Triplets: Our Birth Story

{by Brittany Yankowski}

Women don’t want vaginal births so they can receive an award, or a trophy, or acknowledgement. Women want vaginal births because their body was made to birth a baby. Or two. Or three.

The first thing I said when we learned we were carrying not one, but three babies, was that I didn’t want a c-section. It wasn’t that I had anything against c-sections…they are an amazing thing that, when needed, saves lives. However, I knew I would be essentially forced into one and that didn’t sit well. I had dreamed up this amazing birth like the two I had before. My support system around me as we gently welcomed our new baby into the world. Tears, happiness, togetherness.

Suddenly, that came crashing down. I would have to leave my midwife, whom I trusted and loved, and switch to an OB who wouldn’t give me the time I was used to. Who didn’t know me or my body and how it delivered babies.

When I first began looking for a new provider, I was right in my assumptions. I was told I WOULD have a c-section and I WOULD have it at 34 weeks. Even when I asked to be able to let my body go into labor naturally, I was told that wasn’t an option, that it would be scheduled…but I probably wouldn’t make it that far anyway. I was facing a hard pregnancy with limitations and most likely bed rest and hospital stays.

We were told the chances of us bringing even one baby home were slim, and it was suggested we reduce our pregnancy.

I was terrified. But I wasn’t settling. Then I spoke with a local mom, and she suggested her MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor, or high risk doctor) as he had been willing to discuss a vaginal delivery for her. It was worth a shot. So we made an appointment.

Then, I had a maybe.  A MAYBE! It was as close to a yes as I was going to get. We had found our new doctor. I told him I would make it to September to 37 weeks. He smiled, and said we will see. He was definitely a high risk doctor, but he wasn’t pushy about anything. He was always very respectful of my questions, concerns, and wants. He explained everything to us when we needed it, and was realistic about risks and outcomes. He wanted three babies head down and all easily monitored during labor. The stars needed to align for a vaginal birth.

But every appointment, when delivery was discussed I never let it come off the table. I did my own research, networking, and learned a lot about my own risks and outcomes. I kept realistic that a c-section might be needed. And if it was NEEDED, I had no problem having one. But, I knew my body could do it, and I wanted the option to try.

At 34 weeks, after an uncomplicated pregnancy and minimal false alarms, we had baby a head down, baby b breech, and baby c transverse. Baby A was showing some signs of growth restriction, slowed growth, and low fluid, and we were almost sent to deliver that day. After discussing with our doctor, it was agreed to let me go another week.

It was also agreed that we could schedule an induction. Despite the positions of babies, they were willing to let me try! There were 3 doctors who did deliveries in the group, and they felt if anyone was a good candidate it was me. They made it very clear that a c-section would be the safest way and their preferred method of delivery, but I knew the risks, and if I wanted to give a go they would help.

So on September 2nd, at 35 weeks, we made our way to the hospital. I arrived at 3-4cm, and once I was hooked up to the IV they started pitocin at 2 and broke my water. It was around 7am, and the induction was underway. Also, our Baby B had flipped head down!

We had two babies head down and one still sitting transverse. I have to say, I never thought I would consent to an induction. However, I knew in order for my delivery to be a success, both myself and my doctors had to be happy. I needed their support, and I needed them comfortable as they could be.

This would be best achieved in a controlled environment, and we both had to make compromises. My compromises included the induction, and epidural, and scalp monitoring for Baby A while B and C were externally monitored.

Time for one last belly pic! On our way to the hospital!

I’ve never had an epidural before, so I requested it be placed as soon as possible because I wasn’t sure how well I would sit still during contractions when I was already terrified of it being placed. (Okay, I will be real here…this whole process was terrifying at this point.) I had asked for no medicine to be put through until I requested it, but they must’ve misunderstood as I got a low dose to begin. It wasn’t as awful as I had imagined, but I will say that having had both and knowing the recovery from both a natural birth and an epidural I would never get another.

Around 10, I decided that after my check I would try to move around (I could still feel my legs they just felt heavy from the epidural. I didn’t have enough to make me fully numb) and get things progressing, then maybe try to take a nap as nerves had me up all night. When my doctor came in to check me, we expected to be around 6-7cm. Then we got quite the surprise. I was complete at 10cm and Addisyns head was right there at +3! It was time to head to the OR! (We were delivering in the OR in case an emergency should arise.)

Hubby getting ready for the OR!

Talk about a flood of emotions! I started crying, I was anxious, overwhelmed, and I wasn’t ready. As the nurses rushed around, getting ready, getting my husband ready, I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t afraid of the delivery, I was afraid of what went wrong. I thought I had more time. Then they were ready. That is when I think the adrenaline took over. Any fear I had was gone.  I was determined!!

Waiting for the NICU

Finding heartbeats to monitor babies while we delivered

I knew I could do this, and I knew my body going to rock it. It already had! Once the NICU was ready for us, it was time to push. Baby A, Addisyn, came out in two pushes at 10:51am. My pushing was slightly directed but when I needed a breath I took my breath and kept going. Addisyn came out screaming and crying, and was whisked off to be evaluated in an attached room.

After a few pushes to get Baby B in the birth canal, and dilating back from 7 to 10cm (After Addisyn I closed up to a 7), two more pushes and Bentley arrived at 10:58. Two down one to go, and I was feeling great!

Baby C, who had been sitting transverse, flipped head down. However, he decided to put his arms up over his head. After my doctor went up and tried to push him arms down, they were unable to manipulate him and they went looking for other options. So they grabbed a foot, and pushed him footling breech (I think this part was more painful than anything else, the outside manipulation was a bit uncomfortable.

They kept asking how I was doing, and I maintained I was great! I was ready to rock and roll and meet my babies!). It took a few minutes for them to find the other foot, and break his water. His heart rate began to decline, and we knew were running out of time.

My doctor switched to the other doctor once he was halfway out because his hands were still above her head and they needed them down. She started twisting and turning him to try and get his arms down, and his heart rate continued to decelerate, indicating he either wasn’t tolerating labor anymore, or placentas were beginning to detach.

Finally at 11:10 Connor arrived, but he didn’t scream or cry. He didn’t appear to be breathing and was actually pretty blue.  I kept asking the doctor who had been checking their positioning if he was alright.

It was the first time I had doubted if I had made the right decision. She finally went to check and see how he was doing, and then they brought us Addisyn. The other doctors delivered the placentas, and checked to see if I had tore. Amazingly, through delivering three babies and doctors needing to manipulate Connor to deliver him, I hadn’t! Woohoo!

Meeting Miss Addisyn for the first time

While they did that, I was able to have some skin to skin time with Addisyn. She immediately started rooting around, even to my amazement. She turned and wanted to go to breast, so I let her! She didn’t nurse a whole lot, she just wanted to be there, and that was alright with me!

Next they brought us Bentley, and the doctor returned to give us the news that Connor was just fine. Addisyn received an 9/9 on her Apgar, and Bentley a 9/9 as well. Connor initial received a 3/9, then a 6/9 and finally a 8/9. He needed to be resuscitated and was on oxygen for 5 minutes, but recovered beautifully.

Addisyn Grace, 4 pounds 12 ounces

Bentley Jayce, 5 pounds 6 ounces

Connor Quinn, 5 pounds 5 ounces

Once I was good to go, they rolled us back into my room. All three babies bypassed the NICU immediately, and were able to room in with us. I was able to breastfeed them all, and they were eager latchers!

Back in our room

Even though I had my moment of doubt, thinking I had possibly caused something bad to happen to one of our babies, we had an amazing birth experience. Was it everything I wanted? No, it was totally different than what I had pictured in my mind. However, I was surrounded by people who supported me.

 From my understanding, aside from the doctors in the room there were roughly 20 other nurses and doctors in the hall watching and cheering me on. The fact my doctors worked so hard to give me the birth I wanted even though it was out of their comfort level makes me not miss what I didn’t have. Because I feel like I got so much more!

My doctor joked (at least I think so) that I had him on two different blood pressure medications, sorry doc! I know that most moms don’t get a vaginal delivery with triplets, and I know that I am one of the exceptions. But, I also know I am not the only one, and those women inspired me so much. If they could, then maybe I could too! Our family has been so blessed, I know God was watching out for us every step of the way. We’ve got three beautiful babies to now complete our family. <3

Addisyn

Bentley

Conner
http://untilyoutriplets.blogspot.com/2014/09/our-birth-story_13.html
Photographer, Bri Yankowski Photography

 

21 Comments

  • Desiree

    That was beautiful!!! Sooooo amazing. I am a nursing student in mother infant unit and all I kept thinking while reading this was “GO MOMMY!!!”

  • Milla

    Holy. Macaroni. Lady you are amazing. Your babies are beautiful , and I love your surrender and positivity while facing this massive detour from your desires and expectations. Congratulations! What an awesome story.

  • Nic

    That is awesome! What a great hospital where you must have been and supportive doctors- nice to hear you got taken seriously! It is possible when the stars align! I also went in to my births just knowing i and my body could do it. I was also saying go mama and go babies all thru your story!

  • Kathryn Hatcher

    I am carrying triplets and people are telling me to have a c-section. Having them naturally would be great, but I’m scared. Your story definitely inspired me. With God anything is possible!!!

  • Angela

    Beautiful!!! Congratulations both on your amazing pregnancy and birth, as well as finding a medical team that let you give birth how YOU wanted! Way to go!!!

  • Jean

    What a beautiful story! It is great to see that you stuck to your plan and found Dr.s that were willing to listen to your requests. You are an amazing Mom and I wish you and those three little darlings a wonderful first year!

  • Mary

    I totally want to be able to do that! I hope and pray that it will come to pass! Please pray for me and my next pregnancy, thank you!

  • Jody

    Congratulations on your beautiful little bubs. I think this is a very important topic that you’ve shared. The hospitals also tryed to force me to have a c section with my twins who were in the breach position as “it’ was easier for them” having a back ground in the health industry I like you did a lot of research and stood my ground at the hospital. I was told only one dr would agree to attempt a natural delivery and if that dr wasn’t available when I went into labour they could refuse to treat me if I didn’t comlpy. We stuck to our guns and had two healthy beautiful twin girls naturally and I didn’t have to spend weeks recovering from sergery. A lot of couples take the dr word as gospel or are bullied into things they don’t want to do. I urge all couples to read, google and not to be afraid to get multiple opinions so they can make informed choices if things don’t feel right for their family. C sections are undeniably valuable in an emergency but not as a time saving device our bodies were designed for child birth.

  • Janet

    What a precious but powerful story! Thank you so much for sharing!
    I do have a question… were you taking any kind of fertility treatments or do triplets run in your family? 🙂
    And, how is breastfeeding going?

    Love,
    Janet

  • Jenn

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I just have to ask, how do you nurse 3 babies? That alone sounds like it deserves a medal! =) Glad you got the birth you desired. Gives me strength for next time (ended up with a c section first time around).

  • Nolasupreme

    I am so happy to know that the medical society ,have not given up on us women who believe whole heartily that God did creat a perfect birthing machine. That if you simply believe and give it a chance that we can be amazed at the miracles of a women’s body. I am so happy to read such story, beeing that this a very rare event in the medical society here in the U.S where a women can be allowed to deliver triples vaginally, it lets me know that there is hope for others out there who would want to experience the same, rather then being forced/scared into doing a Cesarian, when the natural alternative is indeed possible with support, care, honesty, beliefs, patience, and love. Congradulation on accomplishing what most women have fought for and were not allowed to accomplish with the support that they could have received just as you did, may GOD watch over your beautiful family.

  • Brittany

    This was so beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes. And it was so great to hear how you made compromises where you needed to and seem to be at peace with that. I’ve had one birth center birth and one home birth but still had to make compromises with a few things and it is hard to accept it. But what a beautifully written story-thanks for sharing! God bless you all!

  • Casey

    This is the inspiration I was looking for!! We found out we were expecting triplets and my thoughts went immediately to the delivery. I do not want a cesarean, I had my first naturally and it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced! I will definitely be urging my doctors more to try and let me have them vaginally, although I know I will do what I have to do to have these babies in the best way possible for them and myself! Thank you for sharing, there really isn’t a lot out there for moms expecting triplets!

  • Brittany Murillo

    I think it’s rather interesting that upon discovering a multiples pregnancy, doctors are eager to ‘reduce’…(Seriously does anyone ever actually do that? How would you pick? How could you look at that child for the rest of it’s life and not miss the others?)…yet once the pregnancy has progressed they are eagar to cover the bases when it comes to delivering them without complications…Even if that means cutting them out 4-6 WEEKS early?!

    I LOVE hearing stories of providers that let well educated parents call the shots and do what’s best. Now that is service! Doctors are aids, not dictators. Things work so much more smoothly if there is cooperation! What precious babies! What a rockstar story! Thanks for sharing!

  • Emily

    This is an amazing story and reminds me of my mom who gave birth vaginally to my twin sisters. I love that you believed in your body and your babies! I wish more doctors were willing to let women at least try, rather than tell them it wasn’t possible. Women have done this for centuries. It IS possible. It’s great that we have the ability to assist and save lives when needed now, but I’m so glad you at least got to try and had incredibly successful births! Congrats to you and your husband and thank you for the inspiration.

  • Jamie

    What an amazing story for so many reasons. I specialize in childbirth education for parents of multiples. It isn’t so much about getting the birth of your dreams as it is to be treated as an individual and for your situation to be respected as unique and deserving of attention and thought. Many parents of multiples get put through “the routine” – scheduled induction or c-section 2-6 weeks earlier than 40 weeks; required bedrest; OR delivery; etc. Instead of the first assumption being that your body is capable of starting labor naturally and birthing your children naturally, it is usually that you are a high-risk patient with no chance of being able to do what your body was made to do.

    That is why learning how to advocate for yourself and your children is so important and why finding a care provider that is willing to discuss your individual situation is critical to having the support, guidance, and coaching you need during your labor and birth.

    Congratulations and what an inspiration you’ll serve to so many parents of multiples through your birth story!

  • Crystal

    Thank you for sharing your story! Your babies are absolutely beautiful. All the best from here in France for you and your family 🙂

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