My pregnancy with the girls was fairly debilitating from day one. For the first trimester, I was barely functioning. As most of you know, we didn't discover that I was carrying three babies until 17 weeks (and four days.) Black Friday was about a week and a half before that ultrasound and I was lounging around on the couch while Rich and my dad installed a central vacuum system in our house. It was on the warm side for November and everyone insisted that a touch of fresh air and exercise would cure my sluggishness.
Our house was within walking distance to the center of town so Grammy and I took off for a short stroll to check out some stores. We then walked to the quick mart around the corner to pick up a loaf of bread. I felt like an overdone turkey when all was said and done.
I still to this day remind Rich and Grammy of that day. "Hey, remember when I was 15 weeks pregnant with triplets and you forced me to walk around town even though I was exhausted and should have been resting?"
A few days after the new year, I hit the 22 week mark. Soon after, I only left my house for appointments with my doctor. I didn't even have the energy for minor outings, such as those to the grocery store.
My doctor, who was a maternal fetal medicine specialist, did not believe in placing his patients on bed rest unless there was reason to and simply being pregnant with triplets was not reason enough. Listening to your body is important though and if your body is telling you to rest, you need to rest. I basically lounged around for months because, physically, that was all I could do. I was never placed on bed rest but at some point, as I was waddling out of my doctor's office, he reminded me that my weekly excitement should be reserved for outings to appointments and ultrasounds.
Being pregnant with the girls was the most discomfort I have ever experienced for an extended period of time. Rich took to sleeping in a bed set up in another bedroom because I reached a point where I barely slept for more than two hours at a time. I would have to climb out of bed and walk around before crawling back in to try to sleep for another two hours.
If I was sleeping on my right side and needed to move over to my left side, I had to actually get out of the bed because I couldn't sit up or roll over. I was also hot all the time, which is not like me at all (I run a space heater at work, even in the summer), and often opened the bedroom windows throughout February and March. Those of you who live in New England know how cold that is.
I think my final weight gain was 55 pounds. That was 50% of my starting weight and my knees definitely felt the additional pounds. I couldn't bend my knees to sit down so I would have to fall back onto the love seat that became my spot in the house and the toilet. Yeah, using the bathroom was so much fun. I'm surprised I didn't break the paper holder using it to heave myself up.
At the very end, the bottom of my belly (or Allie) actually touched the seat of my chair (or love seat) when I sat upright. Which is why I only sat upright to eat and finish our tax returns.
As with most aspects of life, it is all relative. I was in a different place. The pain of losing Abbey was still very real and very raw and the doctors never let us forget the high risk of a triplet pregnancy. I never once complained. Everyone knew that I was exhausted. Everyone knew that I was uncomfortable. Everyone knew that I was afraid. I never had to vocalize it.
During my six week post delivery appointment, my doctor commented that I was trooper. I was confused. What do you mean? Those babies had to stay in as long as possible. Anna needed to be as big as possible for surgery. Why would I ever complain about being pregnant? How could I complain about being pregnant?
As a runner, you learn what the expression "mind over matter" means. I once told Rich that running a marathon without training for it would have been easier than what I did. Much easier. But I wouldn't change anything. Carrying them to 35 weeks and 6 days was a small miracle in my book.