The first thing I said when we learned we were carrying not one, but three babies, was that I didn't want a c-section. It wasn't that I had anything against c-sections...they are an amazing thing that when needed saves lives. However, I knew I would be essentially forced into one and that didn't sit well. I had dreamed up this amazing birth like the two I had before. My support system around me as we gently welcomed our new baby into the world. Tears, happiness, togetherness.
Suddenly, that came crashing down. I would have to leave my midwife, whom I trusted and loved, and switch to an Ob who wouldn't give me the time I was used to. Who didn't know me or my body and how it delivered babies.
When I first began looking for a new provider, I was right in my assumptions. I was told I WOULD have a -csection and I WOULD have it at 34 weeks. Even when I asked to be able to let my body go into labor naturally, I was told that wasn't an option, that it would be scheduled...but I probably wouldn't make it that far anyway. I was facing a hard pregnancy with limitations and most likely bed rest and hospital stays.
We were told the chances of us bringing even one baby home were slim, and it was suggested we reduced our pregnancy.
I was terrified. But I wasn't settling. Then I spoke with a local mom, and she suggested her MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor, or high risk doctor) as he had been willing to discuss a vaginal delivery for her. It was worth a shot. So we made an appointment.
Then, I had a maybe. A MAYBE! It was as close to a yes as I was going to get. We had found our new doctor. I told him, I would make it to September to 37 weeks. He smiled, and said we will see. He was definitely a high risk doctor, but he wasn't pushy about anything. He was always very respectful of my questions, concerns, and wants. He explained everything to us when we needed it, and was realistic about risks and outcomes. He wanted three babies head down and all easily monitored during labor. The stars needed to align for a vaginal birth.
But every appointment, when delivery was discussed I never let it come off the table. I did my own research, networking, and learned a lot about my own risks and outcomes. I kept realistic that a c-section might be needed. And if it was NEEDED, I had no problem having one. But, I knew my body could do it, and I wanted the option to try.
At 34 weeks, after an uncomplicated pregnancy and minimal false alarms, we had baby a head down, baby b breech, and baby c transverse. Baby A was showing some signs of growth restriction, slowed growth and low fluid and we were almost sent to deliver that day. After discussing with our doctor, it was agreed to let me go another week.
It was also agreed that we could schedule an induction. Despite the positions of babies, they were willing to let me try! There were 3 doctors who did deliveries in the group, and they felt if anyone was a good candidate it was me. They made it very clear that a c-section would be the safest way and their preferred method of delivery, but I knew the risks, and if I wanted to give a go they would help.
So on September 2nd, at 35 weeks, we made our way to the hospital. I arrived at 3-4cm, and once I was hooked up to the IV they started pitocin at 2 and broke my water. It was around 7am, and the induction was underway. Also, our Baby B had flipped head down! We had two babies head down and one still sitting transverse. I have to say, I never thought I would consent to an induction. However, I knew in order for my delivery to be a success, both myself and my doctors had to be happy. I needed their support, and I needed them comfortable as they could be. This would be best acheived in a controlled environment, and we both had to make compromises. My compromises included the induction, and epidural, and scalp monitoring for Baby A while B and C were externally monitored.
One last belly pic! On our way to the hospital!
I've never had an epidural before, so I requested it be placed as soon as possible because I wasn't sure how well I would sit still during contractions when I was already terrified of it being placed. (Okay, I will be real here...this whole process was terrifying at this point.) I had requested no medicine be put through until I requested it, but they must've misunderstood as I got a low dose to begin. It wasn't as awful as I had imagined, but I will say that having had both and knowing the recovery from both a natural birth and an epidural I would never get another.
Around 10, I decided that after my check I would try to move around (I could still feel my legs they just felt heavy from the epidural. I didn't have enough to make me fully numb) and get things progressing, then maybe try to take a nap as nerves had me up all night. When my doctor came in to check me, we expected to be around 6-7cm. Then we got quite the surprise. I was complete at 10cm and Addisyns head was right there at +3! It was time to head to the OR! (We were delivering in the OR in case an emergency should arise.)
Talk about a flood of emotions! I started crying, I was anxious, overwhelmed, and I wasn't ready. As the nurses rushed around, getting ready, getting my husband ready, I didn't know what to do. I wasn't afraid of the delivery, I was afraid of what went wrong. I thought I had more time. Then they were ready. That is when I think the adrenaline took over. Any fear I had was gone.
I was determined!!
Hubby getting ready for the OR
We had time for a picture before being wheeled off!
Waiting on the NICU
Finding heartbeats to monitor babies while we delivered
I knew I could do this, and I knew my body going to rock it. It already had! Once the NICU was ready for us, it was time to push. Baby A, Addisyn, came out in two pushes at 10:51am. My pushing was slightly directed but when I needed a breathe I took my breathe and kept going. Addisyn came out screaming and crying, and was whisked off to be evaluated in an attached room. After a few pushes to get Baby B in the birth canal, and dilating back from 7 to 10cm (After Addisyn I closed up to a 7), two more pushes and Bentley arrived at 10:58. Two down one to go, and I was feeling great! Baby C, who had been sitting transverse, flipped head down. However, he decided to put his arms up over his head. After my doctor went up and tried to push him arms down, they were unable to manipulate him and they went looking for other options. So they grabbed a foot, and pushed him footling breech (I think this part was more painful than anything else, the outside manipulation was a bit uncomfortable. They kept asking how I was doing, and I maintained I was great! I was ready to rock and roll and meet my babies!). It took a few minutes for them to find the other foot, and break his water. His heart rate began to decline, and we knew were running out of time. My doctor switched the our other doctor once he was halfway out because his hands were still above her head and they needed them down. She started twisting and turning him to try and get his arms down, and his heart rate continued to decelerate, indicating he either wasn't tolerating labor anymore, or placentas were beginning to detach. Finally at 11:10 Connor arrived, but he didn't scream or cry. He didn't appear to be breathing and was actually pretty blue.
I kept asking the doctor who had been checking their positioning if he was alright. It was the first time I had doubted if I had made the right decision. She finally went to check and see how he was doing, and then they brought us Addisyn. The other doctors delivered the placentas, and checked to see if I had tore. Amazingly, through delivering three babies and doctors needing to manipulate Connor to deliver him, I hadn't! Woohoo! While they did that, I was able to have some skin to skin time with Addisyn. She immediately started rooting around, even to my amazement. She turned and wanted to go to breast, so I let her! She didn't nurse a whole lot, she just wanted to be there, and that was alright with me! Next they brought us Bentley, and the doctor returned to give us the news that Connor was just fine. Addisyn received an 9/9 on her Apgar, and Bentley a 9/9 as well. Connor initial received a 3/9, then a 6/9 and finally a 8/9. He needed to be resuscitated and was on oxygen for 5 minutes, but recovered beautifully.
Meeting Miss Addisyn for the first time
Once I was good to go, they rolled us back into my room. All three babies bypassed the NICU immediately, and were able to room in with us. I was able to breastfeed them all, and they were eager latchers!
Addisyn Grace, 4 pounds 12 ounces
Bentley Jayce, 5 pounds 6 ounces
Connor Quinn, 5 pounds 5 ounces
Even though I had my moment of doubt, thinking I had possibly caused something bad to happen to one of our babies, we had an amazing birth experience. Was it everything I wanted? No, it was totally different than what I had pictured in my mind. However, I was surrounded by people who supported me. From my understanding, aside from the doctors in the room there were roughly 20 other nurses and doctors in the hall watching and cheering me on. The fact my doctors worked so hard to give me the birth I wanted even though it was out of their comfort level makes me not miss what I didn't have. Because I feel like I got so much more!
My doctor joked (at least I think so) that I had him on two different blood pressure medications, sorry doc! I know that most moms don't get a vaginal delivery with triplets, and I know that I am one of the exceptions. But, I also know I am not the only one, and those women inspired me so much. If they could, then maybe I could too! Our family has been so blessed, I know God was watching out for us every step of the way. We've got three beautiful babies to now complete our family. <3