Interview with mother of triplets Marielle

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    Interview with mother of triplets Marielle

    Sponsored by Länsförsäkringar

    Hi Marielle! Tell us a little about yourself and your family?

    Marielle is my name, I'm 36 years old and live in Sundbyberg with my partner, the triplets Ines, Elvira and Juni + the girls' two older siblings William 10 years and Alice 7 years, which I have from a previous relationship.

    What was your first feeling when you found out that there were three (!) babies in your belly?

    Of course, I didn't expect there to be three in there! BUT I did think beforehand that something was different, so in a way I wasn't surprised that there was more than one. I had been feeling very bad and was extremely tired, which made me realize that there was a difference from my previous pregnancies.

    When the news came, I both laughed and cried. Even the nurse was laughing. She thought I should call my husband on FaceTime and tell him (as I was alone at the controls due to the pandemic!), but it felt too unlikely to tell him over the phone.

    Otherwise, there were very practical thoughts running through my head. Where should we live? What kind of car should we have? I thought a lot about how many overalls and winter shoes you will need to buy at the same time, haha!

    How was this pregnancy different from your previous ones, where there was a baby in the womb?

    I was extremely tired and felt very unwell - something I brought up at my antenatal appointment. But I don't think she automatically thought that it could be an indication that there were more fetuses in the stomach. Something else I reacted quickly to was that I got big fast, I remember taking a picture in the mirror before we even had time to tell her and thinking "Wow, I already have a belly!". Size-wise, I was always 10-12 weeks ahead. In week 20 I was about the same size as in week 30, so you get big and bulky very quickly!

    How did your families react when you told them?

    I don't think my mom thought I would have more children. So I thought, "What will she say now that there are three?"! But everyone, including my mom, has been very happy and above all surprised! People haven't really been able to take it in. And even though I saw it on the ultrasound screen in week 13, I couldn't really take it in either. We've also had to convince many people, "Yes, but we promise, there ARE three of them! Triplets, not twins!".

    Did it take you a long time to accept?

    I would say that it took 6-8 weeks before we realized that there were three of them. It also became more real when you thought in week 20 that there might only be 10 weeks left, because triplets can actually come as early as week 28. But even when we got a referral to fetal medicine to talk about fetal reduction, if you choose to remove someone, it felt like everything became more real and we landed even more in it.

    What was it like to be approached with such a question about fetal reduction?

    Somehow I understand that they have to ask, I guess. But at the same time, we never hesitated about our choice. We said of course that we wanted to talk about it, and that we felt we had to go there and tell them what we were thinking and listen to what the doctors had to say. At first I didn't like our doctor at all, but then it changed to me wanting him to be with me every day. He was matter-of-fact and straightforward and explained everything in a good and understandable way. I had a lot of respect for him. There were many thoughts about the fetal reduction. If you were to do it, who would you remove and why? Should you spend the rest of your life thinking about who and why you removed someone? Nor is there any guarantee that the fetuses you choose to keep will survive. It is a risk to reduce fetuses in the same way as it is to leave them all behind. Especially since ours also shared the placenta. There is nothing to say that there will not be complications for the one at the other end.

    The pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy, but we felt that the body will decide if this will go well. In any case, we have made the choice to try to complete and give all three a chance at life.

    What do you consider particularly important during pregnancy, especially for those expecting triplets?

    For us it was important to sign a pregnancy insurance, partly because I had it with my previous children but also because you never know what happens. I was extra careful to check if there was any difference now that I was carrying three versus one fetus. And finally chose to take out a pregnancy insurance policy from Länsförsäkringar that you pay for, as it was a high-risk pregnancy. It was a security, an extra protection if it turned out that there was something wrong, or if something should happen. The pregnancy itself is different from the start. You know it's going to be a caesarean birth and you know you're going to have to spend a longer time in hospital as they often take the babies out 7-8 weeks early. So it was important for us to have extra protection that made us feel a little more secure.

    Is it the same type of insurance, even if you are expecting triplets?

    Yes it is the same! There is no difference. I was careful to double check that it was actually the same insurance I would take out as if I were carrying a child.

    What was the process of choosing insurance?

    I had had Länsförsäkringar's Pregnancy Insurance for my previous children plus I have my children's insurance there, so there was not much thinking. Now I looked a little more at the difference between free insurance and the one you pay for and concluded that I would feel extra safe with the paid version because the risks are higher in every way in this pregnancy.

    What is the birth planning process like when you are expecting triplets?

    As I understand it, there is always a planned incision when expecting triplets, unlike when expecting twins when it can be 50/50. But for us, there was never any question of vaginal delivery or cesarean birth. Instead, we were told that it was a planned incision and that it will take place sometime around week 34. In a triplet pregnancy, you do not want to plan it too early, but you go on indications of how the children in the stomach and the mother feel. However, I felt in week 30 that it started to get hard not knowing an exact date. I was sickly big, as if I was in week 42 and felt that I mentally needed a target date. I managed to get a date for the planned incision in week 35 + 1. A little later than I had hoped for!

    Do you want to tell us about the birth?

    I never got to week 35+1 but in week 32+6 my mucus plug released. I called the obstetrician who said that it doesn't necessarily mean anything that the mucus plug has gone, maybe it's just that I moved more than usual. So I remember thinking "But come on, I've given birth to two children, shouldn't you just ask me to come in?". I was met with the classic "take two alvedon and try to rest a little", which I thought at the time felt a little strange, I was not at all comfortable in the answer but chose to contact the specialist maternity care that I had previously been in contact with and tell them about my status. After a minute, the reception calls me back and says "call the birth again, it should take you in right away".

    So at 17:00 we called again. This time it was a different nurse who answered and she replied immediately; "it's obvious that you should come here, pack up your and your partner's things". Then I was very surprised, can he suddenly come along? My husband had not been allowed to come to any check-ups throughout the pregnancy due to the pandemic. So we suddenly had to arrange babysitting for the big kids who were at home and had Easter vacation!

    We arrived in labor at 19:00. I had been having contractions since lunch which were now starting to hurt a bit. Which was not the idea, I would not end up in labor, it would be calm and planned. I was a little stressed about this as I had previously had two caesarean sections. At the examination, they saw that I had contractions but that the pin was not so affected. If I had been carrying one baby, it would not have reacted, but since I was carrying three, we had to stay overnight to get shots to stop the labor and shots for lung maturation for the girls if we needed to take them out. So we had to stay and the plan was to get another shot for lung maturation as you want to give the doses twelve hours apart.

    I get a sleeping pill to be able to rest a little but then at 03 o'clock my water breaks, 20 minutes after I took my sleeping pill to gather some strength. So it was just to roll back to the maternity ward. We were met by the same doctor as before and just before she was about to get off her shift she says "you should probably get ready to become parents today". Three hours later the girls were out!

    In the hours in between, four doctors came to inform us about how everything would work. They were checking the order in which the girls would be taken out. We also received information from the neonatal unit, as we would end up there afterwards. Then I was prepared for surgery. I have been through Caesarean births before and remember being shocked that there were so many people in the room, but it was nothing compared to how many were there now! Now there were even more people, about 3-4 midwives per child, 3-4 doctors and 3 anesthesiologists so there was a lot of staff.

    Ines was picked first, because she was at the bottom, then the idea was that June would come second, but then Elvira pushed ahead. There was a very good atmosphere in the room and everyone felt good. After the birth, I was taken to the recovery room and Per to Neo with the children. The staff thought I was bleeding a bit much, they wanted to do the safe before the unsafe so I had to be anesthetized to insert a balloon that helps the uterus to contract. I then had to stay in the recovery room until the next day, something I was not at all prepared for. So I didn't get to meet the girls until 22 hours later, which was a very hard and strange feeling.

    Did you have any complications after giving birth?

    Not during the actual incision, but in connection with the operation afterwards when the balloon was inserted to make the uterus contract. The doctor forgot to put an operating cloth in me during that operation. Apparently it can happen, the cloth can be imitated with organs so it is easy to happen which I had no idea about. After we had been home for a week, I felt that I was in a lot of pain when I sat and I couldn't really sit straight. Which felt strange as I had not given birth vaginally. But I contacted a midwife who had been at the birth and then an examination was done where it was found that they had forgotten an operating cloth that she had to pull out through the vagina. It was completely sick, it felt like a long curtain length, and afterwards my stomach felt completely empty! After that I was given antibiotics, but they didn't work completely, so I had to go to the gynecology ward after getting a fever. There I had to wait for 9 hours before the doctor gave me a double course of antibiotics that I would eat for ten days. But after that it has been fine!

    My God, there are clearly many things you have no idea about when it comes to giving birth. Have you used the pregnancy insurance that you took out?

    We used the insurance because we had to spend time at Neo. You get reimbursed for the days you are hospitalized, or for the entire time you are admitted to Neo as you can still have home care at the beginning. We were paid for about three weeks!

    How to make a notification?

    I did mine online. I got a call from a caseworker who asked some follow-up questions about how it has been afterwards and how the children are doing. It was no problem at all to make a report, what you need to do is to authorize them to access the children's medical records. Our children have been so well that we have not needed any type of care afterwards, so for us the case has been very simple.

    We received a very quick payout, I'm almost surprised at how fast everything went! I also feel that it was easy when we took out our child insurance. You fill in the application online and all you need is your birth record. For premature babies, the medical record from the BVC is also needed, so it was nothing special because they were three, but something that is needed when you are born prematurely. We got a letter home that we had to sign and send back, and two weeks later the child insurance was approved.

    Do you have any magic tips for someone expecting triplets?

    Haha, yes, we always get this question!

    My tip for pregnancy is to listen to your body and be extra sensitive. When I went down and worked 50%, I felt that I really needed it. It's important to take care of yourself in your pregnancy. And your mindset - just because it's three doesn't mean it's a disaster. Everything will work out!

    Dare to try! You usually have an idea of how you want to do certain things. But try it out, don't let anything limit you! The internet paints a picture that having triplets is so hard. We quickly decided that we should do what we want, and not let it limit us. Routines have helped us! Life becomes a little more routine, but you dare more because you have a safe point to lean back on.

    Then we have the security of knowing that we as individuals are not so stressed. Try to stay calm as much as possible, this is how it looks now. Look on the bright side! Everything will be great!

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