Aaron, Maria & Jon

My husband and I have been trying to have a child for quite a few years. I was put on pergonal due to infertility as I was ovulating only once or twice a year. In March of 1994, it finally paid off. I was inseminated on the 28th of that month. On April 15, I found out that I was pregnant! I couldn’t believe it, the first thing that I did was grab my belly. My husband was in Florida at the time. I called him to give him the news that we had been waiting for, for many years. On April 27, we went to the hospital, where I was going for treatment, for an ultrasound. We then learned that I was going to have triplets! It was so overwhelming – we didn’t think that I was going to get pregnant with one, much less three. After the shock had worn off, we gave everyone our wonderful news. My younger sister was also pregnant. My parents were going from four grandchildren to eight, in a few short months. This was also going to be my husband’s parents’ first grandchildren. We didn’t know how we were going to take care of and afford triplets. But we didn’t care! We knew that we could find a way. We then began planning the babies’ room and making way for three cribs and a triple stroller. Our hopes and dreams had finally come true.

I was then referred to my perinatologist. After my first visit, I didn’t have to see him for four weeks. After that, I was seeing him every two weeks. I was having more ultrasounds than the average pregnant woman. Everything was going really good. When I went to see him for a regular exam, during the ultrasound he had asked me if I was having contractions. I told him that if I was, I could not feel them. By looking at the screen, he said it looked like I was dilated. After my ultrasound, he gave me a short exam, then told me that I was dilated about 2 cm. I was then sent over to the hospital to monitor me. I was having one or two contractions every hour (which I could not feel). I was sent home from the hospital with a prescription of terbutaline. I was taking this every four hours.

That was on August 5, 1994. It only lasted five short days. On the night of August 10, I was admitted into the hospital. As luck would have it, my doctor was out of town. That night the nurse gave me an internal exam. She then left the room to get another nurse, who also gave me an exam. I was told that I had a bulging water bag. The next morning, my doctor’s partner came in. I was given an ultrasound and another internal. He told me that I had a high leak on my water bag, ruptured membranes and a touch of group B strep. I was put on magnesium sulfate to stop my preterm labor. After two days of being on the mag sulfate, it had worked. I was transferred to another room on another floor. They still hooked me up to a machine just in case.. Of course by this time, my doctor was treating me. On August 17, he came in to discuss putting me on steroids to try to develop the babies’ lungs faster. After the discussion, we decided that I would start the steroids on the 19th of August. I would then be 24 weeks into my pregnancy.

That day never came. At 7:05 on the morning of the 18th, I awoke with minor lower backaches. My nurse came in to give me my medicine and I dozed back off to sleep. At 7:25 a.m., I got up to use the bathroom. Right when I squatted my water broke. I pulled the cord in the bathroom for my nurse. She helped me back to my bed to make sure that it was my water that had broke. I told her I knew it was because the water was pouring down my legs as we were walking back to my bed. At 7:30 a.m. they called my doctor. He was there in a matter of 15 minutes. He gave me a quick exam and gave me my options. He said that I could deliver vaginally but that the babies wouldn’t survive the birth or I could have an emergency c-section. He told me that the babies could still die because I was only 23 weeks along.

Even though I knew that they only had a slim chance to survive, I chose the c-section. That morning at 9:11, Aaron Christopher was born weighing 1#1⁄2 oz.. At 9:12, Maria Lena was born at 1#1⁄2 oz. also, then at 9:13, Jon Michael was born at 1# 1oz. They were so fragile and beautiful. I heard one of them give out a little cry. I was also in tears. The c-section I had was horrible. I had a spinal that only took effect from the waist down. My doctor was very upset. He had to poke me five times with the scalpel before he cut me. I didn’t feel anything, until they were inside. I felt everything. I was then given laughing gas. That didn’t seem to work either. After everything was done and over with, I was wheeled into recovery and put on morphine. That was 11:05 a.m., after that I was taken into the neonatal ICU to see our precious babies. Maria Lena had taken a turn for the worst. She was put into my arms and was then baptized. At 11:22 a.m. she died in my arms. After we said our good-bye, we were brought over to see our sons. Aaron and Jon both held on to my little finger. Jon held on to the point that his tiny finger tips turned white.

After we were finished, I was taken to my room on a different floor. That afternoon they called my room to tell us that Aaron Christopher had passed on at 4:06 p.m. They brought him to my room to say our goodbyes. We were allowed to hold him as long as we wanted to. At 5:25 p.m., Jon also died. When they brought him to us, Aaron was still in the room. The boys were also baptized earlier with their sister. All our dreams came to a dead halt. All we have are some pictures and a few short memories with our loving children.

A couple of days later I had become deathly ill. E. coli had gotten into my bloodstream. I was put into the ICU for a couple of days. My body temperature was almost 109 degrees. Later, we found out that Maria also had E. coli. With all the blood work, nothing came up during the tests. The doctor told my husband that as my pregnancy progressed and Maria grew larger, I probably would not have made it off the delivery table. Deep in my heart I truly believe that my precious babies knew this and sacrificed their lives for mine.

So now almost nine months later, my husband and I are trying to start treatment and have another baby. I still have days of depression and crying spurts. Our dreams of walking down the street with a triple stroller are gone. The holidays are the hardest. The toughest ones are yet to come. Their first birthday will be the hardest. We won half of a sheet cake for their first birthday. So celebrating it will be hard. We’re hoping that the future will be a lot brighter.

If we are blessed with another baby, I will let you know.

…Toni and her husband later divorced, and she has since been happily remarried for three years and living in England. She had not been able to have another pregnancy (at 35), then gave birth to a wonderful healthy boy at full term.