Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

29 Week Checkup - Superstar Status:)

Once again, nothing but good news to report from today's visit!!  The kiddos are all looking good.  Their heart rates are all in the 130 and 140 range again.  For the third visit in a row, they are all in the same position, so  I guess that they are running out of room to scoot around.  Baby A (the lowest) is still breech, Baby B (on my left side) is still head down and Baby C (on my right side) is still more or less sideways.  So basically, all 3 of them literally have their heads put together right in the middle....already conspiring against me!  That leaves Baby A's feet free to kick my bladder, Baby B's feet shoved up under my rib cage and Baby C's feet constantly pushing out my right side.  Like I said, they are already in cahoots to make my life difficult...  We still have to wait 2 weeks for another growth scan, so we won't know how big they are getting until then.  Also, my cervix was measuring at almost 5 cm today which is unbelievably good at this point in the pregnancy.  The ultrasound tech came to the conclusion that these babies are in absolutely no hurry to make their grand entrance which is just fine by me!

Otherwise, my blood pressure was 134/82, so still an acceptable reading and my blood sugars have remained good for the most part.  Of course, it was Christmas this week so I had a few high sugar readings, but the doc said that they were awesome, all things considered.  It was at this point that he declared me to be his "superstar patient"!  I may not have a lot of talents in life, but apparently I am a Samoan triplet growing fool!  I'll take whatever compliments I can get at this point.  Of course, he then said that there was really no point in measuring my's large, so we'll just leave it at that.

He also pointed out that we are at the point now that any time anything feels weird, I need to come in and have it checked out.  So, any unusual cramps, back pains, etc at this point are a cause for concern.  Hopefully I don't get too paranoid trying to decipher unusual pains from the usual ones.  He has still given me the OK to continue my modified bedrest, but has encouraged me to start taking advantage of any handicapped  transportation available in the stores.  So basically, he wants me to start riding the motorized cart around Wal-Mart...that should be quite the sight.  Wade has been trying to get me to do this for weeks now, but I figured it was mostly so he could take pictures and make fun of me!

Well, 29 weeks and 2 days down.  Yes, I feel the need to include the 2 days because I figure that every day counts at this point.  We'll go back next Wednesday for 30 weeks (and 2 days) checkup, so hopefully there will be nothing else to report in the meantime.

Hope everyone has a Happy New year!  Have a New year's drink for is definitely going to be an interesting 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

28 Week checkup - Another (thankfully) Uneventful Visit

Well, another good doctor's visit today! Just a quick ultrasound to check heart rates.They were all in the 130 and 140 range which is a little lower than they usually are, but the girls were all pretty quiet this morning so that is probably why.  They may finally be getting kind of squished in there because they were all in the same position this week that they were last, which is the first time that has happened.  Also, my cervix measurement was back up to 4.5 cm this week so that is always a good sign that there will (hopefully) be no labor this week.

My blood pressure is still hanging in there as well at 130/82 and blood sugars are in normal range as well so no problems there.  Physically, I'm starting to feel a little wear and tear, but really it is not nearly as bad as I would have expected.  I'm starting to feel a lot more pressure and some achiness in my lower back, but nothing that is really troublesome.

So, 28 weeks is another big milestone.  Babies born at 28 weeks have a survival rate of 90-95%, but we are definitely not ready for that yet.  I'm setting the next short term goal for 32 weeks...after that point, I figure anything can happen!

Well, there is not much else to tell, so I guess that I will keep this short and sweet this week.  Hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

27 Week Checkup - Growth Scan Ultrasound

Today we had our 27 week checkup which included our 4 week growth scan.  I have been looking forward to this for the past couple of definitely feels like the babies have packed on the weight lately!  We were hoping that they would all be at least 2 lbs., and for the most part we were not disappointed.

Baby A - 1 lb. 14 oz. (gained 12 oz.) - 19th percentile
Baby B (formerly known as Baby C) - 2 lb. 5 oz. (gained 1 lb. 2 oz.) - 45th percentile
Baby C (formerly known as Baby B) - 2 lb. 4 oz. (gained 1 lb. 2 oz.) - 45th percentile

So, while we were extremely pleased with the growth of Babies B & C (both of whom doubled their weights again), I immediately started stressing out about why Baby A was suddenly falling behind.  Up until this point, they had all weighed pretty much exactly the same.  As usual, Baby A was curled up and very low in my pelvis, so I'm not really confident that we got the best measurements on her.  Also, after the ultrasound, apparently the ultrasound tech found the doctor and told her that she thought that the weight of Baby A was a system error because the measurements were pretty much the same on that Baby as they were on Baby B and C, so there should not have been that much of a weight difference between them.  The doctor said that regardless, we could not expect that all three of the babies would grow at the same rate because all babies develop and gain weight at their own pace and that we would not be concerned with the weight of Baby A unless she fell below the 10th percentile.  As long as she continues to grow (even if not at the same rate as the other two), then everything is OK.  It is when they stop growing completely that we have a problem.  So, I was hoping that we could do another growth scan in the near future to monitor her more closely, but the dr. didn't feel it was needed again until 4 weeks, which will put me at 31 weeks .... so it is extremely possible that it will also be my last growth scan.  My daughter, Simone, was a pretty small baby, only weighing 6 lbs. 2 oz. when she was born, so I am already lugging around more actual baby weight then I was when she was born...and hopefully I will be carrying around at least twice this much before we are done!

All babies looked good during the ultrasound.  Baby A and Baby B had heart rates of about 145 and Baby C was 160.  Apparently they still have some room to move around because they are always in different assortment of positions every week.  Baby B has been the only consistent one who has been head down for the past few weeks.  Baby A was breech this week and Baby C has somehow managed to get in a transverse position and is shoved way up under my ribs with her butt sticking out of my side.  I guess that's why the right side of my stomach always sticks out further than anyplace else.

Then, of course, there was the dreaded cervix measurement.  Last week I was back up to 4.5 cm, but this week it has dropped down to 3.5 cm.  This is still considered to be a good length, but all I can think about is that if it drops another cm this week, then that puts us at 2.5 cm which is getting into the danger zone and would probably mean much stricter bedrest for me at the very least.  Hopefully that shouldn't be the case, but I guess I'm getting to the point where every little change stresses me out!  Especially considering that most triplets are born at 32-34 weeks, and 32 weeks is only 5 weeks away!  I still have every intention of making it until at least 34 weeks.

The good news is that my blood pressure was much better than last week at 136/88.  Not perfect, but it beats the heck out of 160/100, so I didn't have to have an additional blood pressure med added yet.  My blood sugars are also hanging in there so we have avoided increasing the insulin amounts also.

Otherwise, things are pretty boring around here.  I'm STILL waiting to get the border for the babies room, so that project is still on hold.  This weekend we will be celebrating our first of 4 Christmases, so that gives me something to look forward to.  Also, it was nice to have a little snow this weekend and have a perfectly legitimate excuse to do nothing except stare out the window and watch it!

Hope everyone has a great week.  Out next appointment is scheduled for next Tuesday...let's hope it goes well so that I can at least make it through the holidays without any additional restrictions on my activities.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

26 Weeks - Dr. Visit and Tour of NICU

One more week down!  We had a pretty good doctor visit today.  The only glitch is that my blood pressure kind of skyrocketed in the dr. office (160/100 - yikes!).   All of my home blood pressure readings have been good, though, so I think the key is to rest as much as possible.  When I get out and about is when the blood pressure starts creeping back up...not to mention my uncanny talent for making my blood pressure shoot up anytime I get within 100 ft. of a doctor's office.  So, for the first time in well over a month, the doctor increased my labetalol to 500 mg. three times daily.  If that doesn't do the trick, then we have to add another medication to try to keep it under control.

Other than that, the babies all looked fine.  I can't remember the heart rates, but they were all normal.  Also, my cervix measurement was back up to 4.5 cm.  That was a relief after last week when it dipped down below 4 for the first time.  Next week we will finally do another growth scan on the kiddos....I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they are all at least 2 pounds.  I had to have some routine lab work done today as well.  I'm not sure what all it was for, but let's hope I don't get any calls from the dr. office in the next day or two saying something doesn't look right.  The past two times I've had labwork I've gotten phone calls like that so hopefully the third time's a charm.

My mom went up to Columbia with me today so we decided to head over to labor and delivery and the NICU to take a tour since I had never been there and I wanted to feel like I was more prepared.  The labor and delivery area was pretty much what I expected.  The antepartum and postpartum rooms are very nice, very big and private (thank God).  So, if I end up on hospital bedrest for a while before this whole thing is over, it doesn't look like it will be quite as bad as I had imagined it would be.  In the same area is the well baby nursery and the Level II nursery, which is where the babies will eventually end up most likely when they reach the point of being "feeders/growers"...which means that they are healthy, but they just need to gain weight before they go home.

We then went downstairs to the NICU, which is in all likelihood where the babies will spend at least some time after they are born.  I am extremely glad that I took the opportunity to check it out for several reasons.  The biggest reason is to mentally prepare myself for what the babies will probably look like when they are born.  I realize that I will be lucky if these babies are all 4 pounds or more when they are born, but until I went to the NICU and saw all of the preemies, I don't think I really had any concept of just how tiny a 4 pound baby really is.  If I hadn't gone to the NICU, I think it would have really been a shock to me.

The other reason I'm glad we went on the tour is that any time that I think I am just completely miserable being pregnant and that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have the babies a little earlier, all I need to do is remember how tiny those babies were and all of the tubes and ventilators they were on.  That will quickly cure me of any concerns over my own discomfort and remind me that the ultimate goal is to keep these babies cooking as long as it is healthy for all of us to do so.  I'm still sticking by my goal of 34-36 weeks, which will be anytime between January 31st - February 14th.  We'll see...ultimately I guess it's not really under my control!

There's really nothing else exciting going on.  We got the Christmas decorations put up, so that was the highlight of the week.  Honestly, if it wasn't for the kids, I don't think I would've even bothered with them this year, but I'm glad we did now that they are up.  Physically, I'm still feeling pretty good.  My carpel tunnel has been pretty frustrating this week and often wakes me up at night.  I've also found that I've gone from wanting to sleep all the time and taking lots of naps, to being up and down all night long and not really napping at all.  I guess that's to be expected as it becomes more difficult to get comfortable and as Baby A grows bigger and takes up residence right on my bladder.

I was hoping to have the nursery done last weekend, but unfortunately I am still waiting for the border to arrive before we can go any further.  The tracking number shows that it was picked up by the post office two weeks ago but has still not been delivered!  I'm starting to get frustrated because I would really like to see that room get done! 

Well, no new pictures to post...once again the girls were completely uninterested in posing for the camera.  Maybe next week when we do the long ultrasound.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

25 Week Checkup

Not much to report again today....another week down!  All babies looked good and were very active during the ultrasound.  Baby A's heart rate was 143 and Baby B and C both had heart rates of 150.  They have all changed positions since last week and are all head down at this time...although their position seems to change on a weekly basis.  My cervix length is down to about 3.8 cm.  This is the first time that it has been below 4 cm, which makes me somewhat nervous, but the doctor says that all is still good and he is not the least bit worried about it.

My blood pressure was OK at this visit (130/90), but I have noticed that my blood sugars are starting to creep up on me.  The doctor said that this was to be expected as we go further into the pregnancy and that the insulin amounts will probably have to start being increased fairly soon.

We got a couple of decent pictures today, but Baby C was facing away from us so we couldn't get any good shots of her.  The pictures we did get were pretty fuzzy, but there was a cool one of all three of them together.  However, my camera batteries have died so I'll try to get them posted later in the week.

I did get to enjoy two delicious Thanksgiving dinners during the week while I laid on the couch which was pretty nice. I also enjoyed some quality Black Friday shopping on the computer from the comfort of my own bed. 

I guess that's about everything.  Looking forward to another week of laying around, cooking babies, and sleeping 10+ hours a day.  Might as well enjoy it while I can! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

24 Week Checkup - No News is Good News!

Well, at this rate these posts are going to get downright boring, but I am not complaining at all!  We did a quick ultrasound check of the babies who all looked to be sleeping so there was not much exciting to see there.  All of the heartrates were good and in the 140s.  It is starting to get more difficult to get good pictures of them because things are getting kind of crowded in there and they weren't being very photogenic today.  Also, my cervix remains unchanged and measuring in at 4.4 cm.

I did actually gain like 3 pounds this week which I wasn't too thrilled about, but I figure the babies alone probably gained almost a pound.  Plus, as pathetic as it sounds, I usually try to wear my most lightweight outfits to the doctor so as not to add any clothing weight to the total.  It was cold today, though, so i went ahead and layered up.  So I am blaming the other two pounds on that :)  My blood pressure was back up a little bit today also...143/93.  But, almost all of my blood pressures at home look good and there was no protein in my urine so it doesn't look like it is anything to worry about at this point.

Reaching 24 weeks is actually a pretty big milestone.  This is the point in a pregnancy where the chances of the babies surviving outside of the womb are greater than 50%, and the odds continue to improve dramatically every week.  Also, at this stage, I can be given steroid shots to improve the babies lung function if there are any signs of premature labor.  So, if the worst happened and the babies had to be delivered, they would still have a good chance.  The next goal is 28 weeks.  At that point, chances for survival are greater than 90% and the babies would have less of the complications associated with prematurity than they would if they were born before that point.

Bedrest continues to be boring and unproductive, but time has gone by much quicker than I thought it would.  I was actually surprised to realize I have already been off work for 3 weeks now.  My mom and sister came over this weekend to paint the nursery and I ordered border for it so hopefully we will get everything finished up in the next week or two and get one crib setup.  We're planning on putting them all in the same crib for the first month or two anyway, so as long as one crib is up I will feel pretty good about it.  I'll post pictures as soon as it is ready.

Well, back to the doctor next Tuesday.  Wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend.  I for one am thankful this year for my uneventful doctor appointment and for the fact that my "modified" bedrest still allows me to go to other people's houses and lay on their couches while I eat my Thanksgiving feasts!

Monday, November 15, 2010

23 Week Checkup

Our doctor appointment today involved a very long ultrasound....not the most comfortable position to be in for over an hour, but totally worth it to get to watch the babies for that long.  The girls have literally doubled in weight over the past 4 weeks:

Baby A - 1 lb. 2 oz. (up 9 oz.)
Baby B - 1 lb. 2 oz. (up 9 oz.)
Baby C - 1 lb. 3 oz. (up 9 oz.)

These are good weights for a single baby, and extremely good for triplets.  It is also very good that they are all so close in size, although, since they each have their own placenta, it would not really be a huge concern if there were some weight variations.  It is only when multiples share a placenta that this can become a big problem because one baby hogs all the nutrients. We will continue to monitor their growth every 3 weeks to make sure that they are still growing at a good rate and that there are no signs of IUGR (inter uterine growth restriction).  They were able to get a look at each of their hearts and see that each one had all 4 chambers and were functioning properly.  Heartbeats continue to be in the 140s and 150s, which is good.  They also got a closeup look at their nose and lips to check for a cleft pallet and they all looked fine.  They did another measurement of their necks (thickening of the neck is a marker for down syndrome) and these measurements came back good again also.  So, basically everything that can be seen with an ultrasound looks great!

Speaking of great, my cervix is still measuring in at over 4 cm.  I know that this is probably not something people really care to know, but anyone who has been pregnant with multiples or who has had cervix problems in the past can tell you that this is a huge deal, and it is a very big relief to hear that it is still doing its job and keeping the babies in there.  So, I will continue to bore you with cervical measurements every week :)

Other than that, the doctor just doesn't have much to say except for keep doing what we're doing!  My blood pressure was actually 118/70!  I'm pretty sure that is the lowest that my blood pressure has ever been in a dr. office in my entire adult life.  My blood sugars are all looking good.  I gained no weight this week, which is OK (I have plenty in reserve!) and my swelling continues to stay down.  We'll head back to the dr. office next Tuesday for a quick checkup and heartbeat and cervix check.

The ultrasound tech asked me if the babies were always this active when they were trying to get measurements today.  I had to tell her that this was tame compared to when they really get going.  Earlier this week, I actually freaked out for a minute one morning thinking I was having contractions.  Then I realized that this was actually just all of the babies moving/punching/kicking at once.  Their movements are getting very strong and increasingly uncomfortable sometimes.  They seem to be on somewhat of a schedule for the past few days.  Every morning after I eat breakfasat they seem to turn into little ninjas for about an hour, and then again late every evening for about another hour.  Otherwise, their movements have been more sporadic throughout the day.

So, I really have nothing else very exciting to talk about this week.  Bedrest is making me very lazy.  I accompanied Wade to the grocery store on Friday for my weekly outing and was winded about 10 minutes into it.  That may be the end of my grocery shopping for the next few months....we'll see...

And I think that we have finally settled on names for these girls...but don't hold me to it.  The names are a little more rhymey than what I wanted, but I like them and we agree on them, so for now, here is where we stand:

Ava Munai
Lia Rose
Mya Anne

Lia is pronounced Leah, it is the Samoan spelling.  Munai for Wade's mom, Rose for my mom and Anne is the middle name of my mom and both of my grandmothers.

Well, hopefully there will be nothing eventful to post between now and next week's appointment!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

22 Weeks - Bedrest and Showers

I headed up to Columbia today for our 22 week (and 1 day) checkup with my Mom and sister in tow.  Wade graciously agreed to take a week off so that they could tag along and watch the ultrasound.  I'm happy to report that there is not much to tell!  Babies' heart rates were all good as usual and the cervix was still measuring beyond good at 4.8 cm.  I forgot to write down my blood pressure, but it was decent and my blood sugars are still looking good.  Next week we will do measurements to estimate the babies' weights, so it will be exciting to see how much they have grown since we did estimates three weeks ago.  Speaking of weight, while there is NO WAY I will ever tell what mine is, I am happy to report that being off my feet has contributed to me losing 4 pounds of water weight this week!

The doctor continues to be very happy with how things are progressing to this point.  Up until now, my goal has been to make it to 34 weeks with this pregnancy, but he commented today that if everything continues to go well, he would wait until 36 or 37 weeks to deliver.  Valentine's day would be 36 weeks, so I am going to make that my new (if extremely aggressive) goal for now.

Here are a few ultrasound pictures from today:

Baby A - Knees up by her face
Baby B - Looking at the camera
Baby C - Butt and legs in the air - and someone else's feet???

All 3 heads
 I have managed to survive my first week of bedrest!!!  Of course I had the excitement of two showers during the week so that helped a lot.  The only thing I really have to look forward to from here on out are doctor's appointments.  But for the most part, I think that I am settling into the bedrest pretty well.  It's really nice being able to spend so much time with the kids since I had been working so much.  Also, for those of you who complain that they can never get a hold of me, I can pretty much guarantee you that unless I am sleeping, I have been answering all of my phone calls for a change!

Finally, here are a few pictures from my shower at the library.  I will miss everyone there so much and the shower was an awesome going away gift!

As if that weren't enough, my wonderful sister threw a beautiful family shower for me as well this weekend.  Here are just a couple of pictures from it (I was too busy opening all my awesome gifts to take pictures):

The cake that matched the invitations

The awesome diaper cake that my mom made

They forced me to do a belly shot!  Don't worry - you won't see these too often :)
I am grateful beyond words for the generosity of my family, friends and coworkers!!! You have all been wonderful!

Well, another week of leisure ahead of me....our next doctor appointment will be Monday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

21 Weeks - Down for the Count

We headed up to Columbia today for our 21 week appointment.  It has been 2 weeks since our last appointment.  All was looking well at that time, and since I haven't felt like there were any changes physically, I figured it would be a good visit....and other than getting my behind stuck on bedrest, it was!

But first, the important stuff.  The cervix was still measuring 4.2 which remains fantastic, so no reason for worry there.  In addition, all babies looked active and healthy during the ultrasound.  We didn't measure for weights today, but checked the heartbeats and Baby A is at 144, Baby B is at 146 and Baby C is at 155.  All healthy and strong heartbeats.

Once I met with the doctor, the good news continued.  My blood pressure was the best it had been yet for a doctor visit:  132/78.  All my blood sugars were so good that he actually asked me if I was making them up.  No, mom, I'm not making them don't ask!

At that point, he asked me if I had any concerns.  Of course, I opened my big mouth and told him about the nagging pain in my right knee that has been getting progressively worse over the past couple of weeks.  This got him looking at my legs and while he couldn't find a reason for the knee pain, he was concerned about the rapidly increasing swelling in my legs and feet, and declared that I was to be off my feet for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Seeing as how the rest of the visit went so well, I was not expecting that at all.  I was ready for bedrest in 3 weeks, but there was a lot I was planning to accomplish between now and then.  On the bright side, it is only modified bedrest, so I can get up occasionally to get something to eat, and even got permission to leave the house to go to the store once a week if I feel the need to get out and about....I guarantee you that I will feel the need!  I also got permission to attend the two baby showers I have this week, so I was happy about that.

The only other change is that we have gone back to weekly doctor visits.  This doesn't really bother me, though, because I really enjoy the weekly ultrasounds.  They give me extra peace of mind.

In other news, I had a great baby shower from my work family at Scholastic.  Huge thanks to Mary and Lacy for putting it all together.  As you will see in the picture below, everyone was extremely generous!

And of course, since last night was Halloween, I have to show off my cute kiddos in costume   
Simone as the goddess Athena
Noa doing his Dinosaur Roar!

 So, I guess that the posts will be weekly from here on out.  Wish me luck entertaining myself for the next week.  After spending the past year and a half working two jobs, I'm not sure I remember how to relax!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The First 20 Weeks

Since I am so late in starting this blog, this first post will be a long one to catch everyone up to this point.  Tomorrow I will be 20 weeks along.  If this were a single pregnancy, I would officially be at the half way point, but with triplets, that milestone passed several weeks ago! 

Mid-July:  We officially confirm the pregnancy that I have been suspicious of for the past week or so.  Surprise!  And I literally mean "SURPRISE"!  This was not exactly planned, but we all know how this happens, right?  However, we take it in stride.  What's one more, right?  Haha...

August 25th:  (11 weeks 2 days)  We make our first trip to the OB.  Since the doctor who delivered my other two children recently moved, we were meeting a new doctor for the first time.  In the past, I had never had an ultrasound before the standard mid-pregnancy one.  This dr. automatically schedules one for the first appointment.  Thank God she did!  The instant the ultrasound wand made contact with my skin, I immediately saw two babies.  In a very nonchalant voice, the ultrasound tech says, "So, you're expecting twins?"  Wade starts laughing, while I comment "not that we were aware of...",  to which the ultrasound tech states, "well, you are now!"  As the shock of this starts to set in, she frowns and says that she is going to go get the dr.  Of course I ask what is wrong, to which she holds up 3 fingers and states "I think there are three babies, but I want the dr. to take a look."  Wade automatically shoots up out of his chair, put his hands on top of his head and starts pacing the room.  In the meantime, my panic attack sets in.  I am in a nearly hysterical state somewhere between laughing and crying.  At this point, Wade notices that I am about to lose it and comes over attempt to calm me down and tell me that it will be all right...I don't think I was convinced.

While waiting for the doctor, the ultrasound tech comes back in and takes a closer look.  She measures all the babies and states that they are all exactly on target for their gestational age.  The doctor arrives and I meet her for the first (and apparently last) time during this pregnancy.  She takes a look and confirms that there are triplets.  She seems very nice and very excited.  She then informs me that they are going to move me to a room while they make me an appointment with a specialist in Columbia.  As it turns out, our hospitals here in town are not equipped with neo-natal intensive care units (NICU), which is almost certainly needed for triplet births.  As a result, they refer any multiple births bigger than twins to Columbia.  The doctor we will be seeing is at the University of Missouri, so this is where our babies will be born.  Our first appointment is in a week.

September 1st: (12 weeks, 2 days) Today is our first appointment in Columbia with the specialist.  We have spent the past week digesting the news and shocking the hell out of everyone who knows us.  While Wade had told quite a few people about the pregnancy prior to our first visit (he had trouble containing the good news), I am more superstitious and nervous by nature, so I had told a couple of coworkers, but no one else.  It was kind of fun telling people that I was pregnant, oh, and by the way, I'm having triplets.  I have really gotten a kick out of watching people's reactions.

Oh, and since this has been the most frequent question, let me get the answer out of the way.  NO, we were not taking any kind of fertility drugs, nor were we having any kind of fertility treatments.  These babies were completely spontaneous, although the many hours I have already dedicated to triplet research has taught me that 85% of triplet births are in some way a result of infertility treatments while only 15% occur spontaneously.  Only 1 in 8,000 births result in spontaneous triplets, so I guess that the question is a valid one.

Anyway, on to the dr. appointment.  We started off with a full ultrasound which confirmed that they were all on target for their gestational age.  In addition, all three had strong heartbeats in the 150s.  At 35, I am considered to be borderline "advanced maternal age" (not my favorite term).  So they explained to me the increased risk for down syndrome at my age, multiplied by 3, of course.  So they did some ultrasound measuring of their necks, which is somehow a marker for down syndrome, and the measurements came back as normal.  We do not plan on having any further genetic testing or amnios or anything done.  We just decided that the results wouldn't matter to us anyway, plus the risk of false positives would make a stressful situation even worse.

So, the ultrasound went well.  The babies appear to be fraternal, all having their own placentas and their own amniotic fluid and so forth.  This is a good thing, I am told, because it reduces a lot of the risks that can be associated with identical multiple pregnancies where not all babies share nutrients equally.

We meet our new dr. and both agree that we really like him.  We have a full exam and blood work.  Of course, my blood pressure is a problem.  My blood pressure is ALWAYS a problem, so this is no surprise to me.  The doc starts me on labetalol for my blood pressure and orders extensive blood work, including a 1 hour glucose test which is normally not done until about 6 months, but he ordered it early because of the increased risk with multiples.  In addition, he wants me to come back next week to check the blood pressure and to bring back the 24 hour urinalysis sample.  Yes, I have to pee in a jug for 24 hours and bring it back in with me.

September 2nd:  Received a call from the dr. office that my 1 hour glucose results were too high, so I need to also schedule a three hour glucose screening for the following week.  Great.

September 8th:  (13 weeks 2 days)  We head back to the dr. office with my jug of urine in hand.  I spend the first 3 hours having my blood drawn 4 times for the glucose test.  Then we have our dr. appointment.  The ultrasound showed that everyone looked good.  My blood pressure, however, was again not cooperating, so we doubled the medicine.  Otherwise, all was well.

September 9th:  Another call from the dr. office.  You know this can't be good.  While the 24 hour urinalysis looked fine, the glucose tolerance test was not good.  The doc wants me back on Monday to discuss our course of treatment.

September 13th: (14 weeks)  Because our dr. appointment is not until the afternoon, we decide to take a road trip to St. Louis in search of a triple stroller we found on Craigslist for an extremely reasonable price.  We love the stroller, the price is right and it is in good shape.  We were pretty proud of ourselves until we got it to the truck and realized just how big it really was.  We managed to get it in the truck, but lost over half of our seating in the process.  Hmmm, triple stroller "check" for triplets, not so much.  Oh well, we have a few months to figure it out.

So, we went to the dr. appointment and the ultrasound again showed that everyone looked fine.  My glucose test showed that 3 of the 4 blood draws were high, including my fasting glucose.  The official diagnosis is gestational diabetes.  As a result, not only will my carb/sugar intake have to be closely monitored, but I will have to monitor my glucose levels 5 times a day and give myself insulin shots twice a day.  This is what I was afraid of, but I surprise myself.  After the first injection, which was really nerve-racking, I learn that it really isn't so bad.  It's kind of fun in a twisted kind of way.  We are scheduled to come back in a week to check my glucose readings.  Oh, and of course the blood pressure was still stupidly high, so the labetalol was doubled again and I was told to start monitoring that at home as well

September 20th:  (15 weeks)  We go back the dr. today.  My glucose readings have been surprisingly good all week, as have my blood pressure readings.  The ultrasound again looks good.  We talk them into trying to look for baby genders, but they are not able to tell anything quite yet, but assure us that they will check again the following visit.  The doc seems to be as impressed as I am with my glucose readings from the past week.  And while my home blood pressure monitoring looks good, it still shot up when they checked it at the office, so he again increased the labetalol I am taking 300 mg 3 times daily.  (We started off with just 100 mg twice daily!)  Otherwise, he was so impressed that for the first time we get to go 2 weeks between visits.  While it makes me nervous to go that long without checking up on the babes, I know that it is a good sign that with all my complications to date, things are looking good.

October 5th:  (17 weeks)  This is the first time we have gone 2 weeks between appointments and I am anxious to not only see that the babies are doing well but to check again to try to determine gender so that I can really get the planning under way.  I just don't know how these people that wait until the baby is born to find out gender do it.  I am definitely not that patient of a person.  It is just as much of a surprise to me at the ultrasound as it would be in the birth room....yet we have plenty of time to prepare!

Anyway....the verdict is in and we have 3 GIRLS!!!  We couldn't believe it.  I really thought that the odds were we would have some combination of boys and girls.  Of course, we haven't really been going with the odds these days, have we?  Everything is looking good!  I am now being subjected to cervical checks every visit as well.  This involves a different type of ultrasound (I will spare you the details), during which they measure the length of the cervix and check for funneling.  I was told that average length is 3-4 cm., and that the doctor is not concerned until the length reduces to 2.5 cm, because this is a sign of early labor.  When measured, mine was 4.1 cm which they were extremely pleased with, and showed no signs of funneling.  It looks like things are holding strong! 

The doctor was still pleased with the glucose readings I had been taking, as well as my at home blood pressures, but my office blood pressure was still ridiculously high so we increased the labetalol again.  Now we are at 400 mg 3 times daily and there is discussion of adding another drug if needed.  The doctor schedules me for another two week appointment with instructions to call if my blood pressure is ever over 140/90 regularly.

As a side note, I am officially considering this the mid-point of this pregnancy (WOO HOO).  I can't believe it is here already.  The doc says to plan on C-section at 32-34 weeks.  I am determined to do all I can to make it to 34 weeks, so here we are at the middle.  I'm sure time will slow down when bed rest starts which the doctor has told me will be mandatory by 24 weeks at the latest.  The fact that this birth is sneaking up on me so quickly both excites and terrifies me at the same time.

October 19th:  (19 weeks, 1 day)  We had a full ultrasound today which took about an hour to get measurements on 3 very wiggly babies.   First of all, it has again been confirmed that we are having all three little girls, so I feel confident in continuing the onslaught of pink.  In addition, all organs are accounted for and functioning, and everyone is measuring perfectly.  Babies A and B are both weighing in at 9 oz. and my big bully Baby C is weighing in at 10 oz.  She is just stretched out on top, loving life, all while kicking her poor sisters in the head.  The cervix is measuring in at 4.6 cm....even better than last time which is awesome.

Believe it or not, my blood pressure was almost considered acceptable at the dr. office.  143/80.  I know, it's still not fantastic, but if you had seen my previous office visit readings, you would now why they were so excited about this.  It was a pretty short and sweet visit after the ultrasound because everything looked so good.  For the first time, my blood pressure med was not increased.  There was brief talk of me not coming back in for 4 weeks, but the doc and I both decided that we would be much more comfortable with another quick check in 2 weeks, so we are currently scheduled to go back on November 1st for a 21 week visit.



Baby A 

Baby B

Baby C

OK....I think that brings us all up to date.  I apologize for the ridiculously long post, I should have started this a long time ago.  I'm completely new to this blogging thing, so bear with me while I figure it out and hopefully post more frequently and much shorter lengths!