Trigger Warning: This story contains details of miscarriage that may be triggering to some.
“November 5, 2018, is the day my life changed forever. A few days prior I was at the OBGYN for a pap smear when the OB informed me I could not complete my appointment as my urine confirmed a positive pregnancy. To my shock, I was not ready to be pregnant again. I was already a mother to an 11-year-old and now a 9-month-old. How is it possible to be pregnant, AGAIN? My husband works long hours, I rarely see him, and this is just not possible. My OB said, ‘Let’s schedule you for an ultrasound. We will see how far long you are and go from there.’ I spent the weekend in agony, depressed, unsure of another baby so soon after my newest edition in 10 years.
Monday morning, November 5, rolled around and I was about to have my first ultrasound. The ultrasound tech began her exam when she said, ‘Oh do you see what I see?’ My response was, ‘Oh no, two sacks, don’t tell me we are having twins?’ The tech then said, ‘No, no, count the eggs…’
Okay, in my head I begin to count. One, two… (losing it a bit), and yelled out, ‘OHHHH MY GOODNESS IS THAT THREE EGGS!’ The tech responds by saying, ‘That’s right, you’re carrying TRIPLETS.’ Now if you can imagine my reaction, I was laying on the ultrasound chair crying hysterically, turning all shades of white while my husband, who was carrying our 9-month-old daughter, was crying in happy tears. The ultrasound tech of course asked, ‘Oh were you on any fertility treatment?’ I said, ‘No, this was completely natural.’ She said, ‘WOW!! YOU HAVE SPONTANEOUS TRIPLETS, This is a 1 in 10,000 type case you have here.’
I left that ultrasound to meet with the OB. The OB informed me I was only 6 weeks along and there was a high probability I may lose one or all three. ‘Don’t stress it’ DON’T STRESS IT! Is he out of his mind? I could only think, ‘Five kids, five kids, OMG how am I going to afford five kids. We went home and I curled in bed and just cried, cried, and cried some more. I wish I could say I took the news better, but I didn’t. I spent the next 4 weeks crying and going through all the emotions of depression, anxiety, and fear while I waited to see if we, in fact, lost a baby or not. Appointment day arrived and I completed another ultrasound. This time, all three babies were thriving, and heartbeats were well over 120 bpm. The OB kindly suggested I look into having a fetal reduction procedure. I can’t say it wasn’t in the back of my head, but how could I possibly reduce my pregnancy?
I finally told my mom I was pregnant and expecting triplets that evening (10 weeks gestational). My mom held me in her arms, cried with me, and said, ‘God gave you these three babies for a reason.’ I didn’t want to believe her, I kept saying, ‘Why me, why would he punish me?’ Then my mom said, ‘You remember, Christine, you have lost three babies over the course of your adult life (three miscarriages). Do you think this is God’s way of giving you your three lost babies back?’ I sat there, still crying. However, it was as if I had an epiphany and the clouds opened up and God was talking to me through my mom. I realized this isn’t a punishment or a test. This is my reason. I am meant to have these kids.
Within the next few weeks, I begin to see a perinatologist (doctor that specializes in high-risk births). The perinatologist said, ‘You have a rare case, my dear.’ I said, ‘How so?’ He said, ‘You have seemed to have become pregnant with two separate eggs on two separate occasions as your triplets are a week apart in gestational age.’ OMG, WHAT!! The perinatologist stated Baby A and Baby B (identical twins) were conceived a week after Baby C (fraternal). Baby C in gestation is measuring a week further along. I didn’t even know that was possible! The jaw-dropping moments don’t stop there.
I was now measuring about 16 weeks, and the perinatologist said, ‘Do you want to know the sex of the babies?’ I said, ‘Yes, but can you write it down for me? I want to surprise my family in a few days in Disney World.’ With the help of my cousin, we ordered three Mickey ears in either pink or Blue. We decided we want the help of Mickey and Minnie to reveal the babies, so we went to a meet and greet with our family and friends. The coordinator said to my husband, my oldest daughter, and myself, ‘Put your hands behind your back, we will put the ears in your hands, and on the count of three, we will reveal.’ My emotions were in overdrive. I was sure it was two different sexes and I will definitely have a boy in there.
Okay, everyone countdown: three, two, one: Hat A (GIRL), Hat B (GIRL), Hat C (GIRL). I was crying so hard I couldn’t even think about painting, but WOW, I was about to be a mother of five GIRLS! My head was about to explode. My husband was crying once more happy tears and my oldest, she just about lost it in a good way. She really wanted a brother.
We returned from Disney and were on our weekly checks with the perinatologist. He said we needed to start watching Baby A and Baby B very closely. I am like why? Then the perinatologist drops another bomb on an already shocking pregnancy. He says they may possibly have Twin-to-Twin Transfusion. Well, what does that mean? The perinatologist begins to tell me, due to the twins sharing a sac, they also share an umbilical cord that allows them to share back and forth nutrients, blood, etc. If at any point, one baby or the other stops growing, we may lose one or both babies. But wait a minute, we just told our family and friends we are expecting triplets. My heart couldn’t take this.
The weeks started to pass by, week 20, week 21, week 22, week 23, Houston we have a problem. My covering Perinatologist said, ‘You need to stay in the hospital on bed rest for a couple of days, and on Monday the following week, we will reexamine you.’ Ummm okay, what’s going on? Mondays, I swear, they don’t bring any good news. I was rolled into the doctor’s office down on the first floor of the hospital. The Perinatologist and ultrasound tech began to do an examination and they noticed Baby A has stopped growing. ‘We need to talk.’ The doctors take me back to my room, they have advised my OB I need to deliver these babies in the next few days or I may lose them all. I was balling now.
I was only 23 weeks and some days, this was dangerous. I could essentially lose all my babies. Can I hold out, are there any other options? Within a few hours, my perinatologist walked in and said, ‘I have a second option, it’s a Hail Mary, but it may just save your babies. We need to get you from Atlanta to Houston tonight!’ In my head, I was like, ‘Okay what’s the plan, do I need to go to the airport, what do I have to do, who am I going to see, etc?’ The coordinator informed me, ‘You won’t leave this hospital on your own. We have a medivac coming from Houston right now to pick you up and transport you to the Children’s Hospital of Texas. There is a team of doctors there waiting for you. They will do this special procedure and hopefully save your babies.’
Within the next 12 hours, I had my husband dropping my now 13 month old toddler off with family, coordinating a caregiver for my 11-year-old, packing a bag for both of us, and praying everything will be alright.
We arrive in Texas where we were whisked into surgery that evening. The doctor told me I need to be awake the entire procedure, but the plan is to laser the umbilical cord and fix the blood flow that has stopped Baby A from growing. If we can fix this, we may have saved this pregnancy. The next day rolls around, the doctors do an ultrasound, and all three babies were still alive and well. Our prayers had been answered. I left with three babies and I was going home with three babies. I return to Atlanta safe and sound. Okay, all I need now is to make it 28 weeks gestation, and these girls will thrive.
March 28, 2019 – I was now 26 weeks and 3 days along. ‘Wow, I’m huge as a woman pregnant with a 9-month-old. I don’t know I can go on anymore.’ Meanwhile, my body was saying the same thing. My aches and pains were awful. I call my OB office and inform them I think I needed to be seen, this pain just wouldn’t go away. The doctor said, ‘Forget going to the office. We have a doctor in the hospital, go straight there.’ I arrived at the hospital around 10 p.m. and an exam is done. The doctor said, ‘You’re about 4 cm dilated and you’re contracting.’
‘Okay, can I go home and hold out?’ The doctor said, ‘No, I am sorry, but you have to deliver these babies today. You are too far along to stop the pregnancy. Ohh and due to the fact you are having triplets, we need to try and hold off this delivery till 8 a.m., as we don’t have enough staff on hand ready to deliver your babies.’
On March 29, at 8:03 a.m., Baby A arrived. At 8:04 a.m., Baby B arrived, and at 8:05 a.m., Baby C arrived. Those fears, anxiety, and depression began to come back around. These girls were very premature, what does that mean? Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen fever, I was unable to hold or see the girls until 3 days after they were born in the NICU. My husband tried to prepare me as best as he could. ‘Christine, don’t be alarmed. Try and stay strong, they are very tiny babies, they are in incubators, they are surrounded by machines.’ I finally got to see my girls for the first time. OMG, they were as tiny as my palm, and they were just perfect.
The next few weeks were very touch-and-go. Each day brought on new challenges we would face, new terminology we would learn, and fears we were not out of the woods yet. On April 13, my birthday, I got a call from the Neonatologist. He said, ‘Something happened last night, the girls have finally taken a turn for the better.’ Ohhhhh hallelujah, my prayers are truly being heard. The Neonatologist said, ‘We still are not out of the woods, we have a long way to go, but I think your girls are going to make it.’ I could finally breathe for the first time a sigh of relief.
103 days passed, and it was July 2, 2019. We had learned a whole new way of parenting. We learned to change diapers in an incubator, how to give hand hugs, and skin to skin. We started off in size P2 Pampers diapers and finally are in a newborn size diaper. The girls were too tiny for doll clothes, to finally wearing preemie size clothing, and my little 1-pound 10-ounces, 2-pound, and 2-pound 3-ounce babies now were weighing 5-pounds 10-ounces, 5-pounds 3-ounces, and 6-pounds. These girls are my heroes. Now I got to take them home and learn a whole new way of parenting five girls.
It has been 26 months to be exact since these girls came into my life. Did I ever think this would be my life? absolutely not, would I change anything about this life? Absolutely not. They have changed me, they have helped me grow as a person and as a mom. These girls have taught me it doesn’t take a village to raise them, it just takes a great dad, myself, and my now-teen daughter (the best helper ever) to make this family function. We started our journey on an adventure and we are not slowing down.
We are not your normal family of seven. We love to travel, we love to go on adventures, we love to go to Disney, and we love to explore. We are spontaneous as our triplets. We are Christine, Talmage, Natalia, Mila, Aria, Lilah, and Sienna, and we are the Taala’s.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Christina Taala from Miami, FL. You can follow their journey on Instagram and TikTok. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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