“When I met my husband, I was a single mom of a 4-year-old boy named Joey and working as a bartender/server at a local restaurant. After a few weeks of just seeing each other when he came into the restaurant, we decided to hang out. I usually got off work late, so he’d be waiting in the parking lot for me when I got off. We would just sit in his car in the parking lot to talk and eat dinner. I remember being so nervous the night we almost had our first kiss. I was so awkward that right before it happened, I just jumped out of the car and said, ‘Bye!’ I closed the door so fast I hit my head on it. I was so embarrassed that I opened the door back up and said, ‘Uh, okay I have to go.’
I got in my car and sat there thinking I blew it and he would never speak to me again. A couple of minutes later, I got a text saying he was sorry for being so awkward, but it’s not every day he gets to hang out with a pretty girl and would like to go on an actual date sometime. My mind was blown but I was so relieved. I knew he didn’t really think he was the awkward one, but it made me feel so much better. We went on a few dates before I introduced him to my son, but when I did, they just clicked! Over the next year, he taught Joey how to ride his bike without training wheels and how to swim! We got engaged on the beach in July of 2017, a little over a year after we began dating.
We got married on March 10, 2018, and spent our first year of marriage finishing up our last years of college. We knew we wanted to add to our family relatively quickly. So in July of 2018, I got my birth control removed so my body could start to regulate, but we didn’t want to start actually ‘trying’ for a couple of months. In late October, we found out we were expecting. We couldn’t believe how quickly it happened! Unfortunately, a week after we found out we were pregnant, we lost the baby. We were crushed, but knew God had a plan for us. Two months later, in January 2019, we were pregnant again.
I went to the doctor immediately because of what happened last time. My HcG levels were low and so was my progesterone levels. Somehow, I just knew that this pregnancy was going to end the same way my last one did. Two days later, we lost the baby. My husband and I went to the OBGYN and they decided to put me on progesterone and try the lowest dose of Clomid to help mature my eggs. Clomid is considered a fertility drug, but they told us there was less than a 1% chance for triplets and about a 15% chance of twins. I remember leaving that appointment and crying to my husband in the parking lot. I felt like a failure. I felt like my body was failing me and I was letting my husband down. He comforted me in every way he could.
April came around and I decided to take a pregnancy test. It was positive. I waited a few days to tell my husband. I didn’t know how to tell him and I was nervous we would lose this one too. This time felt different though. I was SO SICK. All day, every day. I scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN for bloodwork. My HcG levels came back pretty high, and when I went for a recheck 4 days later, they were almost 200,000. We scheduled an ultrasound. My husband had just gotten a new job and his first day happened to be the same day as our first ultrasound, so he wasn’t able to go. In the two weeks before our ultrasound, I kept having dreams that we were having triplets. I never had a dream it was just one baby. The day of my ultrasound, I went into the room by myself. I was about 6 weeks along.
They began the ultrasound and I couldn’t see the screen at the time, so I was just looking at the ultrasound tech’s face. There was no emotion! She looked at me and asked if I was here alone. I said, ‘Yes,’ and was bracing myself for bad news again. She turned the screen to me and said, ‘This is what I see. Here’s one, two, and three.’ THREE BABIES. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to think. My dreams were a reality and I was shocked! I couldn’t wait for my husband to get off work, so I texted him and told him! He said he read the text and then just stared at his computer screen for 45 minutes taking it all in! He was excited, but quickly switched to trying to figure out how we would afford it all.
We needed a new car, a new house, three cribs, three car seats, diapers, etc. Triplets are very high risk. Our babies were tri/tri, meaning they all had their own amniotic sacs and placentas, which happens to be the ‘least risky’ type. Even still, our doctor brought up the idea of selective reduction. He told us the risks of carrying 3 babies, not just for me, but for the babies as well. We could lose all three, they could be born very early, they could have many health issues, etc. He said by lowering the pregnancy to two, or even one baby would give them a better chance. Without hesitation, we declined. We prayed for these babies and we put our trust in God that he would take care of us.
For Christmas in 2018, my husband booked us a cruise for the end of June 2019. I was about 13 weeks pregnant and still very sick every day. It would be the last family vacation we had for a long time, and it was Joey’s first cruise so we wanted to make the best of it. With about 4 hours left in our 15-hour drive to Florida the night before we boarded the boat, I began bleeding. We had no clue what to do. We were in another state and my insurance was still being worked out. We knew if we were miscarrying again, there was most likely nothing the hospital could do to stop it since we were still early in the pregnancy. We decided to wait until the next morning to see what happened. A couple hours later, the bleeding stopped. I felt fine, no fever, no cramping, no sickness. Everything seemed to be normal again, so we went on our cruise and I just took it easy and made sure to rest often.
On day 4 of our 5-day cruise, I woke up soaked in blood. I went to the bathroom and this was so much worse than the first time. I was SURE I just lost one of the babies. I was devastated. It was so hard to enjoy the rest of the cruise and be happy. I told my husband I was bleeding again but didn’t really tell him the extent of how bad it was because I wanted him to have a good time too. I tried to stay positive because even though the situation looked bad, I still wasn’t in any pain, so I held out hope. We took our announcement photos on the cruise ship, but didn’t post them until we got home and went to the doctor.
After I got home and called the doctor, they got us in the next day for an ultrasound and luckily my husband was able to be there this time. She started the ultrasound and we were instantly relieved when she found all three babies and they all had strong heartbeats. They couldn’t find a reason for the bleeding but assumed it to be a subchorionic hemorrhage, which is pretty common. We went ahead and announced our pregnancy and were met with so much love and support. At 16 weeks, we transferred to our MFM high-risk doctor and found out we were having two girls and a boy! Fun fact, I actually dreamed of that outcome too!
I had doctor’s appointments and ultrasound every two weeks to check on the babies. At our 20-week anatomy scan, we learned that our boy, baby C, had what is called a choroid plexus cyst and is a marker for Trisomy 18, a fatal condition. They told us not to worry since that was the only marker he had, and they usually clear up before birth, so we’d continue to monitor it. By our next ultrasound two weeks later, it was gone!
Thanksgiving Day came around and at this point, I was 34 weeks pregnant. I had been having Braxton hicks contractions for a while now, which was normal since I was measuring as big as a full-term singleton pregnancy by 24 weeks. I had been looking forward to Thanksgiving all pregnancy because of all the food and pies I was going to eat! I had been having contractions back to back that day, so after we ate Thanksgiving lunch, my husband and I decided to go for a walk. The walk became very difficult, as each step I took hurt worse. This wasn’t like the contractions I had been having. We decided to go to Triage around 8 p.m. They put me on the monitors and told me I was contracting every 3 minutes and I was 4 centimeters dilated.
They gave me IV fluids to slow the contractions and then came back in an hour to recheck me. One hour later, I was 5 centimeters dilated. Everyone started freaking out a little because they thought we’d be having babies that night! They admitted me to labor and delivery for further observation. By the time we got settled in our labor and delivery room and hooked up on all the monitors, it was about 2:30 a.m. and we were exhausted. My back was hurting and it was impossible to sleep with all the monitors on me and the babies. Every time one of the babies moved, the nurses had to come in and adjust the monitors. The next morning my contractions were down to every 10 minutes and they were ready to send us home.
What?! Last night we were preparing to deliver and now I’m being sent home while 5 centimeters dilated?! We waited for rounds and spoke with our MFM doctor and after explaining we live 45 minutes from the hospital, they determined it was best to stay at the hospital until delivery. They wanted to try and keep the babies in as long as possible, so they moved me off labor and delivery and to the antepartum unit. I spent the next week living in the hospital. Our family took Joey to and from school and brought him to the hospital each day to see me. I wasn’t on bed rest, so I was able to walk around the hospital. By this point, my legs and feet were so swollen that my toes didn’t even touch the ground!
On Tuesday, December 3, I went for an ultrasound of the babies and they decided to deliver the next day! The time was finally here! I told my husband as soon as they come to take me to pre-op, I would start bawling. At 7 a.m. the next morning, it was time. They brought a wheelchair to take me to labor and delivery and sure enough, I started to cry. I wasn’t scared, I don’t really know how to describe it. I was anxious, but I was ready to meet my babies. In pre-op, they noticed one of my legs was significantly larger than the other so they called vascular to come check for clots before they could proceed with the delivery. Everything came back fine, so we proceeded with the surgery.
I was so nervous about going into the operating room by myself because my husband wasn’t allowed back there until right before it began. Luckily, one of our sweet friends from church is a midwife and happened to be on call, knew my delivering doctor, and was able to go back with me! It was such a relief to have a familiar face there to comfort me and hold my hands before my husband could be there. They brought my husband in and then began. With 30 doctors, nurses, residents, and NICU personnel in the room, at 10:10 a.m., baby A, Madelyn Grace was born weighing 5 pounds and 5 ounces. At 10:12 a.m., baby B, Bailey Danielle was born weighing 5 pounds and 11 ounces and at 10:14 a.m., baby C, Thomas Michael was born weighing 6 pounds and 1 ounce! They were all breathing, screaming, and crying at 34 weeks and 6 days.
They brought them to me and then took them to the NICU for observation. Thomas and Bailey came home after 4 days in the NICU and Madelyn stayed for 11 days as a ‘feeder and grower.’ The first night all 3 were home was rough. We had no schedule or system yet, and it seemed as if there was always a baby awake. The first few months are a complete blur. We didn’t have any visitors for the first week or two that we were home because we didn’t want to expose the babies to all the germs. Even after those two weeks, we only allowed family members to come by once a week for an hour. Joey was full term and still was hospitalized for 4 nights when he was 5 weeks old with RSV, so we didn’t want to take any chances with our premature babies. Right when we decided to let people slowly start to visit, COVID hit and the babies were back in quarantine.
I love being a stay-at-home mom and taking care of the babies, but it’s hard. I mean, there’s 3 of them and only one of me! The one thing I miss the most is being able to go to the gas station and run in to get milk or a soda. That’s just something I can’t do any more with 3 babies in tow!
I exclusively breastfed the babies for 7 months until I couldn’t handle the lack of sleep any longer. The oldest and smallest triplet, Madelyn, wasn’t gaining weight. We decided to put her on formula so my husband could help feed her in the middle of the night as well, and I could try to get a little extra sleep. They are now 8 months old and thriving! They are absolute miracle babies. They are crawling, saying ‘dada,’ pulling up to stand, sitting, and are some of the happiest babies you’ve ever seen. Their big brother Joey is such a huge help and they love him so much! I call him the baby whisperer because he can get them to sleep quicker than I can sometimes!
People always ask me how I do it, how I take care of triplets every day, and the answer is I honestly don’t know! They are great babies, but we have good days and bad days. I have been overwhelmed more times than I can count but we just take it day by day. My favorite part of the day is bedtime because I get one on one time with them as I nurse them to sleep. It’s rare to get one on one time with them during the day, so I take it all in at night when I can hold them as they fall asleep so peacefully. Although my husband and I mainly take care of the babies by ourselves, we have a huge village behind us that would do anything they could to help us out whenever we needed it. For that, we are so thankful.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Daisy Hipsher from Knoxville, Tennessee. You can follow their journey on Facebook and Instagram. 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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