Saturday, August 29, 2009

24w5d - Time to go slow

I've been having contractions more frequently, and mostly in the late afternoon and evening after a day at the office. "It's time to stop working," the perinatologist said. For once, even the workaholic in me knows she's right. I've been expecting those words and didn't fight them, but it still came as a shock since I've been doing pretty great.

She wants me to lie down (hard to do when you're at the office) and drink plenty of water whenever I feel a contraction. If I'm having more than four an hour, feel "different" or if the contractions are becoming more painful, I should call and go to L&D. "I have a very low threshold for admitting high risk patients." (Read: you've been warned.)

We discussed meds to control contractions, preterm labor, and other concerns. Basically, the next few weeks (through 28 weeks) are critical. I already knew that, but it was important for my peri to reinforce that while reassuring me that things are still looking good.

My cervix is now at 2.3 cm, but still stable despite the more frequent contractions. Phew.

My wonderful boss will allow me to work from home for as long as I want or can keep up, and then I can start scaling back my hours over the course of the next month or so. This works great, because I need to wrap up a few projects to make things easier for everyone at work, I need the mental stimulation, and it will definitely make the time pass faster than staring at the walls and feeling caged in. Besides, disability benefits suck and with triplets on the way, we need the money.

Our baby girls are doing great. Their next measurements will be in two weeks' time, but we did get a quick heartbeat check:

Baby A: 138 bpm
Baby B: 142 bpm
Baby C: 143 bpm

My fundal height is now at 36 cm, the equivalent of 36 weeks gestation with a singleton. The nurse practitioner measured me three times, because she couldn't believe it had increased 6 cm since she measured me two weeks ago. The girls are indeed growing, which makes us really happy.

Baby C is pressing on my lungs, so that would explain why I've been struggling to breathe. I'm at the point now where I pant just from walking a few feet, I can't stand more than a few minutes at a time and it feels like I'm constantly gasping for air as I'm trying to catch a good, deep breath. Having a conversation leaves me breathless and exhausted. It's pretty funny, actually, and I keep reminding myself that this is only the beginning of the "uncomfortable" phase. It will get a whole lot worse before it gets better, and that's okay. I know it's temporary.

It only takes one baby kick to remind me that this pregnancy is still the most miraculous event in my life. Ever.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

23w3d - The viability countdown has begun

On Monday I'll be 24 weeks along and celebrating the first of many survival milestones. Viability is generally believed to begin around 24-25 weeks. Although micropreemies born at this stage often face lifelong challenges, they do have a shot at survival with prolonged intensive care. Since babies born before 23 weeks often don't survive, I'm looking forward to crossing the 24-week threshold.

I'm obviously aiming for 28... 32... and ultimately 35 weeks gestation to give our girls the best possible start in life, but I also realize that much of this is beyond my control.

At most, I have about 11-12 weeks or 85 days to go.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

22w4d - Triplet measurement scan & updates

Our baby girls are all doing well and already weighing in at more than a pound each! The great news is that they're on target in terms of length and weight. This is even more terrific given that they are triplets. The average for singletons at 22 weeks is 15.17 ounces and at 23 weeks is 1.10 pounds.

Baby A: 1 lb 4 oz
Baby B: 1 lb 5 oz
Baby C: 1 lb 4 oz

For those of you not interested in doing the math, that's 3 lb 13 oz of baby!

The mothership is doing well too, despite a few issues. I've been diagnosed with ta.chycardia, which is a rapid heart rate. Mine is often above 120, and it obviously makes me feel even more short of breath and exhausted (if that's possible.) When the heart palpitations start, I feel wired and out of it. It's awful, and often wakes me up in the middle of the night, but it's not uncommon in pregnancy. Just another joy of having triplets, I guess. Everything is in overdrive.

My thyroid also can't make up its mind on whether it's hyper- or hypo-. I'm taking Syn.throid at the moment and given the see saw thyroid hormone levels, it's probably no wonder that I'm feeling hyper one second and sleepy the next. Going with the flow is my motto right now. At the moment, I can still tolerate it and work full time, but who knows for how long. I'm thankful for every day that I'm pregnant, every day that I'm not on bed rest, and every day that I'm able to keep them safely inside.

My cervix is still at 2.5 cm which is alarmingly short, but fortunately stable. (Trying hard not to freak out about it, can you tell?)

In terms of the bump: my fundal height is 29 cm! Yikes. At five and a half months, I'm measuring at the equivalent of 7 months. That's a point of pride, actually. ;-) So far I've gained 22 lbs and the belly circumference is a whopping 43 inches. Go belly go.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

21w3d - Kicking up a storm

The trio's movements have been much more noticeable this week. After months of anticipation, I finally know what a true baby kick feels like!

Baby A has been practicing karate kicks this week and it's the most miraculous feeling in the world. No longer do I just feel the occasional flutter or squirm when I lie down at night, but I'm feeling true, discernable kicks.

On Sunday night, I was lying on my left side in bed when Baby A gave me a strong kick that made me jump. Holy moly! That was cool and unexpected and ticklish and bizarre. I lay still to see if she'd do it again and just as I got distracted she obliged.

Since then, I've felt all three of them kicking me in different spots at different times. Sometimes they'd do it in the middle of a serious work meeting, or in the middle of the night, or after I've eaten. Last night, I had my hand on my stomach and could feel it from the inside and outside. Weird! When I removed my hand, I could see my stomach moving as the babies kicked. BabyBump-TV is absolutely mesmerizing.

We haven't been able to time it so hubby can feel one of the really hard kicks, but he has felt the lighter ones, which amazes me. With six little hands and feet in utero, I'm sure we'll have ample opportunity to watch interactive BabyBump-TV in the weeks to come. I can't wait to feel their hiccups!

21w3d - Bigger is better

I've gained 21 lbs so far and couldn't be happier. As someone who loves to eat and who usually gains weight by just looking at food, I could never have imagined that it would be a struggle to add pounds to my frame.

With triplets, it's important to add the weight early as it will be hard to find room to eat larger meals later in the pregnancy. Higher birth weight will also help to give the babies a fighting chance in case they arrive early.

It's interesting how my body image is changing, because despite the discomfort, I'm loving the bump. I'm proud of the bump. It symbolizes everything I've always wanted and dreamed about, and the long road to get to this point. The bump reminds me of all of my friends who are still struggling to conceive, or who have conceived but suffered devastating losses.

But sometimes, despite all that, I can't help but feel fat and sluggish. I have to remind myself that I'm incubating three little munchkins. When I feel especially huge, it helps that my husband tells me I look sexy, and that he puts his hands on my belly and talks to our baby girls.

I've always been kind of average height, average weight, average shoe size. Suddenly, I'm carrying around a 42.5" waist on plump feet that refuse to fit into my usually comfy shoes. I was also amazed to discover that my bump is about the same size as a friend of mine's who is seven months pregnant with a singleton. I'll have to remember to ask the midwife to measure my fundal height at the next appointment.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

21w0d - Peri visit update

The sonographer did a quick heartbeat check and all three of our baby girls are doing great. We have to wait another two weeks to see them again in detail and for the next set of measurements to be taken.

My cervix is still holding at a short but stable 2.6 cm - it's even 0.1 cm longer than the previous measurement two weeks ago. That's not much, but I'll take it. At least it's not shortening, funneling or dilating!

I've finally started to gain weight. For the first time ever gaining 24 lbs by 24 weeks seems doable. Hooray for the food aversions and nausea starting to let up. The heartburn is pretty intense, but papaya enzyme chew tablets have helped.

My blood pressure is beautifully low, but my heart rate is constantly elevated and there may be some irregularity so an echo.cardiogram will be performed to check for issues. It may be something, or it may be just the normal additional blood volume and stress on my heart of carrying triplets. Either way, I'd rather be proactive and know what's going on.

I've also been diagnosed with hypo.thyroidism and will be taking Syn.throid, so we'll see how that goes. For now, everything is still good, I'm still working full time, and although I'm physically more exhausted, I'm still feeling strong.