Soon after my last post, the phone rang. It was the maternal-fetal medicine doctor, who had been roused to action by a prodding from Dr. FYC.
I was taken aback by his tone: no preliminaries, no questions of me except my age, height and weight. When he went into his spiel, it sounded as though he had delivered the same lines a thousand times.
Full pregnancy loss for triplets between 12-24 weeks: 10-15%.
Post-delivery mortality rate per triplet: 15-20%.
Full pregnancy loss after reduction of triplets to twins: 3-5%.
Post-delivery mortality rate per twin: 5-7%.
My advantages as a potential high-order multiple mother are not insignificant--sedentary, low-stress job; the ability to go on extended bedrest without bankruptcy; generally good health; a willingness to do whatever it would take--but the disadvantages are blunter, perhaps more meaningful, and out of my control: I'm just over 5'4" and went into this pregnancy at 118 pounds. That's three inches and thirty pounds shy of his recommended cutoffs, and there's not a damned thing I can do about it.
I will find another expert and another opinion. These numbers seem so high; I don't know if I trust them. But now they're out there, tangible, coloring my imaginings of the months to come.
This decision is breaking me up in a hundred small, warring pieces. I want it to be over.
My grandmother died this morning in her sleep, just before four a.m. Pneumonia appears to be the cause, though her chronic heart failure was likely the root problem. She suffered another series of small strokes not long ago, and had fallen into a semi-conscious state from which she struggled to rouse herself each day when my father arrived. She was uncomfortable, couldn't see much and couldn't hear well, but did not complain. She would turn all conversations about herself and how she was feeling to us--what we were doing, how we were doing, what our plans were. She gave congratulations for our successes and sympathy for our minor annoyances. She was so pleased about the pregnancy; it was something she had always wanted for me, long before I wanted it for myself. She loved Jeff as a grandson and told me often how lucky we were to have found each other. She kept talking, even when the strokes had made most of her words impossible to understand, and somehow made herself clear. She had her faculties, and even her sense of humor, through it all.
There will be no funeral--my father is not up to it--and she will be buried next to my grandfather without fanfare. We will meet at her house one day soon and remember her in the place and with the things that have come to represent her to us all. We will picture her sitting on the tasteful brocade sofa under the Thai temple rubbing, slender stockinged ankles crossed demurely, listening and encouraging.
It was time for her to go; that much was very clear. There is a certain relief. But I will miss her now and mourn the loss, and I will remember her always.