Triplet pregnancies can be absolutely terrifying. You feel so out of control. There are three little lives growing in your belly and you are told by all your doctors and OBs all the risks and all the dangers, you begin to feel like you are made of glass. Please no TTTS, please no preterm labour, please let my babies survive and be healthy. Each day was frightening, and each day was a milestone.
It was at the very beginning I was told that I only had a 30% chance of any ONE baby surviving and I’d be lucky to make it to 24 wks, and if I did, they’d monitor me till my body packed it in and then they’d (their words)” cut them out of me.” No idea what that old midwife wished to accomplish by saying that, but it simply terrified me!
I went home and started researching. All I found was c-section YouTube videos. I searched for weeks, and cried each day. I was horrified at how early they’d come and the medical procedures and intervention they faced in their first moments on earth. So I just kept looking. I knew I needed to let my babies cook as long as they could, and birth my babies as naturally as I could, so they had the best possible start to life. I wanted to give them the same beginning as I’d given my three boys. So I Googled, and joined forums, and asked questions to everyone I could find with a hand full of answers.
I joined a group for triplets, one that was Australia based, it was there that I found a few vaginally birthing triplet mums and I found another pregnant mum who was as committed as me. We found that any posting about our desires to birth vaginally was faced with terrible negativity. So we started a Facebook group Birthing Multiples Naturally. In that group we found like-minded people and shared information freely. I was on my path to meet my girls.
At every OB appointment I was bullied and told what I WILL be doing with my body. I WILL have a c-section, I WILL have it when they say. But I had armed myself with knowledge – for every bit of information they gave me to support their wanting to take my babies out early by c-section, I researched and found evidence contradicting them. I gathered all the information to make an informed and educated decision and stuck with it.
At every appointment I maintained that I would go to 36 wks or as long as the babies needed, I would have three heads down and I WOULD have a vaginal birth. and at each appointment I was scoffed. Even my sonographer would smirk and say “I’d be impressed if you made 30 wks”.
At 30 wks my three girls decided they’d all prefer breech, putting a smile on my OB’s faces as they smugly said…” well, you’ll be having a c-section now?” In answer, “no, I’ll go and have acupuncture and use positions to turn my babies”. You can imagine their responses. LOL.
Well I did. Chinese acupuncture and using “spinning babies” techniques and I found myself in hospital with two heads trying to both get into my pelvis. It was then they decided to keep me in hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy.
The bullying began. Strong, nasty, consistent bullying. Tag-teaming OB’s, doctors, nurses. They even had OB’s from their sister hospital come over to talk down to me. But I knew what was right for my babies. Id birthed three big babies before; I knew I could birth three tiny little triplets.
I kept researching, taking vitamins and minerals, magnesium for prevention if preterm labour, and doing my positions on the hospital bed. I missed my boys like crazy, but I was determined to keep this pregnancy going. Week after week I designed my birth plan, and week after week I terrified my OB’s. I built a strong relationship with wonderful midwives. I was looked after and treated with dignity by these amazing women who never doubted me. They helped me day to day with my teary days and my discomfort, they made a belly cast of my enormous belly, and helped me with my birth plan.
At 34 1/2 weeks I felt three sets of feet in my ribs! They did an ultrasound to check, and yes!!! Three heads down!!!!!! I wrote my birth plan out on a big piece of cardboard and pinned it to my wall. My OB’s walked in, saw it, turned white and walked out. Soon they came back with paperwork for me to sign. I was going to have a good birth. I believed in my body. I believed in my babies, and I believed in my midwives, who is decided would be delivering my babies and with no epidural using active labour.
At 35 wks I felt strange. I truly felt like my body had hit a wall. I asked for a growth scan as I believed that my babies had stopped growing. I felt something was not right. A few days later they did the scan and sure enough the babies had stopped growing and things needed to progress.
I decided to try bringing my labour on myself. I used everything. Every old wives’ tale, right up to stretch and sweep. Nothing!!!! Can you believe it, all that time fearing preterm labour and now I want it to start and it won’t!!! I tried and tried, but nothing but a few strong BH contractions.
So I decided that I had no choice but to induce.
I was terrified of induction. I was worried that one intervention would lead to another. I had a few friends, my sister and my husband with me after they gave me a strong stretch and sweep and broke my waters, and then they hooked me up to the synto drip. I walked around, bounced on the ball and rotated my hips, I laughed and joked and talked. I was scared, but this was my day! I was going to meet my girls.
Once contractions were established my friends and my sister left so that I could focus. I concentrated on feeling my little sweetheart lowering to my cervix. Aneyah was the leading baby. We had a head monitor on her, (which I wasn’t struck on, but it was needed) I stayed standing until I physically couldn’t any more. They had me famining just in case, and I was completely exhausted. I’d brought berocca with me but was not allowed to have it in case they needed to intubate me in an emergency. So I got up on my hands and knees on the bed. The contractions were so strong now. People were starting to fill my room, but I used gas and concentrated on blocking them all out and just feeling my daughters lowering.
As I began to push, Aneyah’s heart rate started dropping. I could feel her head at my cervix and could not seem to push her through. One of my midwives checked and said that my cervix just wasn’t letting her through, so she helped. While I pushed, she gently helped my cervix over her head, it worked. I turned around to sit up with my knees up at the end of the bed. It was time. Before I knew it my little princess’s head was crowning. Two more pushes and Aneyah was out and placed on my chest. My beautiful, amazing little girl, screamed for just a moment then just looked at me. I was in love. She was so beautiful. My husband cut the cord, and before I knew it I was feeling the need to bear down again. They passed Aneyah from me to my husband and I started to push. Another head started to lower through my cervix and crown, the OB decided to help by breaking my waters, as he went to do so, I beared down, and with a beautiful twist, my waters exploded all over him. A moment that gave me a good laugh! Just 15 minutes after her sister Kalanee arrived into the world and straight to my chest. Such intense love. Another perfect beautiful wonderful little girl who screamed for just a moment then snuggled into my arms. Complete love. But I could only hold her just a moment, because I had one more special person to concentrate on. Lealah. I passed Kalanee over to one of my midwives and put my hands above my third little princess. It was much harder to push with her. I could not feel my stomach muscles because they’d stretched so much, and all that space and one tiny little baby, but I held my hand above her and beared down. My waters broke as she was crowning and she literally came out in one slurp with what seemed like a bucket of blood. Lealah was placed immediately on my chest and I was given the scissors to cut her cord. What a moment. She gurgled a little and I passed her over to be checked. Immediately afterward, I felt the need to push again. My placenta had come away early and was chasing Lealah out.
The placenta was so big; it was two that had shared and one that was fused. It felt like another baby, and it was at this point that someone in the room decided to joke about a possible fourth that had gone unseen. I was quite unimpressed.
I did lose quite a decent amount of blood, but the body is amazing. My haemoglobin was actually higher after than the day before. It seems all that bloating was my body preparing.
They were: Aneyah – 4lb 7oz, Kalanee – 4lb 9oz; and Lealah – 4lb 11 oz. The first two were 15 minutes apart and the second and third were 12 minutes apart. They were 35.6 wks, and all head down. My entire labour was calculated at 4.5 hours.
My three girls were very quick to pick up breast feeding. They had no formula from the moment they were born. We had a little jaundice from being four weeks early, but they were healthy and strong. After just five days we all left the hospital fully breast fed and mummy’s little princesses. Today they are nearly six months, still exclusively breast fed and doing amazingly. I have three beautiful boys and three beautiful girls. I feel like the most blessed woman in the world.