Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some Seaweed, Some Answers

Today I went into Boston for Part I of my D&E - the insertion into my cervix of three small sticks of laminaria, a thin rod made of dried kelp. For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of a D&E, the insertion of laminaria readies the cervix for further dilation so the contents of my uterus can be removed. Much like my IUD insertion last year, the insertion of the speculum and the cervical swab with iodine was more uncomfortable than the insertion of the laminaria.

As in when the doctor told me she was going to insert a third stick, I said "You mean you've put two in already, what?" If the horror stories of laminaria insertion I read yesterday are any indication, I should be thanking God for small favors. I had some mild cramping for a while, but now, nothing.

The bright spot in all of this - you know, besides the Xanax I took beforehand so I would be relaxed during the procedure - is that my doctor in Boston is rather lovely and just been so sweet about all of this. She's answered all of our questions, has been accepting of all my wacky coping mechanisms, and even reviewed everything she'd already seen to see if she could suss out a few answers for us.

As it turns out, I more than likely was pregnant with spontaneous monochorionic-monozygotic triplets. In other words, identical triplets that resulted from one egg splitting and then one of the split eggs splitting. This is getting into super rare territory, like 1 in 8,000 conceptions and 22 in a million actual births. And the thing about monochorionic-monozygotic triplets is that they can have a lot of issues... deadly issues. Things like feto-feto-fetal transfusion syndrome and a predisposition for cord accidents resulting in fetal death.

According to the doctor, if I hadn't lost them now, there was a good chance that I would have lost them later in the pregnancy. Sad, no?

BUT what that means is that if I do decide to go ahead and try for another baby, this experience will have no impact on future pregnancies because one egg splitting twice is so unlikely. I most likely won't be dealing with multiples since my monochorionic-monozygotic pregnancy was just a weird twist of fate.

So much so that I should probably buy a lottery ticket tomorrow. You know, after they send me to the land of unawareness and vacuum out my uterus. Boo.

P.S. - Thank you everyone for your kind words in the comments of my last post. I truly appreciate each and every one, and just knowing I have so much support has been wonderfully comforting.


  1. I've been thinking of you all day. If there's anything I can do, just let me know.

  2. It is a small comfort to know that it was such a wacky case of splitting and that so much more pain could have come later?

    I don't remember anything from when I've been knocked out for this procedure... not even coming home... that was a small mercy for me.


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