After three years infertility treatment, I finally decided to try the GIFT procedure. Eight weeks later, Jeff and I found out we were going to have triplets. I was given in ultrasound photo that was labeled; Babies 1, 2, and 3 . . . The Gossett Triplets. I can remember going into work the next day showing how proud and excited I was . . . I was going to be a Mom of Triplets . . . well nothing is that simple.
At twelve weeks gestation I had a second ultrasound. Expecting to see triplets growing, we only found two babies, one of my babies had died and was absorbed. Our joy was tinged with grief. All of my medical records began to state mother of a twin pregnancy, as though the "vanishing triplet" never existed. I never challenged this label, not knowing how I was really going to react in the future. Jeff and I named this baby, "baby sib", since we did not know the sex.
At twenty-eight weeks gestation, I delivered Jeffrey and Jason, the remaining triplets. There in the hospital Jeffrey and Jason were known as twins, "baby A" and "baby B". Nowhere in the records showed there was a deceased triplet. I wanted very much to tell them, but it had been three months since I lost "baby sib", I did not want anyone to think I was still grieving.
Jeffrey was a healthy preemie, with only a few problems. He spent eleven weeks in the NICU and went home with an apnea monitor. Jason stayed behind in the hospital for five more months. He spent eight months in the NICU. His lungs were very underdeveloped, and he was on a ventilator for 80 days and oxygen his entire life. Jason's prognosis started to look grim. We felt there wasn't much more that could be done. We felt he needed to be home for as long as he could. We were not told he was going to die, but we were told that they did not know if he was going to live. Before he left the hospital he was diagnosed with, BPD, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertension, grade 1 brain bleed, crystals forming in his kidneys, a serious reflux problem, ROP, and a hearing loss. Some things were due to the prematurity, others due to the medical treatment to keep him alive. He was on Oxygen, many meds, aerosol treatments, and continuous feedings through a infusion pump and a g-tube. But, this boy was a fighter. He was alert up until minutes before he died. He was nine months and two days old when he died.
The medical staff told me he died from his formula refluxing into his lungs and he developed pneumonia. You see . . . he could not have surgery to repair the reflux problem because his lungs were too weak.
My life shattered that day, May 25, 1990. It hasn't been the same. Things have gotten better. I feel I have control of my life. Jeffrey is eight year old. He talks about his triplets, asking questions about their life and his when they were together. He tells me of his dreams of them together. And he always informs me of his loneliness for them. I know he is happy to know he is a triplet. He knows of his tough start in life. But also, he knows how much I love him and how special he truly is to me.
My family has moved forward. It takes a lot of hard work to do it. We have adopted a son, Todd, who is a wonderful six year old brother to Jeffrey. My husband, Jeff and I started a local support group, and we have Jeffrey involved with the Twinless Twins Support Group. When Jeffrey was four years old he gave "baby sib" a name, Jessie, and a gender, his sister. She is known to us as Jessie Christine.
My husband and I have a few joyous memories of the moment we saw all of our triplets together on the ultrasound screen. Each one had a tiny heart beating. We have many joyous memories of our sons Jeffrey and Jason in the NICU and at home. Jeffrey gives us joy each day as we watch him grow and learn . . . but, our sorrow still lingers at times for the dream that will not come true.
In Memory of:Jessie Christine (died in utero 5/12/89, date of u/s)TRIPLETS FOREVER
Jason Bradley (8/23/89 to 5/25/90)
In Honor of: Jeffery Alan (8/23/89)