Our IVF journey: The triplets arrive

The Monday of the week the boys were born I started having morning sickness again, and started to lose weight again. The boys were really starting to take it out of my body. I was very tired and out of breath and it felt as though I could not eat enough. We also saw the doctor for our 2 weekly check-up and all was fine. My cervix had not effaced yet and was relatively normal.

By the Thursday morning I awoke feeling great, and filled with energy, I decided that 32 weeks would be a good time to start getting the babies and my bags ready for hospital. I had only got as far as packing out the stuff on my bed and then started cleaning the pool feeding the dogs and doing my daily chores, my back started to throb so I went to sit down thinking it was the weight of the boys, I then had a terrible runny stomach. My instinct told me to phone the doctor. He said I should meet him immediately! I thought we would walk in and the doc would tell me I was being paranoid…

I was in the beginning stages of labour, I walked into the labour ward with only my cell phone and the clothes on my back, and the irony was that I had only begun to pack my suitcase that morning as I was convinced I would hold out to 36 weeks, ha-ha!

They immediately inserted an IV (drip) and meds to try to stop the labour. They then gave me a drug which is used on people with high blood pressure and to prevent premmie labour. This was not a good idea, as I suffered from low blood pressure. Immediately my skin turned blood red, and my lungs burnt like a hell fire as all my arteries and veins began to dilate (enlarge). I couldn’t breathe. So when hubby returned to the room he got the fright of his life, his wife looked like an oversized lobster on oxygen!!! Even with all the side effects it did not reverse my labour. The staff then had to phone the medical aid to see if they would pay for a very expensive drug which was needed to stop labor. I was also given an injection of cortisone. (This is for a premmie’s lungs. At 34 weeks in vitro, a soapy substance called surfactant lines the baby’s lungs which helps them to function correctly, but my baby’s surfactant had not developed yet.)

By this time my hubby was like a cat on a hot tin roof. He was ready for the babies even though I was convinced the drugs would eventually suppress my labor.  He was phoning his father and father in law, as well as his best mate and brothers, and telling them to bring cigars with them, it was time! My mother had to rush to Woolies to buy Pj’s, slippers and Dr Whites pads etc ‘cause Michelle had not yet packed! My brother was there too and was keeping my very dramatic and excited Gran up to date over the phone, who in turn was informing the rest of the extended family.

By six that evening the doctor came round again. He did what I call the finger test, where they see how far dilated your cervix is. The doctor informed us that if it was not for the Shirodkar stitch the boys would be half way out already as I was fully dilated.

He opted to do a ceaser. I wasn’t impressed but knew that if we waited any longer there would be foetal distress and that was not good!

The staff began to prepare me for theatre...

Now this might sound a bit out of the box, but thank goodness I had shaved down under the night before, because a hospital Brazilian is not something you want to experience.
The nurse inserted a catheter which I might add was an incredibly uncomfortable experience especially with the increasing contractions.

And off to theatre we went...

My mother, bless her angelic soul, was like a tigress. She crossed the red line and only stopped outside the theatre door and there she waited till the first baby was rolled out to NNICU. She escorted each one and made sure they were fine and in good hands (she is also a nurse), then she returned to my side in recovery and only left it much later that night.  Thank you mom. I love you!

Once I was in theatre I sat on the bed, my legs over the side, and had to try and bend forward so the anaesthetist could insert a local anaesthetic. This was to numb me from below my diaphragm down so I could be conscious while the doctor did the caesarian section.

I then lay flat on the operating table.  Then I couldn’t breathe and my blood pressure dropped dramatically. They tried to give me oxygen again.

The oxygen mask was barely placed over my nose and mouth when Reuben appeared, he was taken straight to a special table where he was evaluated suctioned and wrapped tightly in a blanket, the same happened with Edward. But the last did not want out and it took some tugging and light pulling before Michael finally appeared.

We were just two and now we have terrific triplets.

What labour stories do you have to share?

Our IVF journey 1: Egg harvest
Our IVF journey 2: First tries
Our IVF journey 3: It’s triplets!
Our IVF journey 4: Carrying triplets

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24