Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Short Non-Existence of Baby C

One thing that was not obvious in yesterday's startling image was that once upon a time, there was not just a Baby A and a Baby B, but also a Baby C. Shocking, I know. No one was more shocked than me, considering three babies is starting to get into fertility treatment territory. This is how my ultrasound - which I only had because I had zero clue when my last period was - went down:

There's me, full to the brim of washy-sloshy liquids, lying on the table with jelly on my belly getting wanded by a tech, when said tech stares hard at the screen and then says "Would you excuse me for a moment?" Ohhhhkay.

She returns with another tech, and both remark on how badly I must have to pee. You don't say! It's not like I have 33.8 oz. of liquid in my bladder or anything. Tech #2 stares hard at the screen, and then asks me if I've ever had a vaginal ultrasound. I have. And now I get to have another.

I am allowed to urinate. BLISS.

De-pantsing follows, and both techs return along with a doctor. Uh huh. Wand hits the mark. Uterus on screen. Everyone is now staring at the screen. I feel like I am getting the most invasive TSA search ever. And, hey, what exactly is going on? I'd already told the techs that if this was a blighted ovum situation or something similar, they should just tell me.

And then I hear this: "I'm definitely seeing the second heartbeat, but I'm not getting anything on the third embryo."

Which is when I said: "Did you just say what I think you said?"

That was the start of two hours on hospital grounds, first to finish up my now much more noteworthy ultrasound, get some bloodwork done, pee in a cup, and then to meet with my midwives. A meeting at which I learned all of the scary and odd and unpredictable things in my future that are just that much more odd and scary and unpredictable than your everyday pregnancy stuff.

But back to Baby C. When I conceived, I either dropped three eggs or I dropped two and one split. Two of the resulting embryos have whizbang little heartbeats and, according to the doctor who stared so hard at that screen, are looking strong and healthy.

The third, Baby C, either never got that far or had a heartbeat and then faded away before I ever knew it was there. By my next ultrasound, there will probably be no evidence left that there ever was a Baby C since it will have been absorbed into my body. Efficient, no? In fact, f I hadn't had an early ultrasound, we may never have known there even was a Baby C.

Am I sad? As horrible as it probably sounds, not really. Not any more sad than I am to hear about someone I never knew dying. After all, I didn't know there was a Baby C until after there wasn't a Baby C anymore. And the thought of triplets is frankly terrifying from so many angles - the expense, the stress, the medical risks to the babies and to me. But it is a little weird to think that I could have had triplets if this gene or that gene had done exactly what it was supposed to.

That said, the fact that Baby C was a 'vanishing triplet' has made me acutely aware that it's entirely possible that Baby A or Baby B could also become a vanishing twin. It's more common than you think - some estimates suggest that 1 in 8 babies begin gestation as a twin and that 80% of twin pregnancies result in the loss of one baby very early on.

Frightening, no? I'm trying not to think about it, but I am sort of mentally preparing myself for the fact that I could go into my next ultrasound and see only one baby. And THAT would most definitely make me sad. Because while I never saw Baby C alive and I never expected to be having two babies, now that I've seen their little whizbang heartbeats I want them both really badly.

UPDATE: Just so I never have to get another congratulations comment, I should mention that I later miscarried.


  1. WOW! I hope A & B stay happy & healthy!

  2. I kind of want to make a witty remark along the lines of.. I know you're a bargain shopper and all but this is a little ridiculous. ;)

    I am super excited for you no matter how many babies are in there in the end, but I hope that things stay perfectly perfect for both babies.

  3. I wanted to make a remark along the lines of "i maded you three babbys, but then i reabsorbded one" would be an amazingly inappropriate thing to say to tedd. but i'm wholly inappropriate. obviously.

  4. I'll be wishing and praying that ABBA grows strong and healthy everyday.

  5. And to think I've known you all this time and never knew this part of your story. Thanks for sharing. My daughter had a vanishing twin, and as desperate as I was to have kids I had the same reaction. We didn't know about it until our 7week ultrasound, and my 9 weeks it was gone. I'd had so many miscarriages at that point I was just thankful one survived. So glad you featured this story on SITS so I can know you even better!

  6. Wow, sooo sorry you lost babies A, B & C....I think I read that right anyway, by everyone elses comments above maybe I didn't...?

  7. I've had one of those ultrasounds. They are terrible. Happy SITS day!

  8. Thanks for sharing, especially on your SITS day. I think there are women out there who probably would have deleted this blog post entirely had they miscarried. I admire your emotional fortitude and I wish you the very best.

  9. That's tough! I found out I was pregnant one week and miscarried the following week. It's a hard loss but you adjust and life goes on. In my case I got pregnant again 3 months later and he's now a healthy 3 yr old. I'm just selfish enough to wish I had both of them. Stopping by from SITS.

  10. One of the anxiety-producing things to me about getting ultrasounds was the fear that I would see something I did not want to see. The relief I felt when everything was okay was always fleeting, even though I had no reason to expect anything was ever wrong. It is exhausting sometimes to constantly be worried for the worst.

    I'm so sorry about the miscarriage. It must have been really tough. xoxo

  11. What a strange experience. I can't even imagine being told there are two heartbeats or three...

  12. It feel very strange to wish you a happy SITS day after reading this post. Maybe it hits too close to home or that the last line leaves me pondering how you must feel in that blue linked post, while I leave my comment here. We almost lost my Baby B of my twins, but she fought through. When I went into pre-term labor they couldn't find her heartbeat either...both times were terrifying in some ways more terrifying than our 4 month NICU stay. I am off to read more, but before I do, I want to say, I am not sure what to say, but I see the smiling photos of your family and they are beautiful so I hope that each day with them brings you great joy, I guess I will find out as I read more:)


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