I know a touched a little about the horrors of a multiple pregnancy. The more multiples, the more the horror. The odds of actually naturally conceiving triplets is 0.1%. This happens in only 1 out of every 9000 pregnancies. Actually most mothers do end up having safe deliveries, and even if their babies are born pre-term, medical advances have allowed premature babies to survive amazing odds. I was reading a particular blog of a baby being born premature in KKH. Before she was born, her mother was already hospitalised for a few months for fear of going into sudden labor. The mother developed pre-eclampsia in hospital and her baby had to be delivered 2 months premature. It was terribly heart-wrenching to listen to her account in hospital and how her little girl went through so many ups and downs in NICU. The little girl fought everyday and after a couple of months, they finally took her home. There was also another article in the ST about the NICU in KKH being a “little ward of miracles” because the doctors and nurses there experience miracles on a daily basis, as they try their best to help little babies survive through prematurity and all other sorts of complications. I happened to chance upon all these stories when I was doing my research on the cost of KKH NICU, given the high probability my triplets might end up there. I must say they gave me a lot of confidence in choosing KKH.
But I think when I told people I was pregnant with triplets, they did not understand how high-risk and potentially difficult my pregnancy would be. I said I was quite worried and people were like, “Oh you’ll be fine.” I really needed encouragement, support and if shit really hits the fan, I really needed my friends to rally around my husband. This is why I shared with them my pregnancy.
So what are my greatest fears?
In the beginning, I feared being coaxed to reduce my babies via Selective Reduction. You can read about Selective Reduction in greater detail here and here. I heard many multiple mothers were faced with hostility from their gynaes if they chose not to go forward with the procedure as in the case of this mother. Fortunately, this mother’s blog led me to Dr. June Tan who was going to be kind to my situation. I haven’t met Dr. June Tan yet, so I’ll leave my assessment for another blog post.
I also feared about being hospitalized during the pregnancy. I fear that if I got too big, and pre-term labor was imminent, the doctors might confine me to bedrest in hospital. I am less worried about myself than about who was going to take care of my 1 year old daughter in the day. She isn’t adapted to a different caregiver.
I fear that my identical/monozygotic/monochorionic twins will have TTTS. At the moment, we still do not know if they are monoamniotic (MoMo twins for short) or diamniotic (MoDi twins for short). We are hoping they are MoDi. If they are MoMo, I would have to see the gynae extremely frequently for fetal monitoring. That will increase our prenatal costs significantly.
I fear complications related to having a C-section. I had given birth to my first daughter naturally and did not know what to expect with a C-section, except the stories that I hear from other mothers who gone through the procedure. I do not like the fact that right after the C-section I cannot move much for 3 or more weeks. How am I suppose to help my husband with the newborns if I am immobile? I plan to breastfeed the triplets immediately, and its harder to do so after a C-section.
I fear that I will not reach my goal in carrying my triplets to at least 34 weeks. Ideally 35 or 36 weeks.
So these are my greatest fears. I think most people might expect me to discuss financial fears or fears with coping with multiple children, but I find these problems chickadee (insignificant). My husband and I had planned for four children, but perhaps not at one go. Having four so quickly will cramp our style in the short-term (we live in a 3-room flat currently) but in the long-term, we are more or less done with family planning. We are making some lifestyle sacrifices (can’t travel for awhile, can’t eat out at restaurants often, etc) for having so many little children but we think they are worth it. By the time we are 40, we no longer have to deal with the stresses of caring for newborns, babies, toddlers and kindergarteners. Not that teenagers are any easier to deal with, but parents will understand what I mean. We are actually looking forward to our next Chinese Reunion Dinner. Because for the last couple of Reunion Dinners, we often note how sad our little table of 2 then 3 has been. How exciting now that the dinner table will always be full and noisy. Well, probably for the first 5 years it is more frustrating than anything (if one has had the experience of feeding toddlers their dinner).
Most of all, we are excited about being a big family. They say there is never a dull day in a big family.
(Update: I switched from KKH to NUH in the first trimester. Best decision I made).