(Guest post from Meghan)
I figured since Jeremy's been blogging away I'd take a minute to join in the fun and tell all of you how I'm feeling about all of this. To sum it all up in one sentence, I feel scared to death and like the luckiest girl in the world all at the same time.
There are many things to be afraid of right now. I am about to gain 50-75 lbs. Yes, that's what the Expecting Multiples book we're reading right now said. No conservative 20-pound gain for me. Fifty is the minimum to be in a healthy range. And, since it's all about getting those babies as close to five lbs and 35 weeks as possible, the book says I should be making sure to eat 4,000 calories per day with a break down of 20% protein, 40% carbs, and 40% fat. For those of you who know my husband and I did the South Beach Diet last summer to successfully cut down some extra weight we were gaining, you know how hilarious this is.
Pre-eclampsia...another major concern. Even though we've been reading lots of baby books, I still don't have no idea what this is. I do know, however, if I get it, there will be such a risk to my health that the doctors will let it go as long as they can and then take the babies out no matter how far along we are. There's no way to stop it, and it's very likely with a multiple pregnancy. So, the hope is if I do get it, we'll be far enough along that the babies will be viable when they need to come out. This is definitely something we need lots of prayers about, so keep us in your thoughts.
Sleep deprivation...it's already tough to sleep. I get tired often and can fall asleep, but I quickly get uncomfortable and wake up much more frequently throughout the night than I used to. But, as we all know, this is nothing! I figure I'm in for a year at a minimum of complete sleep deprivation. Since multiples all wake up at different times, the last thing I'll be doing at night is sleeping.
Love...This may sound like a weird worry, but it's one of my biggest ones. I know when these babies get here I will love all of them in a way I've never loved before. My fear is I won't be able to let them know how much I love each of them. In the psych courses I've taken, I've studied attachment theory. I'll sum it up very basically here. Babies form solid attachments with their caregivers by two years old that can either be healthy or unhealthy. In the time that they're infants, they learn whether they can depend on their caregiver. When they cry, does someone feed them and change them, or do they call out for help without response? They learn at this early age whether their needs will be met by the caregiver or whether they'll need to fend for themselves in life. So much bonding goes on in those first two years that I'm afraid I won't be able to do it with three. How will I hold each of them enough for them to know how much my heart is in love with them? What will I do when all three are crying and I only have two hands? I can't even bear to think about it. Moving on...
There are more worries I have, but somehow in the midst of all the worries, I also feel so lucky to be me. First, as many of you are getting to know, somehow I was blessed to find the BEST husband there could ever be. Jeremy somehow kept the best things about being a kid in his personality while still becoming a responsible man who can take care of his family. For those of you who know us, you know we're laughing all the time. We both like to laugh, but Jeremy just loves life like an innocent kid who is just so happy about everything. Sometimes I can be somewhat of a realist about things, and he brings me back to an optimistic point of view. He has some worry about all of this, but most of all he's just excited. He giggles every time he thinks about the babies, and he can't wait to love them. He reminds me that because we haven't had any children yet, this is all we'll know. We'll make it work because it will be our reality and somehow we'll wake up everyday and get through it. I'm lucky to have a partner who will keep my head in the game and also be part of the team. I can only imagine he'll be one of those dads that can't wait to get home from work and play with his kids. I feel so much responsibility to do what I can to take care of the triplets since I'm lucky enough to stay home with them and he'll be working to provide for all of us. I hope I can be as great of a wife and a mom as he is a husband and a father. But there I go worrying again and this is supposed to be the "Why I Feel Lucky" section. So, getting back on track...
Recently my mother-in-law and my step-mom told us they would be willing to take family medical leave to help us out. How lucky is that! They're going to be leaving their homes, husbands, friends, jobs, etc. to come out and help me take care of the house and the babies for 12 weeks each without pay. I'm not sure how I'll thank them, but it makes me want to cry right now knowing what a help they will be down the road when I'll need it most.
Then there's the fact that Jeremy got his new job near family, we found and bought a great house right around the corner from my cousin, and, on top of it all, the fertility treatments finally worked! Now that we have three, getting pregnant in the first place doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is if you think about the stats we've been facing the last year and a half.
First there was trying to get pregnant the old fashioned way. The chance of conceiving this way was 20%. For those of you who said, "Just relax," I wanted to shoot you, literally. We were relaxed as could be at the beginning. It wasn't until about 10 negative pregnancy tests that I decided maybe there was something wrong. Because it took my mom a long time to conceive, at this point, we decided to head to the fertility doctors to see if there was anything wrong and what they could do to fix it.
Then we found out there was nothing wrong at all, which may sound good, but it actually sounded horrible coming out of the doctor's mouth. He told us everything looked great, which put us in a category known as "unexplained fertility." Basically meaning, "There's something wrong with you, but the heck if we know what it is, so we'll just call it unexplained." Once we got over this and he answered all my "Well, what about this..." questions, we discussed treatment options. We tried IUI; 20% chance of getting pregnant. After a few cycles, all of which caused me to have large cysts and to need to take a month off of treatments to wait for the cyst to go away, we were back in the doctor's office asking, "What's next?" There's nothing more depressing than the negative pregnancy test when you know you've done so much to increase the chances of success that month and it still didn't work.
Then came IVF; 50% chance of getting pregnant. Lots of shots and pills and hormones racing through my body and doctors appointments, but 50% chance. When that negative test came through it was the most devastating part along the process. The doctor had told us that the only problem they couldn't fix was if the embryo wouldn't attach to the uterine wall. There was no way to make it stick around. So, when we couldn't get it to work with a 50% chance, I was starting to think maybe we weren't going to get pregnant.
Now, here we are after our second round of IVF. We were told with two embryos we had 60% chance of getting pregnant with one, 43% chance of twins, and 1.4% chance of triplets. For a year and a half we couldn't get stats as high as 50% to fall on our side, but now, here we are in the 1% range. Wow! If that isn't luck I don't know what is.
Our friends and family have had a range of reactions to our news. Some of the naive ones have said, "That's wonderful!" only thinking about the great parts of this. Some of the realists have said, "Congratulations (I think), and how are you going to get through this? Do you know how hard one baby is?" I've also heard, "I'm having heart palpitations for you." Hopefully all of you realize now that we are considering the trials and tribulations ahead as well as the amazing miracle that is happening to us. Our eyes are wide open to what's ahead, and we're ready to take it on together and with all of you on our side visiting us to help and saying lots of prayers if you can't. I'm sure Jeremy will keep you posted. :)
I'll leave you with one adorable picture we found of some triplets from another blog. Once Jeremy saw this picture he was hooked. Isn't it adorable?
Picture from The Best Things In Life Are Three... A great blog we've been reading about having triplets.