You guys did great…three times

Over the next few weeks I became increasingly more ill. By six weeks pregnant, I was vomiting constantly. There was a Saturday in December where I was getting sick every hour. Mike and I started reading various methods to help keep things down. I was drinking lots of Gatorade and eventually the combination of Unisom and B6 seemed to help. When you are puking due to pregnancy you are still hungry after you get sick. It’s a terrible cycle. Ramen Noodles, as well as other childhood favorites, became the one thing I could eat. It didn’t always stay down–but atleast it tasted good.

The week before my 7 week ultrasound, I looked at Mike and said, “this better be more than one baby, because I can’t do this again.” And he replied, “don’t say that, we can’t handle twins.” I tried to stay positive because I knew puking meant high HCG, which meant this baby was healthy. I was still nervous for the ultrasound. I tried not to get my hopes up. You hear so many stories of couples going in and finding out there is no heartbeat. Mike and I both braced ourselves that we could get bad news.

December 15, 2017
Because we were still being treated by the Reproductive Endocrinologist, I wasn’t allowed to see the ultrasound screen. And Mike actually waited in the waiting room. It took a long time, longer than any internal ultrasound I had before. My tech had seen me every time and is such a wonderful, caring person- but she wouldn’t tell me anything. She did ask, “how did we get you pregnant again?” and I responded, “just 50mg of Clomid.” That should have been a hint that our lives were about to change.

We were taken back to our doctor’s office and she started with some small talk asking how we were doing. And I responded with, “it depends on what you are about to tell me.” She looked at us and said, “well you guys did great– you did great three times.” She laid out the ultrasound and there they were, three little sacs.

The Joyce Triplets first photo

The next 10-15 minutes were a blur of details: high risk pregnancy, maternal fetal medicine, c-section, etc. I remember her saying, “well we knew this was a risk and we did do those shots.” I corrected her, “No, there were no shots, just 50mg of Clomid.” She was shocked, this wasn’t something that happened often. Mike couldn’t speak. We had gone in there hopeful for one healthy baby and we were leaving with three. We now knew why I had been so sick. For me, this was exciting but the next day I fell apart.

This was not our plan. I was going to be a mom of two with a career. Between the vomiting and this news, I was a wreck. Mike and I started worrying about things like paying for three college educations, maybe three weddings? I cried over silly things like having to get a cot when we go on vacation. We had spent the last 5 years traveling, we were going to be those parents not afraid to travel with our first and second kid. How do you go to Disney World with triplets? Truthfully, we spent the next two weeks coping. I couldn’t bring myself to Google anything about triplets. I kept asking God, “why me?” And at the same time, I hated myself for feeling that way. I had been gifted three healthy babies– so many women would give anything for such a gift.

I can’t speak enough about Mike through the entire first trimester and beyond. You don’t know the strength of your marriage until your husband is cleaning up puke, picking you up off the floor daily, taking on every single household chore and also helping you cope emotionally with this shocking news. I now know how terrified he was, for both me and our children, but we held each other, prayed about it, and knew we were going to “win Christmas” this year.

Where Our Journey Started

Now that my trio is five months, I wanted to write a little about our journey. We are coming up to the day where I found out I was pregnant (with what I thought was one baby) and I thought it would be a good idea to rehash the last year. Partly because I am afraid I will forget the details and want to be able to tell it to our children, but also because you get a lot of questions when you are pregnant with triplets and I know there are women out there going through the same things we did.

Taking Charge of My Fertility
Like so many women I never had regular cycles as a young teen. I was put on birth control and told not to worry about it. Fast forward to being a 29-year-old married woman ready to start a family. Based on what I knew about my body, this was not going to be easy considering I could go a year without any sign of “Aunt Flow.” Luckily for me, I had a fantastic OB who ran the blood work right away. It led to a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist. Over the next 3 months I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and put on Synthroid. There was still no sign of ovulation. So Clomid it was!

I now know so many women who have taken Clomid. It’s pretty standard for women suffering from infertility issues. Often doctors don’t do regular ultrasounds to look for follicles when prescribing the drug – which is where a lot of women get multiples. That was not the case for me and when my first round of the drug produced way too many potential eggs– I was cancelled. It was devastating. I just wanted to be able to try.

If you have ever known someone going through fertility treatment they will tell you that it is all consuming. People would ask me how I was doing or what was new with Mike and I and I would politely say nothing new, but inside I wanted to scream “trying to have a baby!”

They decreased my dosage and the next month we were given the thumbs up to move forward. I had three follicles– they are now my children. We were told we had a 10% chance of twins and a .5% chance of higher order multiples.

To me information was power so I was that person who took and graphed my temperature every morning. I used OPK’s, I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I was going to give us our best shot. So, when my temperature plummeted the Monday before Thanksgiving, I thought our chance this month was over. When you are pregnant, your temperature stays up for 18+ days–this was day 10. Turns out, it was just an implantation dip because the next day–at 3.5 weeks pregnant- I was already nauseous.

My Basal Body Temperature Chart– pregnant with triplets.