I'm so excited to write this post. I wanted to sit down, scan in the ultrasound photos, and knock it out last night. However, once midnight rolled around, I lost all stamina. We were just flat out exhausted from trying to get me ready to head out to Chicago this morning. So, today, I'm writing this post from the car.
(Currently, we're driving past Frederick, MD)
Yesterday, Meg and I had our first appointment with our new high-risk OB. Our doctor, Dr. Gallagher, is awesome! In fact, everyone at Greater Washington Maternal-Fetal Medicine was extremely friendly. His office focuses on births for women with triplets and greater.
We went into that appointment thinking that he was going to continue with the push for "Selective Reduction," though we were pleasantly surprised. For those unfamiliar with the term, Selective Reduction is exaclty what it sounds like. I'm already planning an entirely separate post for this topic at a later date.
As we were sitting there in the waiting room, I felt a strange sense of accomplishment as I looked around at all of the other pregnant women with their husbands. It felt as if we had graduated from infertility school into the ranks of "expecting." After spending so much time in the waiting room with other couples at SGFC, knowing exactly why everyone was there, it was kind of refreshing to look at all of the other moms-to-be and wondering how many babies they were having.
(I think Baby B just kicked Meg's bladder, so we're making a pit-stop in Breezewood, PA)
Of course, we've been running around like headless chickens the past couple of weeks, so we forgot to download and fill out our first-time patient paperwork ahead of time. This added a slight delay to us getting called back to see the sonographer. You have to understand that I get REALLY excited before each visit to the doctor. Partially, because I'm excited to see our babies on the screen and partially, because I feel relieved every time the doctor confirms that our babies are growing and that their hearts are still beating fast.
(I just have to let you know that I keep getting distracted because Meg is trying to eat a sandwich. She's about 50/50 with making it into her mouth, while the other half bounces off of her jacket and back down to the sandwich wrapper)
Here's the best part. They finally call us to the back and take us straight in to get our first sonogram at their office. This was Meg's first on-the-belly sonogram, so she got to experience the cold, wet jelly, as well as its after-effects from not folding her elastic pants down far enough. Rookie mistake. Anyway, the sonographer is working her way around Meg's belly and the picture is broadcast on a larger screen in front of us so we can see what they're seeing. Honestly, with two gestational sacks, Meg's ultrasound looks like she swallowed one of the ghosts from Mrs. Pacman. (see the group shot, below)
First group shot of the DeBauche Trio (aka. The Ghost)
What happened next, I will never forget. Meg and I were looking at each other and talking about the babies and, suddenly, in surround-sound, we hear "tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump" going along at a pace of about 170 beats per minute. It was the most awesome, amazing, heart-wrenching sound I've ever heard. I remember hearing from other people that hearing their baby's heartbeat for the first time was incredible and emotional. Now, I'm not going to say that I was weeping, because guys don't weep, but there were definitely little salt streams running down my cheeks as the sonographer moved from baby to baby so we could hear each DeBauche triplet heartbeat. It's great to have so many pictures to save as memories, but I would have given anything if there would've been a way to bottle up the entire experience of holding Meg's hand, while listening to our babies' heartbeats, and feeling truly connected to these kids in a way we hadn't before, and saving it for eternity.
After we finished up with the sonograms, we spent a lot of time speaking with Dr. Gallagher about what we can expect with the pregnancy. He went through their typical list of questions, inquiring about both of our family histories as they pertain to general health issues, as well as any chromosomal abnormalities/defects. Then we talked about the primary risk of carrying triplets for Meg, which will be delivering the babies too early. Now, I'm not saying that Meg has any more risk than anyone else, it's just the area that they'll be monitoring the most to make sure that the babies aren't putting to much weight/pressure on her cervix, which could cause an early delivery. Besides that, Meg's in great health and the doctor didn't seem to have any concerns, outside of the fact that we're still early in the pregnancy and a lot could still happen over the next several weeks. But, based on the fact that all three babies are growing at nearly the same rate and all FHRs are around 170 bpm, he was very confident that barring anything completely unexpected, that we'll be delivering all three babies! Week 28 seems to be the low end of the target to reach, as that's the point at which the NICUs can really help our babies grow and be healthy if they deliver early. What we're really targeting is 34-35 weeks. That's the point at which Meg's body is going to say, "I've done all I can do for now. Get these babies outta here!"
The next step for us is something called a CVS, which I'll explain in a later post after I learn more. Also, because there's not a lot to really monitor until she's about 12 weeks pregnant, we don't need to go back to the doctor for a while. When we do, our doctor has a really cool setup where I'll be able to join in during the sonogram through my computer so that I can participate remotely. Isn't technology amazing? Also, as part of the CVS, we'll be able to definitively determine the sex of all three babies instead of having to wait until around week 18. I'm already thinking of titles for my post that day!
Well, we're just about to leave the state of PA, so I should probably wrap this up for today. Plus, Meg's going to want me to drive pretty soon. I'll leave you with some more first pictures of the DeBauche babies.
Also, through a suggestion in the comments section, I've added a pregnancy ticker at the bottom of the blog (thanks A!)
Babies A & B are the identical twins. Right now, Baby A seems to be hogging mom's resources a little more as it's a little bit larger than Baby B.
Here's Baby A
Here's Baby B
Babies A and B are sitting closest to Meg's cervix, so if she miraculously delivers naturally, these two will come out first.
Baby C has the view at the top and will be resting on top of the twins.