We got an email yesterday that said, "Panna and babies are fine. See attached scan." Only three fetuses were listed, all at normal growth, and in the comment box, it said, "quadruplet noted - one missed abortion - 3 trichorionic triplet. Follow up after 20 days."
So I guess we wait for the next 20 days and see what happens. It is hearwrenching, actually. A part of me says, "If all three are strong, how can we reduce one?" It feels, in some ways, like "Sophie's Choice," and if Dr. Patel gives us a choice, and we have to make it, I don't know if I will ever get over it. Still, having triplets just does not seem feasible.
Some of my friends have written me to voice their opinions. Most are in favor of reduction, but a few have encouraged me to fight for my babies. Here is the reply I wrote to one person. I decided to cut and paste it rather than rewrite it, because it does express what I am feeling/thinking right now.
Most everyone, including my husband feels that we should reduce. A few feel like you do. In the heart, what mother would not want to fight for her children, especially when she sees the one(s) she has now? The thought of having "reduced" that child is more than she could bare.
It is heart wrenching, and I truly hope that I am not faced with the decision to reduce or not. I have agonized about it and cannot even imagine which one of those three little lives would have to go.
However, I am very afraid for the pregnacy with a triplet pregnancy. It is not my body to monitor and feel. It is not even my country to be able to access what is going on and be privy to significant decisions. In truth, I am not really sure how well Dr. Patel could/would handle a high risk pregnancy like a triplet pregnancy. Her email to me today said, "Panna and the babies are fine. See attached report." That was it. Attached report showed a missed abortion of the 4th baby, so the "babies" were not fine. To say that communication from India is not extensive would be an understatement. It seems that she has a protocol. Would she deviate from it for a triplet pregnancy, or would she just go along as normal, and if one or all of them went, her response would be: "See attached report?"
With a triplet pregnancy, the surrogate is at risk, and in truth, that is unfair to her. She also has young children, but also, I could not be certain that she was informed of the risk in agreeing to do it for extra money. She might so very much need the money, set the risk aside, or not even really know what she was getting into. I just don't know.
She is at risk, and so are the other babies. From what I have researched, you have a higher risk of miscarriage with a triplet pregnancy (higher than the chance of miscarriage wtih a reduction procedure) and you also have a fairly high chance of disablities. The babies are born about a month early, and they are usually in the "preemie" category - all of them. Whereas with twins, you can still carry to a good weight to keep them out of the preemie category, with triplets, it gets more dangerous toward the end so they take them out early. So this means that what would have been twins or a singleton, normally healthy and a good enough weight to be just fine, now will have to be born a month early, and how this would affect them in the long run, no one truly knows. If it is nature's decision, that is one thing, but it would be my decision by wanting to keep triplets. How would this decision affect all of the children in the long run?
Even if I were willing to risk the above, because it is so heart wrenching to think of reduction, there is the issue of what do I do after they are born. We are not well off. I could not afford a nanny full time. Both my husband and I are self employed, and so there is much less job security than someone who is not self employed. My husband does not bring in enough to support the family alone so I need to work. Both of our businesses fluctuate with the economy.
Right now, I work 30 hours a week all crammed into three long and breakless days so that I can have the other days to spend with my daughter. They are three tough days, and coming home to one is enough, three will be alot, but three new borns, would be really hard. Right now, I am saving all of my money to pay for the surrogacy and 3 months maternity leave thereafter. I have not even been able to save up what I need for a singleton pregnancy yet. I still have time, but the more finacial pressure I have, the more it affects me in terms of setting limits on how much I am working now. Sometimes I am working 12 hour days as of late. I was quite sick when I was in India, and when I got back from India, I got even sicker because I was afraid to take off because I am saving for this surrogacy. I eventually had to because my health was falling by the day, but I worried about the money alot and suffered the days I pushed myself so hard.
Energywise, I am turning 50 next week. I feel that Uma has made me younger, but realistically, I am not sure that I have the energy for more than two newborns. I will be on my own plus I have a four year old already. As you know as a mother with twins, even easy babies need attention, focus and energy. One is alot. Two is even more, but three?!!
Three times the cost for school, clothing, diapers, health insurance, medical care, and since we are both self employed, we have to buy our own health insurance. If one or all of the children were born with a health issue or disablity because of the triplet risk, we would not be able to get an independent policies. In fact, we might not be able to get independent policies anyway based on the fact that they were born preemies. This could be considered a "pre-exsisting condition." I remember when we applied for Uma's insurance, they asked about this. I guess I could lie, but I would risk their contacting Dr. Patel for birth records since they would know that triplets are usually born premature. I suppose we would grease some palms in India to say that they were each a normal weight at birth, but again, that is a risk. By law, our health insurance would have to take the children on, but that alone would cost us an additional $225 per child each month. Multiplied by three, plus what we pay for ourselves and Uma (who thankfully has an inexpensive individual policy), what we paid for health insurance alone would be more than we currently pay for rent!
Finances, and energy into consideration, there is also the issue of how having three rather than two will change my ability to care for the children in the way I would want. I believe in attachment parenting in the beginning years. This means wearing the babies on my body in carriers, and cosleeping. This is very possible with twins as I have two sides of my body, and two sides of my bed. With three, I will always have to rotate one out, and this will, I think, affect all of the children - they will all have less of me.
There are other issues as well, but then there is the heart wrenching fact that this little life that is struggling to be would have to be terminated by will. I don't know if I could ever get over that either.
The scan report said that they will rescan in 20 days. I am truly hoping that nature makes the decision for me. If not, then I will see what Dr. Patel says. If she says that it is up to me, I think my heart will break in half, or maybe three pieces! There are very solid, and practical reasons for not continuing with a triplet pregancy. There are risks to the other babies if we reduce or if we don't. Despite all of the practicalities, my heart is not yet fully convinced. I will probably need to consult with medical experts before Dr. Patel advises me, just in case she leaves it up to us to decide.