why the hell is every bit of good news we get always followed by shit?
I storm out of the department and downstairs, I can’t hold the tears back! All that keeps going around in my head is why? Why? Why? i can’t stop crying, she has fought so hard, she has doubled in size, why this? Why now? Is this my fault? Did I do something to cause her this Damage? So many questions start filling my head! What does this mean for her? How will the others be effected? I feel like I’m being hit by bolts of electric with every single question that comes into my head! I need some answers!
I try and pull myself together, Martin is so strong, he has received the same devastating news as me but it always seems to be his job to calm me down, reassure me and look after me! I really don’t know what I’d do without him.
We head back upstairs and go into Miss P’s office, she explains as much as she can but there is so much uncertainty around things like this! There is no way they can tell from a basic scan why this has happened! There is no way they can tell if the baby will make it to birth and if she does there may be no way of telling for years what effect the fluid has had on her until we start to watch her develop! But one of the scariest things of all…. We don’t know how this could affect the other babies! I found out during this meeting although usually they would assume that having 2 placentas means they aren’t all identical but this isn’t actually a fact! All depending at what stage my egg split and it could of done this at different times (if it was only 1 egg) I could have 3 placentas and they could still be identical! So now the worry is if this fluid or bleed could cause her to pass away before she is born she may endanger the lives of the other 2 babies and unfortunately the odds based on the amount of fluid on her brain indicate she doesn’t have a great chance of making it to birth! The news just keeps going from bad to worse! Miss P explains that we will need to see a specialist over in Plymouth, although Torbay are equipped for small babies they don’t have the necessary tools for sick premature babies!
A week later we are at Plymouth Hospital meeting with a specialist team, the consultant at Plymouth is a Mr W, he like Miss P unfortunately has to give us all of the dreaded statistics first! So for the first few minutes we sit and listen to death and survival rates of triples at each week of gestation, to add to our worry we are now faced with very low odds of survival! I know the hospital have to do this but why can’t the ever follow it with success stories they have had? Would be nice to hear at least 1! Mr W does a scan and gathers the information he needs, he announces that the fluid is very clear to see and some of her other growth indicators aren’t looking good, he also thinks he sees a hole in her heart but as per usual she was being awkward and wouldn’t let him take a good look!
We sit and chat for a while after the scan and Mr W explains possible reasons behind the fluid on her brain these include all chromosome defects including Downs, Patau, Edwards and a huge list of others, he also explains the reasons could be completely unexplained just something that has happened during her development that they will never be able to answer why and what effect it will have. We also discuss further that unless they do a DNA test and an amnio they won’t be able to give us any more answers but it also isn’t guaranteed these test will answer anything but it will tell us if they are identical or not so that will help us assess if they share risks. He shares the same concerns as Miss P – if they are identical and the baby has one of the defects that usually end life before birth we are at a very high risk of losing them all! Martin and I decide its best for all of the babies if we go ahead with the amnio – although the risks of labour are higher at this later stage the risks seem to be worth taking based on everything we now know! We take a short break so they can get the needles ready, I’m glad I didn’t get left waiting long because I’m sure the longer I would have had to think about it the ore nervous I would have been!
We went back into Mr W’s office where he had 3 huge needles laid out ready and the bed/couch ready for me to jump on, he explained that he would be sticking the needles through my stomach (no pain relief) to collect fluid from each of the babies’ amniotic sacs to send off for testing! And the test results could take up to 21 days to come back!
I lifted my top and let them begin, to be honest the first needle wasn’t that bad, it was an odd sensation and I could feel it moving around inside of me. The second needle…. Omg!!! They had to put this through the side of my stomach near the top as the small baby’s sac is much higher, the needle felt like it went through a muscle and I could feel every tiny movement, the further it went in the more I wanted to scream or pass out! To make matters worse small baby started kicking the needle! So as it got shunted sideways it felt like it was ripping further through the muscle, I could feel her moving and with every movement sudden sharp pain! This baby is mine alright! Something about that moment made me wonder about her, I had a laugh to myself thinking is this one just a little trouble causer?
Mr W did explain in some detail about the worst of the defects, the ones that could end her life before birth including Patau’s and Edwards syndrome, the risks on the other babies and he also had to talk to us about options on ending her life in my womb should she have a defect that will cause her great pain or simply make her die shortly after birth. He didn’t go into mass amounts of detail regarding stopping her heart though as we still don’t know what effect it would have on the others and he was only telling us these because he has a duty too.
All of the way home I couldn’t shake off the feeling that my babies had a death sentence hanging over them and I couldn’t shake the feeling or thought off for days. I got depressed and closed myself off from everyone. I was so confused, I didn’t know if I should be grieving for my babies or what? I didn’t want anyone to touch me, especially my belly! All I could do was sit and wait for those results! The waiting has been the hardest, the uncertainty, the not knowing! I had feelings of just wanting it all to be over, my will is being battered on a daily basis! When I felt them kick I cried so hard wondering if it was their last kick, I was trying to pretend I wasn’t pregnant, I was trying to close off my emotions but I was making myself worse. Every time Martin called me from work to see if I was ok I was just crying. I was at home on my own and I am my own worst enemy!
After about 6 days of wallowing in self-pity I got a call from Plymouth Hospital, 3 parts of the chromosome tests had come back and I’m glad they came when they did because I could feel myself going into a darker a darker place! The results where the kick up the backside I needed! Patau Negative… Edwards Negative…Down Syndrome Negative! The first two are the two that where most likely to end her life and risk the other babies…NEGATIVE!!! I’m lost for words! So this means her chance of dying before birth have been greatly reduced! She stands every chance of fighting on and making sure her sisters can fight this fight with her! I’m crying again but this time I’m crying with happiness! I can’t believe it! I know we still have some way to go and she has fluid on her brain but the worst of the worst are NEGATIVE!
After sharing the news with my family and closest friends I put the news on the triplet page I have set up and I’m so glad I did! So many people who have been in a similar position started messaging me, telling me stories of how their baby had fluid and even brain bleeds and years on are perfectly fine! How they defeated the odds! Hindsight is a wonderful thing really! Why the hell didn’t I open up sooner? All of the messages you have all been sending me including the well wishes and the stories and the positive words really did lift me so high! Thank you.
I’m lifted again, I’m ready to battle on another day! The worst has been ruled out so why the hell should I wallow in self-pity? I should be celebrating that I have 3 baby girls inside of me, I am proud to have made this far!
We just have the rest of the results to wait for but I’m not too worried about them, yeah sure there are some pretty rare and complicated things they are testing for but non that can be as bad as the first two!
And now to the now! Here we are today, Monday 4th August, I will be 30 weeks this week and I really wanted to get all of the last couple of weeks written up because I’m now at the stage where I could go in to labour at any minute! The average triplet pregnancy lasts 30 weeks, the maximum I’m allowed to go to is 34, I’m still waiting on a c section date but I’m sure they will start talking to me about that soon. But I feel like my body has got to the point where it can’t take much more, I feel like I bursting out from every direction. I feel heavier by the day, sluggish and run down and ready to explode!
So as I was saying I always had it planned to – I say always, I mean last night I thought hmmm best write the rest of the blog tomorrow and the best thing happened to me when I started this this morning!
At 11.23am Monday 4th August my phone rang, it was a number that had called me before, I recognised it even though I hadn’t saved it in my phone. Plymouth Hospital! So weird because I had emailed them just seconds before saying I was hoping to hear from them any day with the rest of the results! Turns out the lady I had sent the email too is on holiday so no one will see the email yet, the call was from a member of the midwifery team, she had my test results, all of them! I really don’t know how to put this into words I can’t even begin to express my exact emotions! All of the tests are negative! She has no known chromosomal defect what so ever! Yeah ok this means we are none the wiser with what’s happening with her brain but maybe all of you ladies are right! She will prove us all wrong, pull through this! I have been on a high ever since I got the call I have phoned all of my family and my best friends and shared ALL of the news they gave me over the phone. I can’t stop smiling, it’s our time to get good new, it’s our turn to have some more positivity and it’s great I can face the pending labour with less worry! The bit I failed to mention though are the DNA results, turns out 2 placentas do mean sod all! And staying in with the positive thoughts – we have some bloody confusing years ahead us! All of these babies are identical! We have a better chance of winning a lump sum on the lottery! The statistics I have found today to have naturally conceived IDENTICAL triplets are between 1 in 1 million and 1 in 2 million!
I really don’t know what happens next, my life isn’t all that exciting at the minute, I’m pretty much house bound so unless something truly amazing happens I’m not sure I have anything else to write about….. Until they are born. So maybe this is the last blog for now, next time I write it might be about my mad dash to the hospital, the gruesome details of my c section, Martin passing out or somehow missing the birth or sliding into the surgery at last minute! Who knows?
I will try and keep the Facebook page update with any new news and updates www.facebook.com/torbaytriplets
Thank you to all at WASD for giving me the opportunity to share my story this far, here’s to hoping I’ll be back in the very near future with details of my gorgeous girls. And thank you to everyone that is following my story, thank you to everyone that has sent well wishes, thank you to everyone that has offered me support. Thank you to Everyone.
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