Longer than war and peace ~
You would have thought 13 years on I would be used to the idea that I have triplets. However, no! I kind of forget as after all they are simply Lily, Charlie and Harry. Three total crazy loons full of personality, living in this crazy loony house ?.
The tale of how they got here though is definitely one worth telling. ~
As much as a challenge Jack was, he was blooming cute. We always knew he was going to be a big brother. So when he was around 2, I made an appointment back at the doctors to get my script for Clomid. After having him, I had been on a massive health kick. I had lost 4 stone in weight, and was the healthiest I had ever been. I knew the links to pre eclampsia could be reduced if I lost some weight.
So here I was stood in the doctor’s surgery at a healthy weight, with my script to help make baby number 2, simples. I was on the way out the door, and my friendly doctor said, “you know these pills can increase your chance of having twins”, I had a hysterical laugh and strolled out the door. Noo multiples, it won’t happen to us, no, never…
Clomid is a clever drug, especially for people like me with polycystic ovarian disease. Our ovaries are lazy and don’t pop eggs out very often. Take clomid on days 1-5 of your cycle and then like a normal lady mid month little eggy is there ready for action ?.
Month 2 was our lucky month, we were away on a holiday in Great Yarmouth. I was so very tired. Jack hadn’t started his meds so sleep was all over the place. I took a little nap in the bedroom, and I lay on my tummy and remember a noticeable bubble pop in my belly. It was tiny, almost pinch, never obviously confirmed, but I’m pretty sure that was the 3 embryos implanting, as I can remember it so vividly. I spotted on and off then for a couple of weeks, but I was late, so I knew something was happening.
I was desperate to do things normally this time ?. So I brought a single pregnancy test and did it with Steve. It came up positive straight away. We were pregnant, there was no drama, and on just the 2nd month of trying all so easy, or so I thought ?. My bump was showing early on and I wasn’t impressed especially after losing all the weight. Last time my bump was big, so this time it was going to be the same, right?
My dating scan was booked early on, due to me taking the fertility meds, around 9 weeks. I awoke on the day of my scan to a terrible bleed, I called the hospital and they said keep the booked scan for 12pm, but lie down and rest. Sadly, nature would take its own cause, and there was nothing that could stop it happening ?. We arrived at the hospital and it was oh so bad. I dragged myself out of the toilet in tears, and got to the desk, “I’m micarrying” I told them. The lady told me to take a seat and they would see me shortly to confirm this.
We didn’t wait long, Mom waited outside. Steve and I were in silence as she scanned. She turned the screen so we couldn’t see, that’s never a good sign. It seemed to take forever. I’m sure it was just minutes but the silence was a killer. “I’ve lost the baby haven’t I?” I asked. She replied with “how long did you take the clomid for Mrs Weston?”, “5 days, 1 a day for 5 days”, “well it’s worked very well you’re expecting triplets, and I suspect your miscarrying a 4th”. The words seemed to just float around. Steve didn’t say a word. I was smiling, crying and asked for my Mom. Mom was called in she said “I know, I know, you’re having twins, it will be ok”, “no” the lady said “your daughter is having triplets!”.
We were ushered to the corridor and brought three sugary cups of tea. Would we cope? How could I grow them? Could we afford them? Sooo many things going through my mind. I spent the weekend in hospital as the bleed was so bad. I saw a consultant the following day, he was a man I will never forget, sadly not for good reasons.
Now bear in mind I was bleeding so I had no idea how many babies I had inside me and how scary it was all going to be. I knew I wanted to hold on to them after all they were growing in my tummy, we had made them. “no one wants to be pregnant with triplets Mrs Weston, it will be a scary journey all round”, well thank you Mr, with tears in my eyes I replied with “we will take one day at a time”.
I waited 3 weeks for my next scan. It was the hardest 3 weeks ever. I had no idea how many babies I had inside me. The Olympics were on T.V and I did a lot of sofa resting. Mom and Grandma took over Jack duties. This became a very difficult part of the pregnancy as early on it became obvious I would be unable to do the normal Mommy duties ?. My 12 week scan confirmed three babies growing beautifully. I had three individual embryos in three sacks. The easiest type of triplet pregnancy, no chance of twin to twin, so that was a big relief. I was passed over to Birmingham women’s hospital, so far so good.
We paid for a private scan around 18 weeks. Every scan I would say the same to them “please just confirm the 3 heartbeats”, I needed to know that first, then I could breath. All confirmed measurements, all perfect, all growing at the rate of a singleton ? “And you have 3 boys Mrs Weston”, I kinda knew it would be three boys, I had a feeling I would be a Mom to boys, all seemed healthy so we shared the news,
It was around 18 weeks as I lay on the sofa that I felt and witnessed my first movements. You can’t see 1 baby move at 18 weeks, but with 3 it was a little different. I watched this little alien lump shift from one side of my tummy to the other. It’s amazing, even now years on the miracle of a multiple pregnancy amazes me.
My 20 week scan at Birmingham Women’s hospital confirmed 2 girls and 1 boy ??. They both got it wrong in the end, and again they were all growing as they should.
Was a triplet pregnancy like a singleton pregnancy? No it really wasn’t. It was utterly exhausting. I was full so easily, as very quickly there was no room for food. I was out of breath so easily, and sleep was a nightmare. The amount of nights I would sit in my bedroom looking at magazines and reading books, as it was simply too uncomfortable. When three babies all move it makes you physically feel sick, and they were, amazingly, growing at the rate of a single baby you could see arms and legs everywhere ?.
When we hit 24 weeks we started to think about how we would cope and what we would need when they arrived. Now this was fun, Mom and I spent many afternoons washing and folding tiny baby clothes, making lists for three of everything we would need. We also spent time dreaming of holding these three little people and it was becoming more real as the weeks passed by.
My blood pressure was text-book. In fact, I was having a healthier pregnancy this time round, how crazy was that? What was scary was the rate I was growing. I very quickly grew out of maternity clothes, and lived in a couple of loose smock style dresses. My skin over my tummy was becoming so thin, I really did believe they would break out ???. Moving around became increasingly difficult and I had a few trips out in a wheelchair, as the strain on my back was immense.
All along the consultant had said let’s get to 32 weeks, and re assess. We hit 32 weeks with ease, then 34 weeks, and 35 weeks. On that appointment I begged them to take them out. More recent scans had confirmed I was carrying 2 boys and 1 girl. My little pink one was head down from early on, Charlie was transverse and Harry was breach. Those last weeks they had no room to move, so stayed in these positions. I liked this, I was able to put my whole hand on Harry’s head and the familiar kicks from each of them was reassuring.
I was booked in for my c-section on Monday 7th February 2005, I would be 35 plus 5. On the Saturday before this I woke with regular tightening’s. So I casually called the hospital and they panicked a little when I said “I’m pregnant with triplets, I’m 35 weeks plus 3 and I’m experiencing tightening’s”. She pretty much said “get to hospital now!” We made our way and I was monitored all weekend. They weren’t coming on their own. My body I believe could have gone another week or so, without going into labour, but it was nice to rest up and prepare for Monday though.
My final scan estimated the babies would weigh around 4lb each. I was a little disappointed with this, as the weekly ones were showing more 5lb babies, time would reveal all. My Brother and Steve visited the night before they arrived. All was very calm, and all those weeks of worry were coming to an end. This time tomorrow we will be parents to 4 children, we laughed. Our little family of 3 was to become a busy family of 6. The midwives took their lunch breaks with me that night. I had my last small meal just before 12am, with a lovely midwife sitting beside me for company. That night was priceless.
7am the next morning Steve arrived. The nurses suggested Steve shower me, now that was a sight ??? good job he loves me. I was taken down to theatre at 9am, the lovely consultant doing the op passed us on the way down. He was casually eating a wrap and swigging back a can of coke. He was very calm. I certainly wasn’t, “see you shortly Mrs Weston” he said ?.
The theatre was buzzing. At least 13 people were in there, with three cots all lined up ready to house the Weston triplets. The epidural went well, although when I lay down, my poor body was under real strain, my B.P kept dipping very low. The friendly anaesthetic kept topping up my drip with some wonder drugs to keep me awake, or alive ? and it begun. The radio was playing and all was covered up. I was shaking like mad, just the same as I did with Jack. Steve’s face was right by mine and we waited…
We knew the first baby that came out should be our little girl, and right on cue at 9.46 Lily Marie was born. So funny the consultant just showed us her bits and said “there’s your daughter” not very lady like ??. 2 minutes later Charlie made his appearance, and then the consultant asked for silence as he couldn’t find the 3rd. How funny is that? He found him, and Harry Samuel was born at 9.50, he had swallowed some fluid but just like his siblings had a good pair of lungs on him.
The longest part of a c-section is being stitched up. All I wanted to do was hold my babies. I didn’t get a chance to hold them for quite a few hours. They were taken to transitional care for checks as they were early. Also, I was made to stop in recovery as it was going to take quite some time for my huge womb to contract ?. 3 hours I was in there for. I sent Steve for lunch supplies and my Mom, Dad and my bro snuck in to congratulate and give hugs, we were all buzzing.
I was finally taken back to the ward. A group of Nurses came in to say how they were amazed with how healthy the babies were, and their weights. Lily was 5lb, Charlie was 5lb 10oz, and Harry 5lb 15oz. The biggest triplets they had ever had! She said “they just kept getting heavier as we weighed them” ???. The placenta I was shown in theatre. It was so funny, it looked like Mickey Mouse with 2 ears, and it weighed a whopping 4lb! So adding all that up, is it any wonder my waist was over 5ft round, and my poor joints have arthritis in them all, their worth it though ???
I was drugged up to the max for the next 24 hours. In a blur of life, humbled by us having 3 healthy babies, and overwhelmed with what was to come, I shed many tears over the time I had lost with Jack. I took him into a little quiet room and broke my heart as I held him. He was so little and now at 2 was a big brother to 3. Because of how tiring the pregnancy had been, I had missed the last few months of being his Mom. Now I couldn’t wait to get back to a normal routine, well, a ‘new’ normal routine back.
That night, all 3 babies were screaming. I was attached to a double pumping expressing machine (? Daisy the cow comes to mind). I was high on morphine and I had a knock at the door. 2 cleaners and the cook came in for a nose of the biggest triplets. This was the just the start of my crazy journey into motherhood with multiples. Life as we knew it was about to change forever ………..
(Thanks for reading you can now go and have a lie down in a dark room ?)