Sunday, November 11, 2007
birth story


I had been having a lot of contractions on Saturday and Sunday but I hadn't been counting them. Sunday I took a nap and when I woke up around 2 pm I decided to start keeping track. They were coming pretty regularly every five minutes. After an hour, I told David and he started timing them. They kept coming regularly and around 4 or so we started to talk about calling the doctor. We knew if we called they would tell us to come in to get checked. And we knew if we came in they would do a C-section. I was 35 weeks and 1 day and every doctor in the practice (except my own) was pushing me to just schedule the C-section for 35 weeks. But, the contractions weren't stopping and they were getting a little harder, so we called.

They told me not to eat or drink anything and come in. I had forgotten to give myself a heparin injection that morning, so that was good. We made arrangements for the girls and packed a bag and headed to the hospital around 7 pm.

They put me on a monitor - the contractions were still coming every 2-4 minutes. I was in early active labor. I hadn't progressed very far and part of me wished I had just stayed home because I really wanted those babies to be as healthy as possible, but I knew to go back home would be stupid and frankly the idea of getting back in the car was exhausting.

We waited around and phoned our family and then around 10 pm they took me down to the delivery room. David waited outside while they numbed me up. Soon after, I started to feel like I couldn't catch my breath and I had to vomit. Once I did, I felt much better and felt like I could breathe again.

David came in and they checked to see that the anesthesia had worked. It had and they opened me up. I tried not to think about what was happening (as far as the surgery). At 10:23 pm, the doctor pulled out Britta. We don't have photos or video of our other births and hadn't intended to take photos this time. Sometimes getting the shot can get in the way of actually just being in the moment. But, David did have his camera in his pocket and the doctor insisted he take a picture before he would pull out the next baby. At 10:24, Drake was out and at 10:25, Jack was here.

They showed the babies to me over the drape and I just remember thinking how round their little heads were. Britta was taken to another room because they weren't equipped for three babies in the room.

I started to feel nauseated again and threw up again. They took me to a recovery room (and I threw up again in the elevator - the girls asked me about it later and at first I had no idea what they were talking about until I remembered that I was on a gurney and threw up into a little basin). In the recovery room we called our parents and other family and waited for the sensation to come back into my legs. While we were waiting they brought Jack to me to nurse. He didn't get the idea, but I was glad to get a good look at his little face and just to hold him.

They brought me up to my room where I tried to sleep but didn't have much luck because the nurses' came in to check my vital signs every hour. The babies had all spent the night in the regular nursery. The next day I got to see Drake and Britta, but Jack was sent to the NICU because his blood sugar level was 40 and they like it to be above 40.

The girls came that afternoon to see the babies and were wonderful with them from the start. They held them and fed them and were just so natural and comfortable with them. I didn't see Jack that day because I was feeling pretty terrible and could hardly get out of bed. The next day I went and when I held him I remember thinking about well I will get to know this little boy. Because I wasn't able to hold him or see him as much as the others, it was comforting to remind myself how well I would be able to get to know him.

The next three days are a bit of a blur. I was surprised that my appetite wasn't back. It seems that my problem wasn't so much that my stomach was squished by the babies, but more that being anemic had suppressed my appetite. I forced myself to eat some, but it just seemed like work. When I got home from the hospital I had lost 30 pounds of the 50 I had gained. By my two week check up, I had lost 45 pounds and by my six week check up and I was seven pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I had pictured myself with 50 pounds to lose and no time to exercise, so I'm glad to not have that on my plate (har har), but I wouldn't recommend the triplet diet.

The first few days I didn't know if nursing was going to work, because I wasn't even trying with Jack (he had an IV in his head and was attached to so many wires and it just seemed hard) and the other babies weren't really getting it. Drake was the first to latch on well and with the help of the lactation consultant, I got both Britta and Drake nursing some by the second day. Pumping was definitely more frustrating than I thought it would be, but I just decided to do it every three hours while I was in the hospital and see if things got better. They did. By the time we left the hospital, Britta and Drake were nursing pretty well and I was pumping 4-5 ounces for Jack every time I pumped. I also finally tried nursing Jack, and he got the hang of it almost right away. Since Jack came home I have stopped pumping (I just couldn't seem to find the time and I felt I just needed to let something go) and the nursing has gone really smoothly. It is just supplementary, but I'm so glad that I didn't give up on the first day when I was so tired and overwhelmed by the thought.

The five days that Jack was in the NICU were tough.Finding the time to go and leaving the other babies at home was hard and then leaving Jack was hard. The whole pregnancy we had tried to prepare ourselves for the fact that all three of our babies would likely be in the NICU, but you just can't prepare yourself. We only had one and he never had any serious concerns and it was still tough.

Once I was home I was still very sore (but things were a little better every day) and for some reason my back was just incredibly sore. I would catch myself in the mirror every day just hunched over and I had a hard time just standing up straight (I still have some back pain and still catch myself hunching over, but not like those first weeks). In spite all of that, I was glad to just be able to stand and walk and do things that I couldn't do when I was on bedrest. I did things I had been itching to do for months like clean out the junk drawer and clip my toenails.

The toughest time I had since the babies were born was October 16th (I remember because it was two days before my shower). The night before I had had such intense back pain I was literally writhing and crying on the couch. I had another painful episode that morning and also suspected I had a UTI (I did) and I went to the doctor. He gave me a prescription for antibiotics and basically told me there wasn't anything he could do for my back. The antibiotics made me incredibly nauseated and I was miserable. I felt like throwing up, my back was outrageously painful, and on top of that I had a fever and chills from the UTI. My mom and David were great and let me nap all day and I got a new prescription that made me feel less nauseated. That night I was still feeling miserable and David took the whole shift that night and I got to sleep for 12 hours. It was amazing. To let me sleep that long was one of the best gifts David has ever given me.

Babies are waking up, so I will leave things there for now.
posted by lochan | link
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Name: Laura

I have five kids including triplets. I'm too busy to blog, but I do anyway (uh, sometimes).

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