Mom to McGown Triplets & Orion Michael McGown

March 2012 & November 10, 2012

Green Bay, Wisconsin

I met my husband in the fall of 2008. We were married in December of 2010 and started trying to have our family immediately. After 7 or 8 months of trying the “old fashioned” way without success, we visited a fertility clinic. We both went through the typical testing, and they could not find anything wrong. Since I was 36 at that time and considered advanced maternal age, we knew we wanted to take an aggressive approach. Our doctor felt IUI would be a good solution for us and they suspected that we weren’t getting pregnant on our own because of a LEEP procedure I had in early 2007.

Our first round of IUI was with Clomid and was right around Christmas 2011. I was also given a trigger shot, and it just felt rushed to me. I had this gut feeling that it was a round that didn’t work. And, it didn’t. The next month, we tried again, still with Clomid, but no trigger shot. I had a good feeling. On February 1, 2012, I found out I was pregnant! I was happier than I could ever imagine being. FINALLY, I was pregnant! Around 6.5 weeks, I started spotting. The doctor (it was late on a Friday and not my regular OB) brought me in for ultrasound and thought they saw 3 sacs! What? Multiples? No cardiac activity, but I was told, “It’s really early” and to come back for my regular check-up in week eight. I saw my regular OB in week 8  and they confirmed triplets. I was carrying a pair of monoamniotic twins and a singleton. I couldn’t believe it and I thought, “Well, this is a blessing – I’m getting my whole family at one time.” But… there still was not any cardiac activity. The doctor said it didn’t look good, but to come back in week 9 to confirm. At 9 weeks, they confirmed I was having a miscarriage. At 10 weeks, I had my first D&C.

We were given the green light to try again in June. On June 11, 2012, I had another round of IUI. On June 24, 2012… POSITIVE pregnancy test! Success!! I was happy, and I was TERRIFIED! How ever would I get through my first trimester and not lose my mind after just having a miscarriage? At 6 weeks, I started spotting again. I was a nervous wreck. We went in for ultrasound… it was a singleton… but no cardiac activity. So, I was instructed to go home, wait a week and come back to confirm. We were given a 10% chance of this being a viable pregnancy, as the doctor said, because the heartbeat should have been there. It was a horrible week, but somehow I got through it, and went to my next appointment expecting to schedule my D&C. We got to ultrasound, and the technician said, “There’s the baby. There’s the heartbeat.” My husband and I were SHOCKED and so happy. Were they sure? Was there really a little baby with a beating heart there? Yes there was, and everything looked good. Ok. Another hurdle overcome.

I knew from the minute I tested positive, it was a boy. At week 19, it was confirmed. We were having a boy, and everything looked just great! I started thinking of names, bought him some clothes and toys and even began looking for nursery ideas. I was so far and this was really happening!!

Until, 22 weeks and  6 days. I was cramping and I just didn’t feel right. Then, I saw blood. Not spotting. Bleeding. I immediately called the doctor’s office, who got me in that afternoon for an appointment. The ultrasound looked good – our son was doing fine – but then I was told the doctor wanted to do a pelvic exam. When I saw him, he just had that look on his face that told me I was in trouble. He did the exam and said, “Tara, I’m sending you to the hospital right away.” This was on a Monday. I was 3cm dilated with bulging membranes. He wanted to do an emergency cerclage that night.

The surgery was successful and I stayed in the hospital until that Thursday evening. I was sent home on strict bed rest. By Friday afternoon, I didn’t feel right again. Then the cramping came, followed by the bleeding. We went straight to the hospital Friday night. THANKFULLY, my OB was on call that weekend – I don’t know what I would have done without him. They gave me medications to stop the uterine irritability and told me to “hold on.” The cerclage was still holding great. On Saturday morning, my water broke. From there, it went downhill for me. They had to remove the cerclage, or not only was baby not going to make it, but I might not either if I contracted an infection. Once the cerclage was removed, I slowly went into labor.

Orion Michael was born on Saturday night at 11:11 p.m., weighing in at 1 lb., 3 oz. He was 11″ long and just a beautiful little baby. He lived for about a minute and a half.

It’s been almost two months since this happened [at time of submission], and this is the greatest pain I have ever known. While I have also recognized the blessings that have come from this, I have to dig deep to remind myself of those blessings some days. For now, my focus is on going through the grief work and healing. They think that the LEEP also contributed to incompetent cervix, which contributed to early labor. But, we will never really know for sure.

Thanks for listening to my story. My heart breaks for everyone who has lost a baby, but we have to have faith and hope.

Tara can be emailed

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