Time for Another

the diary of our quest for baby number 2

I’m back :) Tuesday 4 August 2009

Filed under: comments,negative,positive,reduction,triplets — timeforanother @ 5:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

For today anyway! Can’t believe it’s been so many months since I last managed a post. Very remiss, but I have got an excuse, being a busy mama to my two wonderful kids. If can barely believe that our little boy turned 1 just a couple of weeks ago, and our beautiful daughter will celebrate her 4th birthday in a couple of weeks time.

I just caught up with some comments left here.  I’m always surprised to find them – I forget that there are people who find and read this blog (despite no advertising of it anywhere as far as I’m aware).  Other than spam, I decided early on to publish all comments made, whatever their content. Some might find this a bit bizarre but for the most part, I accept that the topic of selective reduction will produce strong reactions. Most of the comments I’ve received have been very nice with the odd more unpleasant one thrown into the mix. I don’t deny anyone the right to say what they feel, but it really disappoints me that the pro-lifers are so crude and unwilling to accept that some things in life are not black and white, however we would like them to be.  For sure, the decision may have been a lot simpler if I’d had such strong views. Then again, maybe not. I remember thinking at the time how it might have been if I’d had a faith (I don’t). Now that I’ve been in contact with other women who have been through SR – most of whom are practising Christians – I’m certain that it would have only made things more woolly. Ultimately I only have myself to answer to. My husband and I are lucky to have a strong marriage and friendship and we made the decisions we made together. If I’d wanted something different, I’m not entirely certain where we’d be right now. I strongly suspect that even with the strongest of relationships, ours may not have survived having triplets. Financially I know that it would have been pretty devastating even during the pregnancy – having time off when you’re self employed means no income. I can only imagine what might have been. And so, because it really doesn’t matter about all the infinite ‘what if’s’ now (what’s done is done), I choose to think positively about it all. We have an adorable little boy with a gorgeous and proud big sister. The twins I’m sure would have been equally adorable and gorgeous, and I like to think of them with a smile instead of a cry. We talk about them still – they are part of our lives and our family – just because they are no longer here with us in person, doesn’t mean they aren’t still the siblings to our surviving kids, or our children. They were more than just foetuses to us, I felt them moving and saw them on the scans. I feel I owe it to them to remember them and honour them, for they did exist, if only for a short time.  And no amount of sanctimonious commentary will ever make me feel any differently.

 

Long time no write Wednesday 8 October 2008

Filed under: 2nd child,selling house,triplets — timeforanother @ 12:07 am

Funnily enough I’ve been pretty busy and have neglected to update this blog. Apologies for those who have been reading regularly. So, this will be a quick visit – I need to feed my little one and sleep.  We’ve so very nearly sold the flat, the buyers played fast and hard with our stress levels, but we’re hoping to exchange and complete by the end of the month when we move to a beautiful rented house, with a sweet little garden.

Our little boy continues to bring complete joy to us. He pretty much sleeps through already, feeding around midnight and waking again at 6am. Unfortunately he’s suffering from diarrhea (sp?) at the moment since having his first routine jabs. We’re waiting for results to come back to see if there is anything causing it. Thankfully he’s not dehydrated and seems very content aside from this unpleasantness.

I had my final counselling session a couple of weeks ago and feel pleased on one hand but sad on the other. Everything is still very fresh and raw and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t remember the twins. I talk often with their brother about them and what it means that we still have him. I know he’s too little to understand properly but there are times when he stares deep into my eyes and I really feel we have such a connection, and that he somehow gets what I’m on about. Possibly wishful thinking, but hey, what’s wrong with that?

Ok, I promise to get on here again in the next day or so to talk more. But for now, my little boy needs his milk.

 

Countdown commences Monday 30 June 2008

37 weeks tomorrow which means we can have our homebirth from then (all being well). The pool arrived today so a quick dash to the local DIY shop to find a suitable tap connector and we can have a test drive later on. Wriggler has definitely dropped down which makes breathing easier but walking harder – plus trips to the loo every few minutes as the pressure on my poor old bladder is constant 🙂

The antibiotics seem to be kicking in now but I’m still coughing and blowing gunk from my nose – yuk. It doesn’t really help with my breathing practice as I’m wheezing so doing the long slow breath in and out (used for contractions) is proving a bit tricky. Oh well.  The TENS machine arrived on Saturday too so we’re pretty much good to go. I’ve packed two bags in case of a hospital transfer – one for me and one for Wriggler and added in the energy bars. Our cupboards are now replete with chocolate biscuits and toast making ingredients to keep the midwife happy!

DH spent the weekend cleaning, tidying and doing DIY so the flat is looking good – we should be instructing our chosen estate agent today so it’s all go on all fronts. MIL will be coming down on Weds with the crib, baby car seat and baby bath that she’s had in her attic for us – just hope things don’t kick off whilst she’s here. Despite us telling her we didn’t want anyone around last time, she decided to turn up anyway which made us both pretty cross. I’m determined for it to be me and DH only this time, with our DD being the next person to meet Wriggler. Everyone else can just wait until we’re ready.

I’ll be seeing my midwife tomorrow so we’ll go through the birth plan and arrangements for a homebirth, then a counselling appt on Weds. As D-Day draws nearer, I can’t help but be reminded again of the twins we reduced and wonder what if…  I love them every bit as much as I love my DD and Wriggler, even though I never got a chance to meet them properly. They are still very much a part of me and will never be forgotten. I’m just so sad that we had to make the decision we did. I hope I can find some time to grieve properly for my two little babies, and that wherever they are, that they understand why we did what we did.  I’m not religious or even really that into ‘life after death’ type of thing but I hope they are kind of around and looking over us all. I know that physically they are literally a part of me having been partially absorbed and whilst that sounds a bit gruesome, it actually brings some small comfort. Emotionally the whole experience has impacted me greatly – a totally unexpected twist in our lives that has had to be incorporated somehow, and physically it’s the same I suppose (although on much less of a scale). But, life goes on and their brother is making his way into the world which brings happiness tinged with sadness. 

 

30wks tomorrow Monday 12 May 2008

Another milestone about to be reached. Although 8-10wks to go still sounds like a long wait. We must start practicing the Hypnobirthing techniques, particularly as the course was so brilliant this time around. I’ve organised a basic hospital bag (something I didn’t do last time), know which birthing pool to order, have got the carrycot bit for our Xplory, washed all clothes and sheets and all we have to do now is find a name for the Wriggler. We hope that seing him a bit more clearly at the 4D scan on Friday will help a little, although he usually behaves very coyly at scans.

Not sure if it’s the heat but he has barely stopped moving over the last couple of days, which is nice in some ways but also quite tiring. I nearly fainted in the kitchen yesterday – just because it’s hot and the oven was on. DH came to the rescue 🙂 Today my hands and feet feel swollen and tight and all I really want to do is lie in the cool and sleep; the chances of that happening are about as good as odds on pigs doing a fly-by passed the window!

Can’t remember when I last posted or in fact what I posted… so sorry if I repeat myself. I got signed off from my consultant last Tuesday as the pregnancy is all developing as it should. It’s only really in my head where the ‘problem’ lies. I still can’t shake off my feelings of deep guilt and sadness about the twins. There isn’t a day goes by where I don’t think about what we did and whether it was the right choice. There are now at least two ladies on Bounty who have announced triplet pregnancies (and of course, they are going ahead) and I can’t help myself but read their stories. A tiny bit of me wants to hear that things don’t work out which is pretty sick to admit, but if they are successful, it’s just another smack in my face, proving that it can be done, and relatively easily.

We got around to buying a cherry tree the other week, and the recent sunshine has seen it sprouting lots of greenery on an otherwise lifeless looking stick. Signs of spring with bittersweet undertones.

Decorating has been more off than on, but the carpenter and his dad came back today and finished hanging the doors and sorting out of the laminate floor edging (well, some of it). Also, the underfloor heating which we installed at least 3yrs ago, is finally connected to the electricity supply. On the hottest day of the year so far. There must be some irony in that. Our latest plan is to sell up asap, pay off our debts, hopefully keep a chunk of money for a deposit, then rent for 6mths-1yr locally. It doesn’t matter then if prices rise, fall or stay the same – we’ll still be in a better position than when we started out, despite not having the flat as an asset. Initially a little scary, but the more we talk it through, the more appealing it seems. Plus, we’re planning a 3wk holiday over Christmas and New Year, somewhere warm, with a kids club so we can escape the usual shenanigans, and be somewhere far away from the memories that will surely return as the anniversary of discovering the triplets approaches.

Enough for tonight, time to sleep.

 

Monday 14 April 2008

Filed under: facts,life sentence,multiples,potty training,reduction,scared,triplets — timeforanother @ 1:54 pm

I came across this (found here) today and it’s probably the first time I’ve actually seen some statistics written anywhere other than in medical papers.

Risks of multiple pregnancies is high

Multiple pregnancies are a greater risk to the mother and the babies. The risk is greater for twins than single babies but rises dramatically with three babies or more. Without selective reduction 13 per cent of multiple pregnancies end with no live babies, and more than 15 per cent end with premature babies.

And this (from here)

CONCLUSION: In trichorionic triplet pregnancies, embryo reduction to twins does not improve the chance of survival but may reduce the rate of handicap. Reduction from triplets to singletons may reduce both the survival rate and the handicap rate among survivors.

I still can’t help but feel we weren’t given enough information about the management of an id twin pregnancy compared with a reduced singleton one. The statistics seem contradictory and confusing the more I find. I probably shouldn’t keep looking, but I really can’t help myself. I guess I’m searching for the elusive ‘that choice was the best one medically’ statistic, which would absolve me somewhat. Although in my heart of hearts, I know that any of our ‘what if…’ options would have me here thinking and researching the others, there is no real peace to be found, only acceptance and a desire to do the best with what we have. I’m usually a great believer in letting the past go, or at least not letting it affect ones future, but maybe it’s too fresh right now to move on just yet. Accepting that bad & horrible things happen sometimes, but having to also accept that it doesn’t mean we are bad & horrible, or that bad & horrible things should continue to happen, or that we should somehow punish ourselves even more for the decisions we made. They have been made and acted upon; we cannot change them. It’s easy to write, say, even think, but much more difficult to believe. I hope to get there someday, but I’m also aware that maybe I never will, and I will just need to live with that.

Back to the here & now – must sign off and change my dd’s nappy. Roll on potty training!

 

The pregnancy which just keeps giving Friday 29 February 2008

Filed under: bump,counselling,noro virus,scared,triplets,worries — timeforanother @ 2:50 pm

It really does seem like one thing after another this time. Tuesday night brought with it a nasty stomach ache (not bump related) followed by some unpleasantness of the toilet variety (sorry TMI) and the stomach ache has continued day and night up to and including today. It’s actually woken me up at night it hurts so much. I’ve tried Gaviscon in case it’s indigestion (although it feels too low down for that, and constant) but no joy with it. Also have a vice-like headache which laughs in the face of the puny paracetamol.

Managed to get a cancellation appt with the GP today and he was very nice but said basically there are a lot of tummy bugs going around at the moment and it appears to be a milder version of the Noro virus which went around at Christmas. Lovely. Can’t give me anything to help relieve the symptoms because of being pregnant other than Gaviscon and paracetamol!!

Oh well. In other pg news, we had our first joint counselling session yesterday and it was good. I always think I don’t have anything much to say at the beginning but somehow the flood gates open and before we know it, the session is ending. It was really good for me to listen to my husband and his feelings/thought about the reduction. I’m so caught up in my head that it’s difficult to remember there are other ways of looking at it and dealing with it. It’s confirmed my feeling that we both have very different takes on it, not surprisingly. I felt connected instantly with the triplets where as he didn’t, well at least not in the same way. He feels he has moved on and is looking forward to meeting the wriggler and is more excited about the pregnancy than I am. For me, things remain much the same, I’m full of grief, remorse, guilt, hatred towards myself, unconnected with the bump and our growing son, all at sea, about to go under at any moment. I had hoped that after the reduction the feeling of being caught between a rock face and quick sand, whilst standing in a fast flowing river heading towards a deathly waterfall would disappear, but it appears I’m still stuck there. I want to move on, but can’t seem to. I go through the motions of pregnancy excitement but don’t truly feel it. I love the little nappies, and the tiny clothes but I love those cute things regardless. I can’t imagine our baby wearing them, or how I’ll feel when he is wearing them. I’m scared of how I’m going to feel, or perhaps more honestly, what will happen if I don’t feel anything. I’m scared of having post natal depression again, I’m scared that our decision at 12 wks will affect this baby for all it’s life. Yet, shit happens in life and we have to find a way of getting on and not looking back too often. We can’t change the decision we made, nor would we choose to if offered it again I don’t think. But it’s become part of us all and I do feel different. I feel like a terrible mum, undeserving of my kids love. I miss my twins, my triplets. I am a mother of four, yet I will only truly know two of them. I do know that I love them all and will never forget the ones who are not with us anymore.

 

Down down down Tuesday 12 February 2008

OMG even writing that has made me cry (it has trhee down’s, one for each triplet). I finished reading Jackie Clune’s book ‘Extreme Motherhood’ today – it’s about how she dealt with having triplets with an 18mth old daughter. I ordered it when we first found out about our triplets as it came highly recommended. I avoided it for a while during the reduction period then came back to it. It’s generally a fun book and had me laughing in many places, it also made me think we couldn’t have done it. But the end has made me weep big fat sobbing tears for what we’ve lost. We didn’t even try. And I feel awful. I haven’t felt like this since the days before the reduction. I’ve failed my twins, the triplets and my four children. How can this get easier? When I signed the consent form, they should have told me I was signing a life sentence of grief and guilt.

 

Today triplets, tomorrow… who knows. Wednesday 9 January 2008

The last evening with 3 inside me probably. Tomorrow at 3pm we have the nuchal fold scan at King’s College Hospital, London, x 3. Then an appt with Professor Kypros Nicolaides who will discuss reduction. Then we if we think we have enough, and the right information he’ll do the reduction. It will be based on the results of the nuchal scan as well as statistical evidence on the best outcome. A hard day. I know I shouldn’t beat myself up about it, but it’s so hard not to. How can any mother ‘choose’ to ‘lose’ one or more of her babies, that are growing and wriggling inside her? I just hope that we are able to hold on to at least one and it will make the decision more bearable – that we did it to give that one the best possible chance of a healthy life.

 

Stop the world, I want to get off Sunday 6 January 2008

If only. This has got to be the longest 7 days in the history of man and each day has brought more extreme emotions than the last. I found a great resource in the shape of an online forum called mumsnet – their ‘multiples’ area has brought a wealth of support from twin and triplet mums, and not all doing the ‘congratulations, it’ll be hard but you can do it’ type of support. One pointed me at a blog by a French lady living in America who after IVF was expecting quads, who went on to have a ‘reduction’ (another word for fetocide, or basically eliminating one or more of a multiple pg by means of a potassium chloride injection into the fetus’ heart via your abdomen). This is something which we want to discuss with the consultant – I have no idea if it’s something that will be offered in the UK, or if it only gets offered if there are abnormalities with any of the three.

I can’t tell you how much I hate having to read about this stuff, let alone think about it happening to me, them and us. Many women get through such things by not allowing themselves to think of the babies inside them as babies but I’ve found that impossible. I was so happy to be pregnant and I can’t switch that off now that I know I’m pregnant with three. They are all my babies and I love them all unconditionally already, yet I know we can’t have three – maybe in a perfect world we could, but right now it’s doesn’t seem like an option. And it’s not just down to me, dh really doesn’t think we can do it and is worried (rightly) about the strain it would put on us as a couple, let alone the finances, having to move out of our local area and be miles away from friends and family. So all I can do right now is love them knowing they will only be with me for a short time. I’m determined to ask for a scan picture of them all in one shot – it may be morbid to some, but I don’t want any one of them to be forgotten. And anyway, reduction comes with it’s own risks – it may cause the remaining ones to miscarry so we could end up with no babies at all.

As if these things weren’t enough to overwhelm us, I also started losing ‘old blood’ (it’s brown) which is probably nothing to worry about, but this morning there was quite a lot and accompanied by strong aches/pains in my abdomen. There’s no point in calling anyone, we’re seeing the consultant tomorrow and anyway, I suspect it’s just one of those things. Still, I could really do without it. It’s just another worry on top of the mountain we already have.

Sorry this is a depressing post, but I need to get things down, and whilst my mum and husband are listening, I don’t think they can truly understand how it is for me – the one who is carrying them, who will be the one to have needles poked into her tummy, to feel the effects of hormones racing around her, to deal with the joy of being pregnant to the hell of having to decide how to proceed with the pregnancy. I keep hoping that someone will just tell me what to do, or that the scan will show abnormalities which will make decisions slightly more justified but it’s not going to happen is it? It’s really down to us and that kills me.

 

An eventful Christmas, to say the least Tuesday 1 January 2008

Filed under: blood tests,christmas,hospital,MIL,miscarriage,morning sickness,nausea,triplets — timeforanother @ 1:59 pm

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…