As I sit here today, I try to remember what life was like a year ago. I remember it was very different, very solid, I knew what tomorrow would bring. I knew I could do whatever I wanted. Though I miss it, I don’t envy it. I’ve got my world now and I would never change a thing.
My life changed the moment I met my husband Chad. I was young, 17 at the time, and wanted really nothing to do with children. When I found out he had a 3 year old son (Stephen), Chad was 23, I almost turned him away. But with love at first sight, I hung on. Low and behold, after 3 years of dating, we were married. Still, the thoughts of a child, let alone children, were far from my mind. Then, I realized I was missing what every other woman already had, a baby. I started to want that feeling that women talk about when they get pregnant. I wanted that feeling of having something grow inside of you. Most of all, I wanted that feeling of someone needing me to survive.
After almost 2 years of trying, we realized we weren’t getting anywhere. I remember thinking every time I was late, “I’m pregnant” only to be sadly disappointed when my period came. We had heard many good things about Dr. Schoolcraft’s office and we decided to give it a whirl. We met Dr. Minjarez and we began our journey. She helped us understand everything that is involved with infertility. It took Chad and I almost 6 months to finally agree to get started.
In March of 2006, we actually began our journey. With our first round of chlomid, on April 19th we had our first IUI (intrauterine insemination). On May 5th, we found out we were pregnant! I can’t tell you how excited we were. Finally, the most amazing news we had heard for quite some time. It wasn’t until my blood tests came back did we realize that there might be more than one. We knew going in that we had a 7-8% chance of having twins and less than 1% chance of having triplets. We had seen 3 big follicles, but were told that they may not all get fertilized. We knew something was up when they told me my hormone levels were really high though. My mom knew triplets! It wasn’t until our 6 week ultrasound that we found out it really was triplets! WOW! We were shocked, but kept our spirits up. We had heard many scary stories, but we knew going in that we wanted kids. So kids is what we got.
Like I said, I wouldn’t change a thing. So after we found out we were having triplets, we did probably what most expectant families do, PREPARE! I became very strict with my diet and took all the necessary vitamins. I was bound and determined to keep these kiddos safe and not have them be taken too early. I really had a great pregnancy. I never had the morning sickness. I was always happy, some would say I was glowing all the time. I giggled at everything and anything. I hated the way my body was changing, but the moment I felt them kick, I melted. I fell in love with the 3 little babies that I had never even seen. When we found out what the sexes were, it was like I already knew them. We had names picked out immediately and knew who was who. Baby A was Dane, Baby B Drake and Baby C was our daughter Ava. We were thrilled to have the perfect mixture.
After 34 weeks of my pregnancy bliss, I developed a lingering headache. I didn’t think anything of it. I took my normal Tylenol (as Tylenol was my new best friend along with Benadryl) and let it be. I went in for what would be my final doctors visit on Thursday November 30 and was told that the headache is usually a sign of preeclampsia (high blood pressure, only treatment is to give birth). What was that? I skimmed over it in books thinking I was not going to be the person who ended her pregnancy with it. I was told to pack my things and head back to the hospital that night. I was not going to be leaving without my babies, so I was told.
Wow, that hit me harder than expected. I was supposed to make it to at least 36 weeks, after all, the nurses told me I was the model triplet pregnancy. I realize now that it just strikes whoever, no way I could’ve stopped it. I did everything perfect.
So, on December 1, 2006 I was prepared to give birth to my triplets, via c-section. I couldn’t think of any other time where I was that nervous. I had been waiting for it for so long! Chad was a nervous wreck. He didn’t sleep a wink the night before, lucky me, they gave me a sleeping pill (why didn’t I get those before??).
At 12:37pm on December 1st, Dane Ethan was born, weighing 4 lbs 12 oz and was 18 ½ inches long. At 12:38pm both Drake Samuel and Ava Grace were born. Drake weighed 5 lbs 8 oz and was 18 inches long. Ava came out weighing 4 lbs 3 oz and was 16 ½ inches long. Amazing weights! Where did I have them? I was big, but not that big! Dane was put on a ventilator, but only for 12 hours. Both Drake and Ava had c-paps for not more than 32 hours. All 3 went to the Grad NICU the next day and had a room all to themselves. It was there that we all began to thrive.
I spent every day with them and I learned so much. Chad would visit after work. He didn't want to take off until the babies came home. I remember they were 3 of the most quiet babies in the NICU. They really only fussed when they didn't want to be messed with. But I wanted to hold them tight all day long. We learned a lot while in the NICU, though there are certain things you need to figure out on your own.
After all 3 had figured out how to suck and swallow and do what all babies are supposed to do (16 days to be exact), they got the okay to go home. Yes, all 3 at the same time. Thank God Chad had 3 weeks off!
So for those first 3 weeks home, our family started. It wasn’t the best days we’ve had, but it definitely was not the worst. Chad and I learned quickly that both of us getting up in the middle of the night was a terrible idea, someone needed to sleep. The babies came home on a four hour schedule and to our amazement, they stuck with it. There were times when they made it 3 ½ hours, but for the most part, we were blessed with a 4 hour schedule. We both started to get our sleep back. Chad and I never lost ourselves, we kept our team together. And with help from our STORM (Super Twins of the Rocky Mountains) mom, Amy Johnson, some meals were prepared for us so we didn’t have to cook.
So, one year later, we have 3 five month old babies. Each at least tripling their birth weights. They are all rolling from front to back. Drake seems to be the leader in everything though. My mom swears he was the first born. They each have their own little personalities as well. Dane is our quiet guy, who rarely cries. You have to pull a smile out of him, but when he does smile, it’ll make you melt. Drake is our Mr. Personality. Everything seems to be hysterical to him. He smiles constantly and doesn't seem to want to sit still. Ava, we thought she didn’t like anyone at first. Then all of a sudden she is the most outgoing of all 3. She smiles at everyone and giggles at anything.
The loves of our lives! Our family has been blessed and we look forward to each and every year that lies ahead.