My perinatologist is a wonderful man. He was very open and honest about the risks associated with a pregnancy like mine and told us exactly what to expect and what his hopes were for me. He wanted me to try to make it to 34 weeks, that gave us an estimated due date of May 1, 2010.
I went in for weekly appointments to have the length of my cervix measured and the babies screened. We were told at about 16 weeks that A and B, our identicals, were boys. C was looking like a girl, but not 100% on that observation. We immediately began trying to come up with ABC names. As teachers, we both had several "No no" names. We also wanted to try ro avoid anything to trendy and stay away from family names (that way no feelings get hurt).
My husband had a very soft spot for his maternal grandfather, whose name was Eugene. I told Adam all I could picture in my head was that dorky guy in "Grease" named Eugene and hadn't we discussed no family names? He was pretty adamant, so we reached a compromise of sorts. We'd give one of the children the middle name of "Gene" in his honor and I'd get to pick ALL the rest of the names. Fair right?
And so, A became Adler Gene, B became Boe Holland, and C became Charlotte Jayne. One week later Charlotte Jayne became Cameron McKale when we learned that C was really a boy. We looked forward to our weekly visits with the boys and began the task pf planning how things would look at home. The boys would be sharing a room with their big sister, Libby, so how were we to convert her darling pink and brown room into a unisex nursery? Should we get a quad or triple stroller? What kind of carseats to buy? Not too many matchy-matchy identical clothes - first of all, I'm not that cutesy, and secondly, when you have 3 bodies to clothe, is it practical to have 3 of everything or lots of singles so you can interchange? Sorry if I'm a buzzkill, but that's how my mind rolls.
In any case, I enjoyed consuming 3,500 or so calories a day and getting bigger by the day. This might sound like a dream come true to some people, but trust me, it is not as glamourous as it sounds. The days, weeks and months flew by. It did not seem possible that I was SO pregnant with 3 boys!
At our weekly appointments, we had learned that Boe was the smallest. Our doctor explained that every litter has a "runt" and that even though he was small, he was still developing within normal range, just at his own pace. Adler and Boe were the trickiest kind of twins to have. They were monchorionic, which means they shared a placenta. Our doctor was ever watchful to be sure they did not develop Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. This occurs when one twin receives too much from the placenta and the other too little. For obvious reasons, this can be very harmful, even fatal, to both babies.
My pregnancy progessed well. I was never ordered to bedrest, something about which I am very proud, but I did slow down significantly. When I was 29 weeks along, Boe was still small, but again still within normal ranges. Since I was getting to a point where if the boys needed to be delivered, they could most likely survive, my doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital for a round of steroids and observation. He was heading out of town for the Easter holiday and said he would just feel better if I was close to a perinatologist 24/7.
Off I went for a week at the luxurious Long Beach Memorial Hospital resort. I got the steroids which were to help with the boys' lung development and daily ultrasounds to see if the steroids were helping, they were. During that week, I missed my daughter's first Easter, ate my weight in Easter candy, watched every episode of TLC's "A Baby Story" and "Bringing Home Baby" that ever aired, discovered the glory of Ambien (I highly recommend), and sat in bed through a 7.0 earthquake in Baja, CA contemplating whether or not I should get out of bed and stand in a door frame or not. I was released from the hospital on April 9, 2010 at 30 weeks pregnant.
At this point, my doctor gently encouraged me to stop driving myself around. This was quite inconvenient seeing as how I would now be going to the hospital twice a week for Biophysical Profiles. These are ultrasounds that check to see how the babies heartrates are doing, are they moving, practicing their breathing?, etc. They could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, it all depended on how the little guys were behaving that day. My mother became my chauffeur to and from these appointments since Adam was at work and had already taken a fair amount of time off for other appointments,etc.
Each appointment confirmed that all 3 boys were doing what they were supposed to be doing, and I was sent on my merry way to "take it easy" until the next visit. My last profile was on April 19, 2010. The boys were breathing, moving, and Boe had even had the hiccups while we were watching. I was looking forward to a baby shower at work the next day and then just riding things out until May 1st. I was in the home stretch!