This phrase has been hard for me to say, as I dislike praising myself. However, looking back at what I went through and where I am now, “I am a strong mom!”
My journey began struggling with fertility. I wasn’t the person who always dreamed of having children. My attitude about having kids was, if it happens, great, if it doesn’t happen, great! It wasn’t until I met my husband that I even considered wanting to have a baby. When we are on the path God intends for us to be on, things feel right and fall into place. Well, we couldn’t get pregnant.
I’ve suffered from a long history of Endometriosis and I’m not going to elaborate on it, just know it is one of the leading causes of infertility. After multiple surgeries and hormone treatments, we still couldn’t get pregnant. I was convinced we just weren’t meant to have children. I wasn’t excited about going down the path of fertility. My experience with anything hormone related has always been negative, but having a baby was incredibly important to Jay. He didn’t have to voice his concerns; I knew how he felt and how he longed for a child.
The first IUI, intrauterine insemination, wasn’t successful. We had to wait another month before starting the second round of hormones and we decided if the second IUI wasn’t successful, it wasn’t in Gods plan for us. Well, after numerous self administered shots and two IUI’s we were pregnant… with Triplets. Shocked doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. I wanted one baby, period, not three at one time.
I wasn’t happy at all. I loved the babies, and “selectively reduction” isn’t in my vocabulary, but I found it incredibly difficult to want to embrace my pregnancy. I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t in a good place mentally. I was pregnant, this was supposed one of the best times of my life, but it wasn’t.
I immediately began asking God, WHY, losing sight of knowing he knows what’s best for us. Everyone tried telling me “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle;” I wanted to smack them every time. Seriously, triplets… At the time I couldn’t imagine how I was going to handle triplets. I always imagined if I ever did have a baby, I would be cute and pregnant and loving my bump, loving being pregnant. This wasn’t the case; I hated it and I took very few pictures of my bump. I regret this more than anything now. I don’t have many pictures to look back on the amazing power of God and my body.
My pregnancy was a horrible experience for me. It wasn’t just difficult, my pregnancy was painful and stressful. Aside from being upset about triplets, I couldn’t embrace the beauty of pregnancy because of the pain. At 10 weeks in gestation, I was diagnosed with SPD, Symphysis Pelvic Dysfunction, where my pelvic bones were moving apart. I began experiencing pre-term labor contractions at 20 weeks, my first overnight stay in the hospital and by 26 weeks I was bound to a wheelchair and couldn’t walk without assistance.
I was in and out of the hospital several times. Most of the time I was admitted and released as soon as I was stable after receiving a terbutaline shot. These shots were used to calm the uterine irritability, causing me to have contractions. I hated terbutaline shots. They’re very painful and eventually made me sick every time I received one. The second time I had to stay over-night in the hospital was the first week of December. I was barely 24 weeks and received steroid shots in case the contractions couldn’t be controlled. Finally, three weeks later, at 28 weeks, I was admitted as a resident of hotel Tulane, until my triplets were born. Pregnancy with triplets has been the hardest thing I have ever done, mentally and physically.
January 29th my life was turned upside down. Not because I had three newborn babies (I was expecting three babies), but we were informed, baby A could possibly have Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome. We didn’t know about Coldon’s diagnosis until he was born, all the anatomy scans and prenatal tests were normal. I knew very little about taking care of a baby, much less a baby with special needs. Surprisingly, I wasn’t worried about Coldon’s diagnosis, because finally, I was able to turn one of my worries over to God and I’ve had a calming peace about his diagnosis from day one because of this.
Our time in the NICU was long and terrifying. The babies were born in the middle of the worst Flu season our country has seen in years and when they were one week old, another baby in the NICU contracted Chicken Pox; I was a paranoid mess. The NICU went into an infectious disease lockdown. We had to wear gowns and masks just to see our babies and we couldn’t touch them with our hands without wearing gloves. I had finally accepted the fact I was a mother to these three precious gifts and now I couldn’t touch them with my bare skin. Thankfully, no other babies showed signs of the Chicken Pox, but after living in an infectious disease nightmare, I continually suffer with a debilitating fear of germs and have been diagnosed with PPA, Postpartum Anxiety.
Greyson and Ella were in the NICU for three weeks and Coldon, 49 days. When Ella and Greyson came home, leaving Coldon by himself at the hospital for another month, tore me apart. Being sleep deprived from two newborns at home and traveling an hour one way to the hospital was incredibly hard, but the hardest part was the fact I couldn’t see Coldon everyday. It wasn’t natural to not see him everyday; I felt like I was abandoning him. After what felt like a lifetime, Coldon got to come home and our family was finally complete!
Coldon, Ella and Greyson are now a year old. We survived the newborn stage; I’m not sure how, but we did. We survived a G-tube and numerous feeding difficulties. Thankfully our efforts have paid off, as Coldon had his G-tube removed just before Christmas.
Being a triplet mom gets easier and more enjoyable for me everyday. There are different challenges with every new stage, but now I’m truly enjoying every moment with them! I’m still suffering with PPA and I take medication everyday, but as I sit with them while they’re eating or playing and they’re looking at me with all the love in the world, I couldn’t imagine my life being any different! All the challenges of having three babies at one time, the challenges of Down Syndrome, my unsettled state of mind while pregnant… I would do it again everyday! God truly knows what’s best for us! He has a plan for us and unfortunately, it has taken me a little time, but I’m incredibly thankful for Gods love and faithfulness in me and now I am comfortable saying, “I AM A STRONG MOM!”