I’m 28 years old and have always wanted a large family. My husband and I had difficulty conceiving our first child and finally, after 7 months of fertility drugs, I was pregnant. I had an uneventful pregnancy and a wonderful, healthy daughter. So when Ashley was almost 2, we were ready for baby #2. And now that we knew which drug worked for us, we thought it would be easy…but there was nothing easy about this pregnancy.
The drug that worked for our first was no longer on the market so we had to try something else. It worked on the second try and at our first sonogram, we saw 4 sacs. I became hyperstimulated, OHSS, from the fertility drug and was put on bedrest for 3 weeks in my first trimester. Once the OHSS finally resolved, I continued to be closely monitored as high risk. My doctor asked me to consider a reduction as I would not be able to carry quadruplets to term. But, at my 11th week sonogram, I thought that decision had been made for me because only 3 had heart beats and continued to grow. So I was having triplets and I couldn’t be more excited. I always wanted 4 children, I was just going to have them closer than I had thought.
At 21 weeks, I had a regular appointment at the high risk unit. They did a sonogram to finish the level 2 since all 3 didn’t cooperate last time. I already knew I was having 2 boys and a girl. The tech measured my cervical length and got the doctor. He said it was too short, about 1/8 in, and I needed to go right over to the hospital. I was shocked and so scared…I had no idea, but apparently I was in labor. When I got to the hospital, I was immediately sentenced to strict bed rest in trendelenberg (bed where head is lower than the legs) and placed on a monitor. The babies were fine, but I was contracting, 2 cm dilated, and my bag of water was bulging out of my cervix. I was started on magnesium to stop the contractions and it was awful. Then I needed to have a cerclage placed to close the cervix. It was extremely risky because the bag could rupture during the procedure. I had to be awake during it and was lying almost completely upside down, listening to every word the doctors said. The procedure was successful and I was back to Labor and Delivery, lying upside down. I wasn’t allowed to even sit up for a second. As hard as that was, I would have done anything to save my babies.
I had to stay in the hospital, on complete bed rest, with some awful medications to stop contractions for as long as possible. But at exactly 24 weeks, just 2 1/2 weeks later, the contractions were worse and I felt some fluid or mucus come out. It was just after midnight July 25, 2005. My doctor came in and told me to call my husband. I couldn’t stop crying. My doctor said this was it, they couldn’t stop the labor. He told me to try to hold on until the morning, at 8am, when they would have a full staff from the NICU to be there. At 7 am the pains were so bad, I felt that if I moved, a baby was about to come out. But I fought against all urges to push and tried so hard to keep them in. The doctor checked me again and I was 10 cm. We couldn’t wait any longer. I had an emergency c-section with what looked like at least 20 people in the OR and my wonderful husband by my side as always telling me it would be ok.
At 7:10am, Ryan Sebastian was born, immediately followed by Brandon Robert, and at 7:11am, Jessica Susan. They were intubated and whisked away to the NICU. I didn’t know what to think. I was wheeled down to see them once they were settled. Ryan was 1 lb 3 oz, Brandon was 1 lb 5 oz and Jessica was 1 lb 4 oz. They were hooked up to monitors, vents and IVs. They were so tiny but so perfect.
The next 30 days were full of ups and downs, but mostly downs. But my babies were fighters and had made it through the hardest days, I thought. But Jessica had been the sickest and went into renal failure. We got the call at 2am to come see her because she wasn’t going to make it. I finally got to hold my little girl but it was bitter sweet. She continued to fight for 2 more days. We went to the NICU everyday and visited all 3 babies and then sat and watched Jessi in case she was going to leave us. Although we knew she didn’t have much of a chance, we still couldn’t imagine losing her. We were asked to sign a DNR (do not resusitate), but I just couldn’t do it. No parent should ever have to make that kind of decision about a baby.
Then 2 days after that horrible 2am call, we got another one at 7am. But it was not about Jessica, it was Ryan. What! I wasn’t prepared for that. His heart had stopped but they got it started again. At 7:45 am they called back to tell us he had died. I was shocked and in disbelief. This wasn’t supposed to happen. We went to the NICU. I got to hold Ryan for the first time. He was my little wiggler, but now he was still. He had already had quite a personality and I would imagine what he would be like when he was older, but now I would never get to see that. My husband, my parents and I held him and said our goodbyes. I told him how sorry I was that I couldn’t keep him in longer. I was sorry that he had to go through all of this, needles, vents, tubes, and after 30 days of it, that was it. The nurse came to take Ryan back and at 11:45 am, just as they took Ryan away, I was told that Jessica has died. How am I supposed to do that all over again…say goodbye to 2 babies. The pain was unbearable..it still is as I write this today. I have a constant pain in my heart and stomach that I can’t imagine ever getting any better. We buried them together in the same casket. At least they have each other.
Brandon is still in the NICU, it has been almost 9 weeks so far. He is doing well. I know he has 2 angels watching over him. I still go to the NICU everyday to see my one triplet. It is so hard to be there. But Brandon keeps me going. Everyday is so hard and my life will never be the same. I am hoping things will get better once Brandon comes home. I miss my babies…I miss them so much. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. It doesn’t always seem real. I’m constantly wishing and what if-ing about how it should have been. I love my babies so much. My 2 year old is too young to understand. I try not to let her see me cry. She never got to see them because she is too young to be allowed into the NICU. I wish I could take a break from all this pain. But Ashley and Brandon, my wonderful and amazing husband, and my supportive family keep me going and my 2 little angels, Ryan and Jessica, are always in my heart.