Saturday, February 28, 2009

A storm was a brewin'

I love Tornadoes. Their power amazes me. Robb and I joke that I missed my calling as a Tornado Chaser. I am a Storm Stories addict. Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to be in one. I just like to observe (from a far). I suppose that makes me a Tornado Hypocrite, doesn't it? And unfortunately, sometimes I find that parallel in my spiritual life as well. Don't we all want the comforts of the kingdom without the heat of refinement? Sure, I want to grow closer to Christ, but growing usually hurts. Who wants to be refined? The fire gets awful hot, doesn't it?

When I was twenty-six weeks pregnant, our own personal storm began to brew. During the two weeks prior, my contractions had gotten out of control and I was having to take multiple doses of my medicine to stop them. The nurses decided that it was getting too dangerous for me to stay at home under their watchful eye (from Florida). So, the plan was that I would go to the hospital for more drastic medicinal intervention. AKA a Mag-wash. I would be administered Mag-Sulfate for a few days to flush the terbutaline out of my system. And supposedly, this might enable my body to respond to the Terbutaline again - as my body had gotten desensitized to it.

So, we calmly drove to the hospital that night. No need to panic. I was actually looking forward to the outing. I hadn't been out of the bed since the end of January and it was now Mid-March. The hope was to check in, do the Mag-wash, restart my Terbutaline pump, and maybe even go back home.

Friday, February 27, 2009

For Sale By Owner

Finally, we had come to a decision. We would move back to Huntsville, which would put us near some family and be easier for our church family to help us. So, with an agreement finally made, I ran out to Wal-Mart and bought our For Sale By Owner signs for the yard. I really felt in my heart that moving was God's plan for us. I did not know if Huntsville was the right decision, but one step at a time.

The signs were up. The phones were ringing. However, no one seemed truly interested. We knew that it could take a year or more to sell our house, but we didn't have that much time. I had frantically saved the equivalent of 6 months worth of house payments between October and January. I was VERY concerned. Who would have thought I would have to go to bed and not be able to work! It was never a thought that crossed our minds in the fertility doctor. We were so sidetracked by the cost of the fertility drugs that we never thought through the bedrest = no income theory. Hindsight.

Meanwhile, I was having more contractions by the day. My wonderful team of nurses in Florida were having to keep a close watch on my reports. And then it happened. When you are on bedrest it's the simple things that keep you going. A good magazine, a hot shower, sleeping on the left side of the bed instead of the right side. What excitement! My only field trips out of the bed were to use the restroom. I greatly looked forward to my nightly showers and new pajamas. These pleasures came to a screeching halt.

No more showers.

What?!?! How could they strip me of my one and only privilege! The walls seemed a little tighter and the ceiling a little lower. The only thing that hadn't appeared yet was the potty chair. Whew! Atleast not yet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tales from the Crib: Skeeter Bugs

Lately, my children have started using the "F" word. Each night after I tuck them in, I hear the pitter-patter of tiny toes speedily walking to the door of their room. I wait for the call and inevitably the complaint is the same: Fear. Their "fear list" is growing- fear of the dark, fear of unknown noises, fear of dogs barking and choo-choo whistles. I am saddened by their loss of comfort. They are growing up. And although I try to proof their little worlds of anything that would steal their joy and hurt their minds, I find that fear finds its' way through the cracks.

Tonight, I heard the pitter-patter of Leyton's cube shaped feet :) speedily running across his room. Tonight, his list grew to include "skeeter-bugs." Apparently, there was a floater in the room. One sneaky, skeeter bug that kept carefully eluding my eyes. Invisible to me, but scaring the mess (literally) out of my toddler! To no avail, everytime I got him back in bed, the floater buzzed passed his head looking for fresh skin. In actuality, that "skeeter-bug" was small, but its' buzz made it seem much, much bigger.

I can relate.

We talked with our youth girls on Sunday night about fear. False-Evidence-Appearing-Real. Fear is something I struggle with as well. Financial fear, fear about my health, my children's health, fear of rejection, fear of failure - oh how my list could tumble on. The truth is that fear is irrational. One thing I have learned about fear is that it can only be overcome by the word of God. As much as I have tried, self-determination and rationalization have never worked in overcoming fear (matter of fact that only made me focus more on my fears). Sometimes the buzz is so loud and the night is so black that we can be completely disillusioned. But, when we shine the light of God's word on our situations, we can see that a big buzz may only mean the presence of a tiny skeeter bug.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

Agree to Disagree

We had talked ourselves to death. Worse-case scenarios and wild imaginations had led us nowhere productive. But, one thing we finally agreed on was....to disagree. And most of our agreeing to disagree was driven by fear. We were both scared. We knew how we SHOULD react. We were getting lots of advice from family and friends that only left us more confused (as no advice led to the same conclusion). We knew that we SHOULD HAVE mustered up our mustard seeds of faith at this point (where did I put those things anyway)? Instead, our eyes were only fixed on the impossibles-those darn impossibles again! These impossibles plagued our thinking and they were sucking the life out of every conversation we had with each other. I wanted to plan the next year of our life out and have things set in stone. Robb wanted to wait until the babies were born to make any moves. And a move was exactly the hot topic we were discussing. Should we stay or should we go now? That was the tune we were definitely singing. It was difficult because we had a great church, great friends, and great jobs. Neither one of us wanted to go, but things were changing. And we had a mortgage that would be sucking the life out of our savings account very soon if we did not come to a mutual agreement sometime in the near future.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Technology and Terbutaline...

It was a puzzling contraption. And in my new found "spare time" I pondered its' ability to render aid. Strap to stomach, turn the dial, and watch the hills. The hills were contractions. I would then plug the machine into the phone line and dial a Florida phone number. My report would fax, over the phone, to a team of nurses in Florida. The nurses would then call me with a report. Amazing technology (that often baffles me)! This amazing little contraption and the team that oversaw its' reports would save my babies from being born too early. If I had more than 3 contractions in 30 minutes, I would have to inject myself with Terbutaline to stop them. Then, after taking the medicine, I would have to re-test to make sure it did its' job.

This became routine. It was a monotonous routine, but it was necessary. But, very soon my little technological companion would tell me that things were getting out of hand. And eventually, no piece of technology or medication would be able to stop nature from taking its' course. Our fate would literally rest in the hands of the Great Physician. With fear and chaos looming around the corner, moving forward we would long for the days of bedrest and boredom. Things were beginning to pick up!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Pooh Tray

My surgery was finished and it was time to move. Since, baseball season had officially started, we thought it best that I move to my mom's house in Hardin. With Robb being out of pocket so much, we knew that in case of an emergency, I needed available people. So, after my surgery, my magazines, laptop, contraction monitor, and myself moved. I was at the half-way mark. However, I looked in appearance like I was around seven months pregnant. I had taken the "weight deadlines" they had given me and run with them. It was a fun time in the land of green bean casserole and mac-n-cheese. Oh, and I forgot to mention my dear friend, ice cream. We shared some very intimate moments together. Bed rest began rather painlessly. I got a couple of waitresses (my dear mom and sister), a big comfy bed, and all the snacks I desired. And how could I forget, a fabulous Winnie the Pooh serving tray! Since, I was not allowed to leave the bed, I even had to eat there. So, each day the Pooh Tray delivered me exquisite cuisine. It was STAR treatment and the demanded lethargy was beginning to grow on me. Literally!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It Was Time

It was December. And it was time. I kept having this odd feeling. Was I feeling the babies move? Mmm...not sure. Was I physically feeling my stomach stretch? Mmm...still not sure. So, when I went in for an ultrasound and told the doctor of my "weird feeling" she told me that the "weird feeling" was a contraction. Oh, who would have guessed it, a pregnant woman having a contraction! The only problem was it was NOT time for THAT to happen. But, it was time to take some precautionary measures to keep me from having them now. It was time to have a procedure to physically sew them in (yes apparently there was a slight chance of them falling out), time to take a machine home with me, and last but not least time to go to bed. I was okay with the surgery, okay with the machine, but not very okay with the thought of being bound to a bed. I knew it was coming, so I had asked around. It's funny because before I got pregnant with triplets I didn't think I knew anyone else who had multiples greater than twins. After I got pregnant, they seemed to start popping up everywhere. So, I asked the few women that had gone through this already about the different degrees of bedrest. From their stories, I found there to be three different types: 1) the "oh I was supposed to be on bedrest, but I was secretly walking around the block and taking occassional trips to Target 2)the " I layed around most of the time, ate junkfood, and watched alot of Soap Operas" and 3)the "I was bed bound, showers were a privilege, and they even made me use a "potty chair" because my doctor thought the bathroom was too far away." Oh dear...this will be interesting to say the least!

So, naturally, I was hoping my restrictions would be limited, as I had visions of "potty chairs" dancing in my head. Dr. Adam told me that by mid-January I needed to be in bed for real. So, I made her clarify "for real." She said that I could start with the contraction monitoring machine and we would have to see how things worked out. But, that no matter what, mid-January would be my D-Day or shall I say B-Day. But, not the B-Day that comes with cake and candles and lots of nicely wrapped gifts. The B-Day that comes with a remote control, some magazines, a laptop that sleeps with you, and translates Bed-Day. This was the beginning of a new chapter.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Then One Day

Then one day soon after that close call we would receive some very sad news. During a routine sonogram, Dr. Adam could not find a heartbeat for one of the babies. Not the baby they predicted, but the baby they had termed the "healthiest" of the four. We were upset and confused. It was a bit of a shock. One day, it was alive and strong and then it was gone. It was too early to know if it was a boy or a girl, but it was our baby. He/she was supposed to be apart of our family. We were going to be a family of five now, and that number seemed to come up a bit short. I never really grieved for that little one while I was pregnant. I wouldn't let myself, afterall grieving when you are pregnant with three others seemed a bit selfish. Everytime I would start to be sad over the loss, I gave myself the "selfish" talk- that it was selfish to want four, when you are getting to have three. That some women do not get even one child.

But, even still, it was a scary time. We wondered what might happen to the other babies fighting for space and life inside of me. If we lost a healthy one, what would happen to the ones they had coined as "not as strong" as the others. What would happen when things got crowded in there? Would my body provide them with the nutrients they needed to be able to thrive after birth?

Today, we are very thankful for our thriving toddlers. We are a happy family of five. But, from time to time, I look around at Laci, Seth, and Leyton and wonder about the one that was not. Would it have had Robb's green eyes or Leyton's big cheesy grin? Would it have been silly like Laci or energetic like Seth? These will remain a mystery only known by the Father. Early on in my pregnancy, I had had a dream. In that dream I had just given birth to all four babies. I saw the faces of three babies in that dream, but the fourth was in this haze. I kept trying to see what it looked like, but could not. I had that dream long before I miscarried and for whatever reason, it is eerily significant to me now. I cannot help but feel like our family is not complete yet, maybe that tug on my heart is reserved for that special little one that is in God's hands now. Til' then I will enjoy the special gifts I have today.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Time was marching on. I felt good and the babies seemed healthy-all four of them. Then, one morning I woke up and it seemed that I was miscarrying. I began to emotionally crumble. From day one of "congratulations you're going to be parents" my mind had been running on overdrive. I had mentally done it all. Mentally I had imagined every scenario, good and bad. But, that day, time would stand still for us. All the worry, the elation, the fear, the excitement, could all have been for nothing. All that planning, rehearsing, believing, and realizing our dream to have children seemed to be slipping away. I called Dr. Adam and she told me to come in immediately and to lay flat on my back in the car.

Before she did the sonogram, she mentioned that Baby B (Seth today) might be the reason for all of this. Seth was tiny from the beginning. From the time he was a miniscule circle on the screen, they had said if I lost a baby it would probably be him. So, we actually always expected to lose Baby B. We felt like it was inevitable because of their predictions. That day, it was merely a close call. The placenta from Baby C had pulled off of the wall and bled. No baby was harmed. All four still alive and growing. We were relieved.

Baby B is Seth. Seth weighed 3 lbs 2 oz. at birth. Today, Seth is the biggest of the three weighing in around 29 lbs. He is also the tallest (Sorry Leyton, he has you by 1 3/4"). Seth, according to the doctors, was not suppose to make it to delivery. Everyone had counted him out, but God had a different plan for him. Seth sat up first, rolled over first, crawled first, and walked first. Go Seth! We sure are glad the doctors were wrong about you. Expect the unexpected!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Baby Steps

Tonight we had a date. In Liberty, there are few options. So, it was Chilli's cuisine and a trip to Palais Royal (I know, I know). We pull up to Palais Royal and proceed to park...as far away from the door as possible. So,I said, "Why did you pass up those 4 parking spots right in front of the door?" Robb says, "What's wrong with parking here...its' fine." "But, what made you choose this spot versus the close ones?" "I just wanted to park in this spot, is that okay?"

Okay, so we are different: not wrong, just different people. He's left handed, I'm right handed. I love pizza. He loves pizza...without the sauce. How can one like pizza without the sauce? That's cheesy bread...not pizza!

However, our differences in personality, perception, and handling situations helped keep us balanced during this time in our lives. We had a lot to think about. We had just bought a new house, remodeled the house, and now we were having four children. Our new house was nowhere near our family in Liberty. We knew we were going to need alot of help, but we were just settling in to our new neighborhood. Should we stay? Can we afford to stay? Dr. Adam had told us that by January, even if things were going great, I would go to bed. Hmmmph...bed rest...that is a novel idea. A reality that meant I would have no job. Oh...no job...another interesting thought. A reality that meant we could not afford the new house we just bought and remodeled. What were we going to do? Then, there was the constant reminder from the doctors that my body "could spontaneously abort one, two, three, or all of the babies." Would we even have to make these decisions? Would my body actually be able to do this? Only time would tell and in the meantime, Robb and I would talk in circles. I would say "Maybe we should move home." He would answer, "Which room should we put the baby beds in?" I would say, "We need to each grow another set of arms to physically care for these kids or figure out a way to clone ourselves!" And Robb would say, "Don't worry about it yet, we don't even know how many we babies we will actually have?" Our differences kept us balanced. He kept my mind from racing forward too fast. He kept me from panicking about the future, one step at a time was his pace. And still, I kept him moving forward just in case we really did have four children, one step at a time (and sometimes two).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Selective Reduction

She spoke with an accent, though she got insulted when you asked her where she was from. She wore a very "this is weighing my neck down" gold necklace, blue scrubs, and a serious countenance at all times. This was my new doctor. My time at Houston Fertility Clinic had come to an end. They were passing the baton and I...well..I guess I was the baton. And with a weight gain deadline...I was beginning to be a heavy one. Dr. Karolina Adam, despite her serious demeanor, would become my friend. Although she seemed rigid at first, I needed her. We needed her skill, her judgement, and her profound ability to stay composed in tough times.

However, before we were friends, she had to be a professional. Therefore, it was during our first "meet and greet" that by law she had to give us "the speech."
Selective Reduction: "Congratulations, on being parents. You realize you are having four babies and that is really dangerous. By keeping four babies, you are endangering their lives and overall health, as well as your own. You could die. They could die. You could have severe health complications like kidney failure, cardiomyopathy, toxemia, or worse. Your children will be born pre-term. They could be physically, mentally, or hearing impaired because of your choice to continue down this path. You realize the serious strain you are putting on your entire body. Proceeding any further is a very dangerous thing for both you and your children. So, we would like to now offer you an out: it is called selective reduction. You can "reduce" your infants down to one or two and proceed. Things will go alot smoother if you choose this path, better for you and better for your babies. However, if after hearing all that, you still want to proceed, then we will help you the best we can."

Okay. Deep Breath. Any body got a paper bag? Robb and I sat there with blank stares. We already knew our answer, but it was no fun hearing all the risks either. Needless to say, we politely declined their offer. And after they had scared us half to death, we proceeded down the hall for a sonogram. And there they were, the four flipping, jolting, and tugging reasons why "selectively reducing" them was never an option for us.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Cute little aliens...

What had once been four tiny circles on a screen had become four active babies. They were tiny. They were small on the screen, which had the power to magnify them greatly for our viewing pleasure, and in reality much, much smaller. I hate when Pro-Abortion groups try to de-humanize human embryos. Even though most women do not get to see their babies' activity as early as I did, this does not change the fact that a baby is alive (from conception). One can argue for the 'mother's health,' and mine was certainly in danger. But, that does not change the fact that I had four flipping, jolting, tugging miracles up to all kinds of fun inside of me. Each were tucked inside their own sack and they were growing. Their arms and legs were small, but growing rapidly. They took on a sort of alien-like shape, but they were still pretty cute to me. And they got names: Baby A, Baby B, Baby C, and Baby D. Baby A resided on the left side of my body, Baby B on the right side, Baby C chilled in my upper abdomen, and Baby D was sandwiched somewhere in the middle. They had plenty of room at the time, but before too long, would be up close and personal with one another.

I was told to eat. WOW! They even gave me a deadline: Twenty Pounds, Six Weeks. I laughed at the notion that I could possibly gain that much weight in such a short time. My doctor told me to have seconds, have dessert, and have anything else in between that I wanted. As a woman, bound by society's rules for body image, I was a bit scared and yet quite liberated. Someone was actually telling me to get fat. I knew the task at hand would probably be quite enjoyable. So, I set out to "please my doctor!" She would certainly be proud of my effort even if I couldn't gain that much weight THAT fast. If only I knew...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why does everyone look so scared?

It was true. The nurses that so lovingly attended to all my needs looked uneasy. Their words were comforting, but their faces told a different story. This was what one might call protocol. It wasn't their fault, they had been trained. Trained to smile, even if they wanted to cry for those in their care. Trained to speak with confidence, even when the future seemed uncertain. While I was thinking about the fingertips of God forming my children week by week, they knew that the road ahead would be difficult. I am glad that I did not know what they knew. I am thankful that I did not feel the need to do much research. I had two books: one that told me about the week by week development of those housed inside my body, and one that told me what would happen to me. I preferred the first book. For me, God's creation is one of the most magnificent clues to God's existence and love. We live on a planet that hangs in space. Any closer to the sun and we would burn up. Any further and the freezing temperatures would not allow life to exist. God could have kept this all to Himself, but instead He decided to allow us to participate. Oh wait, He had to make us first! He made us in His image, He blessed us, and then gave us all He had created (Genesis 1:27-31). So, despite the trepidation on the faces around me, I chose to believe in God as my Creator. I focused on what He was doing within me; creating several somethings out of nothing. He was an old pro at this and I had to focus my wandering thoughts again on His promises to keep me safe.

Just Believe

We were slowly processing the life changes that were about to take place for us. We were really excited, really afraid, and really wondering how this was all going to work. But, we were honored that God had chosen us to have so many kids at once. I could have never imagined that I would be a mother of multiples. At one point in time, I was not even sure I would be able to have one child, much less three. A few verses were very dear to me during this time. One can be found in 2 Chronicles 20:12and it says, "...For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee." This verse kept my mind from spinning out of control so many times. Because of this truth, I knew that I didn't have to know all the details, I just had to keep my eyes on Jesus. I had to forsake my unstable feelings and just believe God's word.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rhythmic. Blinking. Alive.

I was alone that day. Robb had been with me the week before, but was unable to take off of work again. The 'congratulations but speech' we had been given the week before had led us to believe that we would be lucky to stay pregnant with one healthy child. Specifically Dr. Gill said, "Some women get pregnant with triplets and half way through the pregnancy, their body aborts all of them. In saying that, it will be a pure miracle if you come out with even one baby." In other words, don't get too attached to the idea of being parents. We had already gotten pretty attached.

But, that day when I returned - they were there. Rhythmic. Blinking. Alive. The doctor was right, there were no longer three; there were four. Strong. Healthy. Beating Hearts. I was a bit dumbfounded. God and I had talked again. I prayed and found peace about being pregnant with three. The peace I longed for at the baseball game that night, through prayer and a lot of phone time with my mom and sister, had come at last. Now, the room was spinning again. The fear was more like shock. I tried to tell myself "What's one more, when you are already having three?" But, one more seemed really impossible. And when I thought I would surely die before, I REALLY thought this was it. All I could think was, "I will die getting these babies here and I won't even get to know who they are or see what God will do in them." It was a bittersweet day for me.

When I called Robb after the appointment, our conversation went something like this:

Robb: "Well, did we lose any or do we still have three?"
Jess: "No there aren't three anymore"
Robb: {Disappointed }"Oh, are you even still pregnant?"
Jess: "Yes, I am. There aren't three anymore, there are four!"
Robb: "What? Hold on I can't hear you very good. Let me call you back."
Jess: {Ring Ring}. "Hello. I said there aren't three there are four."
Robb: "What?"
Jess: "There are four!!!!!"
Robb: "What?"
Jess: "FOUR BABIES!" "The fluid sack had a heart today, it's a baby."
Robb: "Hmmm..."
Jess: "Robb?"
Robb: Silence.
Jess: "Robb? Are you there?"
Robb: "Hmmm.."

Silence...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tales from the Crib: Potty Training

Potty training triplets is...well...a trip! Right now, they sit on the potty, sing on the potty, play with toys on the potty, and occassionally they actually USE the potty. It's a slow process, but it's teaching me patience. I find myself wanting to hurry them along. They do their business, we give them an M&M (Thanks Jon & Kate), and we start all over again. They are catching on little by little. One day, they will get to the finish line. They will be 'big boys and girls' and I will probably cry and want them to be back on the starting line. I will long for the process- for the stuff in between.

Sometimes, in my walk with the Lord, I just want the end result. I strive for the finishline, but fall short. It would be much easier to find a shortcut, right? I am constantly needing a 'do over.' However, in spite of my weaknesses, God is always there. He's there with me at the starting line- cheering me on and even when I need a 'do over' He's there. He forgives, forgets, and urges me to press on toward the finish line even after I fail time and again. And unlike me, He is "slow to anger and abounding in love" (Numbers 14:18). While self-loathing can be my own worst enemy, He gently walks with me through all life's hills and valleys. He is the "Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:13


So, as for me and my house, I am glad there are potty chairs strewn about my living room. I am grateful for the singing on the potty, the playing with toys on the potty, and the occassional USE of the potty. The stuff in between is what makes life worthwhile.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pondering the Impossibles at Minutemaid

That night, concentrating on the game was a little difficult for me. The phrase, "I am going to die" was playing like a broken record over and over again in my head. See, God and I had chatted quite a bit about this day. I remember very vividly telling Him, "Lord I know the risks of fertility drugs and I don't care if I get pregnant with 8 children - no matter how scared I might be, You are simply going to have to help me!" But, that day, with the reality of carrying only three babies hovering over me, I was afraid. I could only think about all of the impossibles. Where had all that strength and resolve gone? It had apparently vanished.

I remember waiting by the restroom at Minutemaid pondering all of these impossibles when this guy walked past me and got in my face. He yelled, "Hey lady, cheer up it's the world series!" I smiled and then gave him "the look." You know the one. The look only a woman can give in her angriest Towanda moment. What I really wanted to do is grab him by the collar and scream, "YOU DIDN"T JUST FIND OUT YOU'RE AN INCUBATOR FOR NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT THREEEEEE HUMAN LIVES!" For a moment I was on the verge of a breakdown or an ugly fight with a strange man in his forties. Luckily, I spotted James Denton from Desperate Housewives and my rage shifted to paparazzi-like fascination. All in all, our lives were about to drastically change and I wasn't sure, even after being a Christian for almost twenty years, how all of this was going to work out. We were so happy to finally become parents and have those dreams fulfilled, but so scared at what the next year and beyond would be like.

The next week I went back to the doctor. It was an exciting day because I was going to actually see the heartbeats. There they were three perfect little heartbeats...oh wait..what?!?...and then there were four.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In All My Wildest

When you have heard your mother's traumatic childbirth stories your entire life, you find yourself a bit afraid of the whole concept. Why is it that we feel the urge to pass these stories on? It's very 'right of passage' and there is usually no middle of the road story. There is the 30 minute momma- the woman that those of us who felt any kind of pain dislike. The 30 minute momma felt a twinge and the next thing she knew a sweet-faced baby with rosy cheeks was draped in a soft, pink blanket and layed in her arms. We don't like you 30 minute mommma - your story makes us feel weak. Then, there is the 'I thought I would die' momma. We don't like you either because we do NOT want to be you. Your story of excruciating contractions, delirium, and threats frankly scares us.

When I found out I was having triplets, the excitement of becoming a mother soon turned to fear. And since I had been inundated with some very unpleasant tales from the women in my family who had only given birth to ONE child, naturally, I thought that I was certainly going to die trying to give birth to THREE! As Robb and I left the doctors office that day one thing that I remember very vividly was that the office staff looked afraid. I couldn't imagine why a 'Fertility' clinic that dealt with this every day all of a sudden seemed concerned. Their sudden lack of confidence didn't help matters, but we had a game to attend. And we were going to enjoy it; atleast one of us was.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Little Did I Know

I lay on the table quite comfortably considering that I knew my life was about to change drastically. One human life is a miracle and our hope for two would have been even more miraculous. Robb and I had visions of parenthood and the The World Series dancing in our heads. We were on our way to watch The Astros fight it out in Houston. The nurse came in and begin her search. I was amazed and confused as I saw not one, not two, not three, but four tiny sacks on the screen. The nurse was clicking and not talking. So, I asked the obvious, "Are ALL those sacks babies?!?!?" She quietly set her things down and replied, "Excuse me, but I need to go get the doctor." With that said, we got a little nervous. The doctor came in and proceeded to give us the second of our "Congratulations on being parents, BUT" speeches. This time it went something like: "Congratulations, you are having triplets, BUT you will probably not deliver three babies. The human body sometimes takes care of these things on its' own and it is too early to make any plans accordingly." With stunned, yet grateful, hearts we left. And the fourth sack that I had seen on the screen was said to be only fluid. They did not believe it would be viable. Little did I know.

A New World and A Very Good Day

We had arrived- on a different planet it seemed. A place where the locals didn't speak our language. They used terms like IUI, In Vitro, HCG, and selective reduction; terms foreign to us for sure. Over the next seven months, we would learn alot. Shots in my stomach and negative results would become routine. Finally, one day in September, the nurse called with good news. We were going to be parents and Dr. Gill wanted to see us. I asked the nurse if she thought it could possibly be more than one baby, she did not know. After a year of treatments, we were hoping for twins. She said we would have to wait until the first ultrasound and proceeded to give us the 'Congratulations on being parents BUT' speech. We would hear this speech many times over the next year. The 'BUT', this time was that it was really too early to give me any information. Since I was only two weeks pregnant, there were alot of unknowns. Little did I know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A New Doctor, A New Day

In September of '04 we were back at the doctor again, this time to try and become parents. We worked with my doctor through December with no success at becoming pregnant. We made the decision to switch doctors after a pharmacist told me I was taking toxic levels of the prescribed fertility treatment. And, like before, I was feeling the effects of these treatments mentally and physically. I was beginning to lose confidence in our health care system and specifically my doctor. I felt deep in my heart like this was a simple matter just not being recognized. But, I was no doctor, so we pressed on. In February, we made an appointment at Houston Fertility Institute in The Woodlands, Texas. I would be seeing Dr. Iberderber Gill or Jimmy to those who couldn't get Iberderber right (needless to say we called him Jimmy).

Dr. Gill was a breath of fresh air. First, he let me know that indeed I was being prescribed the drug Clomid in triple the amount that was safe for a patient. He also said that he tried to limit the use of Clomid as they referred to it in their office as the 'psychotic drug' due to its' harmful effects. Dr. Gill offered us hope and seemed quite confident that starting a family would be no problem at all. The reason that he was a practitioner in the field of Reproductive Medicine was because he and his wife also had trouble becoming pregnant. He knew the devastation of the inability to conceive, the financial costs, and the risks associated with the possibility of delivering multiples. His personal story helped to reassure us that we were in the right place.