I‘ll never forget those words uttered by the lovely lady sonographer in St George’s hospital as she held my hand tightly at the first scan. I’m almost a little embarrassed by this but I reacted by bursting into tears and shaking from head to toe uncontrollably, John held one hand while she held the other in an attempt to steady me and she quickly let us listen to their heartbeats to calm me down. I was so relieved to hear all three rapid heartbeats, I could also see their three separate sacks clearly and I started to breathe a little easier. I stared at John for a long time whose mouth was wide open and I thought to myself how are two bluffers like us going to manage this one?!
Spontaneous triplets it turns out are quite the big deal and even if the two of us weren’t jumping around for joy, the staff at St George’s were having the time of their lives. Approx 8 midwives and other sonographers were called in to have a look at these three miracles… and their odd mother staring at them with her pupils dilated! The chances of conceiving spontaneous triplets are 1 in 8000 so I guess they had every right to get a bit excited. They were all so positive and congratulatory that it didn’t take long for myself and John to join the party and get a little giddy.
After several cups of sugary tea to ease the shakes, we sat with a multiples consultant to discuss how a triplet pregnancy differs from a single pregnancy and what to expect when you’re expecting… three!
The main difference is that a triplet pregnancy is automatically categorised as high risk. This high risk stems from the fact that generally triplets arrive very early. Most hospital policies in the UK and Ireland state that triplets will be delivered at 34 or 35 weeks. A caesarean section seems to be the recommended delivery but that is not to say that you can’t have a natural birth. I’ll probably stick with the C-section, all going according to plan!
At the moment, I am currently 22 weeks pregnant so the official due date is April 16th. However, in reality the three will be delivered at the latest in early March. The aim of the game is to keep them in there cooking for as long as possible!! They will spend some time in neo-natal care when they are born and I often worry about this but I have read so much about premature babies and how they are such little fighters that it gives me a huge amount of reassurance.
I am often asked if there are triplets in the family and it turns out that there are. I had actually forgotten this until my Granny called me after receiving the news. So my Dad’s grandmother (his Mum’s Mum) gave birth to a set of triplets approximately 90 years ago- two boys and a girl. She wasn’t aware that she was carrying triplets and gave birth to all three in her home – they all lived healthy and long lives. I’m seriously in awe of that lady now and thoughts of her whenever I’m struggling remind me to buck up, this should be a piece of cake!…