Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pregnancy: A comparative analysis

Today, I am 31 weeks pregnant. Because I delivered our triplets at 30 weeks 6 days, this is the longest I've ever been "on the nest".

I know that if our baby were to be delivered now, he would most likely weigh somewhere between 3 pounds 2 ounces (like his sister Elizabeth), or 3 pounds 14 ounces (like his brother, William). The cartiledge in his ears would not yet be developed and he might have a difficult time breathing on his own. He would be unable to regulate his own body temperature and would probably have frequent events of apnea and bradycardia. He would be unable to take food without a gavage tube, and most likely, would not be able to take all of his meals from a bottle for at least the next three weeks. If nature intended - he would have a head full of hair, I'm guessing brown (?), and his forearm would be no longer than my index finger.

I'm definitely not ready for this baby to make his arrival, but after delivering nine-week premature triplets ... I am flooded with a sense of relief that I have made it as far as I have, without any complications.

Because of this monumental occasion, I thought I'd spend a moment and reflect on the differences between this singleton pregnancy - which transpired after a $25.00 nice bottle of wine and a good church service ... and the triplet pregnancy - which transpired after tens of thousands of dollars, multiple surgeries, hundreds of intramuscular injections and interviewing several fertility clinics through out Southern California.


The triplet pregnancy is still so fresh on my mind that any discomforts I feel with this pregnancy are miniscule. In the third trimester with the triplets I had heartburn, sleepless nights, pillows strategically placed beneath every limb, spontaneous nosebleeds, extreme carpal tunnel, extreme swelling, severe breathlessness and the inability to lift myself on to - or off of - the toilet without assistance.

In the third trimester of this pregnancy, I am still sleeping on my back and possess the ability to skip, jump and go down slides at the park. The only time I really think about uncomfortable side-effects from this pregnancy is when I look at my legs and feet.

Speaking of which: I never really understood where the term barefoot and pregnant came from, until now. As you get further along in a pregnancy, it becomes damn near impossible to put on socks and equally difficult to put on shoes. And pantyhose? Forget about it.

Thanks in large part to my phenomenol ability to retain fluid, I have outgrown all of my shoes except flip-flops and my new Keen's. After some considerable thought, I don't know how babies are born in cold weather climates. The act of putting on snowboots is unfathomable and you'd think - would result in the suffocation of both mother and child.

Baby Movements

When I was pregnant with the triplets, someone was constantly hiccuping, flipping, rolling and kicking. With this pregnancy, I only feel the baby move when I am slightly reclined. Although he will squirm around, it's nowhere like the mosh pit I had with the triplets.

Bladder Control

I don't recall being in the bathroom 20 hours out of a day with the triplet pregnancy. Maybe it was because I was sitting down more and not up running all over the place. With this pregnancy, I have two distinct sensations:

1) The feeling that I have to go.

2) The feeling that I have just gone. But moments later, refer to #1) above.

Health Care

I was a celebrity when I was pregnant with the triplets. I was on a first name basis with all the perinatologists and nurses, and would receive frequent calls from my insurance company to see how everything was progressing. By my third trimester, at least two times a week I was at the doctor's office receiving ultrasounds and/or non-stress testing.

When I was at home, people catered to me.

I'm "just another pregnant lady" with this here, singleton. My run-of-the-mill OB/GYN will be moving to a different facility at the end of this month and has left it up to me if I want to continue under his care - or be seen by a new doctor. Now that I've passed 30 weeks, I will have appointments once every two weeks (not sure who with). To date, I've only had a total of two ultrasounds and no more are planned.

When I am at home, I cater to a multitude of small people.


Long before our triplets arrived, I had the nursery entirely setup. The carseats were ready, the stroller had been ordered, the crib was assembled, the diaper bag was stocked and all of the hundred plus items of baby clothing had been washed in Dreft and neatly put away.

With this baby, we're still not sure where he is going to sleep, how we'll get him home from the hospital and I'm of the mindset a diaper and a onesie will suffice nicely for clothing. Until he's three.


Losing my mind is definitely more prevalent with the singleton pregnancy than it was with the triplets. I think....

The only time I really had a lapse of forgetfulness when I was expecting the triplets, happened when I was about 28 weeks. I was at home, on self-imposed bedrest, and had a major hankering for a meatball sub.

I hoisted myself off the couch and waddled in to the kitchen. After heating up some left over ingredients in our refrigerator and crafting the most exquisite home-made meatball sub ever known, I waddled over to the couch and delicately put my plate down. I then remembered that I had forgotten my drink, so I waddled back over to the kitchen, picked up my 2-gallon jug of water, and waddled back to the couch.

As I walked up to the couch, admiring my sub, I was already imagining how wonderful it would taste ... the plump meatballs, the zangy marinara sauce, the melted mozzarella, the soft and yet, crispy roll.

I turned around - and without picking up my plate first - planted my behind, which was the size of Iowa - directly on top of my meatball sub. It was as if for a moment in time, my mind went totally blank as I looked around wondering what had happened to my sandwich. Only when I felt the warmth permeating through my sweatpants did I realize ... I was on top of it.

With this pregnancy, I am losing my mind. All. The. Time.

Last week is a perfect example. I was scheduled to have my glucose levels tested for gestational diabetes - because I had forgotten to have them tested the LAST time I was at the doctor. Before I went for my appointment, I had to fight the overwhelming urge to make a potty stop, because as soon as I arrived at the doctor, they would ask me to fill a cup. And heaven knows there's nothing worse than not being able to fill the cup when everyone is waiting for you TO fill the cup.

I arrived at the doctor's office and was instantly handed a can of oral glucose that I needed to drink before I was examined. I would then have to wait for an hour to have my blood levels tested. Hopefully, by then, the doctor would have finished the exam and I would be able to run straight down to the lab. I had forgotten that oral glucose does not taste like Orange Crush and instead, tasted like some horrific concoction of nectar and crude oil, spiked with Perrier.

By the time I finished the drink, I was nauseous.

The nurse handed me my cup and I made my way to the bathroom. As I was fighting back the urge to barf, I plopped myself down, did my business, washed my hands and exited the bathroom. It was only when I walked back in to the room, that I remembered I had forgotten to fill the cup.

The doctor completed my exam, told me the baby is doing great and handed me slips to register for my next two appointments. I happily collected my items and left, after making a quick stop in the restroom.

When I arrived home, I received a call from one of the nurses telling me that I had forgotten to fill my cup. AND ... schedule my next two appointments. AND ... go to the lab. AND ... my car was still in the parking lot.

(No, not really - but leaving my vehicle behind wouldn't have surprised me.)

That night, as I got the children ready for bed, I lamented to Charlie how frustrated I was with myself that I couldn't remember to do the simplest tasks.

The next morning, Charlie informed me that he was up in the middle of the night with Elizabeth, who had completely soaked her crib. Apparently, I had forgotten to put on her diaper, just before I put her in her pajamas.

You know, it's not like putting on a diaper isn't second nature to me.

I breathe. I diaper.

Now, I've taken to carrying around a sign that reads "BREATHE" just in case I forget.


Here I am at 20 weeks, pregnant with the triplets:

Here I am at 31 weeks, pregnant with a singleton (The baby is on my frontside, not my backside, in case you were wondering, BETH. And yes, William is playing with a highlighter while I finish updating this blog. Darn if he doesn't nap more than 45 minutes. His hands, shirt and my arm are now completely yellow):


  1. Gee Whiz Jenn do you think it's POSSIBLE that your forgetfulness this time has anything at all to do with three short people at your home writing on your arms and pulling at your clothes and a million and one other things that you do? Be easy on yourself GF! You're pregnant and I think there is a 'temporary' syndrome for Pregnancy forgetfulness ..okay maybe not but there SHOULD BE!
    Whoo hoo 31 weeks Congrats
    A lurker
    Ruth who reads each line and lies vicarious through you ... a little

  2. You look AWESOME! That's so funny about the highlighter... Shayna got a hold of Sharpie today... check out the damage in my Blog! LOL!

  3. Love the comparisons! I do think the level of discomfort and forgetfulness does increase proprotianally to the number of children you have OUTSIDE the womb. At least that's my theory these days.

    You look great!

  4. (P.S. I do know how to spell "proportionally"...)

  5. I was laughing under control until I read the part about forgetting the diaper......OMG! I lost it after that...Your husband was so sweet to clean everything up without waking you....( if that is what happened?)

    Hang in there, so glad you have made it this far....

  6. Wow, Jen, you look stunning! I love your hair! Okay, wait, you're 31 weeks? Um, I seriously thought you just announced that yesterday. That was in October? Um, wow.

    Soon you and Charlie need to start fighting... I mean, discussing baby names. That's the hardest part, right?! Do we get to find out beforehand or do we have to wait nine weeks?! Waaaa....

  7. Too funny!
    The mental picture of you sitting on that sub is too much...where DID I put that sub???

  8. cute baby belly!

    I wish I could tell you that your brain returns...but i am still waiting for mine. Sometimes i see glimpses, but then it fades away:)

  9. I remember from a previous post that you had HELLP syndrome with your previous pregnancy. I hope you are being monitored closely this time around. I had severe HELLP syndrome and my only symptoms pre delivery were excessive swelling and weight gain. After delivery my platelets dropped to 14,000. I gave birth to a 3lb 15oz 38 weeker. Sorry, not trying to be the voice of doom and gloom. Just concerned for you and the new little one.

  10. You look great Jen and are quite the writer. Love reading the blog.

  11. What a trooper you are! You look awesome too.

  12. You look SO adorable! Fabulous, actually!!

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