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“Wow! How amazing! You had a natural birth!!” is something I have heard repeated since we welcomed Clancy, William, and Tomas into the world on the 15th June, 2007.
Yes, we have triplets. Yes, I had a vaginal birth of all three.
I am extremely proud of myself: that I continued to question and reject the premise that my so called “high risk” pregnancy had to end in a caesarean delivery and grateful that we got the birth outcome I wanted for my babies and myself.
At 19 weeks we had our first ultrasound as we thought there was the chance of twins due to my rapid growth. I still thought there was only one baby as I had had very little nausea, no vomiting (don’t people with multiples get REALLY sick?), and the only symptom was the fatigue— which was considerable, but I was pregnant and that’s something I expected to go with the territory so I soldiered on. We had chosen not to have the earlier ultrasound, trusting that nature was taking its course. The sonographer immediately pointed out two heads; “Did you know you were having twins? There’s one head, there’s two. Hang on, count with me—there’s one baby, there’s two babies, there’s three babies…YOU’RE HAVING THREE BABIES!”
“OH MY GOD,” was about all I could say between bouts of laughter, Mick looked a bit pale and we were definitely shocked to say the least. When we told each of our family members it took about half an hour to convince them we weren’t joking. We were extremely excited right from the start, even amongst the shock and a few days of fear at the unknown of what we were in for.
The fear at whether all three of our babies would be healthy and whether I would be healthy was the first thing to hit after the initial buzz wore off. This was not helped by the labeling of my pregnancy as “high risk” in connection with my hospital appointments and checkups (I had been planning to birth in the family birth centre with midwives).
I was (and am) healthy and fit and I reflected on this after I had started worrying. Up until then I was working full time, running my business, adjusting patients regularly, keeping up my routine exercise regime (at a slightly lower intensity than pre-pregnancy) and maintaining an active social life. Anyone who knows me knows I like to be busy and am not one to sit around. It was at this point that I had a few stern words with myself, as I knew I had to be aware of the possible risks but that I was not in the “average” category and my journey would likely be different than what I was reading and being told: (a) that I would be lucky to carry my babies to 32–34 weeks at which point a c-section would be scheduled and (b) that it would be lucky if my babies were all similar weights and healthy and thriving and not hospitalised for some time after birth.