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Three who hold my hand, one who holds my heart: my twins were actually triplets

~An angel wrote in the book of life, my baby’s date of birth. Then whispered as she closed the book “too beautiful for earth.”~

I am writing this post today because today is infant and pregnancy loss awareness day.

While there is no perfect picture of all three, you can at least see all three sacs in this one.

While there is no perfect picture of all three, you can at least see all three sacs in this one.

Lately I have had a heavy heart.  I can feel perpetual tears lodged in my throat that I just can’t get out.  I am not sure why.  I am very happy, I love my life, my family, husband, children, home, everything, but for some reason I can’t seem to shake this feeling.

Recently, a fellow blogger had a miscarriage.  Like me she was infertile.  Like me she was carrying two girls. Like me there was a size difference, but unlike me, halfway through her pregnancy one died.  Her pain resonates through my heart.  While I had a difficult time in the first trimester, by that point I was enjoying my twin pregnancy and figured it was a done deal.  I already head oodles of twin things, and I can’t imagine losing one of my babies. I feel so awful for her.

I wish I could say, I can’t imagine what it will be like to always look at her daughter and know she was part of a pair, but unfortunately I can.  You see, my twins were actually triplets.  That’s right.  All this time I have been lying through omission.

I suspected I was pregnant with multiples from the very beginning.  I got a bfp (big fat positive) at what was about 8-9 days past ovulation.  I went in for my blood test two days later and at 10-11 dpo my HCG was 72.  Two after that I went back for a second test and it was 316.  In case you don’t know, it’s supposed to double in 48-72 hours, whereas mine more than tripled.

I will never forget that day I went for my first ultrasound, lying on the table, petrified there would be something wrong with the baby we’d been trying to so long to have.  She looked at the screen, and then looked at my paperwork, and then looked at the screen, and then looked at my paperwork.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, so terrified to hear the answer.

“You are having triplets.” she said, matter-of-factly in her Polish accent.

My legs literally collapsed beneath me.  TRIPLETS????  I was hoping for twins, but a triplet pregnancy?  With a two-year old?  I will need a C-section!  I only have two arms? I only have two boobs?  How will we afford this?  What will DH say?

As I bordered the line of unconsciousness she flipped the screen around.  “See” she said.  “Here is baby A, here is Baby B and here is Baby C.  They all look healthy and have good heartbeats.”

I don’t remember much after that.  She gave me some pictures and as I sat in the waiting room to see the doctor I could hear the receptionists whispering “triplets, oh my gosh”.  I knew they were talking about me.

When I saw the doctor he said he was extremely surprised..

He was???

How did he think I felt???

At ovulation I had only had ONE good follicle, and then a maybe one.  He said my estrogen levels at the time were also low so he didn’t know what to say.  He said he could refer me to a colleague to talk about selective reduction.  Dear lord, I didn’t even want to think about that.  He said that often times these types of pregnancies reduce themselves, and to wait until the next ultrasound before making any decisions.  As I left I mentioned that to one of the nurses.  She said, she doubted that would happen since all the babies had good heart beats.  I was about 7 weeks along.

I didn’t tell anyone.  Not even my husband.  He didn’t even know I was pregnant.  When I got back to work (yes, since I worked so many hours I had my appointment on my break) I grabbed a fellow colleague that I know had gone through treatments and had twins.  She managed to talk me down a little.  I texted my best friend and told her I was having triplets.  She thought it was a joke.  It wasn’t.

Over the next few weeks, I came to terms with the pregnancy and actually started to get excited.  I hooked up with other pregnant mothers of triplets online, as well as through the local POMBA group.  I even went as far as to buy two new car seats to add to ours (they were really cheap due to a going out of business sale).  At lunch time I would joke with my best friend about how I was “eating for four”.

Finally around 9 weeks I got into an argument with DH and spilled the beans.  I was pregnant.  He was happy, I was happy, but I said nothing.  It was a Friday and I had my next ultrasound on the Tuesday so I decided to wait and see before I said anything.  We went to his parents that weekend and told them the news.  Everyone was excited.  They made jokes about twins and I laughed all the while thinking in my head “they have no idea”.

Tuesday came and with a lump in my throat I went to my appointment.  I was about 10 weeks.  The tech smiled and said “oh boy, triplets” and she looked at the screen.  “There they are, one, two, and three”.  Well, that’s it I thought.  We are having triplets!  Then as she started taking her measurements her face changed.  She called the doctor, I knew there was something wrong.  “One of the babies”, she said, “it isn’t moving”.  The doctor came in and looked at the screen.  Yes, the babies heart had recently stopped beating.  I will never forget his words.  “Your pregnancy has self reduced”.  I suppose that’s a nice way of saying your baby is dead or you had a miscarriage.  In a way, I was actually a little relieved since I was getting the twins I always wanted.  Everything was going to be great I told myself.

For the next month or so I was still petrified of losing another baby.  I was so scared since there was no warning when I lost the first one.  No cramps, no bleeding, I just had one day of pale pink spotting for just an hour on the toilet paper  that I likely would have missed had I not been obsessing.

Lucky for me, I went on to have two beautiful healthy girls.  I am so thankful, words cannot express how thankful I am for them and how much I love them.

But still, there is always this “what if” in my mind.  I had assumed I’d never cope with triplets, but since I handled twins just fine, I think I could have done it.  And I love my kids so much, I often think about if we had another one (which we can’t since I am infertile).  And of course, every time I see a triplet mom I think of what happened.

Really, I feel selfish, foolish even.  I am so lucky, I could have lost them all.  Plus, since it happened early on, I wasn’t that attached, we hadn’t told anyone.  How greedy would it be to want triplets anyways?  If that baby had lived something might have gone wrong with my other two lovelies, and they may not have been as healthy.  Triplets might have been too hard, it could have torn our relationship apart.

It’s very hard to live with all these thoughts and feelings so I just try not to think about it.  That works fine most of the time.  I do wish I could talk about it with others, but it is such a “niche” thing there aren’t that many of us out there.  I think part of my emotions also stem from the fact that I am infertile in general and that is a hard thing to cope with in and of itself.  Again, one of those things I don’t talk about.  My family doesn’t know and hubs and I never bring it up.  It’s just swept under the rug with everything else.

It will be two years in June since all of this happened, and so it all seems like a distant memory.  Almost like a story that I read, not really my own.  How could it be my own when it’s so crazy?  I would like to thank you so much for letting me talk about this today, and write about it because I do feel like a small weight has been lifted from my shoulders (although bringing this up has made my heart feel unusually heavy).  If you too have suffered a loss, know that you are not alone….sadly that’s pretty much the only advice I can give on the topic.



About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


12 thoughts on “Three who hold my hand, one who holds my heart: my twins were actually triplets

  1. Touching story. Glad you shared as I’m sure other women with similar circumstances will find this and be grateful to know they are not alone.

    Even though triplets were more than what you bargained for, that little life was still your child. It’s natural to grieve the chance to get to know and hold them (at least on this earthly planet).

    Perhaps your third twin was needed as a guardian angel for his or her siblings. If nothing else, that little baby-to-be was loved and welcomed by a mother who cared about it. Not every child-to-be gets that.

    Posted by momcloset | October 15, 2014, 4:01 pm
    • Thank you. That is such a nice way to think about it. I wrote this post a long time ago but have never had the courage to share it. Then when I found out about today I decided it was time. It was worth it just to read your comment. Thanks so much for reading. Best wishes.

      Posted by Shannon | October 15, 2014, 4:40 pm
  2. Thank you for sharing that story with us.

    Posted by Eventual Momma | October 15, 2014, 8:27 pm
  3. I am so sorry for your loss 😦 there will always be triggers for anyone who has suffered a loss and the what ifs are the worst. This past month has been hard since we have the memorial service at the hospital and today being the 15th. But I try to remain strong knowing that everything must happen for a reason. Believe me there are days when I think one baby is hard I can’t imagine having twins- but If I could change the past, I would in a heartbeat. And of course I feel awful for even thinking that, ya know.

    Posted by So, you're saying there's a chance? | October 15, 2014, 10:37 pm
  4. That’s so sad. I can understand you being thankful for your girls, whilst mourning the loss at the same time. I hope it helped in some way, to write it all down and bring it out in the open.

    Posted by Nicola Young | October 16, 2014, 4:43 am
  5. Hugs! So sorry for your loss.

    Posted by The Vanilla Housewife | October 16, 2014, 6:59 am
  6. Wow. Thank you for sharing this. And hugs. Lots of hugs.

    Posted by Theresa | October 16, 2014, 8:14 pm

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