Archive for March, 2011

Reveal Day!

So today’s the day we let the world know we’re expecting triplets! And by the world I mean facebook. For some reason I’ve been a little nervous about this reveal and have even been trying to put it off. We were going to do it over the weekend and then I convinced Jer to wait until today because I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. “Maybe we should wait until after the doctor’s appointment. Just to make sure everything’s still okay.” He caved. “Alright Care, but that’s it. Wednesday’s the day.” So here we are. Wednesday, March 30th 2011. No more secrets. Let the avalanche of crazy begin. If you’ve found your way over here after the big announcement, welcome and thanks for visiting my blog. Come back again, will ya?

Here’s a pic of what I look like today, at just 13 weeks.

13 weeks preggo

And because I realized today I had yet to show any pics of the babies, here are some of their most recent shots:

Here they are! They're all at different angles, but this is the best pic we have of the 3 of them together. 🙂

Now for their individual moments in the sun:

Baby A

Baby B

Baby C

Man, every time I look at these I kind of shake my head in disbelief a little. 3 babies are inside of me. It feels completely freakish and miraculous all at once. I’m thankful to God for each of them and yet completely terrified of what is to come. Not meeting them, (that part I’m looking forward to!) but the process leading up to meeting them. It’s a long, hard road on a fast track but I’m trying to keep the faith that there won’t be any major bumps or roadblocks along the way. Your prayers and good vibrations are appreciated. 🙂

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a trip to Target and inappropriate touching

Yesterday I bit the bullet and went shopping for some maternity gear. This may seem a little surprising to some that I would need maternity clothes after only 12 weeks of pregnancy but let me tell you: the belly has come out. It’s ridiculous. I pretty much went to sleep one night with just a little paunch (which I kinda had pre-pregnancy, let’s be honest) and woke up the next morning with a full on pregnancy bump. Everyone keeps assuring me it’s perfectly normal with multiples but it’s weird.

I went to Target, didn’t really want to spend a lot and just wanted a few pieces- specifically jeans and a new bra. This ended up being a little more difficult than I expected. Mostly because I had no idea what size to get. I mean, I know my jean size pre-pregnancy. I can even still fit in those jeans I just can’t button/zip them up. But then I’m thinking if I’m this big at 12 weeks how big will I be in another 2 weeks? A month? I can’t just keep buying new maternity jeans every couple of weeks. Besides the money, I’m not going to feel like going shopping that much. So I opted for some yoga style pants with the flap in the front. I bought 2 pairs, both on clearance for $4.98. Score! Now, they do say size M but the tag assures me they are good for all stages of pregnancy and even after. We’ll see. I figured for 5 bucks a pop even if they last a month it’s a deal. Plus yoga pants seem more forgiving than denim. It was harder for me to get on board with maternity tops. I did find one acceptable sweater but most were a little too cutesy and again, what on earth size do I get? So I hit the clearance rack and went with some XXL tanks and tees. I figured right now they can be a little more of a tent/tunic style over stretchy pants and then you know, next week when I go to bed an L and wake up an XXL I’ll have some fitted baby tees. 😉 Here’s a pic of my finds. Not too shabby, right?

An attempt to find a maternity bra was less successful but just as overwhelming. Again, what size am I now?! I mean I’m getting big but at this point I still have one of my old bras I can squeeze into. It’s not comfortable by the end of the day though and I know I’m only going to get bigger but what to get? Should I go somewhere and get measured? But then again I’m just going to keep growing so will I end up with tons of bras that no longer fit after the pregnancy? I saw maternity bras that were stretchy cotton that you just put on over your head sports bra style but they are not attractive and seem to have no support or uh, modesty for the nipple area, *ahem*. One of my clients insisted that you should get nursing bras when you’re pregnant because you can wear them before you need them and then you’re buying bras you’ll keep using after the babies come. This makes sense but the snaps and pads freaked me out so I had to pass. In the end, I held bras up to me and kept looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was noticing. I landed on a regular bra that was a little larger than I wear now. I know there’s a better way. I had no idea that this would be so difficult. This is just another of the millions of things I never thought about before becoming pregnant. My respect for all the mothers of the world has increased tenfold. So much happens to our bodies and there seems to be some “in the know” club as to how to handle it all but no one’s telling. Let’s put it on the table ladies. It sucks. What are we going to do about it?

I also took a stroll through the baby section. I thought this would bring some warm fuzzies and clear my head of the bra debacle. And there were some fuzzies. Little tiny shoes and socks and hooded towels. Very cute indeed. But then there are the monstrosities that are bouncers, and cribs sets, and car seats. Everything is so BIG! Was it always this way or has America just super sized its baby stuff too? I mean the bouncer seat seems small enough, baby sized, but then there’s this giant plastic frame. I have a 980 sq ft condo and 3 babies are on the way. One of those things wouldn’t fit in here let alone 3. Plus they’re kind of ugly. No design quality whatsoever. I did find some really great bouncers that are small and well designed but they’re pretty expensive, especially times 3. So what’s a modern mom to do? If I figure it out, I’ll let you know! For now the search goes on…

My trip to Target was finished off with some inappropriate touching in the check out line. The cashier ringing up my maternity gear asked me “how far along are you?” I told her 3 months and she just kind of paused and looked at me confused. I explained “I’m a little bigger because I’m expecting multiples. Triplets actually.” She shrieked. “TRIPLETS!!! I’ve never known anyone expecting triplets! You’re so lucky!” I smiled, “yeah?” “Oh yes!” she said, “I only have two kids and had to go through pregnancy and birth twice. You’re getting it all done at once. That’s smart!” Okay, let’s call it smart. And then it happened. The moment all pregnant women talk about. While I was busy swiping my card and signing the bill she reached out and rubbed my belly. It’s a very odd moment. I wasn’t really mad but I wasn’t exactly happy about it either. Just kind of confused and stunned. I walked out and texted Jer about the experience. After a “Hahaha” text back he said simply, “Better get used to it darlin’.” Yeah. I guess I better….

MFM’s and vegans, oh my!

Last Tuesday was our first visit with the MFM (maternal fetal medicine) specialists at the Magella Group in Long Beach. I was referred to them by my OB because of being high risk. She warned us ahead of time that they were going to want to keep me as their patient and that whatever I decided was fine with her. She just wants me to feel comfortable with my care, which I appreciate.

Everyone at the Magella Group were really nice, almost too nice if that’s possible. So chipper and cheery and almost sing-song-y excited around me. Well everyone except one doctor, but I’ll get to him in a minute. We met with Dr. Tith first, very warm and friendly, I liked her immediately. She consulted with us for quite awhile, asking for a detailed history of my lupus, fibromyalgia, and family history.

One of the main things Dr. Tith expressed to us what the importance of how many placentas the babies have in there. The placenta is their life support system so one placenta for three babies increases the chances of pre-term labor because they’re having to fight for nourishment. Two placentas are better but three is ideal so each baby has their own. Also, the number of placentas usually determines whether they are fraternal or identical. We were hoping for fraternal triplets (honestly, it just seemed less confusing to us, haha), but we didn’t know it had anything to do with placentas, only the number of eggs. After the talk and a handy drawing drawn on a paper towel with all of the possibilities (Jer and I need a lot of elaboration!), we headed off to the ultrasound room. Michelle was our ultrasound tech and she was really great. She actually talked to us and told us what she was seeing without waiting for the doctor. This has never happened to me before and I was so grateful to not have to wait through the entire exam to find out the results. For once in this pregnancy we got consistently good news! Three healthy babies, three placentas, and the neck measurements for the nuchal translucency test were normal! This means they are at lower risk for chromosomal problems such as downs syndrome. We also heard their heartbeats for the first time and that was an amazing moment. All heartbeats were strong-173 bpm-and size wise they all measured the same so everyone’s on track! It was so fun to see them again too- they just jump around and wave their arms. It’s amazing. One of them is a little lazy- every time he/she’s on ultrasound must be nap time because he’s just not into it. Usually they have to tap on my stomach a bit and then he squirms around, seeming kind of annoyed with the whole thing. I think it’s pretty funny and I’m actually happy to have one kid that seems calmer because the other two are in non stop motion every time they’ve been on camera.

Dr. Tith’s partner (I cannot remember his name…) came in to take a look and confirm Michelle’s results. He was a little more abrupt, less of the good bedside manner I was enjoying by the rest of the group. He told us our options for further genetic testing, all a little invasive and all putting us at a slightly higher risk for miscarriage but with 100% accurate results. We decided against those for now, we’re going with the good news we received and thinking positively. Plus, we don’t see any need to disturb the babies at this point since they’re already high risk. If they’re doing well, we’re going to let it be. He also laid the bomb on me that I need to consume 3,000 calories a day! While this may seem fun it’s actually proved impossible so far and kind of stressful. I mean, I can eat. But right now I’m still dealing with nausea and feeling like crap even when I keep something down, so for now I’m just trying to get close to 2,000. Jer mentioned to him I was vegan and that didn’t go over well either. He kind of scoffed and said he didn’t know how that was going to work. Then told me to get in lots of protein shakes throughout the day. My OB Dr. Chao knows that I’m vegan and this wasn’t a concern to her so when I see her next I’ll have a talk with her and get her feedback on his comments. I’m thinking we all just saw that there are three healthy babies in there that were conceived and have been growing on a vegan diet! I don’t know. I will do whatever I have to do to keep the little ones healthy but so far I feel like that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Last, this bearer of good news asked me what I do for a living. When I told him I was a hair stylist he again kind of chuckled and said “You won’t be doing that for long.” I asked him if it was because I’m on my feet all day and he said “Yes that, but you’re also just going to be exhausted. Whoever your boss is I would let her know sooner than later that you’ll be out of commission soon.” I was kind of shocked and stammered that I was self employed but that I did rent a space so I’d let her know. I keep thinking about all of my clients and having to leave them (and any form of income!) far sooner than I’d expected. I really love what I do. I really love my clients. I’m hoping that my coworkers can fit them in when I no longer can and that they have a good experience with their new stylists. It’s hard for me to let go. I’ve been doing hair for 5 years now, and have spent the last 2 plus self employed. I’m proud of my business, that I built it from the ground up. It’s a big part of who I am and it’s hard to walk away from that for potentially a very long time. Someday I’m sure I’ll look back on this time and know it was all worth it as I watch my 3 kiddos running around, but right now it’s hard. It’s another piece of me that seems to be lost in the enormity of triplets.

As we were waiting for Dr. Tith’s final comments various people from the office stopped by and told Jer and I they heard the good news and congratulated us. Dr. Tith told us in the initial consultation that the office was abuzz with our visit. That they had never had a patient with Lupus and triplets. She told us this after asking whether the babies were spontaneous and when we said yes she lit up. “Really?! Everyone was dying to know! We didn’t expect that!” We looked confused and that’s when she spilled the beans that we’d been the talk of the office for some time now. It’s cute but also confirmed my fears that this is a bit of a freak show. I think wishing for normalcy went out the window the minute Dr. Chao said, “wait, I see a third” while looking at my ultrasound but I was still holding out hope. But I guess normal is over rated. Right?

Denial is a river in Egypt…and I’m swimming in it.

Yesterday, in a discussion with my husband about the different aspects of triplet life, he said to me, “I know you’re scared, but you can’t live in denial. This is happening.” I replied with a short and snarky “I don’t have the luxury of living in denial! I feel it everyday. No one knows more than me that this is happening!” Okay, let’s add dramatic to that list.

Of course now, when it’s 3am and I’ve already woken up to pee twice and my super powered nose has me convinced that there’s some God awful smell in our bedroom so I can’t sleep, here I sit and ponder. Am I in denial? Maybe. My husband has done loads of triplet research since we found out. He’s sent me links, started a triplet exclusive blog, made blog friends in the triplet world. I feel like I’m playing catch up all the time. It didn’t really even occur to me to read triplet blogs until he told me about them. I’ve never really been much of a support group girl so the idea of getting into triplet exclusive groups really freaks me out. I’m not much of a blog commenter- too insecure to say hello or to add my opinion/feedback (even though now that I have a blog I realize how much people probably want comments so I’m trying to be less shy), so I’ve never made any blog friends. I keep telling myself (and Jeremy) that it doesn’t have to be this way. People can have triplets without it completely taking over their lives. We can be a family that’s funny and interesting and kind who just happens to have triplets. It doesn’t have to be a freak show!  I’ve even thrown in the “I’m trusting my body. Everything I need to know is inside of me.” Oy vey. This is smelling more and more like denial by the minute.

So what have I done to prepare for the trips? I’ve looked into cloth diapers, found some adorable Elephant booties online, and read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” All things I would have done had there only been one. Every time I’ve attempted to read parts of the ‘multiples section’ of What to Expect I’ve thrown up. No joke. Once I was mid sentence reading something aloud to Jer and vomit shot out of my mouth in a very exorcist like fashion, horrifying us both. It’s just…I had plans. I had plans with one baby. I was going to do it right. Cloth diapers were a given but I was also going to be one of those mamas who carried her baby around in a sling everywhere she went. I was going to have a natural birth and breastfeed for a really long time and then make my own organic baby food. I was going to be an Earth mother, crunchy granola, vegan goddess with a modern flair. Me and baby would take in museums, walk around downtown, go to yoga. A nice little pair with daddy making it all a little more fun. I could still work, too, keep my business going. Fit clients in evenings and weekends when the hubby was around to watch the little one. Life wouldn’t go away it would just get better.

Picturing my life with 3…well, that’s just it, I can’t picture it. When I start to picture it, I feel panicked. 3 babies in a stroller at the grocery store- how do you push a cart too? Getting 3 babies in and out of the car. Breastfeeding 3 babies. Giving each baby individual attention. A c-section. Coming up with 3 names. Going anywhere in public with 3. Staying home with 3. If I think about any of these things for too long I can feel my blood pressure rise and the panic set in. So I go back to what I know and google “booties.” Make that “organic cotton booties.”

So I guess denial is a factor. It’s true I can’t ignore it completely- the ever-expanding waist, unending nausea, and sore boobs won’t let me. Nor will the sleepless nights, like tonight, where I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m in way over my head and there’s nothing I can do about it. But as new age-y as it sounds I do have to go back to the idea that there’s something inside of me that knows all I need to know. For some reason my body decided there should be 3. Not fertility drugs or in vitro. My body. And God. So I have to think that there’s a reason and a plan and some imprinted-into-my-DNA ability to care for 3. I have no knowledge of this ability but I haven’t needed it before now. But maybe it’s there, under the surface, at the ready the moment they come out. Instinct takes over and all is right with the world. I really need to believe that.

A road less traveled

I’ve wanted a blog for a while now. Years actually. Every time I’d get up the enthusiasm to start one life would take a harsh turn and I’d lose the interest and energy to do anything extra. This year I was determined to have a blog. Nothing would stop me- no turn was harsh enough to take away this desire to write. Enter harsh turn….

A positive pregnancy test. Well that’s not so harsh. After all, the husband and I have been married over 10 years now. We love each other deeply. We’ve gotten through the hard times and are stronger for it. Nope it wasn’t the positive pregnancy test that did it. Or the first prenatal visit where everything looked normal and good. It was round about the second prenatal visit. I go every two weeks because I have Lupus so I’m considered high risk. Jeremy, my husband, goes with me as often as possible because this is his first kid too and we have lots of questions and concerns and it’s exciting. So on the second prenatal visit our doctor, Dr. Chao, is looking around on the ultrasound and her eyes widen and she asks us “Any twins in the family?” Jer and I both shout “NO!” as if somehow we can will away what she’s seeing. Just as the waves of “Oh my God there are twins!” are hitting us she says, “Actually, I see a third.” There it is. There’s the harsh turn. TRIPLETS.

So now here I am, almost 10 weeks in. The harsh turn isn’t stopping me from writing but it did knock me out for a minute. Of course on the one hand, the pressure and desire to blog increased with the news because this insane event must be chronicled! On the other hand, a blog about triplets is not what I intended to write, as you may have guessed by the mod vegan moniker. So I guess this will be a little of everything. The triplets, yes, given. But also what it means to be a vegan on this journey- how, if at all, it affects prenatal care. Raising vegan kids- or rather will I raise vegan kids (my husband, though pescatarian, is not vegan)? And what of my personal style? Is that gone now? Does my modern pad become a giant kid zone complete with plastic slide?

I don’t know the answers to all of those questions yet. This is my first pregnancy. We weren’t even trying to get pregnant and I wasn’t taking any fertility meds. We had pretty much decided after many years of debate that one child would be nice, enough. That we’d maybe try later this year. The fact that we hit the jackpot after one indiscretion when we’d been careful for TEN YEARS is still shocking. We are apparently freakishly fertile. I’m 34 and I’ve read that as you go later into the 30s it’s common to drop additional eggs. Still seems crazy that all 3 of said eggs were fertilized but it is what it is. All that’s to say that not only am I a newbie at the mother thing, but the triplet thing is a whole other animal I have yet to wrap my brain around. I’m hoping writing it out will help with that too.

I’m in a writer’s group through my church and earlier this year I wrote a poem that I promised myself would be a part of first blog entry. I was planning to start this in January, but like I said I was knocked out for awhile there. So March will have to do. Enjoy.

Another Year Gone

Another year gone, slipped away.
Resolutions rise up from phantom failures:
Do more, weigh less, try harder, look better.
Determination sets in:
Be anything but you.

January brings hope, newness, the promise of change.
Anything seems possible in January. We’ve got the
Whole year to get it right.
To figure out how to
Be anywhere but here.

May brings panic.
Almost half the year gone. How has
Nothing changed?
Crash diets and impending doom and you wish to
Be in any body but yours.

October brings a deadline. The year’s
Almost up.
Reassess. Is anything salvageable? Are you?
This month goes double time and you wonder can you
Be anyone’s picture of good?

Back to the beginning: January.
Failure-filled December hearts empty with the promise of a new year.
The change for you is clear. A brave step toward a fragile thought:
Contentment. Your toes sink in, a connection is made, and you wonder: could there
Be anyplace more beautiful than here?