· By Tiny Hearts Education
Meeting Sofia, Giuliana and Valeria
Meeting Sofia, Giuliana and Valeria
TW: premature baby, medical termination images
I have two stories. One is of heartbreak, and the other of pure joy. In 2021 I fell pregnant with our first baby, Valentina. I had a relatively easy pregnancy: no nausea and aches and pains. Everything looked normal until our 20-week scan, where our baby girl was measuring smaller than expected, and we were sent to Melbourne for more testing.
In Melbourne, they found that our baby had a rare condition called Triploidy, where she had 3 chromosomes instead of 2 (it happens to 1 in every 250,000 babies). We were told she wouldn't survive, so with the heaviest hearts, we went through with a medical termination. Valentina was born an angel into the world on the 17th of September 2021. We spent 24 hours with her, giving her all of our love until we had to head back to Mildura. Our daughter was baptised and had her funeral a week later.
6 months after Valentina was born, I fell pregnant again, but this time I felt different. I was really sick at 6 weeks. I went to the emergency room, and they told me I was having twins, that's why my HCG levels were so high! Then a week later, in our dating scan, we got told I was actually having triplets! DCTA triplets: two identical babies that shared a sac with a thin membrane down the centre and one placenta, and our fraternal baby had her own sac and placenta. We decided to have an NIPT test done to rule out any possible congenital disabilities, and we found out the gender too. We were having 3 perfectly healthy baby girls! I travelled to Melbourne every fortnight to have growth scans on the girls. Getting past that 20-week mark was an incredible feeling.
I was growing rapidly, and at 30 weeks, I relocated to Ronald McDonald House in North Fitzroy Melbourne to be closer to the Royal Women's Hospital for the girls' birth at 34 weeks. Despite developing pre-eclampsia a couple weeks before the birth, we made it to our scheduled c-section at 33 + 6 weeks. It was such a beautiful birth. My husband Sam and I had practised hypnobirthing before the birth, which helped us to stay as calm as possible. The moment we heard our fraternal baby Sofia cry as she got lifted out of the womb was the most surreal moment of our lives. We cried tears of happiness. Then followed our twins Giuliana and Valeria. We had 3 living, breathing, gorgeous baby girls to love forever. The girls were taken to NICU, and Sam followed them as I was sent to recovery.
In recovery, I got feeling back into my body quite quickly. I lost a lot of blood, and my blood pressure was climbing. I was sent back to theatre to have a balloon catheter put in. I had developed HELLP syndrome post-birth due to my pre-eclampsia. I had to stay in bed for just over 24 hours before I could see our babies, who were all doing extremely well. Two of the girls were only on oxygen for 24 hours. I finally got wheeled down for the NICU for the first time 24 hours later, and I got to hold our babies for the first time. It was everything I had ever dreamt of. I started breastfeeding the girls at 3 days old as my milk had started to come in, and they have been the best little breastfeeding babes ever since. The HELLP syndrome had settled by 7 days and the girls were in special care (open cots) by this time as well. We headed home by the time they were 37 + 4 days gestation.
The girls are now 3 months old and getting so big! We have our challenges, but the good times always outweigh the hard. We couldn't be more blessed.
Birth & newborn course
The Bump, Birth & Beyond course will educate you and your co-pilot (support person) on what to expect during pregnancy, birth and the first trimester with your new little love.