Birth Story: ‘I was pregnant with triplets’

Posted in Birth Stories.

Triplets smiling

After 10 years together and many incredible experiences travelling the world, Caitlin and Sam decided it was finally time to settle down and have a family.

But the couple found themselves unable to conceive after almost a year of trying, and just as they were about to take a break, they fell pregnant… with triplets.

While Caitlin hoped her babies would arrive around 34 weeks, they decided to come very quickly on the morning of August 23rd, 2022, at only 29 + 1 via emergency c-section.

“After being on the pill for 15 years I didn’t know that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and my body didn’t naturally ovulate each month. We started seeing a fertility specialist in 2021, after testing both of us we tried Clomid (an oral medication used to treat infertility in women), which didn’t work and then I started on daily injections of Gonal-F to get myself to ovulate,” Caitlin tells Mum’s Grapevine.

“After a year of testing, trying and medication we wanted to take a break after my last injection, however, that was when I became pregnant finally. I was really sick which was the first thing that tipped me off into doing a test. I went to my doctor to confirm and she confirmed I was pregnant… she could see three sacks. I was pregnant with triplets!

“I had to be put on wafer tablets to keep food down and once that subsided around 18 weeks, my portion sizes were so small, I really couldn’t eat much – I guess there wasn’t room for food with the three.

Three positive pregnancy tests

Caitlin shows off her pregnant belly with triplets

Then at 21 weeks along, a scan showed Caitlin’s cervix was shortening, putting her triplets’ lives in danger. Doctors told her she’d need to have a procedure done called cervical cerclage, to help keep her cervix closed and prevent premature birth.

“With a triplet pregnancy there are a lot more scans that you have, I had an appointment for another scan as Triplet A was showing signs of slower growth than the others – I was 29 weeks,” she explains.

“Having three placentas I also had to do the Glucose Tolerance Test for a second time, that morning I had some slight blood and packed a hospital bag just in case. After completing the GTT test, I went to my scan after and waited to be seen by the doctor, by this time my partner had finished work and joined me at the hospital. We were told that Triplet A was slowing in growth and it could be from the placenta.

“Needing to get more tests done pre-cesarean I found I had more bleeding than I had noticed that morning, I let my doctor know and after taking a look I was told that my bleeding was coming from the cerclage stitch as my cervix was opening. I was taken to be monitored until they could find me a bed and kept an eye on the bleeding. Through the night I was checked on and asked if I felt any contractions, I didn’t as I was used to my triplets B and C moving to the sides at night. At 6am, my bleeding was checked again and a doctor was asked to inspect this, my cervix had increased in size and I was told I would be having the babies today.”

Caitlin gives birth via a c-section

Midwives cut the umbilical cord of one of the triplets.

Caitlin holds her three babies in hospital

Caitlin called Sam and told him to leave work immediately as the triplets were coming. As she waited, doctors began prepping her for an emergency c-section and she was warned there was a chance that triplet A might come out naturally after the stitch was removed.

“I was waiting the surgery and they kept asking if I had contractions and I said no, I think it’s just the triplets, I was then told what I was feeling was contractions.

“There was too much blood to remove the stitch before the surgery and I was told it would be done in theatre. I was surrounded by so many people – there were three of everyone, one for each triplet once they arrived. My stitch was removed and I was told I was 8cm dilated. 24 hours after arriving at the hospital the caesarean happened and I heard the scream of Triplet A – Adrian, followed by another scream of Triplet B – James, and finally Triplet C – Charlotte, was in the world.

“Just as soon as they came in they were whisked away to the NICU where they stayed for 66 days until they were cleared to come home to us.”

Triplets in NICU

Caitlin, Sam and the triplets

Wow, what an incredible birth! Caitlin and Sam’s triplets are now six months old (corrected) and the family of five say it has been a journey, to say the least. We wish them all the best.

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