Hi, so you know that I've triplets, and perhaps you have this urging temptation to ask...
1) Is it IVF? (no)
2) Do you have any family history of twins or triplets? (no)
3) Wow! Your husband is very “power” (hmm…no comments, but he prefers me to say yes)
4) You are very “power” (LOL, no)
5) It’s like striking the lottery! (hahaha ya, it's God's gift!)
So how did I get triplets?
And what is it like during a triplet pregnancy?
You will be in for a SURPRISE!
God heard our prayers and we finally succeeded in 2010. The nurse was so shocked when I called her, she shouted from the reception area to Dr Heng, who was in her room…and she requested us to see us on next day immediately. (Read my sharing on how I battled infertility)
On 6 Sep 2010, the scan showed our first ray of hope. And we “hooray” in the clinic. Dr Heng joked that there might be more than 1 as I responded so well to the Puregon jab (4 eggs were released from the ovaries). She hoped it would be twins instead of triplets as it’ll be really tough to carry triplets… the mom will require bed rest at the later part of her pregnancy and blar blar blar… We didn’t take it seriously then, and even thought that it might be fun to have twins. So to double confirm, we did a repeat scan in the following week.
ON 13 SEP...
We’ve strike the lottery! Dr Heng spotted 3 sac in the 2nd scan and her first reaction was “Oh No…” Roger’s face turned as white as sheet (LOL)…and I was soooooo scared.
Roger was concerned with finances. Dr Heng told him to prepare $100k per baby as they would be born pre-term and required NICU (up to 2 mths of private hospital’s ICU). Then she tossed a prudential agent card to us and suggested us to buy insurance.
Whereas for me, I asked her what is the chance to deliver them smoothly and am I able to do it? She assured me not to worry as she also had another case of triplets concurrently.
Later, after much research, we were shocked to “discover” that only roughly 55% of triplets make it as a complete set, the rest will either be reduced to 1-2 babies or none of them survive.
We were rejected by the insurance agent. “Sorry we don’t accept triplets, twins yes, but not triplets or more…”
On 27 Sep appointment, the scan showed that one of the sac was very small, it’s vanishing, so Dr Heng prepared us mentally that it might not survive and it may trigger the other 2 to stop growing too. I was soooooo sad and pray for the best.
Fortunately, the small baby make it, and while I thank God…
We found out that Mummy of triplets has a high chance of developing complication and life threatening symptoms during pregnancy. If the babies are born too early, they may not be healthy too. So Roger suggested “selective reduction” (killing 1 fetus) which is vastly practiced oversea to increase the chance of survival for the other 2 fetus. He was worried for my health, babies’ health and the costs.
Initially I was rational and practical, so I agreed. But after a few days, as the thoughts of “killing my own baby” became more and more realistic, I cried and scolded Roger for suggesting it in the first place. At that point, we didn’t know the gender yet or how “healthy” the babies were…what if we kill the wrong baby? And so we decided to let God guide us. If any baby is to go, He (God) will decide, not us. And so all 3 babies were given a fair chance to survive.
UNBEARABLE 1ST TRIMESTER. Yes, it nearly killed me. 3 fetus means 3 times higher level of HCG, which is the main cause of morning sickness. I could hardly get out of bed, and threw up after almost every meal. Roger had to rush home during lunch time. One night, after hitting my ultimate threshold, Roger rushed me to KKH A&E and I was immediately admitted for 3 days on drip as I was suffering from severe dehydration. Fortunately, I survive. It was at this point we decided to switch from private hospital to KKH, where there will be subsidy rate for NICU and more doctors around to attend to me during delivery (at least 3 pediatricians, and a team of O&G who expertise in multiples).
But still, we didn’t dare to announce the triplet pregnancy, and kept it very secretly within close friends and family members only. One can never be sure until the end of 1st trimester. We dare not name our babies or buy baby stuff.
WHAT?! selective reduction again??!!! When we switched to KKH, we chose to be followed up by an O&G Dr who specializes in fertility treatment. We were really looking forward to see her, alas after waiting for 1 month (as her schedule was very packed), we were shocked by her reaction and negative remarks during the 1st appointment. Instead of encouraging us, she kept repeating that triplet is a high risk pregnancy and asked why didn’t the private Dr warned us of the high risk before taking the Puregon jab…it sounded like we were 2 gullible adults cheated by the private gynecologist. Well… who could have thought that I responded so well to the first trial of jab when 1yr+ of oral medication didn’t work at all (zero egg…no egg at all)…everyone was shocked including Dr Heng.
And the worst part was, she suggested selective reduction. WHAT?! Just when both of us had quietly put this issue aside since 3 fetus were growing very well, this Dr suggest killing of 1 baby AGAIN? Then she said…”if you opt for selective reduction, it has to be done now (in that week or the following), if not will endanger the pregnancy…but KKH requires a panel of doctors and several weeks to approve, so the fastest is to switch to NUH (faster in approval). WHAT?! Upon telling us all these, she then referred us to another Dr who specialize in multiples, who is very busy and we can only see her in the following week. The end. We were out of her room in 5 min.
OMG…the feeling of rejection and being kicked around and thinking of killing my baby, made me so sick and dishearten for the entire week. Fortunately, the Dr who was referred to take up our case is such a motherly and encouraging Dr and she didn’t mention “selective reduction” or how unsuccessful the fertility treatment was or how dangerous/high risk it is to carry triplets. I dunno, it just clicked, our frequency clicked and I immediately knew that I’m in good hands. She respected our decision to keep all 3 babies and assured us KKH has the resources and facilities to help us, not to worry. She is like an angel to us – Dr June Tan.
2nd hospitalization during 2nd trimester. Thank God, my morning sickness subsided during the 2nd trimester and I happily hop around buying baby stuff. This is the photo taken before our shopping trip (week 22). I was so radiant…but after an afternoon of shopping and extensive walking and standing, and an unfortunate incident of losing my balance on the home platform, my cervical length dropped drastically from the normal above 3cm to less than 1.5cm (signs of pre-term, aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!). I was admitted for 3 days of strict bed rest. A tag “CRIB” was stick to my bed which means “complete rest in bed”. And I started to have occasion contraction from then onward.
Thereafter, I was very much grounded at home for plenty of bed rest and had to be on wheel chair for every hospital appointment.
Weekly thigh injection. Ok, those who know me will know that I’m very very afraid of injection. And at this age I’ll still cry during injection. Unfortunately, to stabilize the pregnancy, since week 23, I gotta have once a week to twice a week injection of Progesterone to my thigh. It is very painful but soon… I got used to it and sometimes the nurses are even more panicky than me (LOL). As you can see, these are the bruises and marks on my thighs.
All confinement nannies rejected us and 1 even quoted us S$4200. Ok, S$4200 for 1 month of help, which is double the standard of S$2000. After 2-3 weeks of disappointment and rejections, we finally gave up and decided to employ a maid instead. Fortunately Roger’s mom agreed to help us out. She will quit her job and move in with us. What a big big big sacrifice and we’re speechless at her unconditional love and care.
AND EVEN MAID REJECTED US!!! OMG, can you imagine this, even maids rejected us upon knowing that we have triplets…finally we receive a “yes sir, I’m willing to come” from an Indonesian maid in a Skype interview last week…keeping our fingers cross now…
3rd hospitalization during 3rd trimester. Under the care of “multiple specialist” Dr June Tan, she guided us safely through the 2nd trimester and I finally reached the safe zone 28 week, whereby babies has high chance of survival upon delivery (but under intensive care). Alas in week 30, I was woke up from sleep at 4.30am by consistent and painful contraction every 5-10 mins for 3 hours or so, and was admitted for anti-contraction drip on the following day. I was also given 2 shots of steroid to enhance babies’ lung development.
Fearing that the drip won’t work, they warded me in the delivery suite (yes, where mummy stays during labor), and we even heard nurses shouting “push push push” next door. Fortunately the drip works, contraction level drops, but I developed so much side effects (increase heart beats, blur vision, vomiting, dizziness), that they had to put me off drip even before 1 course was completed.
Grand escape from KKH! I was soon transferred to normal antenatal ward on day 2 and put on observation and anti-contraction oral medication. In the morning of day 3 (Friday), Dr June Tan was satisfied with my results and gladly announced that I can be discharged after a final tracking on contraction level and babies heart beats. She assured me that feeling occasional contraction is normal for multiples and as long as it’s non-consistent and bearable, I can safely rest at home. Thus the nurses completed all the discharge documentation, and the pharmacist popped by to pass me all the medication to be taken at home.
BUT THEN… the nurse was unable to track an accurate measurement as the babies kept moving and the charts were on and off, on and off. So they were requested to repeat the tracking at 5pm. And so we waited. Alas after dinner, there was still no evaluation and by 8pm, we were shocked that most of the doctors had gone home and the on-call doctor was so busy, she couldn’t even squeeze out some time to read our chart. The nurses advised us to stay overnight…but knowing that it’s Friday and Dr June Tan won’t come in during the weekend, we knew that if we don’t get out on Friday, we would be grounded in the ward over the weekend.
So Roger (the escape artist) urged me to get changed, while he quickly packed my belongings and wheel me out to the nurse reception within 5 min. Upon seeing our strong desire to be discharged, the nurses called the on-call doctor and finally by 10pm, she arrived.
BUT THEN (by 11pm)… she’s a junior doctor and upon seeking the advice from a senior doctor, and seeing signs of contraction on the chart (which is normal for multiple pregnancy), she rejected our request to discharge. And so, we tried to reason out with her by repeating what Dr June had said earlier on.
Finally, I trashed out the magic verse “ok, if anything happens, I will bear all responsibilities”. Surprisingly, it worked immediately. Like a magic spell in Harry Potter, we were out of the hospital in 5 min, after signingthe “I will be fully responsible” declaration form.
And we finally reached home on the dot at midnight.
Our scheduled C-section is on 11 Apr 2011 (mid week 35) and we are praying for the best. I’m in the midst of week 32 now and hopefully we can reach our goal.
Updates! Now I’m in week 33, confined to bed & home, couldn’t go for a professional studio photo shoot, so Roger took some photos of me at week 33, well…better than nothing. At least what you see is really 100% me at home, not edited studio shots with flash lights and background props etc.
Updates! I’m now in week 34, the KKH appointment yesterday (5 Apr 2011) was good! Babies are growing fast within a few days! Now all 3 are above 2kg and looks like my goal to deliver them next week (week 35) is achievable! It’s such a miracle! Praise the Lord! Roger took some photos of me yesterday prior to the KKH appointment:
WEEK 35: DELIVERY
We are so so so lucky that the pregnancy journey is coming to an end and along this winding road, with so many odds and possibilities that the pregnancy will end up in disaster, we keep to our faith that God will lead us and bless our babies with a smooth delivery. So on 11 April 2011, in week 35, 3 healthy babies are born by C-section: Asher 李宇恒 2kg, Brayden 李宇哲 2.2kg, Charlotte 李宇心 2.2kg! Praise the Lord for the miracles!
Brayden and Charlotte had slightly low blood sugar so they spent their first night in “special care unit” for close monitoring and feeding. Thereafter, they were fine and returned to the normal nursery. On day 5 of my admission, all 3 were fit and healthy to go home with me. What we thought is mission impossible (deliver beyond the national gestation period for triplets and 3 babies are able to go home with mom) and see it as a fairy tale which will only happen to others, occur right in our lives!!!
Here are the video and photos of this blessed delivery!