Many of you know already, but today brought awful news. At the moment we are waiting for the medication to take effect and labor to begin. The following is how everything has unfolded thus far on the worst day of our lives.
This morning, things took a bleak turn. Baby A’s umbilical cord had prolapsed, meaning it was protruding through the cervix. It is a pretty rare pregnancy complication in general, but more common in cases of preterm/premature rupture of membranes. This was extremely grim news for Baby A, because it meant it was very likely that the cord would be compressed and he would lose oxygen and blood supply. It also meant that there was a high probability that labor would progress on its own and I would soon deliver at least Baby A, and we were told we should be prepared for him to be stillborn. We were moved from the room where I’d spent the past several days down to the Labor and Delivery floor.
The possibilities we were presented at that point were all pretty tough to take. We could either wait for or induce labor, and we could decide whether or not to attempt an interval delivery and try to hang onto B and C until they were viable. Nothing about the interval delivery could be guaranteed: whether labor could be stopped in time after A’s delivery; whether the other two could avoid infection afterward; how long they might continue to gestate; their long term health outcome. Meanwhile the chances of developing an infection climbed the longer A stayed inside, with the cord providing direct access for any bacteria into the uterus. And infection necessarily means the loss of all three babies. The decision wasn’t exactly straightforward. We were left alone with that burden for a while and we were having trouble figuring out which was the right thing to do – which, for the time, meant we were waiting for labor.
A couple of hours passed in which I felt physically okay, with normal vitals and no contractions. The MFM attending and one of the residents came back to see what we wanted to do, and we said we were holding off on the decision for now. Which was fine with them. Then the attending began to palpate my abdomen, and there was discomfort at the top of the uterus.
At that point, they determined that I had in fact developed chorioamnionitis, the uterine infection we’ve been watching for. The doctor’s recommendation was more or less immediate delivery, for the sake of my health and the safety of my reproductive organs for future children. The triplets are too young to survive beyond birth, but they have no chance of survival in an infected uterus either.
We took a few more hours. Brendon took a trip home to arrange for our neighbor to care for the dog, and to get a few things. The nurses let me take a shower and get some food before I got restricted to clear liquids only. I have been given antibiotics, and a first round of Misoprostol to start labor, about an hour ago. The nurse said that it does typically take more than one round, in which case I’ll have another dose around 10pm.