How many heartbeats?!

I am frequently asked, "Did you know you were having triplets?" The answer is yes, yes YES! I found out very early on in my pregnancy that I was carrying three babies ... so early in fact, that I didn't even have time to think, "something is different this time around." Had I gone another two weeks I would've been making an appointment to get checked out because at around 10 weeks it became apparent that this pregnancy was going to be unlike my previous two. I was already showing and all my pregnancy symptoms were multiplied ... tired doesn't even begin to describe it.

I found out I was pregnant right after Christmas in 2014. I called my OBGYN to inform them and to schedule my first appointment and ultrasound and they asked me to come in at about eight weeks pregnant in order to figure out my due date.

My husband and I met up after work and as we walked from our cars I expressed how nervous I was and that I just wanted to see 1 healthy heartbeat. My husband, jokingly said, "we're gonna see 3 heartbeats!" Yeah. right. He's always wanted multiples .. me? not so much. Then in the waiting room he turned to me and said, "wouldn't it be great if it were twins?" I immediately replied, "No! No way ... just one healthy baby. That's it. Plus, my brother and sister-in-law had twins a year ago ...what are the chances that we'd have twins too?!" I laughed off that ridiculous notion. In my mind, I could never have twins, let alone triplets! That sort of thing would never - could never - happen to me. It happens to other people ... right??

We were called in for the ultrasound, but just before I walked in, the ultrasound technician asked me if I'd like to use the bathroom, which I did. I came into the exam room afterwards and the exam started. Here's how the convo between myself and the ultrasound tech went down as we looked at the little video monitor ...

Ultrasound tech: Do you feel like you completely emptied your bladder?
Me: umm, ya, I think so. Felt like it (I didn't hold any in! haha)
UT: hmmm.... is this your first pregnancy?
Me: No, my 3rd.
UT: How many children do you have?
Me: 2
UT: How old are you?
Me: yaaa.... not posting that in a blog!
UT: Did you conceive naturally?
Me: Yes .... why? (Now I'm getting concerned)
UT: Well ... I see more than one heartbeat.
Me (and husband): TWINS?!
UT: No, I see three heartbeats
Me (and husband): TRIPLETS?!?!?!?!?!
Me: NO! no. no. nonononononononononono ... (I then proceeded to half laugh and cry for an unknown amount of time. It was like I was no longer in my body but just watching this happen to someone else)

Needless to say we were in SHOCK! The tech said, "I've been doing this 30 years and this is only the 2nd time I've seen a naturally conceived set of triplets!" I was then seen by a doctor who informed me that I have been diagnosed with a "spontaneous triplet pregnancy". The term 'diagnosed' has always stuck out in my mind. When I spoke to my regular OB the next day, she said she see's about 1 patient every 10 years that has spontaneous triplets. I was then informed of all the risks associated with triplet pregnancies ... to which I was clueless about up until then. I will delve into that topic in a different blog post - it's a bit to heavy for me to get into just yet. The short version of the statistics though? They are scary and I. was. scared. Very scared. Listening to those facts was very sobering and led to some serious conversations. It took a few weeks (and lots of crying) for the reality to settle in that I was in fact carrying three babies and our family of four would quickly grow to a family of seven. All things considered though my pregnancy went very well. I was at the doctors roughly every two weeks for ultrasounds, in particular to monitor my set of identical's that were sharing a placenta. I had an amazing doctors and nurses that led me through the pregnancy. I saw a nutritionist to help with my diet. I always felt that I was in good hands and that helped me relax - as much as one can - during the pregnancy. I was briefly hospitalized twice, but I'll go into the adventure of my pregnancy another day. If you are reading this and have recently found out you are having triplets, let me tell you this: the panic WILL subside. It's a process and takes some time, but after a few weeks things in your brain will start to settle down. Get educated (by a doctor with triplet experience - NOT google), talk to your partner, family and friends as their support will be crucial. If you want to a good book on the subject then check out, "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads" by Dr. Barbara Luke & Tamara Eberlein. I bought this within days of finding out I was having triplets and devoured it.  If you are the praying type, then pray - a lot.  Lastly, focus on the positive.  That was the best advice I received and it helped me throughout my pregnancy and this first year of the triplets lives.   

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