We were told it was the body’s way of natural selection when our triplets became twins. Thankfully, we hadn’t even really been told we were having triplets, yet now we were over halfway through my pregnancy with our twin boys and a rare molar pregnancy that could possibly attach to the boys’ placentas at any moment. If it grew too big, it would take up too much space from them and we would need to do an emergency c-section to get them out. Needless to say, this landed me in the high risk pregnancy category and I was closely monitored for the duration.
We had done years of fertility treatments with our calm, persistent fertility specialist, Dr. Pinto and finally an IVF had worked. We were pregnant! The doctor visits had become almost daily, switching between our regular OB and a high risk OB. Everything during this time seemed frantic. I longed for the pregnant “glow”, but knew I would never have it because of the underlying stress of it all that not many people knew about. We told close friends and family. It just didn’t feel like it was anyone else’s business. I think if anything went wrong, I didn’t want the pressure of explaining it over and over again. I knew I couldn’t handle it.
Every visit with the high risk OB seemed surreal. He had tiny glasses and wild blonde hair. He always spoke to us with a very excited sense of urgency. We knew this was big, uncommon, unusual. He worried us. He used words like “attack”, “lose”, “cancer”, and even “chemo”. None of these are words you want associated with your pregnancy. I felt I had a monster inside of me trying to harm the two babies I had tried so hard to conceive, and I was powerless to stop it. Being a mother and keeping my babies safe was my most important job and I was already failing.
Basically, during the insemination process, one of the babies ended up with too many chromosomes from my husband and not enough from me to become a molar pregnancy. It continued to grow and take up space and at some point, attached to the other fetuses’ placentas, taking their nutrients. Our doctors explained that it is very uncommon for any other fetus to survive along with a molar. In our case, baby A (Kase), had an identical twin that didn’t form correctly and turned into a molar, which would have been baby B, and baby C is the fraternal triplet who is actually now the viable baby B (Kingston).
At first we were told we had one baby. Then twins. Then triplets. Then twins with a vanishing triplet. Then twins with a molar pregnancy. As can be imagined, my emotions were everywhere.
We knew at any moment if they said the word, we would need to go straight into the OR. They were constantly looking for any sign that the boys were in distress and they would take me in for an emergency c-section.
Thankfully, our regular OB knew how to keep me calm during the urgency of it all. He challenged me to make it to certain weeks and we would count down the days for developmental milestones, like when their brains or lungs were formed.
At 36 weeks, we were concerned because baby B was not moving. We went in and they checked me into the hospital to monitor him overnight. They established that he was fine, but since the boys had made it safely to 36 weeks and were extremely cramped in there, it was time to get them out. We got taken down for the C-Section and I waited patiently for the words I had waited so long to hear… “They are staying”. I knew if the nurses took them that they would be going to the NICU. But no, one by one I heard each one cry and a nurse say “he is staying”. Then I watched as our two doctors removed the molar. My husband walked up holding both boys and every single fear and worry left my body.
Five days later, we all left as the family we had been trying for, for so many years. Yes, the nights were long and the diapers were many, but the house was full of love and soon full of laughter.
The doctors watched me closely for one year after to make sure my HCG levels stayed low and did X-rays and ultrasounds to make sure the molar did not drop any cancer particles inside my body. I now know it was the body’s “natural selection” process. I know that if he had made it, he would have had no quality of life. However, it doesn’t stop me from often wondering “what if” he would have made it out healthy like his brothers. There would be two of Kase and Kingston would be a triplet! Life would be drastically different. Wonderful, but different!
I love being a mommy to these two amazing boys, watching them learn and grow everyday. Of course, there is also a little piece of my heart that will always love someone that never truly existed.