Our Triplets & Our Twins

Kathy and Michael’s triplets (originally four), conceived with the help of pergonal after 5 years of marriage, were born prematurely after sudden labor, and died – Philip on 11-28-92, at 18-3/4 weeks, and Elizabeth and Michael on 12-5-92. A few months later, they conceived spontaneously and later learned that it was twins – then learned that one of them was anencephalic (development of the lower brain only, and incompatible with life), then that the twins were identical and monoamniotic (in the same sac). Their due date was 11-28-93.

On July 31, at 23+ weeks, Kathy went in to what turned out to be labor and was hospitalized; by late the next afternoon there was hope that it had been a “false alarm” –but then her membranes ruptured and later they had to make the decision to cut her cerclage and let nature take its course; it took two hours to remove the cervical stitches while she continued to dilate. Regina was born at 1:01 a.m. August 1, weighing 14-1/2 oz., and Kayla at 1:06 a.m., with her arms and legs moving, and weighing 1-1/2 lbs. Kathy was able to hold them both, together, briefly before hemorrhaging and (she found out later) nearly requiring a hysterectomy to save her life.

Tuesday came finding me extremely emotional. I cried on and off all throughout the day. We found out that no one ever contacted our undertaker. Our babies were there all along and no one told us. I sent my husband to the nursery and told them I wanted to see my babies. After 4 hours the nursing supervisor called and said that was an unusual request, and that she would have to get permission and then find someone to go down and get them. I was irate (to say the least)!!!

So my two CCU nurses took time to go down and get my daughters because I did not stop crying. How I needed to see them again – to undress them and look at them and create the only memories we will have. They helped me sit on the edge of the bed (I was hooked up to so much machinery and had 2 units of blood pumping into me). They put the babies on the overbed table and watched as I unwrapped them. One nurse silently cried while the other one stood by me telling me how beautiful they were. That made me feel so good – knowing they understood. They left us alone and closed the door so Michael and I could be alone with our babies. For an hour and a half we were a family. We never got to see our triplets together. I don’t even have a picture of all three together. So many regrets. After our visit I truly felt at peace. The tears stopped and I could rest easily. The staff noticed a difference too.

On Wednesday, the nurses couldn’t believe all that I’d done without fainting or falling. At 8 a.m. the doctor was in my room asking me if I wanted to leave – “I mean, home”. There was no infection, just a very low hemoglobin but it was on the rise after a total of 6 units of blood and plasma. Michael came running and I was home by 9:30 a.m. We planned the funeral and Friday we buried our twins – together. Not like with the triplets. They were buried in separate graves and I was not allowed to attend either of their funerals (they were born and died a week apart). All five of our children are within footsteps of Jill and Dennis M.’s twins.

In October, Kathy said (in a tape) said that she was continuing to deal with finding a doctor who would treat her pregnancies more intensively, with feeling cheated that efforts were not made to save Kayla, with knowing that she must try again in spite of the risks, and with some relatives who didn’t understand “why she would go back on those drugs”. She felt that their marriage was stronger than ever. At the same time, Michael was understandably concerned about the risks to her of another pregnancy. They were dealing together with how to celebrate the triplets’ birthdays, and then Christmas. Kathy could not help feeling that after so long, their time was here – and that the births of their babies were a wonderful, happy thing despite the tragedy that followed – she would do it again, for what it meant to see the babies’ faces, what they had created after so many years of being told they would not be able to have children.

Kathy and Michael conceived again, spontaneously, but Carroll was miscarried at 14 weeks. As of the end of July, they were pregnant again – and, after an abdominal cerclage and also treatment for gestational diabetes, “D. Baby #8” is doing very well and due in just a few weeks as this is written.

Kathy...Their subsequent son was born safely near term, as was a healthy daughter the following year. In 2002 she gave birth to her final child, a little boy at term, and feels that in ten years she has come full circle.