Friday, May 31, 2013

Anencephaly Ultrasound and Doc Update

I had another appointment yesterday and it went better than the one last week. Whether that be because I was in a better place mentally, or it actually went better, I don't know. But I felt better and didn't cry the entire time. I was able to ask questions without my voice choking up and voice concerns without turning into a blubbery mess.

I gained 3.5lbs. Woah. My bad. I have been making an extra effort to eat more food this past week and I've been SUPER conscious of doing very little to help the bleed heal. Goal attained? Eek.

They did the ultrasound to look at the all the heart beats and we got another set of pictures. I didn't share the last ones, but here are the new ones. The tech was like, do you want any pictures of baby C? I was like, UM YES! She said that some people request not to have any pictures or further info about the sick baby because they don't want to get more emotionally attached, etc.

Here's baby A and it's right at the bottom of my uterus, resting with it's back on my cervix:

Here's baby B and its to my right on the upper side of my uterus:

And here's baby C, located on my left, right under my stomach:

Now, if you scroll back up, you can see that baby A and B have round heads and you can see their profiles. While baby C has a perfect little body, he has no profile or slope to it's head at all :( They also did a "frontal view" of this baby and I just couldn't believe it. The doctor said that it had "classic bone formation" of a baby with anencephaly. Its head looked like it stopped at the eyebrows and the eye sockets were very wide set, almost to the sides of it's head. It looked similar to a frog's bone structure. I thought it looked similar to a troll doll because it's brain was completely open and extended very far above it's head like hair.

I will NEVER forget that image. Poor baby.

The doctor wanted to get that view so that before he sent me to see Dr. Adashek there was a definite confirmation of a terminal diagnosis for that baby.

Dr. Bolnick looked closely at my hemorrhage and said that it definitely looked stable. It didn't look bigger. I thought it looked smaller. He said that it could be smaller, but he couldn't tell because the babies had grown a lot this past week and he couldn't tell if the hemorrhage was just getting redistributed as the babies grew and pushed into other areas, or if it was actually smaller. Either way, I was glad that he said it was stable. I haven't had any active bleeding this week, and for the first time since this whole thing started, I am starting to pass actual blood clots.

Dr. Bolnick said that based on Dr. Adashek's experience and the fact that the bleed looks stable, that he feels confident that Dr. Adashek will feel comfortable doing the reduction as long as there are no changes in the next few days. We'll see. We are waiting for a list of risks, pros and cons, and statistics to make the decision. Dr. Bolnick said that the risk of carrying 3 babies to myself and the health of the other 2 is greater than the risk of doing the reduction, but we're going to wait and talk to Dr. Adashek and see what he thinks.

Thank you for all of your prayers and sending happy thoughts our way. We really feel every single one. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to get messages and texts throughout the week from you guys.

In other news, construction on the upstairs room starts monday! And we bought a new car. I need to blog more...I'm a little behind.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another Doctor's Appointment Today

So last night I had a horrid night. My subchorionic hemorrhage decided to rear its ugly head and bleed. All. Night. Long. All night. Like crazy.

So I didn't sleep. I called my doctor's office around 3am and the on call doctor encouraged me to go to the ER. I was like, NO. My husband is on the night shift and I'm not going by myself. Forget it. Instead, I was told to come in to the office as soon as possible.

I slept horrible. It was like every time I fell asleep my body would be like, "NOOOOO, you're bleeding, don't wreck your sheets!"

I didn't know at the time the cause of the bleeding was the hemorrhage. I was thinking it could be a of couple things.

1. The hemorrhage was emptying out before my appointment so that I would be magically healed.

2. I was losing the baby with anencephalopathy. Which, in my mind, isn't a bad thing. It would happen on God's time, I wouldn't feel like I "made the choice" for my baby to die, and I wouldn't have to undergo all the risks of a selective reduction.

3. The hemorrhage is getting bigger and taking over my entire uterus.

4. I am losing all of the babies.

So. As you can see, lots of thoughts to keep me awake.

Troy got home from work in the morning and we left for the doctor's office. We were shown right back and they took my weight, heart rate, and blood pressure. Everything was good. Then they took us into the ultrasound room. And I swear, it was only 5 minutes, but it felt like an hour waiting for her to come in.

The same ultrasound tech from last week came in and asked me about any cramping/pain/bleeding (yes bleeding, no cramping or pain). She started the ultrasound and said all 3 babies heart beats looked great and the bleed looked exactly the same.

I literally could not stop crying. I just felt like a faucet. I really, really felt like the bleed was going to shrink. I really believed it. I have been praying so hard and really felt like God was going to answer my prayers this morning. I just felt SO let down and disappointed. And I could not stop crying. Poor Troy. It was my first time really crying about this situation in a completely uncontrollable way. He just handed me tissues and rubbed my back.

The genetic anomoly and abnormality counselor came in to talk to us about some more tests that she wanted to run on the babies. We took all of the information and brochures, but ultimately, we decided that we don't want to do that. No matter what the tests said, it wouldn't change the outcome. So when we got home, we threw all the information away.

Then the doctor came back in with the ultrasound tech again. They repeated the heart rates, looked at the HUGENESS of my hemorrhage (it's 7cm by 9 cm by 2-3 cm - it kind of felt like a win to me, it was smaller than my biggest ovary!!), and tested my cervix for length and funneling.

And I could not stop crying. Just silent, huge tears rolling down my face.

The doc turned on the light and basically said "nothing has changed."

I was like, "I really wanted to hear something good and positive. This is just awful. I cut my hours at work from 40 a week to 28 and on my days off, I literally sit on the couch all day long. My house is a wreck and I can't grocery shop or do laundry. I just wanted to hear that making changes had an effect on this."

He said, "this IS new good news. Nothing is worse. You are having the active bright red bleeding, which is unfortunate, but the status quo is the same."

He was humble enough to admit when he was in a little over his head and I am seeing him for monitoring for 1 more week and then I am going to see the "boss man." He is the head of the practice and has the most experience. So that appointment is on June 3rd. I'll be exactly 15 weeks when I see "the boss man."

So basically, everything is exactly the same. No changes. Troy and I had conflicting feelings on the appointment. He thought it was great. He was like "there are 3 heart beats, 2 healthy babies, and you're not in any pain. Sounds like a good appointment to me!" And I was like, "I'm bleeding worse than a scene from Carrie, all of our friends and family are praying for us and the changes I made didn't make a bit of difference."

So. Appointment next thursday.

Please God, shrink this hemorrhage. Help me to accept whatever your will is in this situation. Help me to stay positive and keep these babies safe and healthy. I don't understand why this is so hard, but I know that your hand will guide us and comfort us. Please give me the strength to stop crying and be accepting of your plan for my life.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


In full disclosure, I promised myself that I would be truthful to this blog and the people reading it when I started it almost 1 year ago. This is not going to be a fun post to write or to read.

I had my first high risk doctor appointment this morning. We assumed that everything would go great and we would be introduced to our medical care team for the next 6 months. Wrong. We met the whole office because of our unusual circumstances.

We went in and filled out the usual "first patient" paperwork and they took us back and took my blood pressure and weight. Everything was great.

We were shown to an ultrasound room with a tech. She did an abdominal ultrasound and we chatted a bit about my fertility history and family. I told her about my subchorionic hemorrhage and the bleeding I've been having. She pointed out where the bleed was and said it was pretty large. She was "ultrasounding" for about 20 minutes. No weirdness or anything.

Me: So how's everything look?

Her: Well, I'm worried about baby C up here in the upper left quadrant.

Me: Ok...

She spans to baby B and says: Do you see here how there is perfectly clear, black amniotic fluid? And the bones of the baby are all white around it's head?

Me: Yeah

Her: Ok... (she spans back up to baby C) look at this baby. Do you see how it has grey fuzziness in the fluid? And then look at the head.

Me: It kinda looks like it has hair.

Her: Yeah. It looks to me like it has anencephaly. That means the skull bones aren't properly formed and it's a severe neural tube deficit. The skull bones where hair would be aren't formed at all. What you're looking at is the brain free floating in the amniotic fluid. Children with this severe of a deficit aren't genetically designed to live outside the womb. They normally do wonderful inside, but when they're delivered, they die within minutes.

The face looked completely normal. It was really really weird.

She leaves and Troy and I immediately turn to one another with looks of horror on our faces. And shock. We couldn't believe that moments ago, everything was fine, and now we were losing one of our babies. Like, it didn't even have a chance.

A MILLION things went through my mind. Does that baby endanger the other 2? Do I deliver all three? How bad of a person am I if we "selectively reduce" a baby that will die the moment it is exposed to oxygen to help save the other 2?

I voiced these in one breath to Troy and he just looked at me with tears in his eyes. "I've already thought all of those things. You aren't a bad person."

The first person sent into to room was a genetic anomaly and abnormality counselor. She was amazing. She talked through all of our options with us.

Basically, we could do nothing. Wait and see.

We could opt for a reduction and give the other babies more room to grow and stay inside longer and avoid medical and health dangers to the remaining children.

We talked for about 20 minutes.

She left and then the doctor finally came in. I immediately apologized. I don't know why. It was my first visit and I was being a "difficult patient." He was so nice. He just said, "you're here for a reason and we're going to take care of you. That's why we're a high risk facility. For people like you."

The doctor and the tech redid the ultrasound and really looked at and measured my cervix, the location of all the placentas, and the sheer size of the hemorrhage. They did a test where they applied pressure to my abdomen to see if my cervix started to shorten or funnel and it looked good.

Troy and I decided to opt for a "selective reduction" for several reasons. We want to give the other 2 babies the best chance possible. The emotional and physical attachment to a baby that wouldn't make it could be devastating at the birth of our other 2 (God willing) healthy children.

And here's when the complications got worse. STUPID HEMORRHAGE. I am not currently a candidate for the reduction because the bleeding I am currently having is coming from underneath the placenta of baby C and it is slightly shared with the placenta of healthy baby A. They are worried that the reduction could result in loss of one or all of the babies.

So right now we are doing a sit and wait. I will be monitored every week to monitor changes in the size of the hemorrhage. If the hemorrhage stays the same size (stable) or shrinks, they'll be able to continue with the reduction. If not, I'll carry all three babies as long as possible and deliver 2 healthy babies and 1 that will become an angel within minutes.

As far as work, they said I can keep working. They said that there is no proof that bed rest helps heal a subchorionic hemorrhage but they figure it doesn't hurt. I told them I would cut back from 4 10 hour shifts to 3 8 hour shifts. They seemed happy with that.

The doctor was wonderful. I had SO many questions and poor Troy just sat there and listened while I yammered and yammered. I was just so shocked and concerned about the babies and what our options were and timing, etc.

So for now, there's really nothing that we can do. We are waiting. I am just hopeful that we come out of this with a baby. ONE healthy baby.

This has been a day of bad news.

PS. DO NOT google images of anencephaly. Seriously don't. I'm scarred for life.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Avery's Adventures with Grandma and PawPaw

I cannot put into words how much I miss this sweet, sweet girl. But I also cannot repay my parents for all of the help and support they are giving us right now. They are doing things with her that we normally wouldn't do because we have her everyday and take that for granted. Even though they'll have her for 9 weeks, they are acting like it's only the weekend and pack in SO MUCH fun everyday. And we got tons of get pics and videos sent to our phones. Some of which I will share will you now.

They have been gardening.

And cooking.

She has been swimming a lot.

And they went to the fair.

Where she fed some animals.

She is potty training.

They went and picked strawberries.

Cute, huh? How long are her legs getting? Please let her get Troy's genes, please let her get Troy's genes...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Triplet Update...and the First Belly Pic! And A Baby Pic!

I'll be 12 weeks tomorrow. I feel great. No barfing.

The only issue right now is bleeding. Like a ton of bleeding. I started bleeding last friday. Buckets. Sorry for the visual. Bad things always happen on fridays when your only option is the ER. Seriously annoying. I called the doctor and he said this:

You can do one of 3 things:

1. Go to the ER to get an ultrasound. They'll be able to tell you what's going on, but they won't be able to stop it.

2. I can move your appointment to monday. We can see what's going on then.

3. You can wait until your appointment on wednesday.

Troy and I decided to just wait it out until my appointment on wednesday. We have VERY much taken the stance of "we are not in control of this situation and we are going to go with the flow" as best as we can.

It's weird because the bleeding wasn't constant. I bleed at the same time every evening. It starts about 2 hours after I've been in bed. Troy comes home from swings around 1 am and I go the bathroom. And it's bad.

I bleed for a few hours and then while I'm up and moving around, everything is fine.

At my appointment on wednesday, we were expecting to have lost one of the babies. But, much to our surprise and awe, they were ALL fine. And moving and kicking and dancing. They couldn't get them all in one picture, but here is a picture of one baby:

There are 2 on the top kicking and stretching. Poor baby "C" is smooshed at the bottom. Not moving. The other 2 are taking up too much room. Troy suggested that I stand on my head and give the party animals on top a taste of their own medicine. Haha.

During the ultrasound, they saw a subchorionic hemorrhage. Basically, one of the placentas hasn't sealed flat against the wall of the uterus yet and there is a pool of blood between the two. As the placenta gets stronger, it is pushing blood out of the cavity. Thus all the bleeding. It's awful. But apparently nothing to worry about unless there is pain and large clots. Okay then.

Well today is Mother's Day and we figured, at 12 weeks (well, 11 weeks and 6 days) it was time for a picture.

Not showing too much yet. Which I have to say, feels like a victory. Which is TOTALLY different than when I was pregnant with Avery. I remember I couldn't WAIT to look preggo with her. Now, every day that I haven't popped feels like a victory. Like it's one more day that I won't be on bed rest. One more day that I can hold them in and keep them safe. It's so silly, but that's just how I feel about it. I want to NOT show for as long as possible. Weird right?

We are also making progress on our list of things to do.

We have hired a contractor to wall in another bedroom.

We have started cleaning out the house for the yard sale next weekend. The pile in the front room is getting re-donk-ulous. It's mostly households and furniture.

We are have narrowed down our car search and plan to drive to California to buy our new HUGE car next weekend.

We are also going to IKEA to pick up some cribs while in California because...UM VEGAS DOESN'T HAVE ONE!

We have started putting Avery's big girl room together. It makes me want to cry thinking that she's going to be a "big girl" when she comes more crib. Pictures to follow.

Happy Mother's Day to all, especially to my Mom, who has been more help and support than I am able to verbalize.

I'll be back soon! My appointment with the high risk doc is thursday. Can you think of anything specific I should ask? Seriously, I'm worried I'm gonna forget something.