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For some reason this makes me feel sick

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:21 PM
  • 156 Replies

When One Is Enough

By Amy Richards
I grew up in a working-class family in Pennsylvania not knowing my father. I have never missed not having him. I firmly believe that, but for much of my life I felt that what I probably would have gained was economic security and with that societal security. Growing up with a single mother, I was always buying into the myth that I was going to be seduced in the back of a pickup truck and become pregnant when I was 16. I had friends when I was in school who were helping to rear nieces and nephews, because their siblings, who were not much older, were having babies. I had friends from all over the class spectrum: I saw the nieces and nephews on the one hand and country-club memberships and station wagons on the other. I felt I was in the middle. I had this fear: What would it take for me to just slip?

Now I'm 34. My boyfriend, Peter, and I have been together three years. I'm old enough to presume that I wasn't going to have an easy time becoming pregnant. I was tired of being on the pill, because it made me moody. Before I went off it, Peter and I talked about what would happen if I became pregnant, and we both agreed that we would have the child.

I found out I was having triplets when I went to my obstetrician. The doctor had just finished telling me I was going to have a low-risk pregnancy. She turned on the sonogram machine. There was a long pause, then she said, ''Are you sure you didn't take fertility drugs?'' I said, ''I'm positive.'' Peter and I were very shocked when she said there were three. ''You know, this changes everything,'' she said. ''You'll have to see a specialist.''

My immediate response was, I cannot have triplets. I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk-up in the East Village; I worked freelance; and I would have to go on bed rest in March. I lecture at colleges, and my biggest months are March and April. I would have to give up my main income for the rest of the year. There was a part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?

I looked at Peter and asked the doctor: ''Is it possible to get rid of one of them? Or two of them?'' The obstetrician wasn't an expert in selective reduction, but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more.

Having felt physically fine up to this point, I got on the subway afterward, and all of a sudden, I felt ill. I didn't want to eat anything. What I was going through seemed like a very unnatural experience. On the subway, Peter asked, ''Shouldn't we consider having triplets?'' And I had this adverse reaction: ''This is why they say it's the woman's choice, because you think I could just carry triplets. That's easy for you to say, but I'd have to give up my life.'' Not only would I have to be on bed rest at 20 weeks, I wouldn't be able to fly after 15. I was already at eight weeks. When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: It's not the back of a pickup at 16, but now I'm going to have to move to Staten Island. I'll never leave my house because I'll have to care for these children. I'll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise. Even in my moments of thinking about having three, I don't think that deep down I was ever considering it.

The specialist called me back at 10 p.m. I had just finished watching a Boston Pops concert at Symphony Hall. As everybody burst into applause, I watched my cellphone vibrating, grabbed it and ran into the lobby. He told me that he does a detailed sonogram before doing a selective reduction to see if one fetus appears to be struggling. The procedure involves a shot of potassium chloride to the heart of the fetus. There are a lot more complications when a woman carries multiples. And so, from the doctor's perspective, it's a matter of trying to save the woman this trauma. After I talked to the specialist, I told Peter, ''That's what I'm going to do.'' He replied, ''What we're going to do.'' He respected what I was going through, but at a certain point, he felt that this was a decision we were making. I agreed.

When we saw the specialist, we found out that I was carrying identical twins and a stand alone. My doctors thought the stand alone was three days older. There was something psychologically comforting about that, since I wanted to have just one. Before the procedure, I was focused on relaxing. But Peter was staring at the sonogram screen thinking: Oh, my gosh, there are three heartbeats. I can't believe we're about to make two disappear. The doctor came in, and then Peter was asked to leave. I said, ''Can Peter stay?'' The doctor said no. I know Peter was offended by that.

Two days after the procedure, smells no longer set me off and I no longer wanted to eat nothing but sour-apple gum. I went on to have a pretty seamless pregnancy. But I had a recurring feeling that this was going to come back and haunt me. Was I going to have a stillbirth or miscarry late in my pregnancy?

I had a boy, and everything is fine. But thinking about becoming pregnant again is terrifying. Am I going to have quintuplets? I would do the same thing if I had triplets again, but if I had twins, I would probably have twins. Then again, I don't know.

by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:21 PM
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Replies (1-10):
clovismommy25
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Just fucking sick!

jodyann2
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:28 PM
Wow
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CeeGee81
by Ruby Member on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Agreed.

Quoting clovismommy25:

Just fucking sick!


~lovin' you is like a song I replay, every 3 minutes and 3 seconds of everyday~

ilove.w.a.m.p
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:28 PM
Wow.that's all I'm gonna say !all babies are a blessing and she could have gave 2 up for adoption its just sad people get pregnant and then are like I'm givin up my life well those babies didn't ask to be here
AutymsMommy
by Ruby Member on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Why is it sick? She knew what she could (and couldn't) handle.

I am a Private School sending, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Homework Helping, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Academic pushing Mother. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it raising my child - I will do that, Thank You. I believe that a woman's place is in the home taking care of her house, children and husband. My husband is head of my home. I am a proud Roman Catholic, as is my husband.             Aimee




 

FunSizeAmber
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:30 PM
That's horrible. That made me very sad.
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firefly63701
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:30 PM
I couldnt imagine doing that.
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AnitaVersion2.0
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:30 PM

 Her choice to make.

Ashlynnsmom0910
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:31 PM

I just couldn't ever do that. I am all about pro choice but I myself could NOT do that.

luvmyangel22
by on Aug. 7, 2010 at 9:31 PM
wow heartless bitch
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