::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Colum's house

We've been packing up all of our belongings all week.  It's been exhausting but I know it will be worth it.  I haven't gotten sad until this morning.  I have a sliver in the bottom of my foot.  While trying to get it out I noticed a scar.  After a busy morning working and taking care of two little boys Colum decided to push over a vase that we'd gotten for our wedding. It broke and I carefully vacuumed up all the pieces relieved nobody had gotten hurt.  But later that day I stepped on a sharp black piece of pottery.  It hurt like hell and lodged itself deep into my foot.  I walked with a limp for weeks and never got that sucker out.  I remember his face when he walked up to that very large vase that had been there his entire existence while he impulsively pushed it over.  It came out of nowhere.  

We have a ditch in our front yard that meets a semi busy street.  I remember Colum would crawl straight to it.  Turn around and crawl backwards until his feet touched the bottom of the ditch only to turn around and climb up the other side.  It obviously had no water in it.  We'd have to chase him down and bring him back only to find him headed straight back towards that ditch with sheer determination over and over again. 

He always had us on our toes.  We did everything right to protect him.  I'm overly cautious and paranoid when it comes to my kids.  So far no one's had stitches and before the accident no broken bones.  Never missed a well check appointment and they were all caught up on their vaccines.  Worrying doesn't get you very far.  There are other forces that you can't protect your children from.  And it happens in an instant.  A normal day, when you can't see it coming.  Your mind is somewhere else and suddenly everything is changed forever.  You can't get it back.  You can't just walk out to the ditch and rescue them.  You rescue them so many times only to lose them; to lose apart yourself.  

This is Colum's house.  I think it will always be Colum's house to me.  For the rest of us must keep changing and living our lives.  

But whenever I miss my baby most of my memories will be taken back here. 

 To an ordinary day.  

When things were extraordinary.

9 months old.  I love this picture with him holding a stick that kinda looks like a fishing pole.

Saying goodbye.



Our car sold very fast.  I posted it on KSL on a Friday and it was sold by Monday.  I guess I'm pretty good at selling stuff!  While Ryan was at work all last week Finn and I would go and test drive cars.  I can't remember where; here or one of my new Facebook support groups, somebody else with triplets commented that whenever you go somewhere to plan on packing a triplet stroller and 3 pac'n'plays....WOW!  I wanted a Volvo XC90.  They are sexy cars and I think it would've worked.  But the practicality side of me took over and we bought a Suburban!  I wasn't exactly excited about it, but it's growing on me and I know we will be glad we have the space we need for all these babies.  I test drove one minivan and I brought an infant car seat along.  I couldn't get the seat to fit through the captain chairs to the back row (where one baby would have to go).  Yes, I could fold one of the captain seats down but then it wouldn't have a base and we might as well get the Volvo.  Also, the Suburban can pull our camping trailer which is pretty cool.  Now I just got to get used to driving and parking the thing.  Finn likes to sit in the very back row.  I look in the rearview mirror and cannot believe how far away he is.  It's all just an adventure to him and I love it.  I'm so relieved to have that checked off the list.

Had a few pregnancy scares last week.  I woke up bleeding twice.  This has never happened to me before.  Everything is fine, they don't exactly know where it's coming from.  Surprisingly I didn't panic either.  When I'm pregnant I'm mostly super super chill.  Almost too chill.  (Like haven't started packing up my house yet even though we are moving very soon chill).  My favorite Dr says it's because when you're pregnant you produce a lot of Progesterone.  Progesterone is a mood stabilizing hormone.  I'm naturally low on it, I take bio-identical Progesterone but it sure doesn't feel like this.  I figured that everything was okay and if it wasn't I'd deal with it then.  

They did an ultrasound.  I was almost 15 weeks.  I found out the sex with both Finn and Colum at 14 weeks.  I asked the ultrasound tech to look and see what they all were.  She grunted something about it being too early blah blah blah.  She said you can't find out until 20-24 weeks...ummm 24 weeks?  What is this the late 20th century?  But as soon as she put the wand on my already huge belly I began to cry.  I cried because everything was okay.  And I cried because I have to pass the Hope Chapel every time I go see my Doctor or to get an ultrasound.  Truthfully, I had already started crying when I passed it.  It's a tiny little room.  That day, the day of Colum's funeral feels so blurry, I don't know how we fit so many people in there.  Before my very first appointment with her I went in there.  I was glad to be alone.  I started talking to him.  The room looks smaller, it's not what I remember.  But then a man carrying flowers walked in, I panicked and so I left.

I think the tech felt sorry for me.  The lady who impatiently wants to know the sex of her triplets and starts crying at the drop of a hat.  And so she looked.  I'm not going to announce it yet, even though I really really want to.  I want to have another look first.  But I will tell you that we are in complete shock about it.  I cried again, a mix of fear and happiness, we are so excited.  Their legs are more proportioned with their little bodies now.  And their legs looked absolutely beautiful kicking and stretching.  I think and hope they have Ryan's legs.  He has pretty legs with bony knees...they are very hairy so they are manly but pretty.

Lately, I tear up while trying to imagine Colum as an almost 3 year old.  I watch Finn as he plays outside and I try to imagine a 2nd little boy out there along with him.  His waddle would be long gone, his walk would be stable now.  What would he do?  What would he be saying?  I hate that he's not here.  I hate that my triplets have 2 older brothers and they will only get to know 1.  

I've noticed something.  I never yell.  I really don't have anything to yell at.  And I don't remember yelling at my kids before the accident although I'm sure there were lots of times.  I like not yelling.  I don't want to be a mom constantly yelling at my kids.  I remember how it made me feel as a child and I think there's other ways to get your point across.  

Ryan and I were talking last night.  I expressed to him that to me the utmost important thing in raising my kids is to instill good self-esteem.  Self esteem and self worth is everything.  It can make or break a person.  I think a child's self worth is based off of their lives at home.  Sure, they can grow and develop a better one into adulthood.  But the self doubt is always there, it's a hard thing to beat.  I think yelling can hurt a child's self esteem even at a young age, slowly begins to break them.  I hope I can control myself with three little ones.  I'm scared to have so many at once because individual attention is important to me.  It's going to be hard but I'm determined to make this work.  I don't know anyone who is more impatient than I.  Patience is going to be key.  


A, B, and C

Meet Baby A, Baby B, and Baby C

First of all thank you so so so much for all the love and support.  I broke down in tears more than once reading all your comments.  Thank you and hugs to all the fellow triplet moms who came over and shared their story.  I can't tell you how much better I feel!  I feel fine, I feel like they are going to be fine.  I'm not as terrified about the outcome, I'm just getting more and more excited to meet them.  I'm terrified about the 1st year and making it through but I will deal with that when we get closer.   I belong to a Utah triplet facebook group and am waiting to become accepted into a few others.  I'm so glad these groups exist!  

A few people asked about Ryan.  We got him started on hormone therapy immediately.  He's doing so much better.  His confidence is back.  I think it will probably take close to a year for him to be back to 100% but slowly he's making progress.  Before the accident his thyroid was hyper (high), and now it's very hypo (low).  It's so crazy what almost dying does to you hormone wise...I had no idea.

I'm super bummed that we have to sell our Subaru Outback.  It drives like a dream in the snow and is very roomy.  We've been looking into new cars.  We aren't van people.  I know people love their vans and we may just end up becoming van people but for now it's our last resort.  I really prefer all wheel drive and something really super safe.  We've tried out a few SUVs but I can't imagine myself driving something so huge.  Yesterday we sat inside a Tahoe and a Suburban and I felt like I was sitting behind the wheel of a bus.  I've sat inside a van and tried to imagine 3 infant carseats ...3!  I've come to the conclusion that there are no perfect options on what car to get.  My back hurts so bad right now that the thought of placing and removing an infant car seat from a third row seat makes me cringe in pain.  I mean how do you even do that?  Any ideas?

I know I've shared on here that I have horrible pregnancies.  With Finn I just never had any energy, my carpel tunnel showed it's ugly little head, and I swelled up to the size of an elephant.  But when I was pregnant with Colum it was horrible.  I waited and expected the nausea to go away but it never did.  I was so so so sick the entire time!  I puked on the delivery table and couldn't go down the meat isle at the grocery store.  I remember during the 2nd trimester going to Target in my PJs.  I remember seeing other pregnant Moms dressed, hair done, full make up and just wondering how in the hell they mustered up enough energy to do that.  It took everything I had to just go pee 50x's/day and getting dressed was out of the question.  Of course it ended up that my thyroid was low.  I remember my OB said to me that she'd never seen one so low and she wasn't even going to touch it, it freaked her out so bad.  I quickly got into an endocrinologist and they doubled my dose.  I'll never ever forget the long hallway that led to her (endocrinologist's) office.  Finn was with me, and he was such a late walker (20 mos) so he was still crawling.  I swear I have never seen a hallway so long and I was basically sleep walking cause I was so exhausted.  I didn't have a stroller and so Finn crawled that entire hallway because I swear it was impossible for me to carry him.  He pushed a Lightning McQueen car down the entire thing and the looks I got were priceless.  We were about 30 min late to that appointment.  My carpel tunnel got so bad that it was equally as bad as the constant nausea.  I wore braces on both wrists the entire time and the top of my palms swelled up 4 inches high until they were hanging over the side of those braces.  My ankle circ. was bigger than my thighs.  Even my nose retained water.  After Colum was born I gave everything away and I swore I'd never do that again.

Ha!  Well here I am pregnant with triplets.  I'm still really tired but the nausea is almost gone.  I have more energy than I've had the last 2 pregnancies.  And so far...no carpel tunnel!  I dare say so far this is the easiest pregnancy to date.  I'm so grateful, I think I deserve it!  I'm famished all the time.  I crave protein but the only protein that sounds good is steak.  On Saturday I ordered a dish that contained chicken and I began gagging at the restaurant and had the waiter take it away.  Only moments later the table next to us ordered the exact same dish and so I had to remove myself from the facility.   The book on expecting multiples that I'm reading says you have to gain a significant amount of weight.  I can honestly say that won't be a problem here!  I get huge no matter what I eat, but the good news is I just pee most of it out the first couple months.

I can feel them moving almost every single day.  It's early but I think when there are 3 in there that everything comes early.  The one on the left, the lonestar, the singleton is the one I feel the most.  The lonestar also looks like he/she has the same profile and same nice big round head as Colum!  This has been a very welcome distraction to all the gloom that's been hanging around here.  I expect that this blog will go from sad to crazy by the end of this year.

Our new house!  I hope it's big enough.  I can't wait to slap a modern front door on there and some globe lights!

Happy Easter Colum!  His headstone always has lots and lots of flair.

Finn is my bff.  "Mom, mom, these girls, these ones are my favorite".  He had me laughing so hard when I turned around to see his pose.

And this one... I'm so in love with him!


6 pink lines

Yes, I'm pregnant.  In December we went to another fertility clinic and before leaving discovered our insurance would cover IVF 50%.  We were going to leave for Florida and since I ovulated in November we figured we would try naturally for a few months.  I can't remember why but we went back again in December and she did an ultrasound and I wasn't ovulating that month.  I was her last appointment "Let me hurry and go check something" she said.  Upon return she said, "If you start birth control tonight, we can get you in with the January cycle".  "Okay", I blurted.  Ryan was on his way there straight from work, he wasn't even there yet, we hadn't discussed it but I just knew.  

You see, Ryan's testosterone has been crazy low since the accident.  We couldn't fix that until I got pregnant, testosterone therapy will basically kill a man's sperm.  And trust me when a man's testosterone is low it just isn't good.  

I was growing tired of waiting for my body to work in order to fix his.

He wasn't himself.  He didn't feel right.  His confidence was gone.  My rock, my best friend, my favorite wasn't okay.  I grew very tired of watching him suffer.

Of course he was okay that I'd said yes.  It was oddly refreshing because it just felt right.  Everything fell into place.  You do injections in your stomach now instead of huge needles in your behind.  The egg retrieval was almost painless.  I guess I hyper-stimulated last time because I was miserable but this time was a piece of cake.  30 eggs were retrieved and 21 fertilized.  We did a day 5 embryo transfer and by day 5 there were 13 top quality embryos left.  They drop like flies after they fertilize and by day 5; 13 was a very high number.  They actually had a difficult time choosing the best ones to put in.  11 were frozen and 2 were put in.  I asked the Dr if it was normal to have such good results and she said no, this was above and beyond average.  It was just so easy this time.  I was confident it was going to work.  I could just feel it.  I didn't even have an ounce of doubt.... and I was right. 

They were put in on a Friday and I was sick by Monday.  I was showing a week later.  I wasn't anxious the day of the blood test 10 days post transfer because I was sick as a dog and showing.  

I was very anxious and impatient for the first 7 week ultrasound to see if there were one or two babies.  I had a very strong feeling there were more than two.  I looked 4 months pregnant, maybe even 5.  I doubted my instincts, there was only like 1/1000 chance that any of them split.  The ultrasound tech confirmed there were twins and Ryan who had to work was on speaker.  I was relieved and ecstatic my worst fears were laid to rest.  She listened to the first baby's heartbeat and it was fine.  While moving over to the second sac her eyes squinted as she pulled the screen out of my view and more directly into hers.  I didn't mind as I shut my eyes so I could revel in this celebratory moment.  We are going to be okay, life is good.  "Kelly, there are 2 yolk sacs in this one....... Kelly..... there are 2 babies in there.  It's hard to see but...."  she slowly pushed the monitor into my view.  I squinted my eyes and looked closer.  I could barely see it but sure enough you could see 2 heartbeats beating what looked like nearly on top of each other.  "We are pregnant with triplets!!!", Ryan's voice excitedly shouted over the speaker.  Tears were falling from my eyes "Ryan!  Don't be excited, this is so dangerous, this is not good".  The ultrasound tech said she was going to go and get one of the Doctors to take a look and see if he could tell if they were in separate amniotic sacs (same gestational).  

By the time he came into the room I was sobbing.  I knew what this meant.  I knew some of the risks involved, the dangers that lie ahead.  The options we had to think about.  The Doctor couldn't see anything it was too early.  He took 45 min unexpectedly out of his busy schedule to explain ever so kindly how this just wasn't good.  The fatality risks are very high. If they weren't in separate amniotic sacs there would be a 60% chance one would die causing all of our lives to be at risk.  I kept picturing 1 lb newborn babies in the NICU... 3 of them.  I imagined buying another plot in the cemetery accompanied by designing another headstone.  I imagined worrying and being sad...again...about losing another child.  "The earlier they split the better."  I nodded my head, I understand, I understood.   Another ultrasound was scheduled for 2 weeks later to see if they could see any sign of them being in separate amniotic sacs but honestly they looked conjoined to me.  I walked into that clinic with joyful anticipation and I walked out frightened and in tears.  But I was attached to those little critters already.

My life has been in 2 week increments ever since.  Everything has been put on hold.  I came home and I cried for 2 days straight and then I brushed myself off and blocked that out and went house hunting.  My emotions have been all over the place, microburst storms come and go.  Why did this happen?  Did Colum have a hand in all this?  Did he see that we wanted 3 more and so he's sending them all at once?  Is it meant to be?  Do I even believe in that?  I'm tired of being strong, I don't want to fight the sadness.  I don't have anymore room for anymore sadness.  I can't handle it.  

Would I be crying and freaking out if the accident hadn't ever happened to us?  NO, I wouldn't.  I would be brave. I'd be fine. 

 I couldn't blog, I couldn't write about anything else.  We didn't know what we were going to do.  We didn't know if my body could handle this.  Fetal reduction is strongly recommended, it's not about ethics it's common sense.  We strongly considered it.  I had know idea how many risks identical twins held until now.  How those risks wouldn't be as risky if there wasn't another baby involved.  Twin to twin syndrome, their cords getting tangled together killing both of them....

there. are. so. many. risks. involved.

My 9 week ultrasound showed that they were in separate amniotic sacs but sharing the same placenta.  They were just so so cute.  My Doctor came in to see us.  Her eyes were holding back tears.  "I'm so so so sorry".  It wasn't her fault.  We told her we didn't blame her.  We went over all the risks involved again and I was given 2 names for Doctors who preformed fetal reduction in California.  "What would you do?" I asked.  Tears fell from her eyes when she replied "I would do the reduction".   "Would you reduce to twins or to singleton?".  "It makes the most logical sense to reduce to a singleton with all the risks involved....oh, I'm so sorry".   She handed me information including statistics and surveys showing how depression and anxiety of parents of triplets was very severe compared to those with twins.

I went home and cried for 2 weeks straight.  I'm broken.  I was doing so good until that 7 week ultrasound.  The fear of burying another baby was more than I could bare.  I called the Dr's in California.  The one that took our insurance required a referral.  I made an appointment with a high risk Obgyn at U of U Hospital, our hospital.  My appointment was yesterday.  First thing was the ultrasound.  The babies have grown and they were kicking and squirming all over the place.  They were so adorable.  Everything looked fine.  Their heartbeats are all fine.  They are growing perfect.  I know it's too early but I swear they looked like Finn and they looked like my little Dove.  Next we saw the midwife and then the Ob.  They were both women with kind and caring eyes.  They laid out the pros and cons but basically it was just all the cons.  I cried.  I told them my story.  I explained how I didn't want any of this.  I don't want to do a fetal reduction and grieve my miracle identical twins....no more grieving.  But I didn't want to deal with all these risks either.  I'm terrified it will be a one way ticket into a straight jacket.  

We decided to not do the fetal reduction.  I think I've known deep down for awhile.  I can't imagine getting on the plane to go and do that.  But I am understanding to those that do.  I am following my heart and slowly shutting up my head.  I'm trying to ignore all of the doctor's warnings and look at it from a glass is half full perspective.  I'm excited.  I love them.  They are mine; ours.  As of last night I'm now letting myself get excited about being pregnant again since that 7 week ultrasound.  I will have given birth to 5 children!  5!  That's a lot.  We are going to have to buy a bigger car.  Our new house is only 3 bedrooms...but I'm still excited about it.

Oh, and I had the ultrasound tech humor me and try and predict the sexes.  I'm only 12.5 weeks.  I guess theres a Dr who's done studies at finding out the sex at 12 weeks and according to that study we have 2 identical boys and the other is a girl!  Perfect.  I can't wait to see what Colum has sent us.

P.S. Please be kind with your comments.  I'm super emotional, like pregnant with 3 babies emotional right now.  I'm taking a lot of precautions and one of them is to try and stay happy, I don't want to become upset.  I'm scared, but I'm so happy.  Still in shock as I am sure all of you will be. :)

P.P.S. They couldn't get a good picture of all 3 at the same time.  Hopefully next time. xoxo



I am extra sorry I've been MIA for so long.  I have a really good excuse.  Stay tuned over the next day or two and I will explain.