Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best laid plans....

In my head, this is how the birth of our triplets would unfold:

I'd carry them until at least 35 weeks, maybe even longer, then I'd go into labor naturally, head to the hospital and naturally deliver them. They would be great in size and healthy so they'd stay in our room with us. In my head I always pictured the three of them lined up next to my bed. Never really allowed myself to picture them in the NICU. I envisioned the main challenges of our first days together as being how I would coordinate feeding, and how Chris and I would find any time to sleep. Those would be our primary worries. I pictured our 3 healthy, chubby little men coming home all together with us whenever I also left the hospital. And then our lives with triplets plus one would continue to unfold at home. Best laid plans....

I'm typing this from my hospital room right now, 4 cm dilated with contractions slowing but not completely gone. I'm 29 weeks and 4 days. The doctors are continuing to do all they can to stop labor for as long as possible. This could be for a day, a few days, a week or dare I hope, a few more weeks.

On tuesday, after such an uneventful pregnancy, I suddenly went into labor. At a routine doctors appointment I shared with them that I thought I'd noticed some occasional brackston hicks contractions but nothing that I was concerned about. However, when the doctor checked my cervix, I was 1 1/2 c.m. dilated. I was shocked because each week I'd had such completely uneventful check ups. Then I assumed that since I was dilated a bit, that would mean I now had to see the doctor weekly..... instead she immediately sent us over to labor and delivery.

By the time they checked me again, contractions were getting stronger and I was two cm dilated, then three, then almost five.


Chris and I just kept looking at each other in disbelief. This wasn't the plan!

We kept saying, "Can you believe this is happening?!"

As a pediatric occupational therapist myself, I know all too well the dangers babies face when born into this world too early. 29 weeks is TOO EARLY. And yet, the contractions wouldn't stop. The doctors started giving me a dose of steroids which helps speed of development of the babies- particularly lung development, and also gave me medicine to try and stop contractions. When the contractions didn't seem to be slowing and my cervix just kept dilating, they also began giving me drugs with anticipation of possible delivery- magnesium to reduce risk of cerebral palsy, as well as penicillin and some others.

Then the NICU doctors arrived to share with us what our babies might look, be like, and face if born now. It was the worst, hardest conversation that I've ever had to sit through. Honestly, I just couldn't wait for them to leave because I didn't want to hear anymore. If we were scared before, we were terrified after that discussion.

And so a long night began. Lot's of poking, prodding, monitoring and other not fun medical procedures. Without question or hesitation I'll go through anything I have to for these babies, but it wasn't fun. I kept thinking back to when I was on this very same floor laboring with colin, how different it was. Also uncomfortable certainly, but I knew that I had a baby to look forward to at the end of all of it, one that I could immediately cuddle and nurse and be with every second. This time around, on this night, the goal/ the prize, wasn't to have the babies but avoid it if at all possible.

I finally fell asleep around 6 a.m. and when I woke up things had subsided a bit. The contractions spaced out and by the end of the day we knew that they weren't changing the cervix anymore- for now at least. Obviously, that was EXCELLENT news. It also meant that I got to switch from the labor and delivery floor to a monitoring floor. I got to sleep last night without any wires hanging off me or middle of the night medical procedures which was blissful!

So the plan is to just wait and see.... and hope. Hope that labor continues to be stalled as long as possible so these boys can stay put as long as possible. But also hope that if they have to come much sooner than we planned, that they will be healthy and that somehow we will find strength as parents that we didn't know we had, to help them in their nicu journey.

Meanwhile I'm waiting for little c to arrive ANY MINUTE. I can hardly wait to see him, hug him, kiss him and allow his smile remind me of all that is good and right in this world.

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