Saturday, July 25, 2009

19w5d: It's a numbers game

Every time I see a reflection of myself it makes me smile. On some level, I guess I keep forgetting that I'm actually quite pregnant. Then I see a photo of myself, or I accidentally brush a door against my belly and realize, "Hey, wait a minute, there's another inch there that wasn't there yesterday."

My body's perimeter is changing rapidly. The belly is growing by the day, prompting mirror double takes and many moments of baby bump awe. At last week's peri appointment (18w4d), the fundal height was 25 cm, the equivalent of a mom 25 weeks pregnant with a singleton.

Since then, my belly circumference has increased at least one more inch, from 40" to 41" earlier this week. When I measured last night, it was almost 42". So I'm not imagining it. When I said to my husband the girls must be going through a growth spurt, he concurred, saying empathetically, "Yes, I can definitely see that!" It's very reassuring to know that they're growing.

In terms of weight gain, it has finally started to pick up. I've gained 18 pounds so far. The nutritionist said last week that I was doing great, and that I should aim for 24 pounds by 24 weeks, which finally seems like a reachable goal. It's much less than Dr. Barbara Luke's recommendation, but I feel like I'm eating as much as I can, eating whenever I'm hungry (and trying to squeeze in as much protein and nutritious food as one human being can handle, even when I'm not all that hungry).

On Monday, I will be 20 weeks along. Wow, five months. Although not the halfway mark as in a singleton pregnancy, it gets me that much closer to my first of many milestones: 24 weeks. Thereafter the goal is 28 weeks, 32 weeks, and then 36. For now, it's one week at a time. I'm sure the day will come where it will be one day, and one hour at a time, but I can't think about that yet.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

18w5d - Naming our girls

After years of name picking, digging into 12+ generations of genealogy, wanting our babies to have names that have a family connection and are meaningful to us, sound good together, and are easy to pronounce and spell in our country of origin and the US, we've finally settled on names both my husband and I love.

Contrary to what many people think, picking 6 names is MUCH harder than picking 2. At least we've narrowed it down to one gender!

We didn't want our babies to have names that rhyme or have the same initial (SSN nightmare!) or sound too "match-y," yet we wanted them to "belong" together (both the combination of first, middle and last names, and when called with their siblings' names.)

A.da Is.abella
Ju.lia El.izabeth Cha.rlotte

I'm writing the names with periods just to make it a little more challenging for it to be searched and indexed online, since very few people who know me IRL have read my blog (or at least acknowledged that they've found this blog.)

Do let us know what you think of the names.

18w4d - Level II anatomy scan results

Oh boy! It's confirmed: we are expecting three girls! I'll post the u/s images as soon as we've scanned them in. All of your comments eased my mind as we headed into a day of unknowns and revelations. Thank you for being there, and for your caring comments.

Oh, how we loved every second of peeking in on them.

Our elusive little baby girl C very clearly has my profile and lips! Baby B was lying like I always do, on my side, with my knee pulled all the way up. Weird and amazing to see their body language, even at this early stage.

Hubby squeezed my hand throughout the (very long!) u/s - he is simply smitten with his little girls. The sonographer showed us silicone, anatomically correct, appropriately weighted models of a fetus at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 20 weeks and 40 weeks. We couldn't stop staring and holding the 20 week "baby." The 20 weeker is surprisingly heavy, and about the size of my hand from wrist to the tip of my middle finger (when its legs are curled up).

All three of our babies cooperated beautifully and are measuring beautifully for their gestational age. The sonographer said it was the first time in her 18 years of work that she was able to get all of the measurements for all 3 babies in one appointment! (I doubt they'll remain this cooperative until they reach adulthood, but I do hope it's a good sign. Dh laughed and said they're lulling us into a false sense of calm!) They weigh 9/10oz each, with heartbeats between 139 and 150.

Baby A: Weight - 254g, 0lb 9oz, HB - 139 bpm
Baby B: Weight - 262g, 0lb 9oz, HB - 146 bpm
Baby C: Weight - 276g, 0lb10oz, HB - 150 bpm

My cervix is still measuring the same, thank goodness. It's not great, but at least it's stable. No funneling, cramps, contractions or other changes. I asked about reducing activity levels, and the doctor said it's up to me. Although I agree that I know my body best, it's frustrating that there's no real consensus in the medical community about modified bedrest and bedrest. I'm taking it easy regardless and we'll re-evaluate the situation every two weeks. At least there's a measure of comfort in that.

Alyssa asked how I know which baby is kicking me: Baby A is lying at the bottom, closest to my cervix with an anterior placenta, meaning her placenta is cushioning her kicks, and although I do feel her move from time to time, it's not as strong as Baby C.

Baby B is higher up, on my right side, also with an anterior placenta and I feel her a little stronger and more often than Baby A, but not by much.

Baby C is higher up, on my left side, with a posterior placenta, so there's not much cushioning between her limbs and my belly. She is the most active, tallest (not by much) and I feel her more consistently and distinctly than I do the others. It was Baby C that my husband could feel moving the other night. I could feel her kicks while seeing her kick me on the ultrasound. Completely surreal!

Even though they turn within their amniotic sacs, they don't switch places, which makes it easier for me to keep them straight and to know which baby is up to what.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

18w3d - The night before the anatomy scan

This is the most exciting, petrifying journey of my life. I'm sure the emotions will only intensify as the weeks progress and after the babies arrive.

Tomorrow, we find out if my cervix is still at 2.5 cm or whether it is shortening. Very scary. We also hope to see our babies in more detail. So exciting. We have only had heartbeat checks since the 12 week mark, and a quick scan to guess at genders two weeks ago, but no other measurements or details. With tomorrow's level II scan, we hope to get confirmation of Baby C's gender, and to take a look at how their lengths have increased and how their organs have formed. I can't wait to see our babies again.

Since triplets are considered full term around 36 weeks, we're pretty much halfway now. Wow, the time is flying by. The babies have had several growth spurts recently as evidenced by my belly growing by the day. Several of my colleagues have commented in recent days, some more tactfully than others.

"Jeez, you're getting big." Why, thank you.

"Your ankles are already starting to change." Ahem, so glad you noticed.

"I can't imagine how huge you'll be when I get back from my 2-week vacation." Yeah, well.

I've also had the sweetest comments about my maternity clothes, how great I look despite how exhausted I must be, how beautiful the belly is, how I'm surprisingly small for someone who is expecting triplets (keep lying to me, I love it), and so on. My colleagues keep bringing me food, too. Their concern is genuine, and even though some of the comments are less tactful than others, I know they are excited for me, and mean well.

I've started feeling the babies move much more frequently over the past week or two. Two nights ago, Baby C was having a party in my uterus, and Dh could feel the movement for the very first time. It was magical. No real kicks yet, but the twitches are definitely all baby. Dh hasn't felt the other two babies yet.

I can't imagine 6 little feet kicking me a few weeks from now! Last night brought another vivid dream of Baby C. This time one little foot was making a very visible, protruding "footprint" underneath my skin. The little munchkin showed his beautiful face to me in my dream again. I keep dreaming that Baby C is a boy, despite what the u/s tech said two weeks ago. It's weird. It's freaking me out a little more than it should, since I've often had predictive dreams. We'd be delighted with whatever the confirmed gender of Baby C is, but I guess my subconscious won't believe it until I see distinct boy/girl parts on the ultrasound myself.

When I was four, I dreamed my mother was pregnant with a little boy (before she told me I would have a kid brother.) My mom was pretty flabbergasted that I knew about her accidental pregnancy (at age 38 despite all sorts of contraception!) before she told me.

Yes, the irony of my mom's fertility compared to mine, does not escape me. I had always hoped to get pregnant in my thirties like my mom, and was scared that I had waited too long and wouldn't be able to conceive with Stage 4 Endo, even with IVF. Apparently the joke's on me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

17w6d - World's best husband

So, it's 3 am and I'm wide awake. I'm feeling cranky, tossing and turning, rolling over a million times in bed without being able to find a comfortable position. I adjust the pregnancy body pillow, sigh, and try again.

My husband wakes up from the commotion, gently strokes my back, and asks if I'm okay. I whine about my swollen hands and feet, the heartburn, the uterine pain and how restless I'm feeling. He says, "I wish I could do something to help you. I'll call NASA first thing in the morning and we can go live on the International Space Station." Aaah, weightlessness.

He cracks me up and always seems to know just what to say or do to make me feel better in an instant. I love him. His comment makes me think of the selfless, considerate man that I married. So I get up to write it down instead of staring at the wall. Someday, when the triplets are old enough to understand, I hope I can remember all of this:

I came home from work one day - during the first few weeks of the pregnancy - to find that he had spent his day off redesigning and raising our low platform bed to make it easier for me to get in and out as the pregnancy progresses. At the time, it didn't seem necessary, but now I'm incredibly thankful that I can just swing my feet over the edge of the bed to get up and not have to lift myself and three babies off the floor three times a night as I head to the bathroom.

Without any prompting from me, he replaced our missing stair railing to ensure that I could get down to the basement and back safely.

My husband bought a night light so I wouldn't bump into our bedroom furniture (or the wall!) during my nightly bathroom escapades.

He installed a new threshold over an uneven part where our hallway meets our bathroom floor, "because soon you won't be able to see your feet anymore and I don't want you stubbing your toes."

He is frantically working to finish renovating our 2nd bathroom, nursery, and guest room before the triplets arrive.

Ever since we heard that I'm pregnant and expecting triplets, he has taken over all of the cleaning duties in the house. Vacuuming, cleaning with chemicals, and basically anything I don't feel up to doing. He has never made me feel guilty, and although I often feel like I'm not contributing, he'd just say, "No, you're doing the most important thing. Growing our babies."

He helps to make dinner when I'm wiped out. When I was so nauseous somewhere between week 7 and 10 that I suddenly couldn't stand the smell of the dinner we were preparing, he retrieved a fan from our basement, opened the windows, and solved the problem.

There's much much more, but suffice it to say that he gets it. All of it. And more importantly, he gets me. Our kids are so fortunate to have him as a father.

Monday, July 06, 2009

17w0d - Preliminary news about Baby C

The anatomy scan is next Friday at 18w4d, but we practically begged the sonographer to take a peek at all three babies today. Fortunately, she wasn't too busy, and she checked heartbeats (all good) before proceeding to look for girl or boy parts (at our request). It's been 5 long weeks since the CVS procedure, so we're chomping at the bit to know more about our 3rd little munchkin.

It seems my Dh will need an addition on the shed or a man cave, because our elusive Baby C "also looks like a girl!" So, if you haven't been following closely, let's recap: Baby A is a girl! Baby B is a girl! Baby C is possibly a girl! We'll know for sure after the anatomy scan, but in the meantime, we're delighted either way.

The maternal fetal cell contamination study on Baby B came back negative, meaning they didn't accidentally run the chromosomal tests on my DNA. So we know for sure that Baby A and Baby B are chromosomally normal girls.

We have decided not to pursue an amnio for Baby C, and I thank each and every one of you for weighing in on what you would have done in my shoes. It's really been comforting to read your thoughts on the matter.

The rest of the news is that my fundal height is now 21 cm, the equivalent of a 22 week pregnancy if I was carrying a singleton. Unfortunately, my cervix is measuring only 2.5, which is "at the lower end of normal" according to the peri. The good news is that there's no funneling or dilation. They'll measure it again next week to be sure it's not shortening.