I've taken some time to process some information and I still don't know what to do with it. For the most part, we have decided not to share this with people we know IRL. I don't know why. I'm just not comfortable talking about this with most people I know in the real world (as opposed to my imaginary friends in the computer). I'm going to post about it, though, because I need to talk myself through this.
You remember my youngest daughter? She's the oh so adorable infant who came into this world in the most amazing fashion at home and completely changed our world. Remember her? Well, we found out that she was not a singleton.
She was a triplet. The other two, however, didn't make it past the first trimester.
Early on, I wondered. In the early days, this last pregnancy felt very similar to my twin pregnancy, only moreso. I was far more exhausted and nauseated than I was even with twins. Since I was so tired and sick, we put off getting an ultrasound until later than usual. We saw one baby on the ultrasound and breathed a sigh of relief. Now, though, we realize they were already gone by then.
When TheBaby was born, there was evidence of the other two. G-d bless the midwife, though, she didn't explain the signifigance of it. I had my suspicions (as dh later admitted as well), but I'm glad to have avoided the weight of that when I was busy cuddling a tiny newborn. Our amazing homebirth wasn't tainted by the knowledge of what we lost.
A few weeks ago, I asked the midwife about it. I expected her to tell me we were reading too much into it and that these things weren't an indication of other babies at all. Instead, she said, "Yeah, that's the only reason that would happen."
I had triplets. Well, I "had" them in the sense that, for a brief period, I carried them. I didn't actually give birth to them. I need to be able to own that. I need to be able to acknowledge that they were there. I can't do that much in real life.
I still don't know how to think or feel.
I know we never would have had the birth we did if I had given birth to triplets. TheBaby's birth was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. For the first time, I was able to give birth to a child in a way that did NOT put the baby or me at risk. The birth completely changed my world.
Could my body have carried triplets to term? All signs point to, "No." My daughters' prematurity was a result of my body's inability to provide for them. I never went into labor. They were cut out because I developed pre-eclampsia and my body put them at risk. Yes, midwifery care prevented the problem in later pregnancies, but my midwives couldn't have taken me on. A triplet pregnancy after 2 c-sections would have ruled out a homebirth and would have limitted the pre-natal care my midwives could have provided.
For oh so many reasons, having three babies would have been devestating.
I know full-well that this was for the best.
Still, we had triplets. For a little while, I carried two babies that we'll never know.
I'm torn between the logical and the emotional. I don't regret how things worked out. My daughter is a blessing. Her birth was a blessing. Still, I wonder.