My Hope for Having Children: An Update of True Story of Love, Sacrifice, Faith, Courage and Hope
My story is a miracle filled with hope, everlasting love, and most importantly blessings. My high-risk perinatologist told me after I gave birth to my beautiful triplets, “You have experienced more dramatic health problems than most mothers expecting multiples. You were meant to be here for your triplets. Your triplets are special and miracles of life.” The reason he said this is because my triplets and I have experience syndromes and defects that are rare to say the least. I was diagnosed with Severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (SOHS), which is when your ovaries overdevelop from a walnut size to a grapefruit size each, and your body starts to retain fluids. I gained 46 pounds of water in 10 days! I ended up in intensive care because I could not breathe. It was during my stay at the hospital that my husband and I were told that I was 3 ½ weeks pregnant! We were so happy. Then we were told that it seemed like they saw three sacs! Triplets!!! We could not be any happier.
My hope to have children had become a reality, but I had no idea that with this reality also came my biggest test of how much sacrifice, pain, and suffering my body could take. I remember asking my doctor, “Could I possibly die of pain?” In fact, even though I was not feeling well at all and could not move or breathe without having oxygen, I was ecstatic. How could I be blessed to be pregnant with triplets?! My husband was so happy too. However, he seemed very worried.
It was not until the SOHS went away (12 weeks later) that my husband confessed that I had almost passed away when we were first told that we were pregnant. We thought that maybe the worst had been over, however, it was only the beginning . . . .
At 20 weeks, I began to have pre-labor contractions, which never did stop. I had to take magnesium and other medicines to control the contractions to my threshold of 6-7 contractions per hour. At 33 weeks and two days, our sweet Elizabeth, Reuben and Michael were born. It was an emergency C-section because I was dying but I did not know it at the time. I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, and I had to receive two blood transfusions after the birth of my triplets. I thought the worst was over. No, it was not. It was only the beginning. Hours after the birth of our triplets, we found out that one of our sons, Reuben Luis would have to be air transferred to UCSF Children’s Hospital.
Reuben was born with Transpose Pulmonary Veinary Reverse (TAPVR). A heart defect that is rare in preemie. Our son would require open-heart surgery in order to live. We were informed that our son had a very low chance of survival especially in the recovery stage after his open-heart surgery. Reuben was not home with his brother Michael, his sister Elizabeth, and his parents until after four months.
Our son Michael and daughter Elizabeth were born with some problems but they are not life threatening as was Reuben’s health conditions. Elizabeth was diagnosed with hemifacial microsomia, a facial symmetry syndrome that is rare; 1 in 500,000 babies are born with this syndrome. However, it is not life threatening because it is corrected with surgeries.
Michael came home after 18 days in the NICU on February 2, 2004. Elizabeth came home 26 days later on February 10, 2004. Our little fighter Reuben finally came home one day before my first Mother’s Day, on May 15, 2004. He was 4 months old.
Thanks to my hope, faith, courage, and all the love and support I received throughout this journey, I was able to come out of this emotional roller coaster with even more hope, strength, courage, and faith than I thought I could ever have.
Although, financially it has been very hard since it is triple the formula, triple the diapers, and triple of food, we are truly blessed to have TRIPLE the love, hugs and kisses!