Monday, September 26, 2011

One whole month...already?!?!

Happy birthday Caitlin, Kelsie and Riley!  I can not believe it has already been a whole month since these three precious bundles were brought into the world.  So much has happened in this month. 
All three babies were released from the NICU and brought home.  They are seriously thriving in their new environment.    I can't help take a little credit for this because I am pumping and shipping breast milk. They are starting to get the chubby cheeks and double chins that change their looks so much.  (Why can't this look cute on all of us adults?)  

I am not, however, getting up with them all night long for round the clock feedings times three.  I'm also not changing 30 diapers a day!  No, the real credit goes to their parents. They are truly embracing parenthood and loving this precious time with their babies.  I get updates and pictures a few times a week and I love hearing all of the news.  It warms my heart to hear what good parents they are and to know that these babies are a part of such a loving home.  

This right here is the whole reason I became a surrogate.  Seeing and hearing all about this family I helped create is wonderful.  When people ask me why I did this, they automatically assume it was about the money.  It's hard to put my feelings into words on the subject, but it is about so much more.  I have gotten so much more.  I know it's hard to understand, especially for those who have not been a surrogate, but all I can say is my heart feels happy.
Can you believe they all fit in my belly?!?!  I still have a hard time believing it!

Caitlin, Kelsie, and Riley
I just had to share...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Birth Story...

I have been thinking over and over how tho start this post.    I know I haven't updated in a while so I will try and pick up where I left off with a quick update on the past few weeks.  Just a warning though...this is going to be a long post so grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a while.  

I last posted at about 31 weeks and at this point we were beginning to do the non-stress tests on the babies.  I went in once a week and the babies continued to pass with flying colors.  Each one was "practice breathing", very active, and their heart rates were always right on target.  I always left the hospital with a smile on my face knowing that these little buns were baking so beautifully in my oven.

I also had weekly check ups with my OB.  They continued to go really well.  My Doctor  thought for sure we were going to make it all the way to 36 weeks.  One thing we all know though about pregnancy though is that things can change with the blink of an eye.

So Tuesday (8-23) I went in for a regular check up with my OB and everything looked great.  I felt a little "different", but was assured my blood pressure and labs looked great.  I thought I was just doing to much and not resting enough.   I was pregnant with three babies after all.  So we left it with that.

The next day was supposed to be my kids first day of school and my 6 year was turning 7.  Mind you,  I had given the triplets strict instructions to stay in my belly until I got my kiddos through their first day of school.  Control freak much?  Anyway, my best laid plans veered off track for sure.  A rail car with a huge tank of propane caught fire Tuesday afternoon and my son's birthday wish came true.  Not only was the first day of school cancelled, the entire first week was cancelled as well.  A lot of families were evacuated from their homes.  There was talk of evacuation in our neighborhood too, but luckily it was just talk.

So we went ahead with a few small birthday plans and had a good day.  That night, (Wednesday) My legs and feet morphed into one long, puffy extension out of my hips and I could barely bend them at the ankle or the knee.  I was feeling concerned about this, but knowing I had another non-stress test in the morning, I went to bed and got as good nights sleep as I could.

Thursday morning, my legs did not look any better and were actually quite painful.  I went to the Non-stress test expecting nothing but the predictable since I had just been to my OB 2 days before.  So first thing they do is check your weight and I had gained 6 pounds in 6 days!!!  I had only gained about 31 pounds so far with this pregnancy so this was a complete shock.  I saw the look on the nurses face and watched her eyes linger on my swollen feet.  I kinda' knew what was coming when she said, "Why don't we check your urine?"  (For those who don't know, they check urine for protein which is a possible sign of pre-eclampsia.)

We went into the fetal testing room and she got on the phone to call my doctor.  I heard her say it was a 4+ on the protein and my doctor asked to talk to me.  She handed me the phone and my doctor told me they were sending me over to labor and delivery for further testing.  I of course, being hormonal and all, started to cry and as soon as I left the office I called my hubby.  He called my IP’s for me and took them by surprise. 

My hubby came to the hospital to meet me and told me that A was driving to Sac as we speak.  When A got there, he said S was jumping on a plane and would also be there shortly.  I of course felt really bad because what if this was nothing?  I didn’t want to be an inconvenience for nothing but further testing.  Anyway, I’m so glad they listened to their intuition and got here when they did.   So the Docs ran some labs, did an ultrasound and some fetal monitoring.   They came back and said I was definitely checking in.  It looked like pre-eclampsia and the only cure for that is delivery.  So much for all of my well laid plans…

Everyone could tell I was a bit disappointed with the turn of events.  I knew at this point that I would surly miss the first day of kindergarten for my 5 year old and the first day of 2nd grade for my 7 year old.  Again…control freak much?  This situation was clearly out of my control though.   So the Docs came up with a plan and we went ahead with it.  They were giving me a dose of betamethosone (a shot to develop the babies lungs quickly) right away (Thursday).  They were giving me another dose 24 hours later as long as I held stable (Friday).  Then Saturday morning if all still looked good, was delivery day. 

So, I got the first dose and checked in to the hospital.  They continued to monitor my labs and with each new blood draw, my stats continued to detereriorate.  I also started having scattered contractions.  They started me on Magnesium sulfate (awful stuff) because it was clear things were going down hill fast and I was developing HELLP syndrome also. (Scary stuff!)  

IP's and my Hubby told them to get over to the hospital ASAP.  My husband barely made it.  He was literally suiting up while we were wheeling the bed away.  Everything felt so rushed and crazy.  
The doctors had assembled an army of doctors to quickly "catch and assess" the babies as they were delivered and another small army on hand in the delivery room itself.  Unfortunately, I was only allowed my husband to be with me because of the number of people needed and the size of the OR itself.  In case you were wondering there were 13 people in the OR including my Husband and I.    

The delivery went as well as we could have expected.  The babies were delivered with in one minute of each other and were whisked away so quickly I didn't even get to see them.  I heard their sweet little wails as they were pulled from their warm and cozy oven and couldn't help but smile. 

I, on the other hand, had lost almost 2 liters of blood and my platelet count went down extremely low.  So low, they did not even feel comfortable removing my spinal block for fear that I would not be able to clot properly.  I had to have a blood transfusion and a platelet transfusion.  While receiving the transfusions in the recovery room, the nurse checked my incision, urine output and bedding.  She immediately called my Doctor back in and gave everyone else non necessary the boot.  To my surprise my OB happened to be in the hospital and was at my side.  So were the two doctors that delivered the babies and the pernatologist I had been seeing too.  I felt so well taken care of and touched that all of these doctors that helped so much through out this journey were there to help in my time of need.  Things got a little more chaotic as they explained I was losing more blood and a lot of clots.  They decided to give me something to dialate my cervix a bit to extract the clots.   Luckily I was still numb from the waist down and they were quick and efficient.  I stayed in the recovery suite for a while before checking into my room just to be sure everything was going ok.  The anesthesiologist explained that until my platelets were on the rise again I would have to leave the catheter in my back and that it could be a couple days.  

Meanwhile, the waiting room was full of my worried family and friends.  I had no idea who was there and not, but come to find out A wouldn't leave the waiting room to follow the babies until I was deemed out of the woods.  I couldn't believe it.  I was so very touched. It was a scary ordeal for sure, but I can't explain the calm I felt in the midst of all of the chaos.  I just know everything was going to be ok.

The babies were all doing really well.  They needed a little help with feedings, oxygen and IV's, but they are truly beating the odds for triplets.  I am so proud to have delivered these little fighters into this world.  

Are you ready for the final stats? 
It was 2 girls and 1 boy as expected, but no one expected them to be quite so big.

Caitlin~ 4lbs. 14 oz.  18" long
Kelsie~ 3lbs.  11 oz.  17" long
Riley~ 5lbs.  4 oz.  17" long

Is it just me or was that  a whole lotta baby in my belly? 

Through out this whole experience, I have felt so well cared for and so lucky to have so many people who love and care about me.  I made it to 33.6 weeks which I have to say beat a lot of  expectations.  It has been such a whirlwind of a ride, but worth every second of it.  I remember waking up almost every morning and having to remind myself it was triplets.  Now I look at these sweet babies and think how utterly impossible it is to have delivered them.  It still is, and probably always will be truly unbelievable.  Even given all of the discomfort, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.   We beat so many odds in this process and I can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment looking back.  I was not on bed rest or hospitalized like so many thought I would be at the end and I have so many people who care about me to thank for that.  I especially could not have done this with out the support of my husband.  He is a remarkable man and I think this journey has brought us even closer.  The support I felt from all of my family and friends was and is more than I can describe with words.  

The Triplets are here!!!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet for now...
Last Friday August 26th, 2011, I delivered three little bundles of joy.  We are all doing really well.  The babies continue to amaze everyone with how well they are adjusting to this outside world.  It's so wonderful to see....
No worries, I am working on the details of the whole story, but just thought you might want to know. 
Have a great weekend!  =)

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