Monday, April 21, 2008

How to double the size of your family overnight!

Just to make life a bit interesting, I am pregnant.

Dave took the news well. We had decided to try for another child. After all, Dave seems stable and more-or-less capable, I'm not getting any younger, and we were going to run out of chances soon. So, it seems that, while at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I became pregnant.

What Dave didn't take well was the news a few months later. You see, we found out I was pregnant while merchanting at the Florida Renaissance Festival - a two-month show just north of Miami. We learned this after a home pregnancy test after the first weekend of sales. I was very careful at the show - drank lots of water, avoided alcohol and second-hand smoke, ate appropriately, slept a lot, let others do the heavy lifting for me. After the show was over, we went and spent a week at Disneyworld, on the way back home to Maryland. Honestly, I'm glad we did, because I certainly would not have enjoyed Disney so much if I had known what was coming.

We returned home on a Thursday night. Early Friday morning, I found I was bleeding. I called my midwives, and after some discussion, decided I didn't need to go to the hospital, but that I should go for a sonogram THAT DAY. And I did. I take the health of the babies very seriously.

Now, keep in mind, a sonogram SHOULD take about 20 minutes. They look at the kid, look for things like arms and legs, measure anything that can be measured, enter all the stats into an equation, and determine if the kid is growing appropriately.

THIS sonogram took an hour and a half. The tech and I were talking the entire time. "Did anyone come with you to drive you home?" "Is anyone waiting for you in the waiting room?" Such questions got me nervous, but we spoke of other things too, like her kids, the whacky weather, and whether or not I liked the midwives I was using. After a while, she said she was having trouble with some measurements, and needed to take the "alternate route". For you women out there, you know what I mean. For the men out there - the "normal route" is on top of the belly, so use your testosterone-laden minds to determine where an alternate route might lay. If you still can't figure it out, try this: Once the tech had been taking measurements for an extended period via the alternate route, I told her I wanted a lollipop when we were done. When she asked, "Why?", I told her it was because I don't smoke.

So, after an hour and a half, the tech finally looked at me and said that the office policy was to not discuss the results of a sonogram with the patient, and to let the docs and midwives discuss them with the patient. But, after such an extended exam, she felt she could tell me something.

"Would it be a bad thing if you found out you were having triplets?"

Needless to say, my jaw hit the floor. There is no history of multiples in my family or Dave's family. I probably shouldn't have driven home, but I made it, in shock.

Then I had to tell Dave.

I was able to bring some pics with me from the tech's office. I showed Dave one pic, where you could clearly see two babies. "Twins?" he said, clear as day.

"Triplets," I replied handing him another photo.

The last clear words that came out of him for hours was, "We can't do this." Then he went and curled up, fetal position, on our bed. I called one of the managers that work for me, and asked him to take Dave out drinking that night. That seemed to really help.

I didn't really break down until Easter Sunday. I called my sister, and her and her boyfriend were nice enough to have an unexpected Easter dinner with us. She sat with me for probably a few hours in the bedroom, and we spoke on various topics, including the pregnancy. She got me to the point where I could finally go take a shower and eat something. The next day, I saw my chiropractor (who has special training for pregnancies). He adjusted my neck and shoulders, and I have been more-or-less functional ever since.

Dave and I have been asked, on multiple occasions, "Is this congratulations, or condolences?"

Let me put it this way. I like new and different things, and this is certainly a new and different things. The idea of potentially having three little lifes as sweet and charming as our 2-year-old Rowan is definitely thrilling.

On the other hand, the odds of natural, spontaneous triplets is 1:8200 (or about .0122% of all births). Oh, and just this last week, I have learned that there is at least a set of twins in there, and it is quite possible that they are all identical. The odds of identical triplets? Something like 6% of triplets are all identical (which means 1:136,666 of all births), and 66% are identical twins with a fraternal brother (which means 1:12,424 of all births).

So, despite the excitement, I also feel like a freak.

I'm going to leave the story at that for right now, and continue it later. I have a lot of info I need to digest right now (and maybe you do, too). But don't worry - you will be hearing more on this subject later.