Previa Alliance Podcast

Interview with Morgan Carden: Mom to 1 in 200 Million Odds

September 18, 2023 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 72
Previa Alliance Podcast
Interview with Morgan Carden: Mom to 1 in 200 Million Odds
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Identical triplet boys…the odds are 1 in 200 million. Along those odds is how rare it is to hear the story of the mother who lived the odds and navigated the challenges that came her way. Listen in to this special episode of how Morgan navigated multiple health challenges of her own and her three boys who were born at 27 weeks.

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Speaker 1:

Hey guys, welcome back to Preview Alliance Podcast. This is Sarah and Whitney. We have a super special guest today. Okay, I've got to know you via, I feel like Instagram and text. This is our first actual meeting, but I've been so excited. This is Morgan, and you guys will know her because she has the cutest three boards. She's a triplet mom. Okay, one, two and three. This woman looks like this. Okay, I was just thinking Like this is but I wanted you so bad to come on. I mean, Whitney's been talking about this because I think your story is going to resonate with so many people and you're so honest on it with social media and you've gained this following because people really get it. So I'm like let's make it so everybody. So can we just kind of start with just a little bit of your story is one. I know that it's still ongoing, but let's take me back to when you found you're pregnant, right?

Speaker 2:

Okay. So yes, like she said, I have triplets and they were a surprise. So I found out I was pregnant. You know, didn't think much.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Didn't think anything out of the ordinary and I went to my first appointment actually pretty early on. So I have lupus and so we knew going into it that I was high risk. So coincidentally I kind of already had an appointment with the OB, got in very early. So we actually did my first ultrasound at like five weeks.

Speaker 4:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow so super early yeah, so super early, so around five, between five and six weeks we found out it was twins. Okay, but at this point there still weren't even heartbeats, so it was just we could see two sacks. So the ultrasound tech was actually like don't get your hopes up, got to make sure they even both develop heartbeats. It's not uncommon to have an empty sack. So we went back, like the next week or something, to strong heartbeats. I went every two weeks and around 11 weeks I was there by myself because somehow an ultrasound didn't get scheduled with the COVID rules. My husband wasn't allowed to be there, so I'm there by myself, I'm waiting for the doctor and the nurse comes in and grabs me and she's like, hey, I'm not quite sure what happened. Dr Campbell wants a quick ultrasound to check heartbeats. So I'm like, okay, so I'm in the ultrasound room and the ultrasound tech was obviously acting kind of weird. She was asking me all these questions, and at this point we'd had several, so like I knew what I was looking at, I could see two fluttering parts and I'm like.

Speaker 4:

So nothing seemed out of the norm.

Speaker 2:

I'm like don't see me. And so I'm like why is this happening?

Speaker 3:

Acting like this, I see two heartbeats.

Speaker 2:

I don't feel like I've lost one. And she was. You could tell she was very frazzled. And then, finally, she just looked at me and she was like I think I'm going to throw you for a loop and I knew it.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for that.

Speaker 2:

I knew what she was going to say because I'd heard of it happening and I was like please, no. And she was like there's three, not two, and so she literally dropped the probe ready to get the doctor. My doctor came in and she was like yep, that's a third.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was hysterical. And by yourself, by myself, I just yeah, I was right. I would absolutely. I could not quit. I couldn't quit crying. So finally she was like my doctor was so so, so sweet. She was just trying to comfort me and she was like I'm so sorry your husband's not here. And so basically we decided it would probably be better if I just went home and we came back later that week together, because she was like we have a lot to talk about now that it's triplets, right? So I called my husband in the parking deck and I like didn't even get it out of my mouth. All I could get out was three, there's three. And he said no, there's not, there were just two. And I was like no, there's three.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, no, I need you to keep yours, a third.

Speaker 2:

So basically what happened was I had two placinus and two babies were in one, one was in the other, okay, and they said that you know and now I've heard of this happening I say a good bit, but in the triplet community it's not uncommon, because when they're so small and they're sharing a placinus it's hard to decipher that there's one versus two in there, because everything kind of runs together. But what blows my mind is that like we had a very normal heart rate.

Speaker 1:

Right yeah.

Speaker 2:

But week after week we had like a, you know, this one was a hundred and sixty eight and this one was like a hundred and sixty one. Like it's just crazy.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But it after that many like I had that many old-schools and they still catch it. So we came back and I was at Grand View at the time and I've been with my doctor for years and years and I was already seeing MFM like the high-risk movie, but they just felt that it was better than all my carabee Switch to UAB, which I was sad because you know, that's a relationship.

Speaker 1:

It is.

Speaker 2:

And I've been with her since I was like 15 or 16.

Speaker 4:

Well, when we think OB care, like that is very personal.

Speaker 2:

It is.

Speaker 4:

It's not the same as like an orthopedist.

Speaker 2:

And so when you're very comfortable, with.

Speaker 1:

Well, in our generation it's sort of like our primary care.

Speaker 4:

It's almost true, right? Yeah, I agree, I want OB's absolutely more of my primary care.

Speaker 1:

It's really go-to and they've seen us through a lot of challenges, right.

Speaker 4:

Again, it's very personal Totally. I mean in the first years. They saw you through losses for years they were seeing you through your triplets and that surprise like mine saw me through infertility and all of that, and so I mean it's a very personal relationship and that's, I think.

Speaker 1:

Again, it's like when you're bumped to a new provider people don't talk about it. But it's a loss and it's a transition period and it's hard because you have to like almost re. It's like you're dating someone again.

Speaker 2:

Right, you have to get to know them, yeah Well, and the thing too about UAB and this is what my original OB had kind of told me was going to happen and everything, because they're teaching hospital, you're not, at least, in the high risk department. I don't know how the other regular OB is, but in high risk you're not assigned a doctor. So every single time I went so it's a rotation. That was the same with me. I saw there was a few if.

Speaker 1:

I could get on their same schedule very rare, but I saw basically the whole department and every personality.

Speaker 3:

With anything is different and it's hard because sometimes they had to do.

Speaker 1:

I'm sure they did this with you. It's a little bit of to me and I was not nearly as complicated when it comes to like plan of care was just they had to do board meetings over me and say, well, what are we going to do about her?

Speaker 2:

Yes, You've probably had several of those, yeah, which is a very weird thing to be told that they're talking about you. Well, yeah, it's like understandably, but it it that kind of is like a oh, this is bad.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Because, the hospital has to talk about it, but they were amazing. I'm very thankful I was there because we had no idea what was coming and that was where I needed to be. But that was definitely an adjustment. But Dr Campbell, my original OB, she was so sweet and let me come like every three to four weeks still to her.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I don't know how we did that with insurance, but we got it, we did and things got worse at certain points, but I was so thankful because she let me come and basically I just updated her yeah Each time and told her I'm sure you got this too, as you see a different doctor each time, you get differing opinions. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely To the point of like when I would deliver and how far they would let me.

Speaker 1:

I know Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Very differing things, and so I basically would go to her and like pour out everything they've said and get her opinion. Right and just her feedback, her view and yes, and so that was that was great, very, very thankful for that and she, just you know, had that relationship.

Speaker 4:

Did you get to maintain that throughout your pregnancy with her Good she?

Speaker 2:

let me keep coming just so that I had a familiar face.

Speaker 4:

Right, I mean she understood.

Speaker 2:

She was, you know, she did her training at UAB and she was like this is where you need to be. It's the best of the best, but it's not the same. It's hard yeah.

Speaker 1:

You probably felt the way I felt, that I had one physician tell me, no matter what we did, where we were, if we ruptured which we did me and Will wouldn't have survived. I mean, I had one look at me and say that and they said there's basically nothing you're going to do. And then I had another physician who advocated for me. Dr Sinky, she's been on for she. I love that woman dearly. I credit her for me being here.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

She's like no you're coming in at 34 weeks. We're going to do this. I don't think it's talked about when you get different opinions in the medical field especially when you're pregnant and you feel so helpless there is nothing you can do. You are trying your best to hold these, my baby, your baby's in yeah.

Speaker 2:

And how vulnerable that is You're vulnerable and like you, you're not, we're not MFMs.

Speaker 3:

We didn't go to med school and go to a million of diseases.

Speaker 1:

So it's like you're trying to say, hey, I think this is what's best, or why did they say this? And you already kind of feel helpless. But that adds a whole layer, so I'm so thankful you had that person, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I am too. It was definitely helpful. Even just the nerves. I mean I was just a wreck. The whole practice. Oh, how can you not be Absolutely. You know she was just. If anything I would go and cry and talk to her for 30, I mean she just she just was a great listening ears and so I was very thankful for that. So the pregnancy itself, I mean with everything as a whole, was fairly uncomplicated All things considered until 25 weeks. So, like I said, I do have lupus and lupus in the past. I was diagnosed very young, so dealt with this for a while. Starting in college it started affecting my heart when. I would flare up, and so obviously pregnancy can be a huge trigger for flares it's. And then you have three and you know I just kept hearing like you know, your body is not supposed to be able to handle this.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So I was not made to carry and grow three babies and so it was under a great deal of stress and work and so I really everyone was very surprised like really did okay, besides like the nausea and vomiting amount, sick as a dog, but leupus wise and stuff and then right around 25 weeks my blood pressure started trickling up and I kind of got to that like I was going every couple of days to baby and I was right below that threshold and so basically we were just kind of waiting for me to hit it in order to be admitted. So one Saturday I woke up pretty fine and literally I mean it's crazy, like just that morning to look at pictures I probably gained like seven to 10 pounds of fluid, what and? My blood pressure was just rising, rising, rising, and so I finally hit that mark, got admitted. They weren't totally sure what was going on because kind of some mixed labs and that kind of thing, but I will never forget after the fact. Dr Rokado was one of my absolute favorite doctors.

Speaker 1:

I loved him as well he just loved him to death.

Speaker 2:

I can't say enough good things about him and he admitted me and I think I actually hadn't seen him in the office yet, but he was the attending that day in the like maternal emergency room, and so he admitted me and I remember after the fact, after everything that happened, I think out of follow-up, he said I vividly remember that day and I wasn't exactly sure what was going on or what was causing it, but all I knew was you needed to be in the hospital. Like something was wrong and things happened so so quickly that thank goodness I was there. So I got admitted at 25 weeks and never left.

Speaker 3:

So that was.

Speaker 2:

May 1st. Yeah, and going into it I was kind of like okay, I'll stay the night and like I get to go home, yeah.

Speaker 4:

No, they're like this is temporary, Seven weeks.

Speaker 2:

I got admitted May 1st and I was there for seven weeks and things just happened very, very quickly. Kind of by the hour things were changing. So my cardiologist is at UAB, Dr Toulage, another person. Truly, I don't know that I would be here without him and without him catching what was going on so early. So again, that was who I've seen for years and he knows how my lupus affects things and he knows how quickly it affects things and he does not like. He is very quick to jump on things because he does know that I've turned a corner, like within hours in the past. So anyways, he, you know, saw me, I don't know, probably the next day, so kind of like the timeline. I got admitted on a Saturday. They were bouncing back and forth with preeclampsia or is it a lupus flare, like I had bits and pieces of both, and so on Monday my cardiologist ordered an echo because he came in and was like oh no, this is what's going on because it did look like preeclampsia. But my heart labs were also trickling up, and so he ordered an echo On Monday. Everything looked fine, my heart was completely normal, like every other echo I've had functioning, you know, 100% or whatever and they continue to check them every few hours and, like my BNP and troponin, like some of those heart specific labs, were just multiplying.

Speaker 3:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 2:

And he was like mm-mm, something's not right. So Wednesday morning really early, I got another echo and by Wednesday morning I had gone into heart failure.

Speaker 3:

Oh gosh.

Speaker 2:

So it was like 36 hours, so that was obviously. That was about 25 and a half weeks.

Speaker 1:

And what did they tell you? Were they like there's a week we want you to make it to?

Speaker 2:

So yes and no. Originally it had been like 34. We knew that probably was not the case At this point. I was just past viability, technical viability, but I mean they're gonna do you know they can like you know and all their power they're not gonna deliver it.

Speaker 3:

25 weeks we learned that.

Speaker 2:

So that was kind of tough because you had a lot of specialties.

Speaker 3:

Totally Conflicting, I'm sure, with a lot of differing opinions and cardiology.

Speaker 2:

That team was like we have to get these babies out, these babies are.

Speaker 3:

what's causing this?

Speaker 1:

And.

Speaker 2:

OB was like no. Absolutely not. We will not be delivering 325 week babies. And then you know I'm sure you were probably getting this, but you're getting like if we deliver these babies, they're gonna have this and this and this.

Speaker 4:

If they survive.

Speaker 2:

That was the biggest thing, because they may not have survived very well.

Speaker 1:

So and you're carrying that, and that is something like people say to you and that's something that I just could not get across to people. And I get it. My husband's a physician. He gives bad prognosis and he tells people these are poor outcomes. I can have it every single day.

Speaker 2:

I mean me nursing.

Speaker 1:

I remember this too. You get to where you talk about things where it's again, you're detached from it and like this is their world, this is this person's life, and so them saying hey, sarah, if you don't make it to this week, this is what's gonna happen, this is, and then. So then you live by weeks. I lived by weeks and days. Oh my God. Okay, now I'm 30 and one. Okay, now I'm 30 and two. Maybe the odds are this, and you have this internal countdown.

Speaker 2:

It was literally like days, and each day they would come in on my whiteboard and they would say like 25 and four.

Speaker 1:

Yes, because it matters.

Speaker 2:

Every single day at that point, even hours, huge, huge. And I remember my cardiologist actually joked one day because they would change the number of days every day, and he was like man, we're even looking at days, or something like that.

Speaker 4:

You know jokingly.

Speaker 2:

And then, you know, everyone realized like how big of a deal that was. But yeah, so things really went downhill at that point and I you know rheumatology obviously came in and they went back and forth on what to do, basically because obviously, being pregnant, there's very little you can take Totally, and so my options were slim. At this point I was literally gaining eight to 10 pounds a day some days to a fluid. So I was on Ivy Lae 6 multiple times a day getting it pulled off. It was I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy Anyway. So basically they ended up doing tons of steroids. So, like I take steroids every day, like for people who aren't familiar with this, I take a little bit of steroids every day. Prednisone as part of just my, like, maintenance game for lupus. I've never quite been able to get totally awful, but I take five milligrams, so very low dose and along with other meds, but as far as steroids go. At that time, because I was in heart failure, I was getting up to a thousand milligrams of IV steroids a day. Just trying to.

Speaker 1:

I mean it was literally, they were trying to save my life.

Speaker 2:

Trying to save my life and keep these babies in any amount of time that we could, and so that, and then it was just a whole nightmare of things. Steroids really bottom out your immune system, which, in my case, my immune system was attacking my heart, so we needed to suppress my immune system, but then it suppresses all your immune system. So I then went septic around between 25 and 26 weeks. I got an infection at an IV site and it was staff and it got in my blood, and so I, then I went septic. So then at this point they will not deliver.

Speaker 1:

Right right.

Speaker 2:

Because they can't cut into me.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And you know the babies and that kind of thing. So then it was like a halt. Like these they have to stay in, so we have to it was just a nightmare. I was on like I don't know. I think like four different antibiotics.

Speaker 4:

IV around the clock. I was just like hanging. You were getting bombarded with medicine.

Speaker 1:

Oh yes, and then, like the hospital experience, I was just there for one night and then everything went wrong. But they told me that originally they were gonna try to keep me for weeks and I was just. I lost my mind that one night and I can't imagine everything, cause I tell people and you know I remember nursing day with complainant and they'd go you know, to me yeah, I'm not sleeping, I'm just like I'm so sorry. Like I didn't order this at 3 am. your doctor did please bring it up as in you know, but it's like the lab draws and it is a revolving door. Cause if it ain't the medical staff it's housekeeping. It's the food, it's the and it's academic, so you had meds you had residents.

Speaker 2:

you had fellows, Every single day before the sun came up and you unfortunately, when the students would come Cause, then they gotta go to clinic.

Speaker 1:

They come at like 4, 45, five.

Speaker 4:

And.

Speaker 2:

I remember.

Speaker 1:

I remember with baby James, after the or deal, the little knock on the door and I'm like that's a med student.

Speaker 3:

Cause, then you start learning, they're not you like.

Speaker 1:

learn their foot print. They just started to cover, like you know way more about these people.

Speaker 4:

That's so funny and they know you.

Speaker 1:

And it's this weird like office mentality that you know the show where you're just like you know their personalities, they know you. But then you're like a guinea pig laying there, mm-hmm. And I guarantee they all had different opinions to it yeah, I'm sure. Because academic hospitals your case, like a lot of cases that go to academic everybody wants to get involved Cause they want you to be okay, Well the babies be okay, but it's also some point a little of like a rooster kind of like I'm going to come and be the big boy and say what's going to happen?

Speaker 4:

Yes, yes, taking charge of being the alpha.

Speaker 2:

There it is. We had some of that Super fun, yeah. But yes, like you were saying, I mean the whole kind of line of them comes, so like it starts with the student and then maybe another student, and then the resident, and then the fellow and then the attendee.

Speaker 1:

And then they come back together. They're all around in front of you and it's like a whole football field.

Speaker 2:

Yes, but they do. They start like before the sun comes up and then, like you said, they literally order like lab draws at like 2 am. Yeah, it's like, okay, there is no sleep in the hospital?

Speaker 1:

No, no, I learned but, the food you have to like. Live off of whatever you can. Uber DoorDash, sit somebody out the parking at UAB Somebody. Listeners from all over. It is not a fun situation.

Speaker 2:

How to park and walk, and you pay every time.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, especially the women in infant center. Yes, you do.

Speaker 2:

And it would take sometimes because that's where my boys were in the NICU. So, I then, once I got discharged, I was then going back to the women in infant center, and it may take 30 minutes an hour to park and there's just not enough parking. It was, it was a disaster.

Speaker 1:

It's just stressful. So if she didn't have enough, you had just like the environment.

Speaker 2:

But it's kind of funny, though. Even those people, like even the parking attendants, became like family.

Speaker 3:

Like we actually ran into one.

Speaker 2:

Recently. I was out of cardiology appointment just a couple of weeks ago at Kirkland and she was now at Kirkland and she recognized me and my husband and came up and gave us hugs.

Speaker 4:

I want to see pictures of the boys and she was so, so sweet and she was always so good about like holding a spot.

Speaker 2:

Yes, she knew like that was one of the long you know we were in the long-term patients and she knew we had three and so she was great about like keeping a spot open Cause the parking is tight.

Speaker 1:

There too, it's tight. One of the last thing you want to do is be like, okay, great, I'm not gonna have a parking spot. I can't fit in here and I have to walk and like I'm, and now I'm going to be here for three hours from my point, yeah, yeah, yeah, you also brought up like Door Dash and stuff.

Speaker 2:

I tell everybody, because I obviously get asked a lot Like what do I do, my friends? Maybe it was just admitted to the doctor. My friends admitted to the hospital, like what's something I can do? That is one of my absolute number one things.

Speaker 1:

I tell people is Door Dash.

Speaker 2:

You know all the things.

Speaker 1:

All Door.

Speaker 2:

Dash Grubhub, whatever Uber Eats. Those were the biggest help.

Speaker 1:

Life-sabers.

Speaker 2:

Because between me being admitted on May 1st and our last one coming home from the hospital in October, we were there all day, every single day, in that building and, like you said, the parking's a nightmare. There's like one restaurant in the place.

Speaker 1:

So, just to leave and come back with food was like an hour and a half ordeal sometimes, but it's not cheap at all to you know the food delivery stuff that's ridiculous, but it was a life-saver. It is.

Speaker 2:

So I tell people I'm like that truly.

Speaker 4:

Door. Dash cards Was the biggest help for us.

Speaker 2:

Better than anything else you can do at the time.

Speaker 4:

I was about to say we left off on you being septic, so how did that progress?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so basically, after lots and lots of steroids and kind of getting this infection more under control, we eventually kind of got to a place that was like a little more stable and it felt a little quiet and everyone was like okay, like we're just gonna hold our breath and study until it was like we had just made it there. So then I was 27 and a half weeks, and the day before was our wedding anniversary, and like looking back, I remember my husband had gone and gotten like my favorite restaurant and gotten like appetizer and my favorite meal and dessert and all the things, and brought it to the hospital and I could not eat and so obviously, looking back and realized what was happening, but at the time I just, you know, I was like I just don't feel good.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And so I just I remember like trying so hard to like choke stuff down because I was like he literally just went and called this stuff like so sweet, brought flowers, all these things. So into the night I had been having contractions since 20 weeks and that was expected, and so during the night I kind of felt like something's different and for a while I kind of kicked myself because I didn't say anything and I'd been there for two and a half weeks and I'd been like the most not high maintenance, but there'd been a lot going on, yeah, yeah, a very needy patient, yeah, and so I'm like it's probably fine, yeah, and I didn't say anything through the night and the next morning they came to do an NST and they hooked me up to the straps and they were kind of looking. She looked at me and she was like, do you feel like you're having more contractions than normal? And I was like, yeah, I kind of have been like I haven't slept much and I never got off the monitors. I was in labor and of course they started the antibiotics, the steroids, the magnesium, all the things. But we were hoping that maybe I would just kind of sit there for a little while, yeah. That maybe the mag would kind of chill things out and I could just stay on antibiotics. And so they were coming in checking and I progressed very quickly and all the babies went into distress and I very quickly got taken back down to the OR and we delivered at 27 and four.

Speaker 4:

And that's frightening.

Speaker 1:

Did they prepare you of like, hey, when this goes, people are going to come in, we're going to push you down to the OR. This is going to happen. Did they tell you in your that was? Or was it like me and just like?

Speaker 2:

a lived learned experience where you're just like oh, I guess this is happening now, so. I would say a little bit of both, because I was getting brought back and forth. I can't remember what you know. You're down on labor and delivery, and then there's the other one upstairs.

Speaker 1:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

Can't where. Basically, you just kind of like wait wait, yeah, and I was getting brought up and down, up and down because labor and delivery they could treat more like an ICU. So, when I was really sick and when things were happening they would bring me back to labor and delivery because it was more one on one care and so I'd already gotten brought up and down a little bit. So I kind of knew that that was going to happen. But it did happen very quickly. And like I can still remember my doctors, my sweet doctors, one of our fellows which is the sweetest thing we loved her to death and they'd been with me the whole time out these two and a half weeks of nonstop and I can remember her getting paged and literally running and she was like, are you serious? We made it through heart failure and now this you go to the labor on your own like for heart failure in sepsis and all these things not to do it in the labor. And then here I'm just like laying there waiting for Chick-fil-A to come. Yeah, here comes labor, and I never got to eat and so yeah, and now here it is, and so I just, but you know, the funny thing is, I'd actually told my mom the night before. I said I can't, I don't feel like I can do this much longer, like, I don't feel like my body can do it.

Speaker 1:

There is something for both boys. I had that, what you described. I had that right before baby James. They took off his monitor and I was just like something is happening. I was like Sarah, don't let him take that off, something's not right. And I was like Sarah, you're just being like whatever, trying to blow it off and the next thing that happened, you know he went and made her distress and had to have his heart all this up with Will. That night before too, I just had this like that was just like Sarah.

Speaker 4:

I was playing in my escape out of the hospital the next morning to be real with you. I was like, yeah, you're like how am I going to get out of?

Speaker 1:

here. No, I was.

Speaker 3:

I was like I'm going to be signing AMA cup six AM, that's what that in my parents they say to this day.

Speaker 1:

They're like God had to have it happen that way because they knew that Bill was going to call and say well, sarah signed herself out. I was yeah. So I think that's an important thing that we never get credit for is we have these instincts we do, and our bodies that moms, that we were right. But, it's even scarier, I think, when we're right, because then I was like Sarah, you should have said something. I don't know if that came through your head, but I did that to myself.

Speaker 2:

I did that to myself, because once I realized I was in labor and then they couldn't stop it. I really beat myself up for not saying something because I was like what if they could have stopped it? Which they assured me that, like I went very quickly and there was nothing they could have done, especially with triplets.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, that really amplifies that.

Speaker 2:

And I just I'm not like I had said the night before. I just said I think my body was just trying to get it out. Like I was so sick and I was still. I was so, so sick at delivery. So I delivered in the regular OB OR. But because I was so sick with my heart originally they had talked about delivering me in the CV OR because my cardiologist didn't feel like my heart can make it through surgery.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she wanted ECMO to be there, so basically would make her heart pump for listeners if it stopped. It's a form of life support. So they were prepared for. You may be honestly not even to make it through the C-section.

Speaker 2:

And so that was their concern. And so when things had kind of first started and they were like we have to get these babies out, then they really were looking at the CV OR, because my heart wasn't even functioning and this and that, and I I remember my husband and my cardiologist walked and counted footsteps from my room to CV OR, which is cardiovascular, and then walked the amount of steps it takes to get to the OB OR to see which one was closer and how much farther the CV OR was. So anyways, but it happened so quickly and I, all the babies, were in distress, and so I got taken quickly to OB OR in. My sweet cardiologist got called and came. I don't know if he was in surgery, I don't know if he was in clinic. Obviously he's very busy. He's a transplant surgeon.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And he ran down there and stood next to me during my C-section.

Speaker 4:

That's huge. Yeah, that is not common at all. No, not at all.

Speaker 2:

He stood up there next to my husband and I and watched the whole thing. I mean he was very pleased with how it went. He was like I really didn't expect it to go that well and so anyway. So we delivered and actually I think all the babies came out crying, which they said was not common. They prepared me not to hear their cries, Very, very, very weak cries and honestly I don't really remember much of it.

Speaker 4:

That's a lot. It's a lot going on. I mean, you know, I was in general anesthesia.

Speaker 2:

You had the spine, I had the spine, so I was away and I can remember looking at my husband being like I don't like this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You think you're not going to feel anything. You feel a lot. No, you do. It's very surreal, it is very odd.

Speaker 3:

No, it's horrible, you get rolled in, it's super fast.

Speaker 1:

There's so many people Right.

Speaker 2:

So many people.

Speaker 1:

They've got their little hair things on. They get their mask. They're like yelling things.

Speaker 2:

They're getting things ready.

Speaker 1:

Yes, you are like naked bent over and they're like making sure that you're numb.

Speaker 2:

And I just remember I kept being like no, I can still feel that. Right, I was so scared I wasn't going to know I were going to numb me.

Speaker 1:

Yes, no, I mean. And then leaning over, for that, okay, oh yeah, and they're like leaning over and they're pressing, you're just like, oh, my God, you know, and then again you can't move. So they're like haul your legs over, okay, and you're laying there and you're strapped down. Like no one talks about that. Mental F I'm sorry you have to be strapped down, you're numb. I'm just really bothered me, people cut me up, yes, and here comes the blue, you feel. So what the?

Speaker 2:

blue shield yeah, the blue shield. So I and they had prepared me for this, that with multiples we would have a team.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was going to say you they probably did a well. I know this from being the NICU of.

Speaker 4:

Will Right.

Speaker 1:

They call a certain code for multiples and I heard that when I was waiting in the NICU of Will and they would say, oh yeah, we're having triplets come or we're having twins, there was, we also have to staff extra.

Speaker 2:

Yes, the whole time that you're a patient. So the day that I got admitted, they then started having to staff extra in the. Nicu until my babies came and so our nurses like told us we got this. They got very close with our nurses and they joke Like I stayed on this board, that like I was there. And then I found I got moved to delivery. I think we were told there were like 40 to 60 people in my delivery.

Speaker 3:

Oh my God, Holy moly.

Speaker 2:

So each baby had a team of about 10 doctors and nurses, and then you have a team, and then I had my team, and then you had students. Yeah, everyone was trying to get it all Because unfortunately it's triplet delivery.

Speaker 1:

That is rare for training.

Speaker 2:

And like.

Speaker 1:

I'll never forget there was a president when I was getting the hysterectomy. Thank one of the MFMs for allowing him to be a part of this procedure, so thank you for giving me this experience. And I've said that to you before no-transcript Okay, it upset me because I'm like I am not an experience, but for the nurse and me it's like that is a great learning opportunity. But there's something about that being you that they won't Right, you never want to be the guinea pig.

Speaker 2:

No, you don't want to be learned on and I actually had. It's funny. You said that one of my doctors I remember when so things continued to release viral after delivery. That's why I was there so much longer. But one of the doctors came in and actually this may have been after discharge One of our doctors that we liked a lot and he was like you know, you definitely don't want to be like the most boring patient in the hospital. You're like done yeah yeah, it was like but you really don't want to be the most exciting patient in the hospital either, especially not a place like UAB Exactly. Maybe, if you're at a little hospital, that's one thing he was like, but here you never really want to be the most exciting.

Speaker 1:

They call him Zebra. They're like, oh, that's a zebra patient and I learned that through Bill's medical journey. But that zebra that's out in the wild that you see and you're just like, and if you are called a zebra at UAB, just know, People are flighted to UAB from all over the South honestly in the world. We have a VIP section for UAB that literally princes and whoever's like want certain doctors High dollar, they are flown in and given private care. Yep. So all this to say, you probably had every single doctor that there was at.

Speaker 4:

UAB. Every specialty was there, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh, every specialty, and like you said, like you get it. You do want. I mean, it is a good experience. You want them to be able to learn. They had to learn on somebody to know how to treat me it's old though. Yeah, but after months of it it does. But I just had to keep telling myself it's part of it I understand they had to learn how to treat. I just had to keep that kind of mentality to keep my sanity of the revolving dork. There was one surprise that I did just kind of fall apart and I was like I don't want anyone else to walk through.

Speaker 4:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and they were all those people in delivery and they lined up and basically, like baby A's team got called up, they pulled baby A out, put a hat on him that had an A and then he was taken out into the recess hall. Well, so they go to the recess hall first.

Speaker 1:

It's like this little hallway where they like get them all squared away, gotcha.

Speaker 2:

And if they need to resuscitate them and all these things. But that's kind of where they assess. I think part of that is because it was multiples and so they needed the room. And so they did all their stuff there, and then they wheeled them back in to see me on their way to the NICU which. I wasn't prepared for them to be in plastic bags. I had seen lots of pictures from other triplet moms in this Facebook group that I had delivered in the weeks and months prior to me. And I just remember seeing the pictures and thinking like, oh my God, that's so horrible. I can't even look at these pictures and it just didn't occur to me that like mine were that early. When they were that early, I just remember the first one coming out in the plastic bag and that was when I was like kind of fell apart and.

Speaker 4:

I just was not prepared for that.

Speaker 2:

It was very hard to look at and you don't realize how small a two pound or under two pound baby is until you like see them in this tiny thing. So, anyways, they got them to the NICU and then I obviously went to recovery. Later on after recovery I got wheeled down to look at them because they were born before 28 weeks. We were not not allowed to hold them for weeks we could like touch them. It was called the golden week, which is actually something that UAB created.

Speaker 1:

I learned about that through the NICU and there's like signs outside the doors and literally, it's this innovative thing, this huge thing, it's a big deal.

Speaker 2:

Like in all you know all over the country. I don't know about world, but UAB created it actually, like some of our doctors were the ones that came up with that, and so it's basically to prevent brain bleeds. They keep them pretty much completely still for that first week of life so we could touch them.

Speaker 1:

But that's still so hard right. It's like you have just been through so much and, like you said me even seeing Will at 34 weeks, I was just like there's something and it just shook me and I remember. It's still hard for me to look at photos from him like the first. I felt all these emotions and I didn't feel like I could really be honest with what I felt to people, because they're like, oh, so lucky. Then you got all the like oh my. God, you know it's gonna be okay, but then you're like I don't know if it's gonna be okay. It's just a really hard mental spot to be put through everything that you've endured. And then like seeing that and processes and you don't get time to process it, you just get willed on to the next because there's there was something always going to happen next.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I think it was later that night. It's all pretty, it's all.

Speaker 1:

It's blurry yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it was during the night. That night so I'd had my C-section and at this point my heart still was not functioning like 100%. It was much better than when I had first gone into heart failure, but I still was not functioning like it should be. So when you have a C-section, I mean I learned all this. You know you have lots of fluid in there. that then goes back into your body, and I had that times three. So all of that fluid is then supposed to be like reabsorbed into your body and then your body.

Speaker 1:

Your heart was supposed to pump it through you know supposed to.

Speaker 2:

Well, my heart wasn't functioning like it should, and so basically all that fluid went back into my body and just overloaded my body, and basically their best guess as to what happened was that just it overloaded my body and it just threw off every basically everything was out of balance. Yeah, my electrolytes, my everything. So I went unresponsive and that was like during the night or early morning and I went unresponsive. They assumed I was having a stroke. So they called a code and I remember like tiny, tiny bits and pieces of like coming back to it and then going back away, but it was truly something like out of a movie or like out of grace and out of me, honestly.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's the best I can explain it.

Speaker 2:

And my mom's a nurse also and she was in there and realized I think I just kind of started slurring my words and then I just went out. So anyways, she screamed for the doctors. They called a code, came in there and I can remember tiny glimpses of coming back in and then like shining lights in my eyes and yelling at me like where are you, when are you? Open your eyes.

Speaker 3:

Do you know who I?

Speaker 2:

am and I can just see like this whole room full of people. So I was rushed to CT and I didn't have a stroke. So basically their best guess as to what happened I mean my labs, like when I look back at them, they did like a full panel of everything imaginable and like there's not a single thing that's not flagged and so everything was just so out of balance because my body couldn't get rid of this fluid. And so eventually I just I woke up and I was on my way back from some scan and I woke up and they said I just started asking like you know what happened, where am I? And after that things just kind of continued to. Really it was just terrible. I being so fluid overloaded was a lot Like there was just fluid oozing out of my legs.

Speaker 4:

Oh gosh.

Speaker 2:

It was like I had nowhere to go. So then, probably the other worst thing that kind of happened after this Again, I had been on so many steroids so I had such a low immune system and then had a C-section so I started having this terrible, terrible pain, like excruciating pain, and couldn't figure out what was coming from. I mean, I was getting like so many scans a day. I mean just anything they could try to do to figure out where this pain in my abdomen was coming from and they happened to get a tiny glimpse of you know kind of the corner of a scan showed something and they saw all these pockets of infection in my abdomen. So basically, I had gotten an infection in my uterus and it caused a hole to open up at my incision, so my entire abdomen and uterus were just full of infection and that's probably some of the worst pain. It was such terrible pain Like I don't even remember now A lot of it. I was on so much pain medication I was pretty much just like knocked out. So originally they came in and said that they were going to have to take me to surgery, to do a hysterectomy and I begged them not to and finally they were like we'll give it 24 hours, they said. I was on, I think, five or six of the strongest antibiotics on the market like out there, and it wasn't touching you. It did, okay. So I can remember my IV pole and it was just around the clock and it did, it started helping, and so they were like, okay, like we'll continue seeing. And I ended up not having to get a hysterectomy, which I was very thankful for. So it was just like this.

Speaker 1:

You just went in and hit Just rain right like constant.

Speaker 4:

And all this when your babies are nicking.

Speaker 2:

Every time you turn around, something happens, yes, and all this time my babies were downstairs in the NICU. That's probably part of like some of the hardest stuff that I'm still. I do see a therapist and there's actually a lot of what we talked about the other day, but it's still very hard, is? I don't remember a lot of their first weeks. Especially the first few days and I wasn't even. I was really too sick to even be, allowed to go see them and so our sweet nurses would like print out pictures and send them up to my room and things like that. That's hard. So, yes, I was very, very sick upstairs and the babies were sick downstairs and you know, just like fighting to live, yeah, those first few days. And so I ended up being in the hospital for about seven and a half weeks. Finally got to go home and then we were then in the NICU. So I went home mid June, middle end of June, and then the last boy came home in October.

Speaker 1:

You had so much of your life and you know my extent of complications were over once. My boys were out, my uterus was out. But in the NICU you get to know people and you get to know their stories and your boys were in there when baby James was there for a night. I remember walking by and you had the little happy's like little.

Speaker 2:

Thing.

Speaker 1:

I remember going oh my gosh, it's triplets. Yes, we had that big room, but I thought about that and you know now it's full circle here we're talking about it, but you were really. You know they always say put your mask on first, right and like that's so hard as a mom, but you have to do that and you specially had to do that for you to be here for these sweet boys. And the one thing we there is an episode coming out for April Fools next year of saying we don't joke about pregnancy because like people are like say it's always so natural. There are so many stories like you and me where our lives were on that line. It's not always so cut and dry and easy, it's not. And people may look at you and you know, you see the three boys, you see, and they have no idea what you carry, what you endured.

Speaker 4:

What you survived.

Speaker 1:

You know, I know if me thinks trick or me still, and it's like mine. I think you helped me with this. It's like it has just been five years Right.

Speaker 2:

It's only been five years, right, that's something that my therapist actually said recently, because we just hit two years, the boys just turned two and it was probably right around their second birthday and I was just telling, if anything, it's gotten much harder, which I think you would probably say that's normal, yes.

Speaker 3:

But it was just a year of their life.

Speaker 2:

It was like I mean, not that we're not still in survival mode I mean, this morning getting out of the door was a pure survival mode but it's a different survival. That first year, though, I could go back to the NICU no problem, like after doctor's appointments we'd go skate, or nurses and doctors.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And then, right at their first birthday, we went back and we also went and visited labor and delivery and saw some of mine. And that was a lot. I can't set foot back in there. I mean it was so much harder than I expected ever since then. Right around their first birthday is when I started having panic attacks and waking up in the middle of the night like right back in those situations, like having nightmares and things like that flashbacks and being back in that same pain, and I would have to like you feel it in your body or not? Yeah, yes, and so that was when I started seeing a therapist and she specializes in trauma and it's been great. I love her. Anyways, right around their second birthday, you know it had been a really tough year and I told her I was like I'm just frustrated, like I just want to like be over it. I don't want to have a panic attack driving by UAB or one of the biggest things for me is my room was right by like the UAB helipad. Oh no For a life life. Yes, and I mean, I don't think anyone realizes how many people are brought in on a life life.

Speaker 1:

It's honestly kind of freaky. No, it's so much.

Speaker 2:

It's every few minutes.

Speaker 1:

You hear it?

Speaker 2:

coming, so for two months.

Speaker 4:

You've got that I constantly heard that I cannot stand the feeling of panic, and I remember being at dinner.

Speaker 2:

It was last fall and this was the first time it really hit me. We were sitting outside at dinner, downtown, and life flight flew over and going to the hospital.

Speaker 1:

It triggered you.

Speaker 2:

And I just remember my mom looking at me being like are you okay? And it was like I was in a different, like I was numb.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It was like. It was like you hear people talk about yeah With PTSD, and into this day, even this week, walking into the grocery store. It just stopped me in my tracks, so stuff like that, and I was telling my therapist. I was like I'm just over this, I want to be over it. I'm tired of this.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I was like it's been two years, like why is this still so hard? And she was like it has only been two years since you went through all of this Right. And I was like okay.

Speaker 4:

And it was multiple traumas.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that's what she says Multiple traumas that also revolved around near death.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely For all four of you yeah.

Speaker 2:

So that was really helpful to hear and so kind of made me feel like, okay, I'm not crazy. It's only been two years, and so I have to tell myself that a lot. It has only been two years because it sounds like a lot and you know people are so quick to say like, but you're fine now You're all home and you're healthy, you're alive, you're fine, you're not there anymore and I think it's been very eye-opening for me until you go through a true traumatic experience. You really don't understand that and I didn't.

Speaker 4:

You know I never would have understood this and how invalidating others can be.

Speaker 1:

Totally. I mean birthdays. Whitney knows this. I get very still, I get probably about a month before and I was like, well, why is it a month before? And it's because people start saying, oh, what are you going to do for the boys' birthdays. Or you know and I'm like so it literally starts about a month before.

Speaker 4:

to me and then it does and.

Speaker 1:

I am not and I have now. My family and friends know they're hard. That's hard for Sarah and honestly, both boys' birthdays are hard because both deliveries were not great and I thought I was going to die both times and people just may never get that, that. I may never be able to look at that birthday differently than this is where we survived. Or this was like one of the worst days of my life and my husband's life and my parents' scared too. So like that is something that I think and we talk about this all the time is like this marketing of like celebrations and holidays and you're supposed to be, like those are really hard for people and people don't talk about it because then again it's just like you're just like, especially in the South, yours should be grateful. I am not grateful for that trauma that happened to me and that's okay.

Speaker 2:

Like, I'm very grateful they're alive.

Speaker 1:

Yes, but I carry that this still happens.

Speaker 2:

And that's been a big thing.

Speaker 4:

We can't ignore that trauma is stored in the body Right. And as time goes on it does start to come out and unfortunately it can come out in those panic attacks and that's what you're going through.

Speaker 1:

I would be like migraines. I would feel sometimes would kind of happen Like back pain, I mean random. And then my mother-in-law she had fell and she was at the rehab right in front of the women's and infants. So when I would visit her and I remember texting Whitney, I'm like why is this? I am really like physically I was hot. I mean I feel like hot talking about this. I feel hot, I'd start sweating, I'd feel like I can't, like I feel trapped. And she was like what are you looking at?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what's around you. Yeah, I've had those situations too. The boys were getting tubes last summer, I guess last summer fall and I looked out the window and because of how the women and infant center here at UAB is, it's right next to children's hospital. Like, for those who don't know, there's actually like a walkway in between yeah. So it connects the hospitals and so, like, you're on the same plane and we were in the waiting room and I remember looking out and it was my exact view this has happened more than once because the boys have had multiple hospital admissions for their lungs and I like looked out and it was my exact view. I mean I was going to throw up right there in the waiting room.

Speaker 1:

And unless you've lived it like you said, you can't control your response. And people are like are you okay? And you're just like.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if I'm literally frozen, and so it has. I just it's been so eye-opening. I never struggled with anxiety before. I mean aside from, like you know, a big test in college or something Right right, and then I was fine.

Speaker 4:

Like the routine, the expected anxieties.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Versus this is a full blown no.

Speaker 2:

This has been so new and just very eye-opening to me, like okay, this is how you know, so, and so was feeling in college when I didn't quite get it. Yeah, and so it's been. It's a it's all long, it's a process.

Speaker 1:

But you know, there's so much strength that you have and we are honored that you allowed us to share the story because I know and maybe it's going to be helpful to people just to like not a judge, a book by its cover you know, and I think that's the hardest thing that social media is just got so many flaws but it just does not get what is behind a snapshot of your day and your journey and what things look like now, and we'll have you back on to talk about prematurity awareness. You are chosen for March of Dimes this year. So she is special to her, but into us. But I just really appreciate your honesty and your growth and I know personally how hard it is and it's still hard to talk about it some days for me and you are the best mom to those boys. And again, just a heartfelt thank you for opening, because I felt so much shame and isolation for so long for how I felt. But we can commiserate together a little bit and get through it and thank God for therapists like Whitney, but we will have you back. But one thing we ask all our guests before we let you go is what is one thing that you wish you would have known about motherhood? It can be anything We've had all sorts of separation before. I mean we have had like I wish I would have frozen my eggs to. I wish I would have gave myself more grace to.

Speaker 3:

I wish I would have done it earlier, later, I mean, we've heard it all.

Speaker 1:

So there's no right or wrong answer.

Speaker 2:

I always tell my husband right now I mean kind of jokingly, because there's so hard right now- so hard, God we should have waited like 10 years.

Speaker 1:

It would have been hard in 10 years.

Speaker 2:

But I think, giving yourself more grace, it's easier now to look back and know that I was doing everything I possibly could in those early days yeah. But it was still so easy to beat myself up for missing a chift change or a diaper change or this, and that I mean I know that I was doing everything that I physically could. So yeah, I think giving yourself more grace is a big one. I think social media plays a big part into that too, and I think also that would be a big thing I would say is, I don't know, just with the whole social media thing. Like you have to take that with a grain of salt.

Speaker 1:

Totally.

Speaker 2:

I have to remind myself so often that I mean A I'm seeing it from the other side. People will message me and say things like you just make it look so easy, or how are you so patient with them and this and that? And I don't try to put off that persona, I try to put some real stuff out there and things too. And it still comes across that way because you're seeing seconds of a person's time.

Speaker 1:

That's what I try to tell people. It's five seconds of my life.

Speaker 2:

You did not see my morning getting the bathroom door this morning. Right, chaos, yeah, I mean, I've been about in tears every single day this week because they are so hard and I'm so outnumbered Right and I feel bad when people are like but I feel bad because I have no patience.

Speaker 1:

And I'm like girl.

Speaker 4:

Same, we're all in that boat.

Speaker 2:

We're all trying to find that bucket of patience Just because I put up the one like same picture of my two year old today.

Speaker 1:

You have no idea what happened before. Believe me Right.

Speaker 2:

And so I think and I was bad about that early on too, and I would think like, oh God, I should have held them while they slept today. Like you know, they hold them all the time- yeah. And that was easy with multiples too. It's really hard to not feel like you're doing enough, so I would really say that with multiples parents. It's like I really have to step back and tell myself you did everything you physically could today and you gave them every ounce of attention you could, and while maybe it's not fair that you know, my friend with one could do all these other things, it I don't know, just not comparing to you know the friend that has one baby, when you're trying to juggle three and like you are doing the best. I just think social media is so easy to compare and I can remember like being rocking them at night, scrolling through my phone, and then I would start feeling so bad about things that I just like would have to get off of it. I'm like I'm not gonna sit here and make myself feel bad and sad because I didn't do this today and this person did. And again, it's just, it's such a snippet seconds of their day and I'd have to you just have to remember that like that is not how their whole day looked.

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

And they're doing the best they can to you. Whether it looks like they're perfect, they're not Well.

Speaker 1:

I think you're a superwoman true Thank you. And I think you're a superwoman because you're vulnerable, you're honest and you're a great mama and your boy mom like me.

Speaker 4:

I think boy moms, we're built for this. I thought about that. I was like I kind of got outnumbered. I'm the girl mom. Yes, that's okay.

Speaker 1:

Oh, the boys You'll probably. We're paying now. We're thinking we're counting on our teenage years to be a little bit Right. You know, we'll see, we'll see, but we will bring you back. We will talk world prematurely day awareness and we will follow her. We'll link you everything. We're gonna make some fun content for this episode, but again, thank you.

Speaker 2:

Again You're welcome All right guys till next time.

Speaker 1:

Maternal mental health is as important as physical health. The Previous Alliance podcast was created for and by moms dealing with postpartum depression in all its variables, like anxiety, anger and even apathy. Hosted by CEO founder Sarah Parkers and licensed clinical social worker Whitney Gay, each episode focuses on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

The Journey of a Triplet Mom
Pregnant Woman's Medical Crisis and Hospital Stay
Medical Emergency and Premature Delivery
Labor and Delivery Emergency in Triplets
Medical Journey With Complications
Trauma's Lasting Impact in Motherhood