This weeks featured blogger is Jessica from Four Plus an Angel. Jessica is the proud MoM to 14 year old Ashlyn, 2 year old surviving triplets McKenna and Parker, her angel Hadley and 6 month old Sawyer. I cannot express in words how thankful I am that Jessica wanted to be interviewed about the loss of Hadley, I hope it touches you as much as it did me.
What made you decide to start a blog?
I was admitted to the hospital when I was 18 weeks pregnant with the triplets so we started the blog to keep our friends and family up to date on my pregnancy while I was in the hospital.
How was your pregnancy?
Needless to say, we were shocked to find out we were having triplets. We were told I was pregnant with twins and had finally adjusted to the idea of two babies when we went for my 10 week ultrasound and they found another little one in there. I was doing really well until my 18 week check up when I was immediately admitted to the hospital. I had little to no cervix left and was contracting off and on so I spent the rest of my pregnancy flat on my back in the hospital. I remember thinking I was going to lose my mind staring at those four walls of my hospital room for 10 whole weeks. As other MOMs had told me though, the bedrest was nothing compared to watching my children struggle in the NICU. Looking back now, done anything in the world to even get one more week further.
What was your delivery like?
My delivery was fast, everything happened very quickly. I had been contracting off and on my entire hospital stay and on this particular day was contracting pretty regularly. While they were monitoring the babies they saw several drops in baby B’s heart rate so decided to deliver me immediately. My husband raced there from work and within an hour or so I had my three precious babies. They were all so tiny, Parker was 1lb. 14 oz, Hadley was 2lb. 5 oz and McKenna was 2lb. 10 oz. I saw them for few seconds and then they were whisked away to the NICU.
What were the days after delivery like?
After preparing ourselves to deliver many times over my weeks in the hospital, I managed to make it to 28 weeks 5 days so we thought we were out of the woods for any life-threatening complications. I remember thinking that the babies were going to do great because we had already beat the odds by making it so far. Two days after my delivery the doctors came to my room and asked us to come down to the NICU because our baby C, Hadley, was having some difficulties and they wanted to discuss treatment options with us. She had suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage and needed a transfusion so we quickly signed paperwork giving our permission for the transfusion and headed to her side. By the time we got to her she had hemorrhaged again and they were trying to keep her alive until the transfusion could get to her. I knew things were bad when they let me hold her even though she was hooked up to so many machines. She passed away in my arms several minutes later. In an instant we went from the overjoyed parents of triplets to the devastated parents of one angel and two tiny preemies who still weren’t out of the woods themselves. My husband and I spent hours in my hospital room just sobbing. I just kept thinking that this could not be happening and the grief I felt was overwhelming. The grief can still be overwhelming some days and I look back now and wonder how I managed to put one foot in front of the other each day but somehow we made it. We went through the typical rollercoaster of events that you hear about from many NICU parents with our two survivors. It was always one step forward and two back and I was terrified we would lose one of them too. They came home right before Christmas after almost 3 months in the NICU and are now happy, healthy 2 year olds with no signs of the struggles they faced and a special angel watching over them each day.
What resources did you use to help you cope after Hadley passed?
After Hadley passed I found CLIMB, the Center for Loss in Multiple Births. Their website (www.climb-support.org) is full of resources and I found a lot of comfort in reading other peoples’ stories and knowing that my feelings were normal. I also met many amazing loss moms through the Bereavement Forum on Triplet Connections and a yahoo group called eLIMBO that is also for moms who have lost a multiple. We have since started a group on Facebook for moms who have lost one or more triplets, I don’t know what I would do without the unending support of the many loss moms I have met.
What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
As a family we love to just be together. My husband has long hours during the week so the weekends are playtime. We love going for walks, to the park or on our boat although our boat rides are pretty short these days!
What is your favorite tip for keeping your house and/or life organized?