Friday, April 29, 2011

The results are in! Well, at least half of them.

So, I don't know these girls.  What I DO know is that my wife is probably in bed right now dreaming about all of the Irish dance competitions that our identical twin girls are going to be competing in.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  We found out today that the identical portion of our triplet set are girls!

Most of the family and friends that read this blog know that my wife grew up as an Irish dancer--ornate dresses, far away competitions, big curly wigs and all!  She even got some of her old Irish dance crew, who were invited to the wedding, to dance with her after we had our first dance together.  It was a big part of her life growing up and I know that she'll want it to be a big part of our girls' life growing up, too.

Now, we only got the results in for our two girls.  I'm not exactly sure why, but we'll have to wait until early next week to get the results for Baby C.  It's soooo tough not knowing.  Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic that we know the gender of two of our three babies, but now I really want to know the results for Baby C so I can figure out if I'm going to have to pay for three weddings or two.  I want to know if I'm going to be outnumbered 4-to-1 or if I'll end up with some support in a 3-to-2 matchup.  Guys are bigger anyway, so it would almost be even.  I want to know if I'm going to have to deal with the drama of three teenage girls, or if I'll get to coach baseball/football/(insert boy sport here).

Regardless of what we find out next week, I'm extremely happy that we found out about our girls and that I can spend the entire weekend wondering what they'll look like and all of the things I have to learn about when it comes to raising girls.  Boys seem like they'd be much easier, at least I know I was.  I think you have to go to special training to be a father to girls--twin girls nonetheless.

Back to the picture up top.  I did a quick Google search for "dancing Irish twins," "Irish dancing twins," "twins dancing Irish," and "Irish twins who also dance."  The photo, above, was #2 in the search results.  Wonder what #1 was?  It's below.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The babies are moving! (pics and CVS details)

I'm so excited, I don't even know where to start.  Yesterday, Meg went in for her week 12 sonogram and for the CVS.  I'll get to the CVS in more detail below, but let me tell you that Meg saw the babies moving around for the first time!  In fact, they were so active that Dr. Gallagher, our OB/MFM who is completely awesome by the way, had a hard time actually trying to take a picture of Baby B and get an accurate heart rate measurement.  I think he had the same issues with Baby C, but apparently it was Baby B that took the medal for being the most elusive.

Just to recap, Babies A and B are the identicals and are sharing the same sac, and Baby C is resting his/her butt on top of his/her siblings.

I didn't get to actually see the babies moving personally, but listening to Meg and Dr. Gallagher share what they saw put an ear-to-ear smile on my face as I was imagining what they were describing.  "Wait a second," I'm sure you're saying to yourself right now.  "Jeremy is in Chicago and Meghan is in DC.  Why does it sound like Jeremy was actually participating in this appointment?"

Oh, the joy of modern technology.  If there's a tech dork inside of you, you'll love this.   Dr. Gallagher and some other like-minded doctors are beginning to take advantage of a secure, HIPAA-compliant, high-res, low-latency, voice, video, and image sharing technology to be able to treat remote patients (or remote patient family members in my case), as well as participate in the diagnosis of patients in the field, and for consulting with other doctors in more remote locations who don't have specialists available.

"Can't Skype do that?" you say.  Well, not like this.  Large corporations can pay to have advance videoconferencing solutions that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars so their execs don't have to fly all over, but every small healthcare practices can't afford it...until now.  They can securely share images like MRIs and have multiple doctors in different locations all participate in a diagnosis--securely.  In my case, I got to see and talk to Meg and Dr. Gallagher on one part of the screen while looking through his shared desktop at all of the sonogram images they captured.  I did this in the parking lot of one of my customers, right before I walked into my meeting, on my mac, using the built-in webcam and my 3G connection right after Dr. Gallagher sent me a note on Gchat to let me know they were ready to begin.  How cool is that!

The short of it is that all of the babies are doing wonderful!  Baby A and Baby C are measuring where they should be--12 weeks and 4 days.  Baby B is taking his/her own time and growing at his/her own pace at 12 weeks and 1 day, but still at exactly the same pace as his/her brothers/sisters.  The heart rates are all perfect and the NT measurement from the nuchal scan are all within range.  The full results of the CVS won't be back for two weeks, but we should find out, definitively, the genders of each of the babies by this Friday.  I have to say that waiting until Friday reminds me of being a kid waiting for Christmas morning.  The last time I was this excited was the night before my wedding.

Before I get into the details of the CVS, here are three new pics of our growing babies.  Keep reading if you have an interest in medical procedures or if you're expecting triplets, too, and want to know more about possible voluntary procedures.

I'm going to make my crow's feet worse if I keep looking at these because all I can do is smile each and every time I think about the fact that these are our babies :) 


A CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) is a prenatal diagnostic test that can usually be performed between 10.5 and 13.5 weeks.  The primary goal is to detect chromosome abnormalities.  Most people are somewhat familiar with amniocentesis, but they differ in a couple of ways.

One way they differ is that you can perform the CVS earlier than amniocentesis, which allows doctors to make recommendations on the pregnancy if they find anything that could put all of the babies, or the mother, at risk.  It's especially important in high-order multiple births.  They also differ in that a CVS is used to collect a sample of the chorionic villi, which are tissues that later become the placenta, where amniocentesis is used to collect amniotic fluid, or the birth water.  Therefore, the cells from the chorionic villi most often reflect the fetal chromosomal pattern, as well as any metabolic characteristics and DNA patterns.

Meg didn't necessarily fit the profile for performing a CVS, but we wanted to know if any of our babies were at risk.  Plus, personally, I really wanted to know the sex of the babies now instead of waiting a couple more months!  Really though, we wanted to know sooner rather than later if we were going to need to make any tough decisions and we decided it was worth the risk of performing the procedure.  Yes, there is a risk in any procedure like this, but it appears to be similar to amniocentesis.  In the end, the decision was ours.

The procedure is an out-patient procedure where the doctor uses a sonogram for guidance.  He/she then decides whether to use a transabdominal (through the abdomen) or transcervical (through the cervix) method.  In Meg's case, they had to do both to be able to reach both sacs.  She said that they numbed her belly for part of it and that it wasn't really painful during the procedure, but that she did feel pretty uncomfortable that evening.  Bed rest isn't necessarily a requirement after the procedure, but they definitely want her to limit her physical activity for the next several days.

If you have any specific questions about the procedure, ask it in the comments and I'll get Meg to respond since she was there :)

The next sonogram is in two weeks.  I can't wait!

Monday, April 25, 2011

12 weeks and 2 days pregnant (and still growing...)

It's been a whirlwind of a week.  Meghan finally flew back to our old home today after what was probably one of the busiest weeks ever, but it sure was great to see her!

Over the last 10 days, we closed on our house, selected kitchen, bedroom, and baby furniture, and even managed to narrow our delivery hospital selection down to two places.  Now, I managed to fit all of that into one sentence, but over the weekends and outside of work, we pretty much were going non-stop everyday.  I think I've probably set a world record with the number of times I've been to Lowes/Home Depot over the past five days.  I've also become fairly acclimated with the city of Naperville considering we probably went to EVERY SINGLE furniture store in the area.  I've also achieved Platinum status at Bed Bath & Beyond (I bet you didn't know you could do that did you?).  Now, when I pull in the parking lot, a valet jumps out and takes my keys.  When I get through the doors, someone is there with my push cart, ready to go, and a latte in the drink holder (yes, they do have drink holders on carts for members with Platinum status).

For our house, Meg decided to be a little more selective with the paint color this time and bought 14 samples jars of paint.  She then proceeded to mark up our walls in 1' x 1' patches with all of the different options.  You see, this is a woman who knows her husband.  She knows my brain sees those marks on the wall and thinks, "These walls are incomplete and messy.  I must make them all one color.  I must paint until it doesn't look messy any more."  It's her way of motivating me without actually asking me to paint the walls.  Smart cookie :)

Painting the walls is the easy, yet most time-consuming part.  The part that I'm really looking forward to is adding some crown molding, some chair rail, and possibly a little wainscoting.  The babies' room and the master bedroom will get the special treatment.  Meg's not 100% sure I'm committed to it, but I went out and bought a power miter saw, so I'm pretty psyched about sprucing these "blah" rooms up a little.  I've always wanted to do a little woodwork and now I have no excuses. 

To top it off, we experienced our first, and hopefully only, lockout.  It doesn't seem like much, but it adds up. 

Cost to have some kid drill a hole in our deadbolt and flip the inside latch = $185
Cost to replace the deadbolt = $50
Knowing that someone can drill into your deadbolt in under two minutes and break into your house = Priceless

I think I'll be adding a security system at some point soon.

Meg's still feeling great, though I find myself getting more and more protective the further along she gets in the pregnancy.  Basically, I don't want her to do anything that would put undue strain on her and the babies and I'm not sure she's ready to ratchet it back at this point.

Next up is the CVS she has scheduled for Tuesday.  For those interested, I'll be writing a separate post in a couple days about what that process entails.  Until then, I'll leave you with this week's picture of Meg and her steadily expanding belly.

Monday, April 18, 2011

11 weeks and 2 days pregnant

Meg fell asleep early (her heart is working for four you know) and before I wrap it up for the evening, I thought I'd share a quick shot of her and her steadily expanding belly. 

She just flew into town a couple of days ago.  Even though it had only been two weeks since I had seen her, I fell in love again when I picked her up from the airport.  I can't think of anything more beautiful than a cute Irish girl carrying three of my babies.

She says that the nausea is pretty much gone completely and that she's feeling great (aside from being pregnant).  She definitely gets exhausted at the end of each day, but that's most likely due to the fact that we've been going non-stop since she got in to town.

Lastly, there aren't any new pics of the babies.  Meg doesn't go in for her next appointment until Tuesday, 4/26, at which they'll be performing a CVS (to be explained in a later post).  I'll be sure to post new pics as soon as I get them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

OBs, MFMs, and Hospitals, oh my!

One of the side effects of moving halfway across the country at 20 weeks into your pregnancy is having to find a new OB-GYN, MFM, and hospital for delivery.  Since Meghan won't be moving up until around week 20 and we can't predict whether or not she'll need to be on bed rest when she gets here, I went ahead and did a little research (ok, a boatload of research) on our local options for medical care.

The Chicago-land area is choc full of really good medical institutions that focus on premature baby care.  So, fortunately, we have our choices.  Though, ideally, we'd like to find a hospital/doctor combo that has a ton of experience with high-order multiple births and is within reasonable driving distance for Meg, especially for when she gets further along in the pregnancy and has more frequent visits to the doctor.

Meg arrives tomorrow for a quick vacation, so I took the liberty of setting up a fun-filled agenda for her first full day here.  Well, fun if you enjoy spending your days with doctors and at hospitals.  We're scheduled for appointments at two local hospitals with Level III NICUs, as well as appointments with some of the MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine) specialists that work with the hospitals.

In preparation for these appointments, I also bought a notebook that we can use to keep track of all the phone numbers that we'll be collecting throughout the pregnancy, important dates and appointments related to the pregnancy, as well as a place to keep track of all of the questions and answers that will accumulate over the next five to six months.  Now, believe it or not, I have a huge list of questions for each of the hospitals and OB/MFMs.  Most of my personally-created questionnaire comes from a book that my father bought me titled Expecting Multiples (thanks Dad).  I would highly recommend it to any mother or father-to-be of a triplet or higher pregnancy.  It was written by an organization called MOST (Mothers of Super Twins) in 2009.  I've read the entire book and the major theme throughout the book is being proactive with your pregnancy.  I'm not trying to become a doctor, but I also realize that a large part of how a doctor deals with a triplet or higher pregnancy, comes from experience.  Basically, there is no user manual and no single correct way to manage a high-risk pregnancy.  So, it pays to be as informed as you can and be your own advocate and make sure that you're keeping up, as much as you can, with the trends involved in managing high-order multiple pregnancies. 
By the way, this idea isn't restricted only to families expecting triplets.  You should always be an advocate in your own healthcare because your doctors don't know everything.  How can they?  It pays to question sometimes and make sure your doctor is keeping up with what's new, because as everyone knows, it's easy to get bogged down with your day-to-day responsibilities and forget to sharpen your skill set.

All right, I'll get off that soap box.

Now, maybe there's time for this later and maybe I'm being a little too obsessive about trying to get all of this stuff set up on my own, but I'm feeling a little useless.  Not that Meg is making me feel that way.  She's the one that's being affected the most during the pregnancy period and I feel bad that I can't help more.  So, this is my way of staying involved and contributing to make sure we have the best doctors, the best hospital, and the best chance for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

For my own sanity, I'd like to pose a question to any other expecting or current parent of multiples.  Did you do as much research as I'm describing with respect to doctors, hospitals, potential issues, etc. or am I just a research-a-holic?

As a side note, I know everyone likes pictures, but there just aren't any today.  I promise that we'll have some for the next post.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

10 weeks and 1 day pregnant...(pregnancy pants are in full-effect)

As I'm lying around, watching a very entertaining final round of The Masters on this warmer-than-average Sunday afternoon, a thought ran through my mind--this will be the last time, for quite some time, that I'll get to lounge around and watch Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and the rest of the field battle it out for the green jacket, uninterrupted.  I'm sure I'll see parts of it at a time, and snippets on ESPN, but this time next year, I'll be neck-deep in babies.

I've been told by many of my friends with kids, that life changes, priorities change, and that somehow, all of those Sunday afternoons spent watching final rounds of golf and back-to-back football games, quickly get replaced by spending more time with your kids and family, and that sounds all right to me.  In all honesty, I must say that I wish there was enough time in the day to do it all, but after all the opportunities I've been fortunate enough to have in my life and how selfishly I've lived my life to date, this is the one opportunity I'm looking forward to the most.  It's not a feeling that really sunk in until I found out we were pregnant with triplets, but I'd give up anything for the opportunity to have these three babies call me "dad."

On to Meghan.  We're only four days away from Meg coming up to visit me, but I couldn't wait for another picture to see how she and the babies are doing.  So, Sarah was kind enough to take a picture for me.  Thanks Sarah!  Meghan said that most of the nausea is gone, as long as she keeps up with eating small frequent meals.  Unofficially, she's put on seven pounds so far.  Keep it up babe!  These babies are counting on you to eat more.  She's also been good about staying active.  She's been going on walks to Shirlington, mostly to get a smoothie, but that's exactly what she's supposed to be doing.

I can tell she misses me and seems to be looking forward to this Thursday as much as I am.  Fly safely honey!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Separation Stinks

As everyone who has ever truly been in love with someone knows, separation and distance, stinks.  By now, most of you know, or have probably ascertained, that Meghan and I are moving to Chicago (Naperville, actually).  In fact, I'm already here.  We drove up last Thursday so that I could begin my new job and Meg flew back to DC to finish out the year at her school (she's extremely dedicated).  Finishing out the year for her means staying through mid-to-late June, so we're talking a long time here.

We've been apart from each other for about a week at a time before, whether it was for a business trip or a girls/guys vacation somewhere, but this is completely different.  When you have those shorter trips, you miss your significant other, but you know that a week comes and goes with the wind, so you push through and are rewarded by the welcome smile of your best friend.  Three months feels like a lifetime!  I realize that many people do it, especially those in the military, but we're not in the military and that's one of the main reasons I chose not to live that lifestyle.

Really, it's not as bad as I'm making it seem.  We're not actually going to go for three months without seeing each other.  In fact, she'll be back here a week from today.  What's really making this more difficult for me is not being able to be around her during such an important time in the pregnancy.  I know that entire pregnancy is important, but so many things can happen during the first trimester and while I realize my being there probably wouldn't have an ounce of influence on the outcome, it would definitely make me feel better if I knew I was taking care of her.

Also, I've been completely consumed with my new job, but there isn't an hour that goes by that I stop thinking about my adorable wife and the three heartbeats in her belly.  I'm sure that I'd be thinking about her a lot if she were here, but having her half the country away, just exacerbates the problem.

Fortunately, one of our good friends, Sarah, has moved in with Meg for the next three months and I can't think of a more fun and caring person to have there with my wife.  Sarah and Meg are friends from college and I get the impression that she'll miss us the most when we leave (Sarah, we'll miss you too).

If I look past the agony of missing my wife, I'm actually living the good life up here.  Meg's cousin, Kelly, her husband, Steve, and their awesome kids, Kaden and Keegan, graciously offered to let me stay with them until Meg moved up and/or we found a place to live.

As I mentioned in my last post, we found our new home and we close on April 20th.  Once that date comes, I'll really have to make a tough choice--move into my new, empty, unfurnished house and eat take-out every night or find a really good excuse to stay put where there's a home-cooked meal almost every night and endless conversation.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I'd like to give the Smith family some major props for taking me in, so I'm including some of my favorite Smith Family photos, below.

I took this one last year when we were "scouting" Naperville to see if it was someplace we wanted to raise a family. That's Keegan and Steve.  You can't see it, but Steve's cell phone is flying out of his pocket a millisecond later.

Here's Keegan showing me she knows how to swing AND look good doing it.

This is Kaden rockin' it out!

Last year, we went downtown so that I could experience Ed Debe.vic's. Here's Kaden and Meg.

Yes Kelly, that waiter did just insult and then make you wear that silly hat.

Here's Keegan on the right, all dressed up and getting ready to go to the Father-Daughter dance with Steve.

This is Steve, showing that he's a stand-up guy, not only taking his daughter to the dance, but standing in for another father that couldn't make it.

Here's one of Meg, Kelly, and me from a couple of years ago when she came to visit us in Arlington (obviously, before we started working on getting pregnant).

Monday, April 4, 2011

We need more space!

I'm going to make an assumption here and guess that every new parent-to-be, from time to time, has this feeling of not having enough time to get ready for their new babies.  It can be pretty overwhelming, especially when you write it all down.  I was always taught, that in order to "feel" more organized, you should write things down and get them out of your head.  Then, supposedly, you'll feel less stressed.  I have the type of personality that, once I have my list written, I want to take care of everything NOW, because now I can see it.  So, when I write everything down and look at the big list in front of me, I have a difficult time imagining how I'll get it all done.

You also have to remember that we're on an abbreviated schedule.  Even if Meg carries longer than the average mother expecting triplets (which is 33 weeks nationally), we'll be targeting a week 35 delivery if we're lucky.  That's already five weeks shorter than a singleton pregnancy.  If we happen to be on the other end of the average, we'll potentially lose another month.  I know we'll get it all done, even if I'm up all night (because I won't be able to sleep in that situation), so I'm not too worried. 

Well, we knew that if one of our IVF trials actually worked, we weren't going to be able to stay in our two-bedroom condo in Arlington, so we began house hunting a few months ago.  We just thought it was time to get a bigger place as our family would hopefully be growing.  We decided that we were going to try to choose a place where we could stay for quite some time and give our kids an opportunity to avoid the school-switch shuffle I experienced growing up.  Little did I know that we'd be needing all of the extra space that we planned on "growing in to," so soon!

Fortunately, we found a place pretty quickly that's near family and in a really great school district.  Basically, we went on a house-hunting marathon over a three-day span.  We spent months actually searching and narrowing down our choices by doing the majority of our research online.  Then, we put together a list of our favorite places and set up back-to-back-to-back tours.  We probably went to about 30 showings, give or take a few, over that long weekend.  We finally decided on new construction that was move-in ready.  We looked at some older places that had more character and more mature yards, but still decided on someplace that hadn't been lived in yet.  Also, I would've liked to have built a custom-home, but that would've taken too long and there weren't a lot of undeveloped lots that met our other criteria of family and schools.  All things considered, we found the perfect house for us.

If you know me, then you know I'm more of a "like it new" type of guy.  There's something about being the first owner of anything and knowing that you've taken care of it the right way from day one.  Though I AM stretching my boundaries and have been searching endlessly on Craigslist for things that come in three. Yes, mom, I will consider "used" items.

I know this post isn't much about babies or the pregnancy, but remember, this blog is also serving as a journal for us and I want to remember what our house looked like in the beginning and keep track of it as our family evolves and it turns into a home.

Pics from my walk-through with the builder this morning

Home Sweet Home! I love having a three-car garage, but I've seen the garages of people with kids. I already know that I'm going to lose an entire bay to "kid's stuff."

I noticed something way up on the roof.

Look closer...apparently, we're now duck owners.

Future big room of messiness (aka. family room).

Potential office, but I'm getting the impression that this is going to become a first-floor playroom for the first several years since it's right next to the big room of messiness.

Future dining room, though I have to say that filling this room up isn't high on my priority list. Meg may disagree.

I've gotta say, "we love the kitchen!" We're having an awesome refrigerator delivered the afternoon of our closing. Wow, did I just say that? Since when did buying a new refrigerator ever share the same sentence with the word "awesome?" What's happening to me? (Ignore the lady in the picture. She was just accompanying me on the walk-through)

I'm looking at this cool staircase and wondering how I'm going to secure gates on both ends when these babies start crawling.

"The Den of Silence" (aka. master bedroom)

Kinda psyched about the master bathroom.

Potential baby room and bathroom #1 w/ walk-in closet.

Potential baby rooms #2 and #3 with Jack-and-Jill bath.  Not sure whether the babies should get morning or evening sun...

Can you imagine how many things are going to go flying over these railings?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

8 weeks and 4 days pregnant...(showing just a little bit)

I haven't posted a pic of Meghan's belly in a little bit.  Even though we're actually at 9 weeks and 1 day, I forgot to post this pic of Meg at 8 weeks and 4 days.  It's not really sticking out that much, but as most of you know, we already started with larger more comfortable maternity clothes.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fear and Luck (by Meghan)

(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'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.