Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Soul Searching Decision

I've had a rough couple of days. I cannot believe the difference a week makes in a triplet pregnancy. I know, that's a bit naive of me at this stage! I literally feel like I am walking around with a balloon waiting to pop in between my legs. There is a lot of pressure. If I thought I waddled before this, then I feel like an elephant waddling this week.

My itching has really hit me hard. I had even resorted to getting up at 3am to have a long, scalding hot shower - not great for the tank - but hey, it took the itch away for half an hour! Albeit, it's not funny anymore. I barely get 2 hour blocks of sleep at a time (yes, preparation for what's ahead) and I'm pretty sure if you videoed me, I'd be scratching in my sleep too. This, combined with the fact that there is a tickle at the back of my throat that is waiting to jump out and grab me as soon as I am run down has led me to make a decision that I didn't think I'd ever make.

I'm not going to push to have my induction date moved back a week.

Dramatic I know. Well, it is to me. Those of you who know me or have read my blog the whole way will understand that this goes against my birthing beliefs. I never wanted to be medically induced. Hopefully I won't need it and will go into labour naturally - with a little natural help of course! So, our babies will be here no later than Thursday 6th September!

I really feel I've done a great job getting this far. Yes, it was my goal to get to 35-36 weeks, on induction day I'll be 34 weeks and 6 days. I am anal, but not that anal that I'll be concerned with 1 day! My babies are healthy, big and they'll need their mumma to be healthy too. I did feel a little selfish for making that call, as I feel pretty darn good otherwise, but I know I've made the right decision.

When I saw Dr Ted today he did have a little chuckle when I said I didn't want the extra week anymore. We went through the birth plan again, going over any points I was unsure of. I admitted that I was worried about the rolling cascade of intervention that can happen after an induction. He believes 100% that it won't happen for me as I have already birthed 2 big babies easily and my body knows what it is doing. He said it is usually first time mums who have the rolling intervention problems after and induction. Honestly, I've said it before, but I am so happy to have an OB that trusts my body and its ability as much as I do. He also said that if he did and internal he thinks I'd probably be about 5cm dilated already! Wahoo!

My wonderfuly midwife is coming out tomorrow to discuss a plan of action for next week and to run through breech birth with her favourite little doll and pelvis. I cannot believe I am this close. I want to try to hold out until the last moment though........we'll see!

Will post my 34 week belly shot on Friday and some more comparing pics :)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

I'm Still In One Piece!


Yay! Another (although unofficial) milestone reached - 33 weeks! Means my babies can be born at Nambour General Hospital, which is only 20 minutes from home. After my appointment last week and having an induction date looming over our heads, my wonderful homebirth midwife and I sent many emails back and forth from Bali, where she was only holidays. Plan is now to wait until this Wednesday and see if Ted gives me another week, then we'll work around that. We'll try every trick in the book to get things started without medical intervention. I loved the fact that as soon as she landed back in Brisbane, my midwife texted to see how 'all four of us were'. I replied - Still in one piece!

I had all my girlfriends here with their kids yesterday they all bought a plate to share for morning tea and did some house work while they were here. Amazing bunch of girls. As they were leaving I couldn't help but think - 'I wonder if the next time I see you, I'll have had these babies'. Apparently I wasn't the only one thinking that!

It seems like every week, something gets harder. I mean, of course it will, that's the nature of a triplet pregnancy! This week it seems bending down is the culprit. If I'm holding onto something like the bench, I can manage to pick up things from the floor, but if I am not holding onto something - forget it. I just cannot get all the way down!

I woke up a few mornings ago with a rather sharp pain in my side, it felt almost like I had run into a corner of a table with my belly or something. After much poking and prodding I found the source - Dylan's big head! He is literally pushing it out the side of my belly - or his brother and sister are pushing it our for him! Their movements have definitely slowed down and aren't as big, even my little go-getter Ailah. Now when they move I see large lumps moving. A sign of them very much beginning to run out of room. I was on the recliner the other night (where I always am) and Ailah pushed her leg right under my skin - and I could actually see her leg. The complete outline of it. Amazing. I sat there and started to stroke it and she left it there. It was a truly beautiful moment knowing that the only thing separating us was a bit of skin, tissue and fluid.

The downside these last few days - the itching is back. With a vengeance. This morning I was up at 3am having a scalding hot shower to try and take the edge off. That was after taking my antihistamines. I'd say that means my levels have gone up again, off to a blood test tomorrow and will find out the results on Wednesday. Only 2 days at the hospital this week! I won't know myself - wahoo!


For anyone who has ever wondered about my brace that I talk about, here it is:


I can honestly attribute this to my fantastic pregnancy and being able to carry them to now. It's called a prenatal cradle. I had to wash it this morning, then wait for it to dry. Honestly, not having it on sucked!

My Braxton Hicks contractions usually happen at night and create some pretty funky belly shapes. Here are a few snaps form the last few weeks. Very entertaining!


Here's a little clip of Ailah trying to push her way out

video 

Lastly, I must mention Daniel. He woke up while I was awake at 3am and asked if I was ok, I asked if he could let me sleep in and not be disturbed in the morning. So this morning I woke up at 10am. As he was leaving to take both children to Jordan's soccer presentation day. The dishes had been done, washing hung on the line and he had started putting Amali's shelves up too. He didn't get back until 1pm with 2 very tired kids, who are still sleeping - I cannot wake them up!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Some Exciting/Scary News

Well. Where to start. I had my blood test on Monday, Diabetes clinic and scan yesterday and a Paediatrician and OB appointment with Ted today. Test results all fine, my bile acids have gone down again to 8, so they are very happy with them. I started insulin at night last week and that has really done the trick with my blood sugar levels, keeping them nice and low, so that also kept everyone happy. At the scan all babies were perfect (would I expect anything else from them?) and all are now over 2kg!!

Baby A - Isaac: 2.01kgs/4lbs4oz
Baby B - Dylan: 2.3kgs/5lbs2oz
Baby C - Ailah: 2.1kgs/4lbs10oz

Ailah has moved right down in between her brothers now, hence why I got so wide all of a sudden! Really starting to feel the weight of them on my cervix now, Isaac is pretty much engaged and there is no possible way for him to back out as his sister is trying to push him out so she can come out! I'm getting stronger Braxton Hicks contractions now and the relfux is really getting to me!! I wake up every night with it and sit up burping until it goes away. I also sleep with my brace on now, it makes such a difference, I feel more secure and it makes rolling over a little easier. The itchiness is still there and my poor legs and feet look terrible with lots of yucky sores on them :(

I got to chat to one of the Paediatricians this morning, asking her loads of questions (thanks for the suggestions HOMmies!), which really put my mind at ease. She believes that they shouldn't have any trouble as their weights are fantastic and gestation is good so far, hopefully a few more weeks will be great. Which leads me to my appointment with Ted.

Firstly Ted reminded me how many people will be in the room and he was really lovely, saying that he has spoken to them about respecting my privacy (as much as one can in a birth suite) and allowing me to do what I have to do to birth these babies. I reminded him that I find it really easy to just slip away and go into my 'zone', to which he replied 'that's great, but the number one thing is that this is YOUR birth and regardless that it is triplets, it still needs to feel special'. I thought that was just lovely. We talked about the mechanics of the birth, he will give me 30 minutes in between babies until they look at popping some synto in an IV for me, then monitoring the babies with a doppler, and that is hopefully all I'll need. But he did say that he doesn't believe I'll need that and that I'll be an 'efficient labourer' and they'll practically pop out.

Then the conversation took a turn that I wasn't expecting. All along Ted has said that he wants me to go into labour naturally and not induce me. Things have changed. He has given me an induction date for Thursday the 6th of September. To be honest, I was so excited that it took a while for it to sink in and be shocked. No, induction is not what I want. After the appointment I had to wait around for my steroid shot, and it was only then that I began thinking about what he'd said. As great as it is to 'have a date', I don't want to be medically induced as it is very well known that it then leads to all sorts of interventions.......including a c section. Obviously not what I want.

When I queried him about this, he responded with a few things. Number one is the Cholestasis. Yes, my levels are low and stable now, but that is something they don't know about it - when levels will spike and exactly what harm they do to the babies. In a singleton pregnancy they induce before 38 weeks as the chance of still birth is far higher after that. Hence why he doesn't want me to go too long......Second is that in multiples there is a higher risk of something going wrong the longer they leave them in. Now, that's not my opinion. I have heard many women go to full term and over with twins, and mums of triplets get to 36-37 weeks fine. Thirdly, and I think this is the major contributing factor - I think Ted may be under a lot of pressure from other staff members involved about the logistics of calling them all in. I DO understand it is easier for all those people if I am induced. But I don't want this birth 'taken away from me' because of unnecessary medical inducement.

So, after my steroid injection I caught him in the hall and put the hard word on him. I asked for another week past the 6th, which would be the 13th of September. He thought about it and then said we will re-discuss the option next week. At least he didn't say no. He still hasn't said no to anything I've asked him. I'm fairly confident he'll give me that extra week, in fact he seems pretty confident that I won't even make it to the induction day!

If he does say no, then I'll be trying everything to bring these babies on without medical induction. And if that doesn't work, I'll be heading to the hospital at 8am on either Thursday 6th or Thursday 13th of September!

Exciting that in a little over 2 weeks (hopefully 3) I'll be meeting these guys face to face. Amazing!

Friday, 17 August 2012

32 Weeks - 2nd Goal Reached!!

Wow! Feeling very empowered today. I don't know what the statistics are, but from talking to a lot of triplet mums from all over the world in the last 6 months, I'm beating the odds. The average gestation for a triplet pregnancy is 31-32 weeks, but more than often than not, women go before this. I have literally only spoken to maybe 10 women who have gone above about 34 weeks.....hopefully I'll be one of those.

As you'll remember from last post, Dr Ted told me that the paeditricians now want me to get to 33 before they'll take me at Nambour. But in the words of the midwives - they aren't going to turn me away if I'm 32+4 or something like that. However, Dr Ted is away next Friday to Sunday. That's ok, we'll just hold out a few more days! I honestly don't feel like anything will happen anytime soon - but one can never tell! I feel between 34 and 36 weeks will be my time. I read somewhere that a day in the uterus is equal to a week in a humidicrib, which is a HUGE difference. As of Friday next week every day over 33 weeks is GOLD.

I finally took some photos of the nursery, the only thing that is not finished is the doors on the cupboards. My lovely best friend's mum finished all my doona covers and blankets for me and even made 2 change table mat covers. All matching of course! She also made me all my nappies and even dyed them pink and teal and some were left white.

Thank you Kay, you are one special lady who has been a part of my life for a long time xxxxxx






















I've had another huge week (huge in the life of a lady pregnant with triplets!) with a blood test at the hospital first thing Monday morning, then 3 hours at the hospital on Tuesday at the diabetes clinic - they've put me on insulin at night to help keep my morning levels down - then an OB appointment on Wednesday - but I didn't get to see Ted as he was in surgery, just the registrar that I unhappily saw a few months back. Nothing new to report apart from my bile levels going back up again to 14. That explains why I have been so itchy again. Then I ran around chasing insulin and Vitamin K (for my liver), which I needed a script for but they didn't give it to me. By this time I was exhausted and the lovely ladies at the Live Life Chemist down the front of Coolum were so lovely and organised everything for me. I was almost in tears I was so tired and over it and just wanted to go home. I couldn't even pick the kids up from school and kindy, I had to ring some friends and ask them to do it for me. Then Thursday I had the capsules installed and today I took the dog to the vet. See - exhausting!!


And the worst part is that next week looks the same.
Monday: blood test at hospital
Tuesday: diabetes clinic and scan at the hospital
Wednesday: OB appointment
Friday: Meeting with the paeditricians to discuss what will happen after the birth and in the few days and weeks after that.

And that will pretty much be my schedule until they are born!

32 week belly shots.


 I did a comparison photo with the one I took at 30 weeks, but you can't really tell I've grown in it. Don't worry, I have, but it seems its more out to the sides this time. My belly is looking less round by the day with lots of bums, heads, arms and legs making strange shapes in there!


Lastly, my stretch marks. I know this is not everyone's piece of cake, but my body is doing a bloody amazing thing and I'm proud of it. I've never been a bikini wearer or worn short tops so I really don't care what my belly looks like! Daniel likes to call it 'the brain' but a friend says it looks like a tree, a 'tree of life', very similar to the veins and arteries in a placenta. So I played around with colours and tones and got this effect, which I think is pretty cool and looks like a tree.







Sunday, 12 August 2012

31 Weeks - Getting Close!

Wowsers! Things are really getting close now. It is amazing to think that it is possible that they may arrive as early as tomorrow (hopefully not!), or keeping in mind that I'd love to make it to 35-36 weeks. That is 4-5 weeks away! Insane. Truly it is. However, I have just 12 days left until I get to 33 weeks, the elusive date set by the pediatricians for me to give birth naturally at Nambour. It is so close I can almost touch it! I keep telling the babies that they need to stick in there a little longer, I'm hoping they listen to their mumma.

I've really been feeling super heavy at times this week. It almost feels like sometimes there is a baby's head about to pop out with all the pressure. I've blamed this on when I've been sitting on a chair too long or in the car. The only place I am completely comfortable is on my recliner, lying slightly back. Completely the wrong position to be sitting in to encourage anterior presentation, but you do what you can hey? Apart from the pressure, rolling over in bed and getting out of bed with a full bladder is really hard. The last few nights I've woken up needing to go to the loo but at the same time, having a Braxton Hicks contraction. Let me tell you, it is not ideal to be moving during one of these, nor walking to the loo, nor trying to actually wee! Very uncomfortable. Still trying to get rid of this cough. I think it will hang around until they are born and my body finally starts looking after itself again.

Seriously though, these are such little complaints, I am very blessed. The Gestational Diabetes is going pretty well, I have highs here and there, but when I do I feel completely fine and can usually pin point it to some particular food I've eaten. I have another appointment with the dietician on Tuesday so we'll see what she says. Unfortunately in the last 2 days my itchiness has come back ten fold. I have a sneaking suspicion that my levels have gone back up. The only thing I can pin point that I have done different is not drinking gallons of water in the last few days. My excuse - I lost my water bottle. Pathetic I know! I have another blood test tomorrow and will get the results on Wednesday when I see Ted again.

That brings me to another topic - appointments. I swear I am resting lots - except for all these appointments. I know they are important with it all looming so close, but it sucks! Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week at the hospital, last week it was Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (got my first 2 shots of steroids to mature the babies lungs), then this week I also have to get the capsules installed (exciting!) on Thursday, then next week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday again at hospital and having a scan........phew! Gets me out of breath just typing it all down.

Apart from the appointments and driving Jordan and Amali to school and kindy a few times a week, that's me. That's all I do. I come home and veg out on the recliner watching the Olympics. Hopefully Foxtel keeps their coverage going for the paralympics, otherwise I'm going to get super bored in the next few weeks! I cook dinner (sometimes), pack lunches, maybe put some washing on and then in the dryer, and sit in the kids rooms and tell them what to clean up. That's my life at the moment! Which is good - keep these bubbas cooking for a bit longer.

Ailah constantly feels like she is trying to kick her way out. I don't know if they'll be able to tell, but when I do go into labour I bet it is due to her breaking Isaac's waters from jumping up and down on him! I am so glad I have Isaac on my cervix, he's nice and quiet. Dylan would be the next best choice as he doesn't move around too much, but he is the biggest so I doubt my cervix would stand up to him as good as little Isaac. 

The other night I watched a home birth video of twins. It was really surreal watching the first baby come out into the world - he cried and cried and cried the whole time until his mumma started having contractions again to push out his little sister. It was like he completely knew that there was something bigger than him happening, and he was just lying there, quiet and observant, huge big eyes looking around, taking it all in. It was a beautiful thing to watch. I then was in the birthing mood so I put on my son Jordan's birth video, which was a very long labour and pushing phase. I watched his head come out and go in for so long I ended up fast forwarding! Then I watched my daughter, Amali's birth video. Such a quick labour and I probably only pushed 3-5 times and her head came straight out. They were big babies, 9lb4oz and 8lb8oz respectively, so this time is going to be a breeze. I went to bed feeling completely at ease and blissed out. And woke up the same the next morning, and this has continued. I don't think I was concerned at all about giving birth, but watching the videos made me realise how empowering it was to birth Jordan and how easy it was to birth Amali and how much I love giving birth. I'm excited!

In other news, my beautiful Nana turned 80 this week! Lots of great Aunts and distant cousins came from all over Australia to help her celebrate - most were a surprise to her which was lovely. The big celebration was Saturday night, here are a few pics.
 

Quite possibly the last family of 4 photo we will ever have!


Me, my Nana, my Mum and Amali. 4 generations of females xx
 

Jordan is at the age where photos are just 'so uncool' whereas Amali loves to smile prettily!


My lovely Nana, or 'GG' as the kids call her (GG = Great Gran) with her yummo clown cake.
Happy 80th Nana!!!!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Update!

Super quick update!

I had my scan yesterday, all bubbas are perfect and growing great for 30 weeks and 4 days.

Issac: measuring at 30w4d, 1656g/3lbs10oz
Dylan: measuring 31w4d, 2128g/4lbs11oz
Ailah: measuring 31w2d, 1795g/3lbs15oz

My cervix is still holding out fantastic, now measuring at 3cm in length, which is considered great for this gestation in triplets. Still a super cervix!

Then I had my hospital appointment this morning to check on my Bile levels ect. Amazingly, my levels have not just stabilised, they have gone DOWN to 7! I was wondering why I wasn't as itchy this week! Will still do bloods weekly to keep an eye on it, so hopefully they stay that low from now on.

I put the hard word on Dr Ted today - will he be 100% on call for me? And I got the answer I was waiting for - yes! He's given me 2 days and a weekend that I am NOT allowed to go into labour. This Friday, Friday in a fortnight and the weekend of the 25/26th August.

After meeting with all the staff that will need to be involved for the birth, he is happy and confident to say that everyone is looking forward to it, extra staff are on call and it won't take long for the troops to mobilise. The only negative thing that came from today was that the pediatricians have decided that they will not take the babies at Nambour until 33 weeks, not the original 32 weeks. Ted was apologetic but it is a decision that was taken out of his hands. Oh well, just have to keep them in a week longer now!

And I got my first needle in the butt - steroid shot today. It helps the babies lungs mature and is more of a proactive measure, so that IF I go into labour earlier than expected, they will have less troubles breathing on their own.

That's all from me :)

Monday, 6 August 2012

30 Weeks!

Apologies to you all! I have been very slack the last 2 weeks, but I do have a good excuse. I have been soooo sick. Those that know me know that I'm a 'go get em', constantly busy person who does not get sick. Well, it seems that my body is far to busy growing these 3 babies at the moment to concern itself with protecting itself! Honestly, 2 colds in 3 weeks really knocked me for 6. Both times I literally had to sit on the couch for 3 days and do nothing. Thank you to all that looked after me and my children. You know who you are!

A little bit of bad news last week too. Saturday night I was awake for what seemed like hours, scratching the crap put of my hands and feet. Finally at 3am I gave up sleep and googled it, knowing it wasn't normal. There were explanations for PUPPS, general pregnancy itching and Cholestasis. Every thing pointed to Cholestasis of Pregnancy. So I rang birth suite who wanted me to come in straight away, but then they rang back and explained that the blood tests they wanted to do could not be done until Monday morning after I had fasted 12 hours anyway. As long as the babies were moving, I could stay at home. The midwife kind of scared me a bit by saying they may want to send me to Brisbane to either deliver them or put me on hospital bed rest with monitoring......luckily that didn't happen. They monitored me and the babies on Monday, took the bloods (which take 48 hours to get a result) and were happy to send me on my way after a tour of the birth suite. 

So, what is Cholestasis of Pregnancy? Basically it is when the liver struggles to operate normally and get rid of the bile in your body. This means the bile comes to the pores in your skin and makes you itch. There is no rash, and in severe cases you can get quite jaundiced. The most itchy period is at night time, on hands and feet. And boy, let me tell you it itches!!! Sure, the rest of my body gets a bit itchy here and there, but nothing at all compared to the itch on my hands and feet. It feels like there are little worms crawling around under my skin. And it is honestly almost orgasmic to scratch! 

Typically your bile levels should be under 12, mine were 16. 40 is considered to be severe and 'lets get these babies out now', as this condition can lead to stillborn babies if left untreated/unmonitored and they generally induce singletons before 37/38 weeks. Obviously I am not going to get that far anyway, but I had another blood test today and we will compare the results with last weeks ones to see if it is stabilising or rising. There are some drugs that I can take but Ted believes that there is no conclusive proof that they actually work, and from what I have read, I believe this too. So all I take is antihistamines at night, which also help me sleep really deep (yay!), and am watching my diet and drinking as much water as I can possibly fit in (and wee out), to help flush my system.

I have another scan tomorrow and then an appointment with Ted to discuss the scan and the bile results. I'll know more then, but I'm just sticking positive for now. Only 11 days until 32 weeks and then I can have them at Nambour, and don't have to go to Brisbane  - wahoo!

It's been hard for me lately not being able to do things with my kids. Amali even got upset at me the other day and cried that she wanted to go to Grandi's. Made me feel a little sad. It is absolutely wonderful that mum is there for her and Jordan, but sometimes I watch them walking around the paddock picking up horse poo together and I think 'I should be doing that'. I know, very strange! But it is only for a while more, yes, then I'll have my hands full with 3 babies, but physically I can do things with them again. 

So we made cupcakes the other day and then I let them decorate them by themselves. I thought it would be a bit of a disaster, but they loved it and had so much fun.

 

Then of course we ate some, took some to school for the teachers and then our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Zuka ate the rest off the bench. Ooops. So we made a Rainbow Cake the next day to make up for it!

I have really been noticing lots of pressure in the last few days, especially if I have been driving or sitting in a chair. As soon as I get up or out of the car it seriously feels the the bottom is going to drop out of this belly! Whether or not it is just the weight, or that Isaac has engaged, I'm not sure, but I'll find out how far down his head is tomorrow. I've also been feeling little 'things' happening in my cervix - again, I'm not sure if it means it is shortening or that Isaac is tickling it! My belly has gotten much bigger, and lower, but not as in 'dropped', more so just the weight of the babies pulling it down. But that just means they are growing! 

Today I noticed my feet and ankles swell up and then not go back down, even after a sleep and putting my feet up. I swelled horribly with Jordan and Amali, but they were Summer babies so I wasn't sure what was going to happen this time round. Walking is also very hard. A little bit of walking (as in around the house) is fine, but I did the shopping the other day - in store - and that was VERY hard by the end. I won't be doing that again. I also keep having little mini cat naps during the day. Very unlike me. I'll be sitting in my recliner, watching the Olympics, and suddenly the urge to close my eyes comes over me and I cannot fight it. Then I wake up 20 minutes later as fresh as a daisy (or as fresh as a 30 week pregnant with triplets lady can be). I am giving in to it as it is obviously my body's way of coping.

 

And finally the belly pics! There has certainly been lots of growth in the last 2 weeks since my last pic, the stretch marks are creeping up higher on my belly, Daniel said it is beginning to look like a brain!


And I even remembered to lift up my boobs this week! You can imagine how low it is getting though, I couldn't let you see any more without letting you see too much if you know what I mean!

And this one, the comparison, really gives you an idea of the 2 weeks of growth. Wow. It even shocks me!

 

I'll update you soon on the scan and bloods results.