Grant and his proud parents!

Holding Grant for the First Time

Mommy holding Grant.
Tender moments…mommy holding Grant.

We got to do kangaroo care with Grant!

What is Kangaroo Care?

It’s holding your baby, skin to skin, on your bare chest with a blanket draped over your baby’s back to help keep him/her warm.

Benefits of Kangaroo Care for babies/parents?

Julie and Grant snuggling during kangaroo care.
Julie and Grant snuggling during kangaroo care.

For the babies, holding 1 to 4 hours is highly recommended.  Human touch is the foundation of infant development. It helps stabilize body temperature, stabilize heart/respiratory rates and oxygenation (decreases spells), enhances and facilitates breast feeding, enhances sleep/wake cycles, promotes longer deeper sleep, improves weight gain, enhances neurobrain development, enhances muscle growth, improves digestion, decreases pain and stress (less crying) and shortens hospital stay.

Grant and his proud parents!
Grant and his proud parents!

For the parents, beneficial for breast feeding – increases milk let down, milk production and prolongs duration of breastfeeding. It encourages relaxation and decreases stress, enhances parent’s confidence and competence in caring for the babies, enhances parent/infant attachment and increases parent’s readiness at time of discharge from the NICU.

For both baby & parents, this is a good opportunity to learn each other’s cues, scents, voices, cries etc.

How is Kangaroo Care performed?

Kangaroo care begins. The nurses place Grant onto Julie's chest.
Kangaroo care begins. The nurses place Grant onto Julie’s chest.

I can’t just go and pick up Grant or Hazel and pick them up, there is a lot involved. First the nurse has to determine if our babies can tolerate Kangaroo Care. I was able to FINALLY hold my son, Grant for the 1st time at just 6 days old (gestational age 25 weeks). Let me tell you, holding him for the first time was amazing, wonderful, exciting, emotional and a tiny bit scary.

Vital signs, cares and assessments have to be done before you can hold skin-to-skin. With all of the lines and tubing it takes two nurses to transfer our baby to my chest. Once Grant was placed on my chest they position him in a flexed and tucked position and the nurses secure lines and tubing into place. They had me support Grant’s bottom and head and placed his hands near his mouth. Once we were both settled I was finally able to sit back and relax and just really take it all in and enjoy this amazing and wonderful time. Feeling Grant’s tiny hands and tiny fingers against my chest wiggling around and his tiny legs and tiny toes moving was the best feeling in the world! I thought, finally I am holding my little boy, something I thought at one point in time in the last five years I might never, ever feel. I could have sat their all night with him in my arms, it was so incredible. After the hour was up, the two nurses unsecured the lines and tubing and transferred Grant back into his isolette and put all the lines and tubing back into place and snuggled him back into bed.

Daddy and Grant cuddling together.
Daddy and Grant cuddling together.

The next day, Ryan got to do Kangaroo Care with Grant too. I think he was a bit more nervous than I was, but they did great together. I was so excited and happy for Ryan to be able to hold his son. This time with Grant was cherished and we had many tender moments together. Every baby has their own pace in the NICU, and Hazel has so far has not been stable enough to do Kangaroo Care, but we are hopeful the day will come soon. As they also have their ups and downs, we have only been able to do the Kangaroo Care with Grant just one time each. We are really looking forward to when they can both be held, but everything in good time and when they are ready for it.

My First Few Days in the Hospital

Julie and Ryan on a hospital bed
Julie and Ryan cozy up on the hospital bed

Being an expectant mother of triplets makes me so joyful. I’ve been wanting children for so long, struggled with infertility for nearly five years, and my dreams are finally being realized. But it is still so hard. Being in the hospital puts our minds at ease, knowing that the babies are being monitored twice daily and there are people who can help in an instant if it is needed. We are getting education as to what to expect if they are born within the next week or two and each week that I’m here benefits the babies – the longer I am here, the better. So far the care I have been receiving is wonderful – the doctors and nurses have been great. Although these things are all good, there are times its hard emotionally. I am missing family, my dog, and my home terribly. Doing what is best for the babies is what matters the most, but it doesn’t change the fact of what I face every day.

There is a time in my life I didn’t think I would be able to celebrate mother’s day from the perspective of being a mom, and this is the first time I will be able to do that. Even though the babies haven’t been born yet, I feel like the care that I’ve been giving them and the love I have for them defines motherhood. Even though I haven’t had the full experience raising babies/kids, I’ve already received mother’s day cards and flowers, making it official.

I have already had a few visitors, which really helps the time go by. I won’t publish my location on this blog, but if you would like to visit me, feel free to email, text or call me or Ryan and we’ll let you know where to find me. Some times of the day are busy with baby monitoring, doctors and meeting with other staff so it’s always good to arrange a visit ahead of time.

Anderson Triplets - Parents at 21 weeks

21 Weeks

I just had the “Level 2” full anatomy ultrasound this last week. Going into it, I was a bit nervous. More than anything, I wanted to know that all three were still thriving and had strong heartbeats. Baby A has had us so worried with the lack of amniotic fluid and leaking that recurs occasionally. Still, we were excited for another chance to see the babies.

We weren’t sure what to expect, and if we would have to wait through each measurement before learning the gender of each baby. They quickly went through the positioning and identification of each, and then they went on to the gender determination.

21 week ultrasound of Anderson Triplets Baby C
Ultrasound of Baby C at 21 weeks (Face)

Baby C: This one has the “penthouse” and has been measuring larger than A & B. With the positioning, the nurse was fairly quickly able to identify. A boy! She marked down “….Blue: on the ultrasound and printed the image.

21 week ultrasound of Anderson Triplets Baby B
Ultrasound of Baby B at 21 weeks (Profile)

Baby B: In the middle, Baby B needed a little bit of nudging to move into positon, but again we were able to see. The nurse said, “and this one…” and continued to type on the ultrasound screen “…..PINK.” A girl!

No matter what our babies were going to be, all boys, all girls or a mix; we knew that we would be happy to grow our family. Still, we were hoping we would be able to experience raising both boy(s) and girl(s). We were so thrilled that our wish is coming true.

21 week ultrasound of Anderson Triplets Baby A
Ultrasound of Baby A at 21 weeks (pike position)

Baby A: Fluid creates dark areas in the ultrasound, which helps the nurses and doctors to see contrast against the babies. With the amniotic fluid drained to less than could be measured, there was little contrast. Making matters more difficult, Baby A was in the pike position (legs extended with head by the knees) and not in a good position to determine the gender. From this ultrasound we could not see anything.

We knew that at 17 weeks they were able to determine genders for all three, but had not told us, so we asked the nurse to check if anyone had made a note in our charts about this. When the nurse returned at the end of the ultrasound, she had a small piece of paper, which she unfolded to reveal the handwritten note: “Triplet A – probable girl.” A girl! Well, at least “probably.” We’re not sure what level of confidence there was at 17 weeks, so it is possible that is not 100% accurate. For the time being, that is the best information we have so we are going to say that we are expecting two girls and a boy!

The rest of the ultrasound was mostly routine. However, there is one piece of great news: when they looked at Baby C, they found his stomach is now ‘normal’ size! One less worry, and we are so thankful that he won’t face multiple corrective surgeries for the stomach. Our prayers have been answered!

The doctor came into the room to go over the results with us. She said she “is pleased.” Baby C measures in the 52nd percentile, Baby A in the 23rd percentile, and Baby B in the 15th percentile. She explained that triplets do not have a separate percentile scale from singletons, but a 52nd percentile triplet is actually pretty large. Regarding the smaller size of A and B, she said that they are less concerned about smaller babies, as long as their growth has been consistent and they are healthy. They look healthy and measurements are all basically in line with their past measurements and growth rates.

We asked about Baby B being smaller than Baby A, wondering if that was perhaps because she had the single umbilical artery (SUA). The doctor said blood flow looked good, but with B she was more concerned about the umbilical cord attachment at the placenta. The cord is attached to the periphery of the placenta, which has less blood distribution. This could be a concern, so it sounds like they will keep an eye on this as well. I guess we trade one concern for another at this point.

Anderson Triplets - Parents at 21 weeks
Parents (Julie and Ryan) at 21 week ultrasound

I expressed my concern about Baby A and the lack of amniotic fluid. The doctor told us how amniotic fluid is not needed for much, and the lung development happens at some unknown critical point between 16 and 22 weeks. Since there was still measurable fluid until about 19 weeks, the doctor is hopeful that the critical lung development occurred before then. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure until the “breathe” test when they are born. Once I am hospitalized, I will receive a steroid shot that will help all babies’ lungs develop. We remain concerned yet hopeful at this point.

Bed Rest Continues

Julie on bed rest - 20 weeks
Julie on bed rest – 20 weeks

Well, I went back to the clinic to follow up on my progress, see if Baby A had regained amniotic fluid and if there would be any chance of coming off bed rest. The good news is, all babies have good strong heartbeats and good umbilical blood flow. Unfortunately, Baby A still has so little amniotic fluid that they weren’t even able to measure it.

The doctor says the membrane must be ruptured, even though it is still there and largely in tact. I need to be very careful of signs of infection and avoid sick people. I am on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy, and at 24 weeks I will be hospitalized. At that time they will give me antibiotics by IV for a couple days and steroids to help Baby A’s lung development. In the meantime, I’ll need weekly doctor visits to continue monitoring the babies.

I was really disappointed at this news. I was just hoping so badly that I would see the fluid regenerated and things would look better for the babies.

Potted flowers

Back on Bed Rest

At 19 weeks, I went in to a routine doctor appointment to have my cervix checked. The good news is my cervix is still long (4.5cm) and closed, so they were pleased with that. The doctor decided to take a quick look at the babies on ultrasound because of being on bed rest the week before and losing some amniotic fluid. She thought it would be good to check the fluid around the babies. I was relieved to hear she wanted to take a quick peek because I also wanted to be sure they were all doing well.

This was a doctor that I had not been seen by before, so she started out with getting her bearings on where all the babies were located on the ultrasound. She was scanning around and trying to determine which baby was A, B and C. As she moved the transducer around, I saw one of the babies on the screen looked pretty scrunched up, like it didn’t have very much room to move around. I said something about it, which the doctor acknowledged. After looking around a bit more, she started to tell me what she was seeing. She asked if I could see how the two babies had a certain amount of dark area around them, which is fluid, but the one baby did not. It was pretty clear to see this, and she said that it meant that one of the babies did not have as much amniotic fluid, and in fact it was a very low amount. I asked her which baby it was, and she said it was Baby A.

The doctor explained the importance of the amniotic fluid, and how it is essential to have the right amount for lung development. I basically knew what she was getting at, and I didn’t even have to ask what would happen if the baby didn’t continue to get amniotic fluid for proper lung development. I knew that if the lungs do not develop properly, the baby may not be able to breathe and could be lost. She then told me that she was sorry to say that I would have to be put back on bed rest and to drink plenty of fluids. She wants me to come in a week later for another ultrasound to check the babies and their fluid levels. I asked about the bed rest and if it would be temporary or until the babies are born. She said there is a very high possibility this could be throughout the pregnancy.

At this point, my mind was racing. Being there alone, unsure of what would happen, feeling a bit in shock, I couldn’t think of any other questions to ask. I just felt really scared and concerned for our babies. I don’t want to lose any of them, and at this point we have a concern for all three babies. Baby A has low amniotic fluid, Baby B has SUA (single umbilical artery) and Baby C has an enlarged stomach. I did my best to keep it together and proceeded to the front desk for my follow-up appointment.

While I was at the front desk, the nurse returned with my paperwork and recognized my name. She realized that she had spoken to me previously when I had been leaking amniotic fluid and I called in asking what I should do. She put her arm around me, asking, “are you doing okay?” I was barely keeping it together as I shook my head no. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore and she asked if I wanted to step into a room and talk. I couldn’t form the words to say yes, so I just nodded and we made our way into a room.

The nurse handed me some Kleenex and asked what was going on. All I could see in my mind was the image of Baby A, the lack of fluid, and how tight and scrunched up they were in their sac. The only thing that gave me comfort in that image was seeing their tiny heart was still beating. I told her I was really scared and explained what I had just learned and how concerned I was for all babies. I am scared about them being born too early and having to struggle so much. There are all the additional concerns about not being able to work, do household chores, attend parenting and nursing classes, and the other events like showers that I could miss. The nurse tried to reassure me that being on bed rest, Baby A will hopefully regenerate enough amniotic fluid and that I would be coming back in a week to be rechecked.

Potted flowers
Flowers from Ryan’s mom

Back at home, we’ve already gotten such wonderful support. My mom stopped by that same night, brought us dinner, helped with some chores and kept us company. The next day my mother-in-law dropped by with some beautiful potted flowers and some treats. I know right now is very emotional and scary for us, but we have amazing people who are being so supportive, and we greatly appreciate how much more bearable that makes these tough times.

If you could keep us in your thoughts and prayers, we would greatly appreciate it.

Update to 17 Weeks

Hope napping
Hope – Julie’s bed rest buddy.

We have some good news that I am no longer on bed rest! After a week of watching Netflix and laying on my side, I will be able to return to work, but with restricted activity.

I went to the doctor for my scheduled appointment and to be re-evaluated after leaking amniotic fluid (see 17 Weeks). At the clinic, they knew that I was in the birth center triage on Monday and was on bed rest for the week, so they asked me to hop up on the bed for an exam. They asked if I had any additional leaking since Monday, which I had not, so that was good. The nurse did a quick ultrasound to check on the babies and the amount of amniotic fluid they had. We listened to each of their heartbeats, and all three had great heart rates (167-170bpm). Everything looked good from the nurse’s perspective.

The doctor came in later to confirm that all three babies were doing well, and that each had an even amount of amniotic fluid surrounding them. The doctor was pleased with my blood pressure and my weight gain so far. Aside from prior amniotic fluid leakage, this was a great update visit. I was happy when she told me that I could come off bed rest and return to work. She looked at me seriously and said, “Now, this doesn’t mean you leave here and go shopping for two hours!” She continued to lay out the restrictions. I should limit my activity – maybe do just one thing for a little bit standing and then go back to sitting or lying down. I can’t lift more than 20 pounds, and she recommended some kind of maternity brace to offload the weight to my shoulders. When I go to work, I should try to stay off my feet, and when I get home from work I should try to take it easy. She also said that if I see any leaking again, it will mean going right to bed rest, most likely for the rest of the pregnancy.

17 Weeks

We just had our 17 week ultrasound on Friday. As usual, we were looking forward to seeing our babies again and catching up on their latest progress. The nurse walked us through each baby one at a time, explaining what she was looking at. At this point we measured overall length, arm and femur bones, head, cerebellum, thorax/abdomen and heart rates. There were probably a few other measurements in there we missed – I think they measured their noses and some other parts. Here’s the checklist:

  • All three babies had four-chambered hearts beating at similar rates
  • No signs of cleft lip/palate
  • All extremities present and developing at appropriate rates relative to each baby
  • All babies within 20% of each other in overall gestational size and within the standard curve
  • No signs of common birth defects or Down Syndrome
  • Cervix is still long and closed
  • Good amount of amniotic fluid

We also learned they were able to determine gender for all three, but we are waiting until a later date to learn that information! Things seemed to be going very well, and we waited for the doctor to cover the information with us.

The doctor went through the information fairly quickly, reviewing some of what we already knew, but then pointed out some new information. At this point, there are a couple things that are concerning and we will keep a close eye on.

  1. Baby B has a Single Umbilical Artery (SUA). The cause for this is unknown, but it happens more frequently in multiples. SUA means that instead of two arteries and a vein in the umbilical cord, there is just one artery and a vein. This could lead to malnourishment and underdevelopment of the baby unless the artery is able to expand and supply the nutrients needed. About 75% of the time the artery expands and there are no discernable effects. If this case falls in the 25% category, they may need to deliver early. We are still not sure if they would just deliver Baby B or all three and how early.
  2. Baby C has an enlarged stomach. This could either mean the stomach is not emptying properly due to some sort of blockage or other condition, or it could simply be a stage of development. Because the stomach is still developing until week 25, we will keep an eye on this as well. If it does not resolve itself through development stages, it most likely will result in Baby C requiring corrective surgeries.

For now we can only hope and pray for the best and continue to watch their development. We went on with our day, extremely concerned for our babies. We know just enough to worry.

Over the weekend, we decided we should start registering, as people were starting to ask about that. We had been looking forward to this part quite a bit. On Sunday, we were registering at our third store and had just started the process. I felt a “leaking” sensation, and due to the scare we had at 12 weeks, needed to check it out immediately to be sure I wasn’t bleeding again. There was clear fluid, no blood this time, so I thought maybe it was just normal pregnancy stuff and we went back to registering. About an hour later, I started to feel the leaking sensation again, but it felt like it just kept flowing this time. Again, I went to check and the fluid was clear but there was a lot more of it, so I became more concerned. We cut our registering short and when we got to the car I called the on-call doctor at the clinic.

The doctor gave us the most likely scenario to the worst case. Most likely was that pressure on the bladder had caused some incontinence – fairly common in pregnancies with multiples. The worst case was that amniotic fluid was leaking. I had the choice to go in to the hospital, or wait until my next appointment. Going to the hospital presents a greater risk of infection, and the doctor said it would not change our course of action. I opted to go home and take it easy and wait it out.

On Monday morning, I noticed there was some more leaking, but not as much as Sunday. My gut was telling me that I should call the nurse line at the clinic again and see about moving my appointment up sooner. After describing what happened the day before and that morning to them, they advised me to come in and get checked out as soon as possible. I called Ryan, and he left work, picked me up and took me to triage.

The nurse there said they would first test for amniotic fluid and also test for urinary tract infection (UTI). The fluid test is similar to a pregnancy test, except it uses a swab instead of urine stream. There will be one line (control line) and a second line visible if the test is positive. The nurse examined the test strip and needed to consult with someone else. When she returned she said she could not be sure and it looked like it was negative but the doctor advised re-testing. The doctor came in to do an ultrasound too. He scanned around quickly as we closely watched. I wasn’t seeing any movement. I couldn’t see any heartbeats or the babies kicking around. Because the doctor wasn’t saying anything, I had to ask if there were heartbeats. “Oh yes, there are,” he said as he quickly showed us A, B and C’s heartbeats.

He was looking more at the fluid and membranes around each baby. From notes of previous ultrasounds, he knew the membranes were hard to see, but he was able to tell there was a normal amount of fluid around each baby and each had about the same amount of fluid. This was good news.

The second amniotic test was defective – the control strip did not even show up. So a third test was needed. Again the nurse left to check with someone else on the results. When she returned, she said this test was the same as the first, but according to the manufacturer’s instructions, even a very faint line should be considered a positive test result. The doctor explained that he suspected I had leaked some amniotic fluid. It could have been just a “high leak” as he called it. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but in that case, there is a chance that with rest it could re-seal itself and the membranes may not have ruptured. The pee test came back negative for UTI so there was nothing to worry about there.

So the good news is that there is still hope, although that is accompanied by a great deal of worry. The bad news is I will be on bed rest indefinitely. At my next regular appointment I will be re-examined and I hope to find out if I will need to remain on bed rest or can return to work. I knew that at some point of the pregnancy I would have to be on bed rest, I was just hoping it would not be this soon. I still have months to go, and there are so many things to do. There are parenting and nursing classes, showers and birthdays.

We ask for continued prayers and are appreciative of any help that people have to offer.

The Scare

On a Friday night in February we were out to dinner with Ryan’s family. We had a great time catching up with each other and the conversation quickly turned to talking about the triplets and flashing forward to the future and what it will be like to have 3 little ones in our lives in less than 9 months. Dinner was delicious and we even all indulged with having some dessert.

Everything seemed fine…

As I stood up to head to the ladies room before heading home, I immediately felt a flowing sensation. As I kept walking I continued to feel the flow, and as I made my way out of the dining room and down the hall I reached down and touched the front of my pants and they felt wet. I looked at my fingers and they had blood on them! My heart started to race and my breaths became short. As soon as I made it into the stall all I saw was blood everywhere – more  than I have ever seen before. I felt like I was on the verge of hyperventilating. Worry and questions consumed my mind – “What is happening, why am I bleeding?” “Am I losing the babies I so desperately longed for so long?” I quickly tried to tell Ryan’s mom before she left the ladies room. While I washed my hands she went to get my coat. I felt numb and in shock at the same time.

When I came out of the ladies room the look on Ryan’s face made me so sad, I could see the worry all over his face. The fun and happy mood of the night was gone – just like that. Ryan’s dad left immediately, he was going straight to our house to pick up our dog, Hope, and take her to their home for the night. Ryan’s mom was coming with us to the hospital and I was so relieved she was coming with us. I felt like we would need her and not want to be going through whatever it was alone. Ryan’s sister and brother-in-law asked us to keep them updated – but in our own time. I sensed that they wanted to be there for us too, and I honestly wanted them there with us too, so I suggested they could come along with us if they wanted to and they were pleased to join us.

Getting to the hospital wasn’t easy that night as this was less than 24 hours after a snow/ice storm. Not only were the side roads awful, the highways were too. They were more like snowy ice ruts and we had to take it slow and steady in a time when we really wanted to hurry. We were just a couple of exits away from the hospital and saw a car a little ways in front of us do a complete 180. Luckily they didn’t hit anyone and they were able to keep driving. In a way, I think the road conditions helped keep our minds off of our situation.

Once we arrived at the hospital they tried to admit me as fast as they could even though all the rooms were booked. They put an order in for an ultrasound right away, but we still had to wait for a little bit. While we waited I had Ryan call my mom. The thought of calling her myself brought me to tears and I didn’t know if I’d be able to speak the words. All I could do was pray.

After waiting for some time a nurse finally called my name, and Ryan and I proceeded to make our way back to a room in the ER. They had me put a gown on and lay down on the bed, then they wheeled me to the ultrasound room. Once we were in the room the ultrasound tech explained that she was going to take some pictures of the uterus and babies, but that she could not tell us what she was seeing. The pictures would then be sent to the radiologist and the radiologist would relay the information to the ER doctor and the doctor would then tell us the information. As I lay there, Ryan sat next to me and held my hand tightly all while the tech took several pictures. My mind and heart raced, I wondered what she was seeing on the screen. I wondered how long it would take before we would know what was wrong. All I could do was pray.

Julie in the ER
Julie in the ER, trying to keep a positive attitude

Finally, the tech spoke. She said, “I’m hopefully going to put your minds a little bit at ease.” With that, she turned the screen for us to see the babies…and there they were…all 3 of them…Baby A, Baby B and Baby C, they were all moving and kicking around. She proceeded to show us each of their little hearts beating – she hovered over Baby A so fast that I missed seeing their heart beating so I asked her to show me again, I needed to see their heart beating. Then she moved on to Baby B and then Baby C. Ryan and I were both crying and feeling a little bit of relief. Seeing each of them made me smile and I almost felt like the babies were like, “Hey what’s the big deal, what are you two so worried about? We’re just in here hanging out.” I didn’t understand, they looked fine, they seem fine…why was I bleeding? The tech continued to take more pictures and take each baby’s heart rate. Their heart rates were good too. We still needed some answers.

After the ultrasound they wheeled me back to my room and we waited for word on the other details from the ultrasound and other tests from my blood and urine. While we waited, we had Ryan’s mom, sister and brother-in-law join us in our room. A little while later the ER doctor came in. He had spoken to the radiologist and a doctor from my clinic. The doctor explained that the ultrasound showed my cervix was “short”. I had never heard that term so I asked the doctor to explain that. He explained that when the cervix is short, it starts to open and when that happens it tends to lead to miscarriage. So, I asked, “miscarriage of one…or two…” The doctor lowered his head and said, “most likely…all three.” After that, I don’t remember if the doctor said anything else or when he left the room. I just remember sitting in the bed and feeling my heart pounding in my chest. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the heads of both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s head go down. I knew immediately they were praying.

Ryan came to my side and I started to cry. We held hands and our heads rested on each other’s. While I continued to cry, I began to tell Ryan I was sorry, that it was my fault this was happening. You see, after work that day, I decided to shovel some snow. The snow was really heavy and wet and after about 5 minutes, I decided to call it quits. I thought I was beginning to overdo it. Ryan reassured me it wasn’t my fault and not to blame myself. A few minutes later the doctor came in and saw us. He must have known what I was thinking because he immediately started telling me the exact same thing that Ryan had told me: this was not my fault, I didn’t do anything wrong and not to blame myself. I tried to believe what they were telling me but I still felt responsible.

We waited for the other test results to come back before they could release me and let me go home. After waiting a while longer I was finally released to go home, the blood work and urine results came back fine. They gave me instructions to take it easy over the weekend, they explained that I wasn’t on bed rest, but that when this happens to women their instinct is to put themselves on bed rest (which is what I wanted to do).  They explained to me that if the bleeding got worse or I had terrible pain to return to the ER. I should say, pain was the one thing I didn’t really have. I felt a little achy and on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain ever…I was at a 1 or a 2.

We finally arrived home around 2:30 in the morning. It wasn’t easy but I tried to sleep. I spent the rest of the weekend resting and thankfully the bleeding subsided. We were so emotionally drained and physically exhausted from the excitement that we didn’t accomplish anything all weekend long.

I already had a routine appointment scheduled, so a few days later I went to the doctor. The babies were still doing great, they seemed like they had grown since we last saw them just a few short days ago. The ultrasound nurse told us we were probably right, that they grow fast at this stage. As she measured each baby we saw Baby A doing a headstand for us!!

Of course, on the top of our mind was the question of the “short” cervix and what we could do to prevent miscarriage. The nurse looked in the ultrasound and took some measurements. “No, your cervix is long, not short and it is closed.” This was a bit baffling to us. She continued to explain that the muscles can contract, so stress or other tension might cause it to shorten, perhaps, but in the ultrasound things were looking good so far. Their assumption was that the bleeding was caused by a subchorionic hematoma (bleeding in the outermost membranes around the babies). Our research would later indicate bleeding like this happens in the first trimester of 20% of all pregnancies.

At the following appointment I met with a doctor and I was still concerned about my cervix and the bleeding episode. I asked more about the bleeding, and the doctor admitted the ER diagnosis was a mistake and that my cervix was never short. The bleeding really was most likely a subchorionic hematoma or a blood vessel in me that had burst. The way things were looking in the ultrasound, it seemed that neither of these were cause for further concern.

Although these scary symptoms were not as bad as they seemed, there has not been a day since that we don’t worry about our babies. I’m told by other parents that we have nothing but a lifetime of worry ahead!