We are here at the very last milestone: 32 weeks. The babies are, for the lack of a better word, “ripe” for the taking. But we are letting them further incubate until 35 or 36 weeks because they can and because I can.
We had another routine check-up today and Prof Biswas pumped his fist with a “yes!” when I told him its 32 weeks. He can’t keep track of which week I am on without going through my files. 30% of triplet pregnancies do not make it past 32 weeks and we made it. He realised he ordered a glucose screen test for me two times but the nurse had not notified me so now I have to do one at such a late stage of the pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is very common for triplet pregnancies so he thinks I should get it done anyway to see my sugar levels and now I have to traipse down to NUH super early this Saturday morning to do my glucose test. So not a big fan of waking up early on a weekend! We then went for a scan and he checked their heartbeats and they are all still doing okay. But its very apparent they are squeezed out. One identical twin had stretched out all the way to my side while the other identical twin was burrowed just above my thigh. Fraternal twin seems to be in a less awkward position but it must not be very comfortable for them either.
While taking my blood pressure, I noticed the baby pictures in the Prof’s office and he has clearly delivered many multiples, including a set of triplets whose photo I happened to glance upon. There was also another picture with the caption, “5th Caesarean section. No problem for Prof Biswas!” Wow 5. I thought 3 was the max a woman’s body can take.
Prof told me that he booked the operating theatre on two dates for me. One is on 2nd September (35 weeks 2 days) and the other is 9 September (36 weeks 2 days). He wants to shoot for 9 September but he wants to be cautious and be prepared to have the babies delivered on the 2nd. He didn’t have to explain why because I knew from reading that triplets have exceeded their time in the womb by 35th or 36th week. Some OBGYNs even try to push it to the 37th week. It varies on the OBGYN’s level of risk-taking I guess. Some believe its better for them to develop outside the utero rather than risk stillbirth, while some think the odds of stillbirth is very slim and they should be allowed to develop as far as the tummy can accommodate. But the cut-off is almost always 37 weeks. So he said he’ll do a scan on the 2nd and if he feels they can wait another week more, we’ll wait till the 9th, but if he feels they are ready, we will have the C-section on that day itself.
After that we had financial counselling regarding which delivery packages I wanted and which Ward I wanted to stay during my 3 day recovery period and how much everything would set me back. I did not have a choice of delivery, its been chosen for me. The C-section is obviously the most expensive package. And what’s different about my package is that any costs relating to the babies is multiplied by three. Most packages are only estimated for single babies, not triplets. I was not totally way off the mark in estimating that everything would come to $5000 for a B1 Ward, but because its three babies and not one, there was an additional $1000 for extra paediatricians and extra costs incurred for staying in the nursery. By the time we deduct Medisave, our out-of-pocket expenses is about $3000, which we are paying from our Baby Bonus cash gift. I might still opt for an A1 Ward after the surgery if everything goes well which is about another $1000. I figured that the Baby Bonus cash gift is paying for this and I might as well have a nice, fancy room to myself for 3 nights since its my last delivery. A1 and B1 have almost the same facilities except that in B1, I share the room with other mothers. If the babies need to go to NICU, I cannot be fancy even a little bit and will be automatically downgraded to the subsidised C Ward. We really hope that does not happen, although we have prepared for that event this entire pregnancy.
On a sidenote, I am so lazy/too tired/too heavy to pack my hospital bag.