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?

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