Our IVF journey 4: Carrying triplets

At 12 weeks we were able to see the sex of two of our beans, Michael and Edward. Reuben at this stage we thought was a little girl, but the doctor was not certain as little Mr. was not partial to sharing. A week or so later it was confirmed: three boys.

At 13 weeks I would have to go for a procedure where the doctor would place what is known as “a shirodkar stitch” in my cervix, this would prevent premature labor. I was very nervous, as I had to go under general anesthetic, but the procedure went very well, I had some cramping afterwards and was home the very next day.

By 14 weeks I felt the boys moving. By now the little bump protruding from my body would move from side to side as the boys floated merrily around inside of me like little astronauts. It was quite an odd sight and people would stare at my abdomen especially as my belly grew in size, I would always remark ‘yup the aliens are up to no good again.’

We were told to expect preterm babies as triplet pregnancies usually only last between 28 and 33 weeks. I stubbornly told the doctor I would carry to 36 weeks, as I wanted their lungs to be fully developed before birth.

The heat was taking its toll. The boys loved it when I swam and would become very active when I was submerged in water; they probably also enjoyed the extra buoyancy. I spent my time playing classical music and reading or talking to them. As I am a nurse I knew how to feel for their heads and bottoms and could tell how they were lying.

Mid-way through my second trimester my mom asked if we would like to have the babies blessed in utero. Even though we are not Catholic, the priest at my mom’s hospital agreed to bless the boys one Sunday after mass. This was an incredible experience, for as the priest literally bathed me in holy water and muttered his blessings the boys came alive inside me. It was as though I could feel the hand of God coming down out of heaven and touching each of these little lives with blessings, joy, and love. My husband and I are convinced that is why our boys were so healthy for premmies. It is amazing what the power of love and faith can do for us beings here on earth.

All in all I had a very comfortable and healthy pregnancy, with the usual heartburn, indigestion and constant trips to the loo, especially since Reuben loved using my bladder as a trampoline. The boys were growing at a phenomenal pace, they were healthy and of normal weight and size for their gestational age.

Work was now starting to become an effort, I had so many assignments to mark, and my concentration was dwindling. I started becoming antisocial, wanting to spend more and more time alone with myself and the three beans in my tummy. I was adamant that I would return to work after my maternity leave, I could not picture myself giving up on my career, little did I know.

Carrying three babies at once is not as hard as you might think, for at least the first and second trimester it is much the same as a single pregnancy.

Unlike other moms I know who carried triplets, I carried small. I only picked up 14kg during my pregnancy, but I must add I only carried till 32 weeks. I went on maternity leave when I was 24 weeks pregnant as doctor prescribed.

Every day was a good day I would walk around in a tank top and shorts or skirt I loved my tummy being out in the open, I bought Swarovski stick-on crystals and stuck them around my belly. Some more conservative people frowned at me, but it looked great.

My mom nagged me every day from the first week in December to please pack both my and the boys’ bags for hospital, but I refused. I had already booked my C-section for 20 February 2006 and I was not going to jinx it by packing a day earlier than February 1st.

A very hot December came and went without any drama, and I even managed to make New Year which was lovely. Then January came, hot as ever, and I started to expand over night, couldn’t eat as much and became tired very quickly.

This is when we started nanny hunting. When you nanny hunt, please make sure the nanny understands the concept of multiples, we interviewed 3 nannies, but only one returned…

Our IVF journey 1: Egg harvest

Our IVF journey 2: First tries
Our IVF journey 3: It’s triplets!
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