I had my second visit with the maternal-fetal specialist a couple of days ago. As the first order of business, we got to see the babies again. No measurements this time; the tech was just looking for heart tones. She focused on each baby individually and showed us the flicker of the heartbeat. It was very clear that the kiddos have done some growing in the last couple of weeks; we could see them moving around and even waving at us! It's amazing to think that there's all that movement in my body, and yet I can't feel any of it. I am sure that I will long for this kind of oblivion once I have eight tiny feet (and eight tiny fists) vying for room in my torso!
Here are a couple of snapshots from the latest ultrasound (the babies are shown at 10 weeks gestation):
The second part of the visit was less fun, as it involved hearing a little more about transabdominal cerclage (TAC). The TAC is an optional procedure in which the uterus is temporarily removed (with babies in it!) via a C-section-type incision so that a band can be placed around the top of the cervix. The surgery has serious risks (including, rarely, the loss of one or more babies); however, it appears that outcomes for triplet pregnancies are encouraging (there is not much data on quad pregnancies, for obvious reasons). According to my doctor, women who have the surgery are less likely to experience the degree of preterm labor that results in a much-too-early delivery. The babies will come early regardless, of course, but this could lengthen their time in the womb (which, in turn, would mean less time in the NICU—always a good thing).
If I decide to have the procedure (and I'm pretty sure I will), my surgery will be August 1. My doctor says that I can expect to be in the hospital for two nights, and then at home for a week. Please pray for me as I face this scary prospect, that I may have peace about the decision I make. My main goal is to do whatever is best for the babies.
To end on an up note, Ted and I will celebrate our eighth anniversary on Tuesday. That's two years of marriage per baby—and you guys thought we were waiting too long to have kids!