I’ve taken a break from telling our story, mainly because the gut-wrenching portion of my tale had been told. But on this Friday, two years ago, something very special happened which makes me want to finish our journey in writing.
I last left off by sharing that our precious Dr. C found three heartbeats on that March 31st day much to all of our surprise. The remaining six months are somewhat of a blur. I ate religiously from a very specific list of foods with very specific vitamins and minerals. The books said to gain weight early since the babies would come early and weight gain in the first two trimesters was key. So ate I did. For the first time in my life I was trying to make sure I got over 3,000 calories a day. And I started wearing flats (which anyone who knows me knows I never go into the office in less than 3 inches). People at the office started asking if I was pregnant in my NINTH week so I had to begin telling people at my firm several weeks before I had planned. As you might imagine, news that I was carrying triplets was met with quite a spectrum of responses - we got everything from “you are so blessed,” to “I am so sorry.” (I’m not kidding.)
Bray continued to process the news. He struggled. He worried – about everything. I won’t attempt to tell his side of the story, but from my perspective, he really settled into the news and started getting excited after week 20. At that point, I was still in very good health, the babies were all growing bigger than expected, and we’d discovered by then that there was a boy and a girl hanging out in utero (we didn’t find out about Mr. Sam, who at the time was Mr. Will, until several weeks later). I was elated. I decorated the nursery with reckless abandon in my long-planned Raggedy Ann & Andy theme (I’d collected items for the nursery for years). Bray painted the room. Bray built a bookshelf. By week 24 he started driving me into work. By week 26 I went on bedrest at home and worked from a hospital bed he set up in the den. I went on strict bed rest by week 28 - bathroom breaks were my only reprieve and I continued expanding at a stunning rate. I fell in the street going to the doctor for my bi-weekly check up about that time and wrenched the devil out of my ankle but fortunately did not break it and avoided having to be in a cast during a c-section.
Then Monday of week 32 hit. We were right on track. We felt confident at this point, despite my unbelievable discomfort, that we would hit the 34 week mark we’d so prayed for during the pregnancy. I had my check up and was resting at home when I got a call from the doctor. I should be admitted immediately as my blood work showed pronounced preeclampsia. I called Bray in tears and he rushed to pick me up. They gave me steroid shots for the babies lungs and ran a lot more tests in the hospital. The neonatologist came and told me everything that could go wrong with them coming this early. Everyone prayed. The next morning my blood work came back spotless. Perfect. No preeclampsia. They ran another slate of tests. Wednesday morning my blood work came back spotless. They released me. Unfortunately, that was short-lived.
Apparently, while in the hospital, I had been exposed to and contracted swine flu or something similar. By Thursday night I couldn’t breath or move and was rushed back to the hospital at 2 am. Bray was a rock. He never left my side. I could handle everything only because he was there. I had specialist care around the clock for two days – always told they could likely deliver the babies on a moments notice because infection was very difficult to manage pregnant. I began to improve. My church pastor came to pray. Friends sent flowers and prayers and food. I was admitted for the duration so that the babies could be monitored around the clock and I could have the bed rest enforced. Monday of Week 33 came and went. On Wednesday, they got some suspicious looking tests – preeclampsia again. Thursday morning the tests started looking worse. My amazing Dr. R, the perinatologist that my fertility doctor recommended, told us that if the results had not changed by Friday morning he would have to deliver the babies. He took us in for an ultrasound and they all measured over 4 pounds, a strong sign he said. We called our parents. I told my dad I was pretty sure they wouldn’t deliver me on Friday, but he drove all night from Oklahoma anyways. Mom camped out at the hospital. Bray’s parents drove in from Louisiana. Everyone waited for Friday’s results.