The “magical” moment that made the pregnancy of Silje’s triplets “worth it”.
In this new series, we celebrate pregnancy and birth by inviting our readers to share the story of their baby’s arrival.
When Silje Andersen-Cooke attended the ultrasound for her second pregnancy, she could never have imagined what was about to happen.
The lawyer and her partner Jordan, already parents to 18-month-old Mads, felt confident about this pregnancy. They felt that, for the second time, they knew what to expect.
Except when they learned that there was not one, not two, but three little heartbeats.
Due to the restrictions imposed by COVID, Silje almost went to the appointment alone, but she’s glad that didn’t happen.
“I thought it was just a scan, that it would be easy, that there would be no complications, that I’d done this before. But Jordan came in the end and it was such a relief. I couldn’t hear this news on my own,” she told Honey. Kids on the way up.
It was a first for everyone in the room, including the sonographer, who had never scanned triplets before.
“I think she probably felt a little inexperienced when she told us. I had the probe in my belly and I was a little quiet at first, and it’s never good when they’re quiet,” she continued.
I said ‘Please stop counting, this must be it!
“He asked us how we had conceived our child, through IVF or spontaneously. It was such a strange question that it surprised me, then he said ‘I’ll show you what I can see. Here’s a beat. Great! “Here’s another . We looked at each other thinking “Twins”. Then “Here’s another one” and I said, “Please stop counting, this must be it”!
“Jordan laughed and thought it was the funniest and most amazing thing. He was completely shocked and had to see them all again.”
Silje wanted to know everything at once: what would we have to do differently during this pregnancy, what were the risks, would we have to move? Jordan remained calm, telling her they would find a solution.
The triplets were tri chorionic-tri amniotic, meaning each baby had its own placenta and amniotic sac. And while the pregnancy went as well as it could with triplets, who are always considered high-risk, it was physically exhausting.
“The baby was much bigger and faster. At 24 weeks, he seemed to be coming to term and everything was stretching quickly. I had pelvic girdle pain very early on, lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and a rash on my belly that was very itchy.” Silje explains.
At 30 weeks, Silje completed labor and, due to the risk of premature delivery, tried to rest as much as possible with an infant.
Twice-weekly appointments and scans at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s multiples clinic ensured that the babies’ growth was proceeding as planned, but even if all went well, Silje knew that she could be induced at any time.
Because of the discomfort of triplet pregnancy, the decision also had to be made based on how Silje was coping physically.
The “magic” moment that made Silje’s triplet pregnancy worthwhile
At 34 weeks, he asked if they could consider giving birth. As he approached 36 weeks, the maximum gestation period for triplets, he felt that each of them was ready to be born.
“I was healthy but devastated and said I couldn’t go any further. I was tired and needed a date in mind that I could focus on. I wanted to get to 35 weeks, but I had just finished and wasn’t sleeping, ” he said.
The hospital offered to admit him the same day, but the couple chose to spend two more days with Mads and get into the right frame of mind.
A visit to the neonatal intensive care unit also helped her prepare for the possibility of not seeing the babies after birth, depending on her condition.
On admission, a CT scan showed that Ada, the smallest of the triplets, was having difficulty absorbing nutrients. Although not an emergency, it meant they would have to give birth quickly, and Silje was put on the emergency list for the following day when the triplets would be 34 weeks and five days old.
“I woke up early the next morning, we had a room with a window and it was a calm sunrise and I thought, ‘Okay, I’m going to have three babies today, it’s happening, I can do this’.”