Sunday, October 25, 2009

Selective reduction...hmmmm.

I just finished reading some HORRIBLE comments on a blog. H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. Absolutely evil. How can people be so cruel when a family is grieving the loss of their children? I just don't get it. No parent should ever lose a child. This is coming from someone that came *THIS CLOSE* to losing her son.

(DISCLAIMER: I am not one to discuss controversial topics & that is b/c I am living in one so this is going to be a very bias yet honest post.)

When we found out we were going to need medical intervention to get pregnant, it didn't take long to commit to the process. We both wanted to have children, our own children. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong w/ all those countless children that need adopting, we just weren't there yet. We still had faith that we would have a successful pregnancy. After all, we did get pregnant on our own.

As a matter of fact, in my 20's, if you had asked me about invitro, I would have told you that doing it was "playing God". How could a person do what nature wouldn't allow? And isn't nature the same as God b/c after all, God is in control of everything, right?

Yes, He is. He has allowed man to learn enough to manipulate science to our advantage. To bring a dead man back from a heart attack. To attach a limb that belonged to someone else to another living person. To give an old man new life, a new heart or lung/s. To give an infertile couple the opportunity to bear a child together. Yes, He is most definitely in control. He allows us to be able to figure out medical technologies & allows "miracles" to happen. After all, didn't Jesus cure? Why would God not allow man to do the same?

We knew we had a chance of triplets. A 1% chance to be exact. After all, we decided to put back 3 embryos. Just like everyone else out there, we never imagined we would fall in to that 1%. SHIT...let's be honest here. We never expected to have to do IVF. We got pregnant on our own the very first time. Yes, on our own. Unfortunately, a series of medical issues made it almost impossible to get pregnant again w/o help which lead us to IVF.

Our 1st attempt. That's all it took. We even have pics of the kids when they were only 8 cells. 8 friggin' cells. Technology is amazing & we were able to experience part of that. What we didn't know is all 3 babies would implant & stay put for another 34 weeks.

The 1st hard decision came to us early on, after the 2nd ultrasound. Would we want to selectively reduce? Um, no. Not a chance in hell. I knew through research that reducing to twins would have not made much of a difference in the outcome of the pregnancy, maybe a few weeks. It all depended on how my body handled pregnancy.

**Sidebar** I think I would have seriously considered selectively reducing if it were more than 3. Maybe not, but most likely...yes. 3 was hard enough to carry. I know if there were 5 or 6, it would have been the most painful decision in the world but we would have most likely reduced. For the health & safety of the remaining children as well as myself. After all, what would be the point of having that many if I wasn't around to enjoy them or if we had to lose them after they were born. Of course, many have this same point of view when told they are pregnant w/ triplets.

The pregnancy in itself wasn't bad. I felt great most of the time, like most pregnant women, never mind how many babies were in there. I had a tinge of morning sickness & feeling bloated but for the most part, all was well. Until I pushed myself too hard one day & my cervix decided to shorten. Our 2nd bout of serious medical intervention happened the very next day. I had an emergency cerclage. Would a woman pregnant w/ only one have done the same? Um, yes. So I was carrying 3? And?

The next time I had issues, it was easily handled w/ albuterol on a daily basis. I have friends that had singletons go through the same thing. Still not any different. Then I had rotavirus at 30 weeks 2 days along. 3 days of puking my guts out put some strain on the cervix. I was a fingertip dilated although not having regular contractions. After 3 days, I was put on a terb pump (not absolutely necessary but did it as a precaution). I stayed on the lowest dose until I delivered.

My babies were in the NICU. I knew from the moment that we were told there were 3 that this would happen. I knew there was a chance they would be vented or on CPAP. I knew they might not take a bottle well. I knew there could be issues w/ their hearts or even brain bleeds. After all, I had PLENTY of time to research prematurity online. I knew the average gestational age at birth for triplets was 32 weeks, 2 months premature.

I still put it in God's hands. I knew He would guide us through. When Dr. Adam told me to do something, I did it. I listened to her b/c I knew she was the closest thing to God that I had here on earth. Every step of the way, I trusted her. I also completely surprised her. When she gave me sitting privileges, I decided against them, knowing that those 30 minutes of sitting up a few times a day would put pressure on my cervix. I didn't want these babies to come any earlier than they needed to. I would & still will do anything to protect them. This meant laying down on my left side all day long, only shifting to my right side when I fell asleep at night & after I woke to pee, I would lay back on the left side. It was a sacrifice well worth making.

**Another sidebar** Todd also sacrificed, as did our families. We all still do but I think that is part of having children b/c truth be told, a family can experience much of what we did during the pregnancy & birth of one baby. Todd was & is still amazing w/ all his efforts & sacrifices.

Back to the NICU. We were told not to expect them home before their original due date. That meant 6 weeks in the NICU. Well, how about 10 days for Sofi, 10 days for Gabi & 14 days for Ian? I'd say that is pretty impressive & while I know that isn't the norm, I am very thankful to God that our babies came out so strong & healthy.

It wasn't easy leaving the hospital w/o my babies. It wasn't easy being at home with THREE preemies either. Nothing was easy. Nothing was worth complaining about either. WE *knew* what we were getting in to when we saw & heard those 3 heartbeats. We fell in love immediately & knew we would do what we had to do to survive.

I'd never ask for help beyond what we have received from family, friends & strangers alike. It is amazing the beautiful people you will encounter because of special circumstances (my online community at Just Mommies had a clothing drive for us & we are still using things we received). And, while I understand we will always be a freak show when we go out b/c we have triplets, I will gladly handle & respond to any comments & questions thrown out at us b/c I am the luckiest woman in the world. I have THREE beautiful children AND a wonderful husband. God gave them to me to take care of & raise in His light & that I shall do.

I won't judge others. I will pray for their sorrow & losses. I will understand that just like we were presented w/ the "Will you selectively reduce?" question, they were too. Just as we said no, so did they. Until you have walked a mile in our shoes, don't judge. So many are quick to say adopt but if it isn't in your heart, it isn't in your heart. Period. If those people believe in it so much, then they should practice what they preach b/c it is sooooo much easier to spit the shit out than to live by what you say. THAT is the honest to God's truth.

This may seem like it is coming out of nowhere but it has been brewing for quite some time. I think there is a saying that goes something like this..."If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it."

So true. If you don't agree w/ what I have done, then don't read my blog or anyone like mine. We have had enough challenges in our lives. If you have read through all this & feel compelled to leave a comment, regardless of the content, I welcome your thoughts, so long as you can present them in a mature fashion.

I will gladly answer any reasonable questions in regards to the procedures we went through. What our thoughts were & how we made it through all the pain b/c let me tell you, there was 2 years worth of crying, mourning the loss of a baby never born to Earth & waiting patiently for our turn to arrive. So many sleepless nights when we knew yet another month was going by w/o a positive pregnancy test. So, so many.

What I have said comes from the heart. Thank you all to those that have supported us through your words or physical presence in our lives. You have no idea how much you mean to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I only hope that through my actions, I can pay it forward.


Anonymous said...

I hate people. Anyone who has anything bad to say about the loss of a child has never been through and if they're are one of those that must suffer a loss, they will change their tune in a second.

you are an amazing woman and have an amazing family. DOn't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Miranda said...

Beautifully said, just beautiful :)

txsjewels said...

this is really well written and i can sense the tide of emotions and thoughts that you've been holding back and are now letting loose.

it's very easy to sit on the other side of the screen and make snap judgements, leave snarky or even totally offensive comments without really considering that words can cut as deeply as weapons.

hopefully your thoughtful words here will make others stop and put themselves in someone else's position before popping off a hurtful comment.

we all choose our own way in this world. and i think we all agree: we're just doing the best that we can. thanks for taking the time to defend someone's broken heart. i'm sure it means the world to them and your sweet story (as always) means the world to me.

Angela said...

We were asked the same question. & the look on the RE's face when we found 3 heartbeats still irks me. But he warned me of the risks. It's his job. We believe every embryo is a life and we chose to do 3 after 2 of our jewels didn't make it. Did we have alot of what he warned us about, placenta previa, almost delivering at 26wks, & 8wks of strict bedrest in Hospital. Yep, but they are so worth every sacrifice and scare. I knew they were in God's hands from before they were our embries. We even had the Peri who was highly recom. to us because he was the best at SeleReduc, place his hands on my shoulder and with tears in his eyes, tell us he was so glad we chose to be carrying these 3!!! He's since left that clinic and gone to one that doesn't practice S.R.. I know the decisions to choose to reduce or not is very personal. No one is prepared for making these decisions when they just want a baby so bad. I just grieve over the lost lives of those babies. Thanks for going where we are all afraid to go and I'll be praying for the family that is grieving!

Anna said...

Well said Astrid!!! People are so quick to judge and make comments these days especially when they don't know who you are. No one lives in your shoes or mine, every family is different. I feel so blessed EVERY DAY for having my three and not even considered SR when the Dr mentioned it. We've come a LONG way to have this family, after 5 yrs of trying, 3 IUI, 6 invitro, I know God gave us this family and it's meant to be. I feel very honored to be their mom!!!

Angela said...

I'm guessing I know the blog to which you are referring, and yes, I am amazed at the amount of hateful comments I have seen. I don't understand why people are so passionate about something that has nothing to do with them. I agree that each person must make the decisions that they see fit for themselves. You said it so well here.

Surviving Triplets said...

Angela, know well of which blog I am talking. I don't normally read comments b/c honestly, I don't have the time BUT my friend compelled me to read them & I was appalled by what people felt they HAD to say. Really? In this world? That cruel? You reap what you sew.

the hansens said...

Hi, I fell in love with your little family during the long months of my triplet pregnancy bedrest. Blogstalking was a great way to pass the time and do some research on what it was like to have triplets (you make it look way easier than it is by the way!). Your post is so honest and describes perfectly some feelings I have had. Having triplets is NOTHING like having one baby at a time, it is both more of struggle and more of a reward. We were given a 50% chance of having one baby with our cycle and no one explained the potential risks and difficulties for mom and babies with the outcome of twins or triplets. I wouldn't take it back for the world, we are LDS and so was our doctor (I've noticed that most triplet families are religious in some way, probably because non-religious may be more open to the SR) so selective reduction was never brought up. This is hard work but you are doing an amazing job ... you have 3healthy, happy, beautiful kids who were born into a loving home to 2 fabulous parents who will love and care for them and will not ever hurt them. I CRY (emotional :)) when I think of where my angels might have ended up if they weren't in our happy home. Maybe people should use their energy on real problems(um, there are plenty out there).

Surviving Triplets said...

the hansens ~ Thank you for your comment. I'm not sure that it is easy for me, LOL! I just do what I have to do. I also get emotional thinking that if we had even considered SR, we would be w/o one of our precious children. I already lost one baby, I didn't need to lose any more.

Norina said...

Agreed Astrid, you stated that perfectly. I don't get people too. Our world is full of this kind of hate, it's almost a rarity to see your kind of kindness. How sad huh?

Luis said...

We understand 100% your emotions. We were also asked to do "selective reduction" and we immediately said NO!. There is no way of deciding whom you will keep alive. We did not wanted to play the role of God. And we left it up to Him. Sadly, our beautiful miracle triplets did not survive, and my wife almost died too.

Now we are finally parents, to our cute 8-week old boy. But our babies will forever be remembered in love in our hearts. Congratulations with your miracle babies!!! If you guys want to read about our experience, feel free to read my blog. I have pour out my heart, and our grief, holding nothing back. And I just posted a video about our journey, that many love to watch.

Blessings and Congratulations again!