Today’s Whole Terrible Story

Thanks to my wonderful husband, I now have my laptop and some other humanizing essentials in my hospital room. So, here is the full story of this downright horrible day.

In the middle of the night last night, and then even more so when I first got up this morning, I was having some discharge that set off alarm bells. Sorry if that’s graphic, but there’s really no nicer way to put it. I called the MFM office as soon as they opened, and they recommended we head up to the emergency room. Brendon already had the day off, fortunately, intending to use it to recuperate from his weekend. I dragged him out of bed and we drove the hour to Providence.

The emergency room was great. They admitted me immediately, and I had something like 4 nurses, 2 OBs and 1 MFM attend to me in the couple hours we spent there. We had an ultrasound, which showed that all three babies had strong heartbeats and were moving around (and confirmed for sure that Baby B is a girl); however, they could not see much fluid around Baby A. Which had been my biggest concern when I originally saw the discharge. B and C’s sacs both looked fine. They did a pelvic exam and determined that yes, I was leaking amniotic fluid, and therefore Baby A’s membrane had ruptured. That’s a major, potentially devastating complication.

So as I said in the quick post, I have been admitted to the hospital and I will be here at least a few days. (The hospital room is also quite nice, big and private and I have cable and internet and a window… All the nurses have been good, and the food is tolerable.) They have taken my blood pressure and temperature about six different times today. They are keeping me here to monitor me for signs of labor, and of uterine infection. I’ll be getting some preventative antibiotics, too. Without the protection of that membrane, my uterus is not shielded from naturally occurring bacteria and nasty stuff that can now get in there and cause a lot of problems. If I do develop an infection, then I’ll have no option but to be induced and deliver all three, and at this point they are too young to survive. If that were to happen, as long as the infection is treated quickly, there should not be any lasting effects that would rule out a future pregnancy. The doctors gave an alternate option of requesting induction and choosing to deliver now, which would reduce the risk for me but of course it would be disastrous for all three babies.

If I go into preterm labor on my own, there is a possibility of delivering Baby A only and then medically interrupting the labor and keeping B and C inside longer. This doesn’t happen a lot, but it isn’t unheard of; still, it’s definitely not a sure enough thing for them to induce me in order to accomplish this outcome. Right now I’ve got no indication of labor being imminent. I haven’t had any contractions or significant pain. During the pelvic exam they had also gotten a look at my cervix, which the MFM described as not completely closed, but not really dilating like it would in labor.

If the next few days go well, I may get to go home for a few weeks. I’ll be on bed rest, and I’ll have to watch my temperature and so forth religiously, because again infection is the big concern. If we make it to 24 weeks without any more drama, I get admitted to the hospital again, where I get steroid injections and then stay until the birth. If they are born at or near 24 weeks, that’s still pretty scary and daunting, because lasting developmental issues are a real concern at that gestational age. So the best case scenario is that I would be in the hospital for a good long while at that point.

If they do get to 24 weeks without issue, Babies B and C have a decent prognosis – as good as any other 24 week preemies, and improving with any time beyond that. The MFM doctor came up a couple hours after I had been admitted to my room; she told me she had been reading some case studies in the interim between having seen me downstairs, where the surviving babies wound up going to or near full term before delivery. Of course, that’s the exception and not the rule, but it has happened in other cases. As for Baby A… Without the fluid, his lungs won’t be able to develop sufficiently for survival outside the womb. Depending on the rupture, it’s possible that the hole could heal and his amniotic fluid could build back up. However, the doctor told me, quite frankly, that she doesn’t have a lot of optimism for him. With the most likely cause of the rupture being sheer stress on the uterus from the demands of triplets, it doesn’t seem like the type of trauma that will be able to successfully heal on its own.

We’ve had such a tremendous outpouring of support today, and let me say that everyone’s thoughts and well wishes really means a lot to us both. For me probably the hardest part of dealing with this day was the sheer suddenness of everything. Yesterday we passed 18 weeks, which is halfway to full term. And physically, everything had gone so unbelievably easily up until last night. It is just hard to comprehend.

If any of you have questions about anything, please feel free to ask. We may not have answers, but if not we will ask the doctors. And that could be helpful for us, too – it’s a little difficult to even think clearly enough to come up with good questions.

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6 Responses to Today’s Whole Terrible Story

  1. Linda says:

    We are all so sad to hear that the prognosis is not so good. From this, though, it does sound like Baby A is okay for right now (since they got strong heartbeat and you are getting extra hydration to help keep filling the leaking sac). So we are all still praying for three happy, healthy babies; and we are praying for the sac to heal. Time will tell, and I do believe in miracles (having seen them).

    Did any of the specialists discuss possible surgical interventions of any kind? Here’s one article on the subject:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010124075156.htm

    I hope you get some rest/real good sleep, and excellent care. And thankfully you at least have the internet to keep you connected to the world while you’re stuck at the hospital!

    Take good care of you, try not to worry about the “what ifs” and what is still unknown, and just keep pouring love out on those babies!

  2. Meghan Massie says:

    Sometimes we do not realize how strong we are until we have no other option but to be strong. Stay strong for your three babies Cara. There are a lot of people pulling for your family.

  3. Meghan Massie says:

    “when you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, Never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”. -Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Here’s praying for changing tides!

  4. Zoe says:

    I agree with Meghan, you never know how strong you can be. And you are. I know what it is like to almost loose a child and it is a horrible feeling. I am praying that the outcome for all three of your babies was as good as my own story. You have so many friends and loved ones standing behind you and with all that love and hope, great things can happen. Thanks for keeping us updated, I know that Tim and I wanted to know.

  5. Jaqui says:

    Thank you for sharing the big picture. I hope you have some good books and are surfing mindlessly from time to time as one must allow for distraction to comfort – we can’t maintain crisis mode indefinitely. You are the calm in this storm within you. Love the warm person that is YOU through all of this too. No matter what happens, your future will be full of warmth and love.

  6. meg watwood says:

    found your blog on multiples and more and have loved reading it. i am so, so sorry to hear this is happening!! i will be praying for God to do more than you could ask or imagine and perform a miracle like only He can. be good to yourself. keep us updated!

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