First off, Happy 2008!
And so to begin – it’s a long story with a very very unexpected ending.
To continue from my last post, the ‘morning’ sickness continues, although less heaving, just a general feeling of nausea almost constantly. Food is not very appealing, but once I start to eat, it usually goes down ok. Still no obvious cravings or dislikes (other than wine, which tastes incredibly sour). Still really tired all the time. Whilst shopping for last minute christmas presents, I felt really dizzy and lightheaded, to the point I thought I was going to pass out. Thankfully I didn’t, and went home by taxi, despite it only being a 5-6 minute walk – my legs had gone to jelly!
Christmas day was lovely and quiet with just the 3 of us. Great turkey dinner, great presents and one excited little girl. The next two days were spent with my MIL which was good, apart from sleeping on a very uncomfortable bed. Then it was a quick pitstop back to ours, then off on Saturday to my folks. We spent a lovely afternoon unwrapping more presents, playing with DDs Playmobil park and generally nattering about this and that. Apart from the usual tiredness and slight queasiness, nothing to report on the pregnancy side of things.
Woke on Sunday morning about 6am thinking, oh that feels a bit sticky. It took a few minutes to properly register this in my not-quite-awake state. Then I looked and there was blood over the sheet, and a reasonable amount of it. Immediate panic set in for me and darling husband. Mum has suffered 2 miscarriages so of course we think the worst and I go to tell her what’s happening. I have bad cramps in my lower abdomen which doesn’t fill me with confidence that this is just a common early pregnancy bleed. So, we’re away from home, my notes are not with me and we’re panicking. After a short time it’s decided that we go to the local A&E dept, so we do just that, driving in almost silence as we both try not to imagine what may or may not be happening.
A&E at 7am is very quiet, although they tell us it’s been crazy all night. The triage nurse is lovely and tells me she’s putting me at the top of the list (despite there being no-one else there!). We wait. Finally we see a doctor who looks shattered – it must have been coming up to the end of her shift. She isn’t terribly reassuring – bleeding quite possibly indicates a miscarriage but to be certain she will refer me to the local Early Pregnancy Unit around the corner in the Maternity Hospital where they will scan me to see what’s going on. “Be prepared to just go home and get on with it” is the general gist if I am miscarrying. She takes a blood sample “in case you need a transfusion” and I freak out as soon as she’s finished (I’m a complete baby when it comes to needles and blood), and the shock of what may be happening really kicks in. I don’t think I’d really realised how much I felt for this baby despite only being 10wks+5days pg. The thought of losing it fills me with a raw anguish and a desire to howl – primal noises seem appropriate when words cannot begin to describe the feelings going on. I try to keep it together a bit. My husband looks like a ghost and I don’t want to wonder what’s going on in his head – I feel guilty that the baby is in me and I might be losing it, even though I know it’s nothing I have done. Horrible.
More waiting. We finally get told that we can go along to the EPU drop-in clinic which runs from 10am-12 – get there around 9.30am to get seen quickly. So we drive back to Mum & Dad’s, have a coffee and a shower, then turn around and head back to the hospital. We follow a lady and her daughter all the way through the corridors to the waiting area – she’s literally 2 seconds in front of us! Much more waiting, staff arrive around 10.20am and begin setting up for us. We eventually go in and see a nurse who takes details and pretty much tells us the same thing. Bleeds are common but if it’s a miscarriage, you go home and get on with it. The scan will determine if there are any reasons for the bleed. More waiting, then we go in to the scan room. There are two females – one doing the scanning and one sitting in the corner at a PC. They both seem nice and friendly. I lie down, jeans unbuttoned and jelly rubbed on to my tummy – I’m shaking again, worried sick of the impending news.
They press quite hard with the scanning equipment, and the screen is facing away from me so I have no idea what they are seeing. We are told, “well the good news is there is nothing wrong” ie I’m not miscarrying, and there is no obvious reason to be bleeding. However, she says “Don’t worry” and calls over her colleague and they whisper and prod the screen and nod at each other. Darling husband, is still white and is staring at the scan monitor (I’m sure in reality this happened really quickly, but it seemed like hours lieing there). The next bit is a little unclear on the actual wording, but it went something like this:
Sonographer: OK, so do you want the news?
Darling Husband: It’s twins?
Me: Twins? No…
Sonographer: No not twins… Triplets
DH & Me: What? Fuck, shit etc etc
Sonographer: Look, here’s one, here’s the other and then here’s the third one.
I couldn’t see the screen very easily cos of the angle we were both at, but I saw 3 little beans all wriggling away. We’ve gone from preparing to be told we were losing (or had already lost) one baby, to discovering that in fact all was well and we have 3 babies.
They all measure CTR (crown to rump) 39mm which puts them at exactly 10wks +6days (one day older than my dates), all have steady heartbeats and are moving. Two appear to be in one sac with a thin membrane seperating them, and another is in it’s own sac. The sonographer was unable to tell us if that meant one identical set and one fraternal, but to know they are all ok was enough. We were given the scan pics which they don’t usually do so had to hide them from the other waiting ladies, and were also given a scan report. At the bottom of the report is says: Triplet pregnancy determined. There was another long wait to see the doctor before we could go home. I’m surprised the words didn’t burn off the page we stared at it so hard. Still shaking, slightly hysterical, laughing but utterly panicked for different reasons. What a morning.
Got home and told my parents and sister, Mum almost cried and generally had the same reaction as us – making terrible jokes but also thinking “OMG! How on earth do you begin to cope with 3 babies, with a toddler too?”
2 days later and we’re still in shock but getting to grips with it. We see a consultant at the local hospital on Monday and then have our 12 wk nuchal fold scan in London on Wednesday. Hopefully we’ll be given lots more information and we can decide what on earth we’re going to do. The internet has little information on this subject, but then again, with only 159 triplet births in the UK last year (there were over 10,000 twin births), I suppose it’s not a surprise.
So there you are. We’re having triplets. 3 babies. In one go. We had only wanted one more to make our family complete – what is it they say? The best laid plans…