We found out about our three little embryos at my first ultrasound after my successful iui. We knew the chances of twins 11%-17% based upon my own history as a "fraternal" twin. Those are pretty good odds. The odds of triplets from iui was about 1% and the odds of higher order multiples was much less than 1%.
You wonder if a multiple birth will happen to you, but you never really expect it. I was ecstatic when the US showed 3 little heartbeats! We did it! We conceived our babies. One of the very first things out of the doctors mouth was "selective reduction" and that we needed to consider it.
We were excited and scared, all at the same time. Triplets! How many people get to be pregnant with triplets? And within the triplets was a pair of mo/di twins (identical, sharing a placenta).
Identical twins and a single baby. It was a lot to consider. Looking back, I can see that the danger and reality of trying to carry 3 babies and trying to care for 3 babies never really set in. I had twins at 31 weeks after my water broke at 30 weeks. I shudder to think how early the babies could have been born if baby C had made it.
I love my life now with the twins. I can't imagine risking their health and safety with a third fetus growing. Yet, it was my baby too. It was alive, grew for a while and passed away.
What if it was a girl and was identical too? What if it was a boy, giving us our only son? It's a lot to consider.
Would we have considered SR, to make it more likely for the twins to survive and to make it to a gestational age where they could (hopefully) avoid serious disabilities? Would we have tried to have them all and then lost them all? I read a news story recently where a couple lost quintuplets. They lost ALL their babies. Heartbreaking. It makes me think how lucky I am to have the two and their older sister.
I am especially lucky because the twins developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) during the last week of their pregnancy. Many, many babies die from TTTS. Some moms lose one of their babies. Some lose both. It takes more babies than SIDS does each year, yet almost no one knows what it is.
My MFM doctors tracked and screened the babies growth diligently while I was pregnant. It developed undetected in one week, the final week before I delivered. That's how fast it can happen.
I was lucky. Ash, my donor twin, gave blood and nutrients to Wren, the recipient. Sometimes this causes strokes and other major impacts on the donor twin. In my TTTS group, a number of the surviving twins have developmental delays. Ash has a dairy allergy that Wren does not have. She also had the extra hospitalization for NEC. She is slightly behind Wren in her gross motor skills: Ash sat and crawled a few weeks after her sister did. However, Ash had sounds earlier than Wren and appears to be a better eater than her sister so far.
Having already raised a baby with a developmental delay, I've got the milestone chart tucked nearly away at the back of my brain. I don't stay up at night worrying about it, but delays are something I am watchful of. I'm happy to say that both Ash and Wren fall well within the normal range for both their actual age and their adjusted age. No delays so far :). Of course, there is no guarentee that there won't be delays in the future, but for now the twins are still ahead developmentally of where Phoenix was at this age. Which doesn't make me sad by the way. It makes me appreciate that we had longer (and still do) at each stage with Phoenix.
While I was doing reading about loss in multiple pregnancy, I found an organization called CLIMB Centre for Loss In Multiple Pregnancy. They have many, many stories of families losses of one or more of their multiples. If you have experienced loss in a multiple pregnancy, you can contract them here: http://www.climb-support.org