The story really begins on the day before THE day. Friday, September 30 was like many other days in a long string of boring, uneventful days. I woke up, ate something David brought me (since the nausea was back – I only got a short second-trimester break from it) and rolled on my side to finish some tasks on the computer. I ate my real breakfast. I took my blood pressure, monitored contractions for an hour, sent the contraction data in and reviewed it with a nurse on the phone. I watched some TV and played around on Fb. I played thousands of games of solitaire and Sudoku on my phone when I was by myself or during the night when I couldn’t sleep. I ate a snack. I ate lunch. I ate another snack. Etc.
I was miserable. I was forcing myself to eat THOUSANDS of calories every day when my stomach was squished in half by a baby’s foot (thanks, Noah!). I was drinking about a gallon of water or milk a DAY. (Ladies, when your doctor puts you on bedrest, you will really come to enjoy the 15 trips to the bathroom. Haha!) I was hurting. Babies’ legs and arms were everywhere! I had arms and heads and bodies shoved up into my rib cage, down into my pelvis, on every nerve, on every organ…it was incredibly uncomfortable. This day in particular was the worst. When David finally got home (it seemed an eternity!!!) I was in tears. I didn’t know how I was going to survive. I hated being pregnant. I always determined I’d love it, but I was so uncomfortable, in pain, out of breath and exhausted. And it had been like that for months (at 32 weeks I was measuring 38!). So I cried. “David, I can’t do this anymore!!”
And now I see I wasn’t supposed to! After dinner, we started playing a board game on the bed. I felt my water break…at least, that’s what I HOPED it was! After playing phone tag with my doctor, he told us to go ahead and come in, though we’d likely stave off delivering for another two weeks. I was 32.3 and we wanted to try to get to 34 weeks. So, we finished packing our bags – just to be prepared! – and headed to the hospital. Of course, we had yet to print off the birth plan so we stopped by David’s office to do this. It was about 11pm. At this point, we had contacted our family just to give them a heads up that we were probably going to be admitted…and they all headed RIGHT to the hospital. In fact, they beat us there!! We joked on our way that we could stop and get Starbucks for them if they wanted!
Once we arrived, it wasn’t long before we were admitted and began filling out the paperwork. My doctor was on call, still, so he checked me out. Sure enough, Makenna’s (Baby A’s) water had broken! There didn’t seem to be concern for infection and she still had plenty of fluid in her womb-home, so they were going to just monitor my contractions. My family came in; we said our good nights. David settled in on the tiny couch and I on the hospital bed. I was hooked up to three fetal monitors. If you’ve ever been hooked up to one, you know there’s really no sleep to be had. And I didn’t. The monitors all were stuck on with ultrasound goop and attached around my ridiculously ginormous belly. In addition to the cords, beepings and belts for these, there were the IV and all the other fun accessories that came with triplet-watch. It was a verrrry exhausting night. Every trip to the bathroom was like trekking through a jungle. And every trip resulted in a very long process of re-positioning each monitor. Very.long.process.
Finally, it was morning. October 1. 2011. The day our babies would be born. But we didn’t know it yet. The day began with my MFM coming by and saying I wouldn’t last 24 hours. (He wasn’t as “doom and gloom” as this sounded. We loved him! And he was just being real. And he ended up being right. Haha!) But my OB came back on his way off-shift that morning and took the cerclage out (incredibly painful!!!) and said I’d probably last the next two weeks. So we relaxed. Well, David relaxed. All the way down to the cafeteria he relaxed! Meanwhile, my belly is constantly being pushed and pulled as the nurses try to keep the monitors on the three munchkins. It required me to lie still and in very unnatural positions. I wondered how on earth I would ever survive the next two weeks doing this 24/7. Ugh! If you ever meet a mama pregnant with higher order multiples (HOM) who is/has been on bedrest in a hospital for any length of time, PLEASE hug her. This was pure misery. Add to it the contractions that wouldn’t be put off by the medications…it was turning into a yucky day.
Not long after David headed down to the cafeteria to finally get some breakfast (it was about noon), the OB on call came in to examine me and said we would be going into surgery soon. What?!?! Apparently I was 4 centimeters dilated and my contractions were coming fast and furious. These babies were COMING! Unfortunately, they were all in breech positions so delivering naturally was not a possibility. I was so disappointed. My mom was with me during this time and she says I really didn’t seem to “get” that we would be delivering them soon – as in, within a couple of hours! So she called David and told him to get up here NOW.
David arrived and I was being prepped for surgery. My family and our friends were called and told “never mind, we ARE delivering today – come on up!” They came in to say hi and to give me a hug. We met the anesthesiologist. My big request was that David would be in there during the epidural. The anesthesiologist gave lame reasons as to why this was not possible. I cried. And cried! The first epidural I received a few months earlier was very, very difficult for me and I had battled fear since then about the impending delivery epidural. My wonderful husband prayed with me and I sensed the Holy Spirit flooding my heart with peace. David walked with me to the door of the OR and waited for them to finish so he could go in. Finally, he joined me. I knew then that I could do it.
I remember my heart beating so very fast and it being incredibly cold. I remember being terrified that I would feel the incision. I remember the room was so full of people – there was a team of people for each baby, consisting of nurses and a doctor. I remember counting more than 20 medical personnel. I remember there were so many people talking, the lights were so bright, the table was hard and I thought it was a very unnatural way to birth a child.
And I remember working so hard to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ – that our babies would be ok. At 3:00p, Dr. Jackson began the surgery…