My Story: 10 years down the road
Today, November 9th, 2001 is 10 years to the day that my triplets…Brianne, Jacob, and Zachary came into this world.
It all started when I couldn’t get pregnant and went through all the infertility stuff. Like I said in my very first story to CLIMB I always believed, “If only I could get pregnant…everything will be OK.” Well, things weren’t OK. I went into preterm labor at 20 weeks and was put on strict bed rest. By 21 weeks I was admitted and started to dilate 2 cm. approximately every 48 hours. I went off and on mag sulfate and a variety of other tocolytics, but nothing ever did the trick. Finally, around 3:00 on the 9th I was lying there on mag, when my perinatologist came in and said I was fully dilated. We made the decision to do an emergency c-section as the bottom baby was transverse, I was very ill, and with the hopes that one baby would maybe make it. I was 23 weeks pregnant.
Zachary was born first weighing 1 lb.4 oz., then Jacob at the same weight. I remember lots of people in the operating room and lots of activity, I got to see them for a few seconds, but they never cried. Brianne was born last and weighed 1 lb. 1 oz. They worked on her for a long time, but she died in the delivery room. I remember it being quiet, too quiet. I remember finally getting into Recovery and I couldn’t even cry, I didn’t have the strength, and I had two boys to be strong for. I also remember feeling SO much better physically. One of the neonatal nurses brought me polaroids of the boys in their incubators. I cherish those pictures as they are the only ones I have of them still alive.
Twenty-four hours after delivery they came and got me, because Jacob was not doing well. To this day I don’t know how I was able to get into a wheelchair and manage to go and see him. I remember being scared to touch him, but when I did the nurse said he knew who I was because he calmed down. Jacob died on the 10th. “I can’t lose all three, I can’t go home empty-handed,” I cried. Zachary fought, but it was a lost cause. On the 11th, 36 hours after delivery I made the trek back to the NICU to say goodbye to my final triplet. From that point on all I did was cry. Later that day I spiked a high fever and it was discovered that I had developed two blood infections. I ended up staying another week in the hospital. ON THE MATERNITY FLOOR! Luckily, I had a private room, but hearing the other mothers, and knowing all the happiness going on in other rooms just killed me. I couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital, but going out those doors empty-handed was one of the hardest days of my life. Funny, how after 10 years I can still recall certain details like they were yesterday.
I remember looking out my front picture window one day thinking, “How can the world go on, when my world has just fallen apart?” I miss them so. I still wonder…”what if” when I see my subsequent children reach certain milestones, or we go to a special event.
In 10 years, I am not as shy to bring my triplets up in conversation. I usually remember all the good times that came out of that pregnancy. Seeing the reactions of family and friends when they found out we were having three! The ultrasounds, the planning, feeling them move etc. I am glad that I had my triplets, even if it was for such a brief period of time. I am thankful for the friends I have who remember their birthday and send me e-mails to offer their support. I am thankful for the opportunity to help others who aren’t as far down the road. I appreciate my husband and the people who let me open up and talk about Brianne, Jacob, and Zachary without judgment. Lastly, I am thankful for my family who shares in my sadness on this 10th anniversary. Even though they don’t share their sadness with me, they show it through their gifts at the graveside etc., or when Loren or Sydney just give me hug when I am crying and say I know you’re sad because you miss them!
I am convinced that November 9-11th will always be a tough period of time for Jeff and me. We will never forget, but we go on.
Jodie…She has been a CLIMB member since after her triplets’ birth, and was a founder of the e-mail support group LAMBS, Loss of All in Multiple Birth. Her subsequent daughter was born almost exactly a year later, another daughter (also somewhat premature but healthy) 4 years after that, and they are keeping her busy along with her return to fulltime teaching.