Crunch Time

Today is my 26th birthday.

As I look around at some of my former classmates and friends of the same age, I see people who are traveling the world, finishing up extra schooling, starting careers, getting married, or just having their first child. And then there’s me — about to have FOUR kids. No, it’s not something I had planned for myself at this age. Then again, do you know anyone whose life turned out exactly as they planned? I certainly don’t. 🙂

I’m now on the down slope toward 30, and I can’t believe it. Greg and I often chat about the age we ARE versus the age we FEEL. On paper, I’m a working adult who’s married, has a child, pays taxes, and owns property. In my mind, I sometimes still feel like a kid who’s just “playing house.” I’ve technically been an adult now for eight years — but it doesn’t always feel like it. I suppose that’s a good thing. Just because you get older, doesn’t mean you have to stop liking things like Disney movies, candy, Kool-aid, or the playground. In fact, I think that’s one of the reasons why Greg is so great at his job. He relates well to his 7th and 8th graders because he’s still (and probably always will be) a kid at heart.

But I’m actually not writing this post to talk about birthdays or ages.

I’m writing this post to ask for your prayers over the next 10 weeks.

Since my first doctor’s visit after finding out about the triplets, I’ve learned that the riskiest time of a multiple pregnancy isn’t towards the end (as I always thought). It’s actually during middle pregnancy — 20-30 weeks. Why? Because past 30 weeks, babies may be tiny and need to spend some time in the NICU, but they’re still much stronger and more developed than a 20-something-week baby. The earliest a baby has ever been born and survived is 22 weeks. I’ve asked both of my doctors so far if there’s anything I can do to reduce the risks of pre-term labor in this window, and they both said “NOTHING.” That’s the worst part. It doesn’t matter how easy I take it. Even bed rest would be pointless at this stage. There’s nothing you can do but pray.

From the beginning of this journey, I’ve had confidence that I’m going to go as full-term as possible and have an uneventful pregnancy. But is that really called confidence? Or being naive? I’ve realized that I need to strike a balance between believing we can make it to 33-35 weeks (don’t laugh, triplet moms…) and the possibility that we won’t. While choosing to ignore the risks can catch you off guard later, it still doesn’t discount the importance of hope and the belief that you can change the odds.

So, will you pray for us these next 10 weeks? Pray that I won’t go into pre-term labor — and that if I do, the doctors will implement the right solutions to keep the babies inside as long as possible. Pray that I’ll be a good vessel for the babies to grow. Pray that the babies will grow big and healthy — and that my belly can stretch to accommodate! (Because right now, it doesn’t seem possible!) 🙂

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a birthday card my sister sent this week. So hilarious and appropriate. (Note the crossed out/replaced names.)

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9 responses

  1. Stefanie we are praying for you, Greg and the girls. Please do what you can to take it easy and let us know how we can help. I know you are…but please continue to drink lots of water. I do believe that does help with pre-term contractions. Praying for a safe and healthy family for you!

  2. Uncle Dave was the biggest example of not growing up and I cherished every moment, and I have been and will continue praying for all of you. Love you all

  3. Happy Birthday, Stef anie…

    When I was 26……

    Had our 4th child….

    Had moved four times – 2 long distance and away from home…

    Three of them born in Minnesota…

    And Loved every minute of it.

    Of course, I’m not as smart as you, and didn’t have to deal with an outsi de job

    I don’t know how you do it.

    We are praying every single day for the health of all of  you, and especially for the triplets.

    Your future is going to be very exciting, weary, funny, exhausting, and finally – very rewarding!

    As my husband used to tell me:

    “CHEER UP, HONEY – THINGS COULD GET WORSE!”

    So I cheered up,   and SURE ENOUGH – THINGS GOT WORSE!

    God bless and keep you safe – hope to see you tomorrow at Adam Kern’s wedding.

    Great Aunt Marie Kern

  4. Wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays! We will continue to lift you and the babies up in our prayers. Please let us know if there is anything else that we can do.

  5. Premature babies are such miracles. I have one of those miracles. You can always look to your little cuz and see that a baby who was born at 28 weeks weighing 1 lb. 8.3 ozs. can grow into a beautiful normal teenager just like everyone else. We had our challenges with underdeveloped lungs but we listened and did everything the doctors told us to do and it more than paid off. Uncle Terry and I are truly blessed with how healthy Alleyna has been over the past 14 years but we were ready to face whatever was given to us by leaving it in God’s hands. I can only imagine how much more they have learned about premature babies over the past 14 years. Your faith in God will carry you and Greg miles during this journey and you will be ready for what ever path He leads you on. The two of you were chosen for a reason. You know that the six of you are surrounded by lots of people who love you and that prayers are being said for all of you. I truly believe that prayers are what kept us on track through our journey.

    Once I learned I was pregnant with Alleyna, I wore a St. Gerard Majella (Patron Saint of Motherhood) medal every day and prayed this prayer:

    Prayer for a Safe Delivery
    O great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted child of Mother of God, enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love.
    O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine Master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the patron and protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the purifying and life-giving waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Happy Birthday!

    Love,
    Aunt Kim

  6. We have been praying for you every day since that day you told us the news. We will pray even harder now since this is a critical time. I know the Sisters are praying and I always did think they had a hot line to Heaven. Grandpa & Grandma Goedde

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