Savanna, Ally & Emily
I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would give birth to triplets. It has taken me ten and a half months to write my story like so many of the grieving parents in CLIMB. This newsletter has brought a sense of comfort in the last few months.
My husband and I had just moved to California from Nebraska in September of 1997. We were planning a big church wedding and were working four jobs between the two of us. We were trying to save enough money to buy a house as soon as we were married. I was on the Pill and never expected to get off, but had to because a health care provider recommended it. She told me that I needed a six-month break so I would not become sterile. We tried other methods but were not consistent and we eventually knew that we would become pregnant. Sure enough it happened. I had never had real periods the whole time I was on the Pill so I did not miss them once I was off. It did not occur to me that I was possibly pregnant until the massive morning sickness. Of course I was in denial but the thought warmed my heart. My husband and I love kids and wanted to have as many as we could care for.
The day after Easter, I had a positive test. We were happy and began to tell our family. They were skeptical because the wedding was set for November. Was it possible to pull off a wedding and have a baby? Of course, we thought. I made an appointment for the end of May. I was concerned because I did not know how far along I was and I was sick frequently throughout the day. After two days, I called the OB office back and told them that I needed to be seen before six weeks and that I was concerned about my well being as well as the baby’s. The appointment was moved to late April instead of late May. When I went to my appointment, the doctor thought I was at least four months along by my fundal measurements. That was hard to hear because four months before that I was still on the Pill and I should have known if I was four months pregnant. My doctor said not to worry that we would get an ultrasound the following week.
I work at the local hospital where the ultrasounds were done. On the day of the ultrasound I was working so I went down on my break for the ultrasound. The tech began to do the ultrasound. Suddenly she said, “Oh my God! you are the third in a row!” I said, “What do you mean?” The tech said I was the third woman in a row that she had diagnosed with twins. She said, “Oh no! Wait! There are three!” I could not believe it. I had to excuse myself to the restroom before I had an accident! You know how they make you drink all that water before!
Needless to say I was sent home early that day to tell my husband the great news. WOW! Three little beings inside me! We were blessed and stressed at the same time. We moved the wedding to July and bought a house that next week. We were on our way to prepare for the birth of our triplets.
As standard procedure, my OB called it, I was sent to a perinatologist for a consultation at sixteen weeks. By that time I was over the morning sickness and enjoying all the food that I ate. Almost 3500 calories a day! When the specialist began the ultrasound he seemed very quiet. He blurted, “How do you feel about selective reduction?” I looked at him and told him that if he expected me to ever come back there that he would never say that to me again. That was not an option. He told me that two of the babies were identical twins and a very thin membrane between the two of them. He told me that he only expected me to carry 26 weeks. “Multiples tend to do better in someone who has had children before.” He also said that the twins only had a 50-50 chance of survival. I was crushed that someone thought my pregnancy was due to fail. I cried the whole way home.
My pregnancy beat the odds for 23 weeks. I then went into labor and was hospitalized on every tocolytic drug imaginable. The perinatologist thought I was out of the woods with the twins because they had done so well. They showed no signs of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. After being in the hospital for two weeks, my worst fears came true. At 25 weeks, my identical twins Ally and Emily had died suddenly the day before my scheduled ultrasound. My world came crashing down. How could I get through this? I still had one baby to focus on.
Eight weeks went by of fighting depression, labor and people who did not know how to let me grieve, I gave birth to Savanna Rae, 3 lbs. 15 oz., Ally 14 oz., and Emily 11 oz. I shifted my focus to funeral arrangements and a premature baby. Everything had happened so fast that I could not get a chance to stop and realize all of the events that had just taken place.
Savanna is now ten and a half months old. I thank God every day for giving me a healthy preemie who strived to be as wonderful as she is and six short months with my beautiful twins who were sent on another mission by God. I think about them every day and they will never leave my heart. My husband and I plan to tell Savanna about her two beautiful sisters, her two guardian angels. Without the support of family, friends and God, I don’t know what I would have done. I have found that sharing with others and helping others has opened new horizons for me. I know our girls are looking out for us and will be at the gates to meet us someday. Until then, I choose to focus my pain and heartache in a positive way by helping others and focusing on my wonderful daughter, Savanna. I would like to hear from others.
…She writes, “Savanna is now four years old and in preschool. She is healthy with no complications from her birth. We are waiting for another few years before we try to have more children. It is hard to get over a difficult pregnancy and to build up enough courage to try again.”.