In this episode… Kathleen talks about her mixed-emotions when we found out she was pregnant with spontaneous triplets.
Today on the podcast, I’ll tell you how I felt when we learned I was pregnant with triplets…
You’re Listening to the Life With Multiples Podcast. The show for new and expectant parents of twins, triplets and more.
We’re Chris and Kathleen, your hosts and triplet parents. We’ve survived life with multiples, and you will too.
Kathleen and I never, in our wildest imaginations, ever dreamed we’d have triplets.
And in today’s episode, Kathleen is going to read from a post she published on our blog, over at lifewithmultiples.com. And in it, she talks about her mixed-emotions when we found out she was pregnant with spontaneous triplets. Here’s Kathleen…
I never liked surprises… but, when I was 8 weeks pregnant, I received the surprise of a lifetime. One that would change me, and my life, forever.
Chris and I walked into the ultrasound clinic feeling giddy and excited. It was my very first ultrasound and we were about to see images of our first child.
But partway through the exam, the technician got quiet. Her eyes narrowed as she scanned and probed. Then she stopped and abruptly left the room to speak to a supervisor.
Had she not found a heartbeat? Had we lost our baby?
Finally, she returned with some news. Indeed, she had not found a heartbeat. She found three…
Surprise! I was pregnant with triplets. Spontaneous triplets.
I screamed. Chris started laughing… hysterically. And then I sobbed.
However we’d felt upon entering the clinic, we left feeling numb and terrified.
When I got home, I stupidly googled “triplet pregnancy”. But when I saw search results like “premature birth” and “pre-eclampsia”, I quickly closed the laptop.
Then I cried for two days.
I felt powerless. I was unprepared for the emotional and physical stress that I knew would come with a multiple pregnancy.
I didn’t think my mind or body could handle it.
I felt as though I’d been forced onto a roller coaster against my will. And each day felt like the click click click up towards the big drop.
I was frightened for my babies, and what our lives would look like with multiples. Could I carry three babies? Would they be healthy? How would we cope as parents? Could we even afford this?
We had all sorts of questions and doubts.
Our first meeting with the obstetrician at the hospital’s ‘high risk’ pre-natal clinic didn’t help. I was overwhelmed by talk of possible Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, potential cognitive delays, birth defects, and on and on.
The doctor was only preparing us for things that COULD happen, but all I heard was these things WOULD happen. Thankfully Chris was there so we could ask questions and process the information together.
With so many things that could seemingly go wrong, our mantra became ‘there’s no in sense worrying, until there’s something to worry about.’ And we kept that in mind from check-up to check-up.
For 25 more weeks we lived our lives between biweekly ultrasounds. These check-ups are much more frequent than with your average singleton pregnancy, as the doctors want to keep a close eye on fetal development. With three babies to check, each ultrasound would take anywhere from one and a half to three hours.
At each visit Chris and I would hold our breath until we were told everything was still okay. If the ultrasound went well, it meant we could breath easy for another two weeks until the next appointment.
Every day I carried the babies I felt stronger and stronger. I was discovering an inner strength I never knew was there.
And… I found renewed strength in my marriage.
Chris and I have always been a good team but this pregnancy really demonstrated what our love and marriage was about. He held me up emotionally and sometimes carried me from day to day. As a team, I felt we might just make it through this pregnancy… and maybe even the parenting part.
Life had thrown us a giant curveball, but we were managing. I was managing.
This was a breakthrough for me… maybe I could do this. And if I made it through this pregnancy, if we all made it, this would be the single greatest achievement of my life. That was an amazing moment. For the first time, I saw how this experience was changing me in a most profound and wonderful way.
So I gathered all my strength, braced myself and paced myself, in an attempt to bring my babies to a safe delivery date.
At 32.4 weeks, we waltzed into the ultrasound. At this point we were seasoned pros. Nothing to worry about.
But then, the doctors discovered there was something to worry about…
Even though I felt no symptoms, they told me I had developed preeclampsia … a disorder characterized by high blood pressure, among other things. It tends to be more common in women’s first pregnancies, or if she’s carrying multiples. If left untreated it could become eclampsia, which is potentially fatal.
After making it so far through the pregnancy, one of my worst fears was realized.
The doctors admitted me to the hospital and scheduled an ‘emergency’ C-section for the following day. This was it. The time had come. I’d reached the top of the coaster, and this was the big drop.
The next day, as I was wheeled into the operating room, I kept telling myself ‘You can do this. You can do this.’ I reminded myself, ‘In a short time, you will have your babies. These people are professionals. Everything will be fine.’
But the truth is, I didn’t feel fine. I was terrified.
But remembering our mantra, I paced myself. This time taking it moment by moment. My sole focus was making it to the next moment without crying. I needed to maintain whatever bit of control I had, and not crying was the only thing I could control.
I won’t go into the C-section and birthing experience here, but long-story-short, I made it out fine.
And so did our three beautiful babies.
Bringing life into this world is a scary and wondrous experience. But I never anticipated how much it would change me.
I am a very different person now than I was at that first 8-week ultrasound.
At the beginning of this journey, I was terrified of the roller coaster Chris and I were unwittingly boarding. I felt a loss of control and a fear of not knowing what was around the corner. But I learned to cope.
I’ve got my husband and I’ve got my babies, and I know, whatever happens, we’ll get through it together.
Alright, that’s it for this episode. If you like what you’re hearing, and if you can relate… please subscribe to the show on your podcast app of choice. And we’ll see you next time.