Santa’s sur­prise de­liv­ery! – I had turkey... then triplets

Emily’s Christ­mas took an un­ex­pected turn

that's life (Australia) - - Contents - As told to Sarah Firth Visit rais­ing-for-the-page-fam­ily

Emily Page, 28, Devon­port, Tas

As I lay on the bed, the sono­g­ra­pher went quiet. My hus­band Tim, 29, and I were par­ents to El­iz­a­beth, seven, and Thomas, four, and we’d de­cided to have one more.

With heaps of fam­ily birth­days in De­cem­ber, we’d aimed for a late sum­mer ar­rival.

And to our de­light,

I’d fallen preg­nant right away.

‘There won’t be much to see at the dat­ing scan,’ I told Tim at nine weeks.

So I’d come to the ap­point­ment on my own.

‘I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think there’s three in there!’ the sono­g­ra­pher said.

We’ll need a new car and a big­ger house,

I re­alised, stunned.

But I was so ex­cited! Buy­ing three pairs of booties and a card, I wrote, We’re hav­ing triplets! Then I went to meet Tim after work.

‘Are you jok­ing?’ he asked hap­pily, read­ing it.

At our next ap­point­ment, my ob­ste­tri­cian ex­plained the preg­nancy was high risk as I was ex­pect­ing mul­ti­ples.

I’d need to move to Ho­bart when I hit six months, to be near the NICU there.

To our re­lief, ev­ery scan showed three lit­tle hearts beat­ing. At 20 weeks, we found out we were hav­ing two boys and a girl – Tim­o­thy, Eli­jah and Es­ther.

Then, at 24 weeks, I kissed Tim and my big ba­bies good­bye, and moved into the Ron­ald Mc­Don­ald House next to Royal Ho­bart Hospi­tal.

By the time the sum­mer hol­i­days started and my fam­ily joined me, my bump was enor­mous!

For the bubs’ safety, I was booked in for a C-sec­tion on De­cem­ber 28, at 35 weeks.

On Christ­mas morn­ing, we opened presents be­fore tuck­ing into a turkey spread with the other Ron­ald Mc­Don­ald fam­i­lies.

I’m ready to pop! I thought, head­ing for a nap while Tim took the kids to play.

As I dozed off, I sud­denly felt a huge rush of wa­ter.

After phon­ing Tim, I rushed across to the hospi­tal, where I was prepped for an emer­gency C-sec­tion.

I was hav­ing triplets on Christ­mas Day!

Please let my ba­bies be okay, I wished as I was put un­der. Wak­ing up two hours later, I felt groggy.

‘Ev­ery­thing went well,’ a nurse told me, be­fore I was wheeled to see Tim, and all five chil­dren, in the NICU.

‘What a Christ­mas present!’ I smiled, look­ing at my three adorable lit­tle crack­ers.

I felt like the luck­i­est woman in the world.

‘No-one at school has triplets,’ El­iz­a­beth and Thomas beamed.

The next few days were an anx­ious blur though.

While Es­ther thrived,

Eli­jah and Tim­o­thy needed sup­port with their breath­ing. Some­times, they’d sud­denly turn blue be­fore the nurses got them sta­ble again.

‘It can hap­pen with pre­m­mies,’ I was told.

After a week, we moved to a hospi­tal in Burnie, but just days later the boys had to be air­lifted back to Ho­bart.

We couldn’t all go, so I was ad­vised to stay be­hind with Es­ther to breast­feed her and to send milk to the boys each day. It was agony.

Fi­nally, on Jan­uary 27, all three ba­bies were home – the

boys top and tail­ing in one crib and Es­ther in an­other.

But the boys some­times gasped for breath and started hav­ing hor­ri­ble seizures.

Again, we were told it was be­cause they’d come early.

Then, one night at 3am, Tim­o­thy had a much big­ger seizure. Call­ing an am­bu­lance, we recorded it to show the doc­tors.

The clip was sent to Tas­ma­nia’s only pae­di­atric neu­rol­o­gist, who asked for the boys to be flown over.

Given anti-con­vul­sion med­i­ca­tion, and start­ing ther­apy for de­vel­op­men­tal de­lays, they trans­formed.

Like Es­ther, they started track­ing us with their eyes.

As they lay to­gether on a pil­low, I waved a toy above them and both boys burst into their first ever peals of laugh­ter.

They haven’t stopped gig­gling since!

We per­fected feed­ing time by lay­ing one ei­ther side of us and hold­ing a bot­tle in each hand, while the third napped on our tum­mies.

But as our ba­bies grew, we no­ticed Es­ther was reach­ing mile­stones and Eli­jah and Tim­o­thy weren’t fol­low­ing.

In fact, they seemed floppy – like rag dolls – and couldn’t hold up their heads or sit.

‘Could it be cere­bral palsy?’ I asked the doc­tors.

Fi­nally, at 10 months, the boys were di­ag­nosed with se­vere hy­po­tonic cere­bral palsy caused by an un­known ge­netic con­di­tion.

Re­lieved to have a di­ag­no­sis, we threw our­selves into help­ing them reach their full po­ten­tial.

Now al­most two, in­quis­i­tive Eli­jah loves his books, and play­ful Tim­o­thy adores an­i­mals. Ad­ven­tur­ous Es­ther loves to roll around with the boys on the floor.

A few weeks ago Tim­o­thy sud­denly pulled him­self up, and Eli­jah did his first com­mando-style crawl.

‘Wow!’ I beamed. It was an early Christ­mas present.

Our in­cred­i­ble fam­ily and friends are help­ing us raise funds for a wheel­chair van and an adapted for­ever home.

This year we’ll do Christ­mas in the morn­ing, and cel­e­brate their sec­ond birth­days after lunch.

What­ever the fu­ture holds, our gor­geous Christ­mas gifts bring us so much joy.

Es­ther with Tim­o­thy and Eli­jah Our lives are very busy Tim and me at 34 weeks Multi-task­ing taken to a new level!‘What a Christ­mas present!’ I smiled

El­iz­a­beth and Thomas hold­ing Eli­jah, Es­ther and Tim­o­thyMe and my Christ­mas ba­bies, Tim­o­thy, Es­therand Eli­jahDid you have a sur­prise ar­rival on Christ­mas Day?

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