A lot of pain mixed in with far too little joy…

Dee and I are two of the luckiest people we know… great jobs, surrounded by a wonderful family, great friends and absolutely emphatically in love with one another after 5 years of marriage … however, there is still one thing that continues to elude us… to have our own family. We tried having a family the old fashioned way and after 4 miscarriages, relied on a little help from the medical profession… as a result of Gonal-F, progesterone, heparin and a little good luck we were elated to see 3 fast beating hearts at 8 weeks… we were very excited…

We would be able to have our whole family at one time and be able to be part of a wonderful club of multiple birth parents… most importantly we thought that this would allow us to put a lot of our pain behind us and never have to go down that scary road again…

At 16 weeks, our excitement grew even larger when we found out we would be blessed with two boys and a girl… we felt that if this would be our family it would be great to parent at lease one child from either sex…. During the course of the pregnancy Dee had been lucky enough to become connected with a local group of triplet moms… they took her under their wing and helped to prepare her mentally for what was to come… Dee had done everything she could for out children… she gave up a great deal, all without complaining, always knowing and looking forward to her final goal… various books had told her to take on a significant number of additional calories and so she ate when she couldn’t eat any more… sometimes getting out of bed at night just to eat a granola bar and glass of milk…

On September 16th, Dee began to feel a mild and unusual pressure that was new… thanks to the warnings of the other triplet moms, Dee knew that it was best to contact the doctor… he instructed her to go to the hospital where they then hooked her up to a contraction monitor… upon seeing that she was having some contractions they began to do all the things they could to get them to stop… magnesium sulfate, antibiotics, everything… after 48 hours her contractions had appeared to have slowed and they backed off on the mag drip….

On Friday morning Dee’s water unexpectedly broke… she had dilated to 10 centimeters and there was no going back… at that point, 21 weeks, there was nothing that she or I or any of the doctors could do… our triplets would not remain in the womb… Declan, Noelle and Wyatt were born in the early afternoon of Friday… this was, without a doubt, the most horrible thing that has ever happened in either one of our lives… our children were just too small… their lungs were not developed… they could not breath… they tried… they tried so very hard… my wife and I held and cried and talked to and soothed and touched and loved our children from the very moment that they came into this world until they passed into the next…

Wyatt, the smallest of the three, held out the longest… even when he was in utero we knew that he’d be a scrapper!!! I don’t know what we would have done without the help of our nurse Fran… she shepherded us through this difficult day… she encouraged us to hold, to talk, to bath, and to cloth our babies… she gave us the chance to parent our children if only for a little while… we got to hold their little hands, to kiss their little feet, to give them all the love we had… I can’t imagine going through that day without being encouraged or able to parent our children… the grief and pain has, at times, seemed insurmountable but at least when I cry I can still feel their little hands curled around my finger, see my wife kiss their bums… just like she promised she’d do when they came into the world…

There is nothing anyone can say to ever make it easier… our lives, our hopes, the plans full of love and anticipation all evaporated and were replaced with emptiness, loneliness and fear… even as someone who has been there I can’t tell you that it will get better or that time will heal your scars … it still isn’t better for us… it still hurts as bad some times now as it did on that terrible September 19th… but hopefully time will take a little bit of the sting out of the memory and hopefully you were left with positive images that do not fade… and if we get a little lucky and the stories are true, we’ll all be together again someday in a place of love and warmth… and get the chance to hold their little hands again.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Nigel and Dee, Buffalo, New York

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