Saturday, June 20, 2009

How We Got Here

Brent and I have always wanted to have children. How many children? He would always say 4...I would always say 2. So I guess, in the end, God forced us to compromise.

Brent and I, like many, many other couples out there, did not have an easy road to get pregnant. After a year and a half of trying to concieve, we decided we needed to get help. After many doctor's appointments with my regular OB GYN we weren't getting anywhere. I made the call to the Scott & White fertility clinic to see a specialist. We were sheduled with Dr. Wincek in October of 2008.

Dr. Wincek is a wonderful doctor. We just loved his nature and no BS attitude. He started me on Clomid and scheduled us for our first IUI (Intra-uterine insemination) in November of 2008. When this IUI failed, we tried again in December. I was crushed at first, but still hopeful that we had options. When our second IUI failed (I began my cycle on New Years Eve of 2009), we decided we needed to try the next step.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). IVF is much more involved, much more expensive and would require alot of drugs...alot of shots. Dr. Wincek allowed us to move forward with IVF even though we had only had two failed IUIs. Most clinics require you to go through 3-6 cycles of IUI before moving on to IVF. IVF has to be scheduled to the nth degree. We were anxiously awaiting our turn in the line of couples waiting for IVF. In February 2009, we got the call. We started our drug regimine each day. Some days I would take as many as 4 pills and have as many as 4 shots. Brent gave me my shots each morning or evening, whatever was required. He became a pro at mixing my medications and at giving semi-painless shots.

The drugs given in IVF are meant to cause your body to create many viable eggs for extraction. When my eggs had developed to a certain point, they put me under anesthesia and extracted as many eggs as they could from both of my ovaries. They then pick the best looking eggs and insert the best looking sperm and wait to see what happens. I had 10 great eggs extracted. Out of those 10, only 7 fertilized and divided. Out of those 7, we had 1 really great egg reach the ideal stage for implantation and we had 2 others that were one stage below ideal.

Our embryologist came in to speak to us on the day we were to have the eggs implanted in my uterus. Brent and I had decided before we got there that we would only implant 2, only 2. When the doctor came in, he showed us pictures of our eggs and described the stages and gave us his recommendation to give us the greatest chance for a pregnancy...3 eggs.

I looked at Brent with wide eyes when the embryologist broke this to us. We talked over the risks and options for a long time and finally decided to give it the best shot and implant all 3. We were told there would be a 2% chance of us actually having triplets. We had the eggs implanted and waited.

2 weeks after the implantation I was scheduled to go in and have blood drawn for a pregnancy test. Who can wait two weeks?! We were dying to know if we had more roadblocks in front of us or if we could celebrate. A week and a half after the eggs were implanted I rushed home from work to take a home pregnancy test. I had taken so many pregnancy tests in the past that were always negative that I sat there chanting over and over in my mind, "pregnant, pregnant, pregnant..."

Finally, the test registed the result "PREGNANT!" I was so excited but I was home all by myself. I had to wait another 20 minutes for Brent to get home to share the news. We just couldn't believe that it worked.

I went in for my blood test as scheduled and later that evening our nurse e-mailed me with the positive result. It was completely confirmed...we were expecting!

At about 6 weeks of pregnancy, the "morning" sickness began. I was nausiated all the time, even the smell of Cheese-It crackers would set me off.

We were schedule for our 8 week appointment with Dr. Wincek for an ultrasound. We would find out at this appointment how many we were expecting. Brent and I were always thinking, probably 1 or 2 babies, we never really acknolwedged the possibility of 3 because there was such a slim chance.

Dr. Wincek and our nurse, Kimberly, started the ultrasound and had the screen pointed away from Brent and me. There was complete silence in the room for about 5-7 minutes...some rumblings between Dr. Wincek and Kimberly but they didn't say anything directly to us. Finally, Dr. Wincek turned the screen toward us and said, "Well, here is what we have. Two of the eggs implanted...and one of those eggs split. So you have a set of identicals and a third fraternal triplet." (So even if we had only implanted 2, we may have ended up with 3 in the end...isn't God funny!)

I was elated...initially. Brent was pacing in the examining room. Dr. Wincek and Kimberly left us alone for a minute to set us up with an OB at Waco Scott & White who would be willing to take us on since we were high risk with triplets. When we were alone, we just sat there looking at each other like, "oh my goodness...ready or not, here we go."

We left the clinic and immediately called Mom (our entire family was waiting anxiously to find out what happened during our appointment). Mom was driving home at the time, so Brent advised her to pull over. When Mom was off the road, I finally said "Well, are you ready for 6 grandchildren?" and she said, "FROM YOU?!" (My sister has three boys already.) Brent and I laughed and said, "No, in total...we are having triplets!" She was so excited...our entire family couldn't believe it.

After the inital elation wore off, I was freaked out. I couldn't talk about the triplets, I couldn't talk about car seats and getting a different car and cribs and decorating. I was in a haze for about 2 weeks. I let Brent handle the arrangements for getting a new, triplet friendly car. My vehicle at the time had bucket seats in the back and would only fit two car seats.

I was also getting more and more sick as the days passed by. I couldn't keep any food or liquid down other than water. All of my pregnancy books said that "morning" sickness would be worse with a multiple pregnancy. After a few weeks of suffering and a few days of not being able to eat at all, my doctor put me on some medication that allows me to eat and keep it down.

From that point on, the pregnancy has been relatively normal. One thing I wasn't expecting was for my doctor to put me on bed rest at 16 weeks. He saw some changes in me that can be early predictors of pre-term labor. That is something we really do not want. So bed rest it was. The bed rest really helped; everything went back to normal after a few weeks so we are doing well.

Long road and everything considered, we couldn't be happier to welcome three precious little girls into the world.


  1. This is a great idea! Now we can all wait with you and share in your joys!

  2. I was going to suggest this! It will be a great way for you to share this experience with the girls later in life!

  3. This is beautiful! I'm so excited for you and Brent and can't wait to read all your updates!
    Great Aunt Susan to Addison, Reagan and Baylee

  4. I loved reading your story. I will be happy to be informed of how you and those precious babies are doing. May God bless you all.

  5. Great way to keep your mind busy through the next weeks at home...may seem like a long time but it will fly by. Maybe we can keep eachother informed about our babies once I have time to put one together too, may be awhile!

  6. I love you Shell and am SO excited for you and Brent! You will both make such absolutely wonderful parents because of your great sense of humor, your intelligence, your gracious, giving attitudes, your high levels of common sense and problem-solving, and your willingness to be there for anyone! I can't wait for the little girl's arrival! :)