Monday, August 25, 2008

3 little train girls

My husband and I met by total random chance a few years ago when we were both riding the same train. Suddenly the train stopped, and the conductor announced that we would be stuck for a while.
The boy sitting in the seat behind me struck up a conversation with me. I'm usually pretty shy, so I was surprised to be talking to such a cute stranger- he had spiky blue earrings and carried a skateboard. I found out he worked at MIT, where I was in grad school at the time.
After a little while, the train started moving again. He got off at his stop and I continued on to mine, and we somehow never exchanged names. That evening, I know I bored my sister to death talking about "train boy" and how I needed to find him again. About a week later, I was walking up the street in Cambridge and I ran into train boy. He blurted out "train girl!", to which I had to respond "train boy!". Turns out he'd told his friends about the girl he met on the train too. We exchanged names right then, and had our first date not too long afterwards.
Two years later, we were married. The tables at our wedding were adorned with little toy trains.
Not too long after the wedding, my family stared going through some tough times. In March of 2006, my sister was in a diving accident and shattered her C6 vertebra. She's been working hard at making progress, but there's still a very long road ahead of her. The following March of 2007, my father was hit by a car and pinned between a car and a building, dislocating his hip and shoulder and shattering his femur.
So it was a welcome bit of happy news when we discovered I was pregnant in April of 2007. My husband had been joking that it was twins, since twins do run on my mother's side of the family. I had an ultrasound fairly early, around 6 weeks, and we saw two little sacs inside. Ecstatic, we started telling close family that we were having twins.
Two weeks later, I went back for an ultrasound to check for the hearbeats. I knew something was awry when the ultrasound technician said "well that's odd". She called my husband over to look at the screen- I was of course convinced that there were no heartbeats. Low and behold, one of those two sacs had two heartbeats- identical twins and a fraternal twin, 3 healthy little hearts beating away. I started laughing uncontrollably, as I didn't know how else to react. Most people don't go to the doctor expecting to find out they are carrying triplets.
The first half of my pregnancy was largely uneventful. At 21 weeks, everything changed. At a visit for a routine weekly ultrasound, the doctor discovered that my cervix had shortened considerably and decided to perform an emergency cerclage. I was sent home on bedrest, which was a very big adjustment for me. I spent 2 months at home, sitting on the couch with my dogs and trying not to get too bored. At almost 29 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital as my blood pressure was creeping up. I managed to hold out until 31 weeks, 4 days, when my girls were finally delivered.

Today, Fiona, Hannah, and Maya are the 3 most amazing little girls I've ever met. They are crawling, babbling, laughing, drooling, smiling little wonders. We've been really lucky, and the worst we've had to deal with is a few runny noses and no real sickness.

It is a huge challenge, and every day is a marathon. I think I'm only going to know how to do things in multiples of three for the rest of my life. It's physically, financially, emotionally exhausting, but it's all worth it to see those three smiling faces each morning.

This spring, we took the girls for their first train ride. Someday they may come to appreciate the little twist of fate and broken down train that brought them into this world.

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