Day in the Life of a Pregnant Woman on Bed Rest

Have you ever wondered what a woman with triplets does all day while on bed rest?  Wonder no more.  Here’s visual evidence of what Kristen does.

KristenOnBedRest
Kristen in her usual spot, with Finley (l) and Sophie keeping her company.
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Week 29

Now that we’re all caught up, we’ll start posting more frequent updates beginning with this one, which is taking place at Week 29, 2 days.

Kristen is doing a fair amount of sleeping during the day, mostly since she doesn’t get much sleep at night.  She has to get up to pee about every 1.5 hours.  An empty bladder helps keep the contractions away.  But she also has babies pressing on her bladder, so you’d pee that much too.

We called the doctor Saturday morning since it’s possible Kristen’s mucous plug may have come out.  This is a plug in the cervix that keeps things together.  It’s normal for it to come out, and that’s typically one of the first stages of labor.  But it could be a signal labor is a few hours away, or it could be several weeks away.  We’re also not sure it was the mucous plug.  It could just be normal discharge that comes with pregnancy.

Kristen drinks a LOT of water daily.  I probably fill her glass 8 or 9 times a day, and she does it on her own a bit too.

I didn’t mention in the catch-up post, but we’ve failed the tests for Gestational Diabetes, so we’re now taking steps to change Kristen’s diet to eat something low in carbs and sugar.  Failing the tests doesn’t mean she definitely has diabetes, but she has to act like she has it to protect the babies.  The most likely reason for the readings is the amount of placenta inside her.  Still, we need to make sure we protect the boys.

We love to watch her stomach after drinking lots of water, or after eating.  The babies move around quite a bit, kicking here and punching there.  We think they may be moving around a bit too.  Baby A is effectively at the bottom of her belly, face down and head down.  Baby B and Baby C are effectively forming an X in her belly, with Baby C’s head on Kristen’s right side.  Baby C’s legs are somewhere down near Baby A’s head.  Baby B, meanwhile, has his head on her left side, with his feet angled down near Baby A’s legs.  They’re really crammed in there.

These babies sometimes get into Kristen’s ribs, poking and jabbing their way through the day.  This is probably the most uncomfortable part of the pregnancy so far, or at least what Kristen has told me is the most uncomfortable part.

A Brief History: Inception to Week 29

I’m starting this blog in Week 29 of our pregnancy, so I thought it may help for those reading from the start to get a better understanding of how we got here and newsworthy events so far.

First, how we got here: I’m not going to get into details here.  I think those of you who took a human sexuality course in high school understand how babies are made.  So let’s just leave it at that.  And for those of you who ask us whether these are natural, or if there was any fertility involved, I’m just going to answer this as “none of your business.”  Let’s just put it this way: I have awesome swimmers!

We learned we were having triplets in June, 2015.  We held it fairly close to the vest, telling only close family members because we were so darn excited.

We were encouraged early on to evaluate something called “selective reduction”, which would effectively abort one of the babies.  Kristen and I talked about it and we thought we should seek the advice of a few doctors to weigh the risks on the pregnancy, issues that could occur, etc.  We learned about all this a few days before going to Hawaii, and to be honest, it ruined the first few days of our trip.  Between Kristen’s morning sickness and the nonstop thinking about selective reduction, we weren’t enjoying our vacation.  Then on a Saturday morning, we called our doctor and had an emotional conversation.  She recommended we meet with a leading doctor in San Francisco.  We agreed, but shortly after that call was done we came to the conclusion our heart was telling us: there was no way we were going to eliminate one of our babies.  For me, it came down to a simple question: “which of my children do I want to kill?”  That may be over the top, but its how I felt.  The answer was none.  So we chose to proceed understanding the risks we were taking.  We’ll live with whatever hand we’re dealt.

Things were relatively smooth the first 8 weeks of the pregnancy.  Kristen’s morning sickness made her feel queasy, and some things absolutely grossed her out.  She was no longer a fan of salad, and couldn’t stand the smell of red wine.  But in Week 8 we had our first “complication”.  Kristen started bleeding, and our first thought was she had a miscarriage.  It was a Sunday afternoon and we immediately jumped in the car to head to John Muir San Ramon, our nearest ER.  We were just a few days from going to our new OB, so we didn’t yet have the ability to call them.  Further, it never crossed our mind to call our other OB.  So we went to the ER.  We spent the next five hours or so going through a battery of tests, blood work, catheterization and ultrasounds.  When all was said and done, we still had three heartbeats, and we came to realize that it was just as a result of a blood clot that had formed and was now releasing.  We were told it may take several weeks for it to clear.  That was nerve-wracking in so many ways, and it was scary.

We told the world on August 4th at the 12-week mark, via a Facebook post.

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We found out the genders on September 8th.  We had my in-laws in the room with us at the doctor when we found out that we are having three boys.  I’ve always wanted at least one boy, so I can carry on this branch of my family name.  When I found out it was three, I had a really tough time emotionally and broke down for one of the hardest cries I’ve ever had as an adult.  There was no sadness… just tears of joy.

We had prepared for at least one girl, so we were further along with choosing female names.  We went back to the drawing board.  Samuel was an early front-runner with Kristen, and Jacob was on our list.  Charlie was a bit of a late add.  But these were the final names we chose.  We elected to use the first names of our biological fathers, plus my first name, for the babies’ middle names.  So we’ll end with Samuel David Mazza, Charlie Robert Mazza and Jacob Todd Mazza.

I felt one of the babies kick for the first time on October 3, 2015.  This was a bit of an early birthday present for Kristen, but it was also a present for me.  Since then I regularly talk to Kristen’s belly, telling them “I’m your daddy.. please kick me”.  They won’t hear this after they are born.  🙂

At one of  our visits in early October, we had some excitement during the ultrasound.  Kristen had said it felt hot in the doctor’s office, and 10 minutes into the ultrasound she said she started feeling lightheaded and very hot.  The technician stopped for a quick break and to go look for something to cool the room down.  As soon as she stepped out, Kristen’s eyes rolled back in her head and after a few convulsions, she passed out.  Luckily I was standing right there so I was able to “catch” her and stop her from falling off the examination table.  I yelled for help a few times, and help arrived with a cool towel.  We paused the exam for a few minutes and nurses took her blood pressure.  It turns out, when you’re pregnant with triplets, lying at an angle, on your back, puts a lot of pressure on the blood vessels that carry blood from your legs to your heart.  Too much pressure caused her to pass out.  In fact the blood pressure readings showed that she was barely alive.  Kristen’s look at me told me otherwise.  She was fine, but her pressure was really low.  A bit scary!

We held a baby shower October 17th at our home in Danville.  We had all our family and friends in town from Florida, Idaho, California and even Costa Rica.  We received many gifts and had a great time showing off Kristen’s beautiful belly of babies.

Things got scary in late October.  At our October 27th appointment, for Week 24, our doctor noticed a “shortened” cervix, and as it turns out the minor stomach aches Kristen has been getting periodically have actually been contractions.  The doctor ordered us to immediately drive a few blocks away to John Muir Walnut Creek and check-in.  Kristen’s bed rest was officially starting, and she’d go through a lot of monitoring in case the babies came early.

As you can imagine this was incredibly scary for both of us.  The last thing we wanted was babies this premature.  They had a 70%-80% chance of survival, but they would have an upward battle with regards to breathing, brain development, etc.  Our job was to do whatever we could to stave off labor, and that’s just what we did.

Kristen spent 10 days in the hospital.  The first two had her on an IV drip of Magnesium Sulfate, which is used to stop contractions.  She was then on a steady dose of some other drugs.  Even as of this writing, she takes these drugs every four hours.

Her cervix remained short, but still closed, and after 10 days they let her go home with strict orders for bed rest.  Since we’ve been home she’s pretty much camped out on the sofa or easy chair the entire day.  She only gets up to pee, and then at night to go upstairs to go to sleep.

Recent visits to the doctor have been good, and Kristen’s been doing an amazing job at keeping the babies in.  Her cervix has remained fairly constant in size and the contractions have been regular, but not tremendously painful.  She is still very uncomfortable at all times of the day and night, but you would be too if you had three 2.5-pound babies inside you.

We had our Week 28 appointment on November 24th and we continue to see great growth.  The babies are very hard to get on the ultrasound now, and measuring them is an inexact science and art.  But these technicians and doctors are good at their job and we’re progressing forward.  The measurements on November 24th were:

Baby A: 2 lbs, 10 oz.

Baby B: 2 lbs, 8 oz.

Baby C: 2 lbs, 8 oz.

Our next visit to the doctor will be Tuesday, December 1st, for a cervix measurement and heartbeat review.  We won’t have any measurements again until Tuesday, December 8th.

You’re all caught up now on the major events.  We’ll post more if they come up along the way.  Otherwise it’s all new and current events going forward.

Hello World

Hello World

Hi everyone!  I’m Todd Mazza, and as of the launch of this blog I’m the expectant father of triplet boys with my wife, Kristen.  Samuel, Jacob and Charlie have a due date of February 12, 2016, but we know for a fact they’ll be born earlier.

There are multiple reasons for this blog:

  1. I wanted to give a place where friends and family can follow along, with bigger updates than we may post on Facebook.
  2. I wanted to have a history of what we were going through, with pictures, that we can reference for years to come.
  3. Finally, I’ve seen other blogs that have been tremendously helpful in our understanding of what’s to come.  They’ve been helpful, so I thought we may as well contribute to future parents of triplets with our experience.

I’ll post updates periodically, as “newsworthy” events warrant, and of course we’ll post pictures periodically.  Hopefully you’ll find this blog informative and fun.

Thanks for reading!