It’s a classic story: a couple with two kids is on the fence about whether they want a third. They decide to go for it and, surprise, it’s triplets!
The cramps started about a week after finding out I was pregnant. They didn’t feel anything like the first two pregnancies, so I decided to call the doctor. I had a feeling from the moment I took the pregnancy test that I was going to miscarry, so I felt somewhat prepared.
At five weeks on the dot, I went in for an ultrasound. The nurse told me to undress from my waist down and wait for the doctor to come in. I was spread eagle for only about 15 seconds when the doctor said, “OK, I’m going to need you to hold your breath for what I’m about to tell you.”
I sighed and thought, “This is the feeling that many women go through when they are about to be told that their baby doesn’t have a heartbeat. Everything happens for a reason.” I took a deep breath and the doctor said, “I see three…possibly four.”
My eyes bulged out of my head. “Four babies!?!???!”
She then said something about needing a few minutes to look around and confirm how many there were and that I probably would not hear anything she was about to say for the rest of the appointment. She was right.
I was SHOCKED! I just stared at the ultrasound machine as she moved the wand back and forth, trying to decipher just how many embryos were in my uterus. That’s when the tears started to flow and I just cried. I cried for a long time. How was I supposed to take care of that many babies? How could my body fit that many babies? How did this happen? Wait, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
She finally confirmed triplets. She said all three babies would have their own placentas, which is the best case scenario when expecting triplets, but she also said that while two looked really healthy, one sac looked a little small and abnormal. The smaller one was measuring at 4 weeks 1 day and the two bigger ones were measuring at five weeks on the dot.
She said the smaller could have implanted a week later but also warned that it could be a sign of other issues that may cause it to miscarry. The embryos were designated as A, B, and C based on their relative positions. Babies A & C were the larger babies, and baby B in the middle was the smaller one. We continued to call the babies by those names well into the first year of their life.
Triplets automatically qualify a pregnancy as “high risk,” which meant I was to see the doctor every week until about week 10. At each appointment baby B was growing but slowly compared to babies A & C. Ezra and I knew we may lose baby B at any moment, but little B just kept on hanging on.
When I went in at nine weeks and two days, we found out baby B didn’t have a heartbeat anymore. The few people we had told at that point asked me all day if I was doing OK.
I felt a lot of emotions. I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t feel relieved. The idea of triplets felt overwhelming from the start, but another part of me was sad. I had just lost a baby. Because of the early cramping and an inkling that this pregnancy would be different, I felt like I had already grieved baby B long before I found out that he/she was gone. Baby B was gone. But I still had baby A and C, who were both growing very strong.
Fast forward to today and the twins are no longer Babies A and C but Sami and Silas, and they are still keeping me on my toes. Their birth story reminds me of the paradoxical and extreme emotions of motherhood.
How can I love someone so much, even as they drive me so crazy?
How could I feel both relieved and saddened at the loss of a child?
How could my firstborn’s delivery have been so beautifully special yet also so traumatic?
To be a mother is to face extreme, often conflicting emotions: fragility and strength, tenderness and rage, joy and terror.
To all you mothers who have miscarried, know that we see you and grieve with you. Both Cayla and I have lost children to miscarraige, and the grief is heavy and real.
To all you mothers who feel emotionally tied up in knots, struggling to make sense of your role and relationship to these little people you made, know we see and empathize with you.
The point of Mama2Mama is not to take all that away but to see it, acknowledge it together, and do whatever we can to stay present and supportive of one another.
I’ve come to see that my heart is big enough to grieve the loss of Baby B while celebrating the lives of the twins who did live—a mama’s heart is big enough for all of it. Your heart is big enough!
Thanks for reading, and know that we’re with you in motherhood,