Taken from my book ‘From triples to triplets; the making of a triplet dad’. Available on Amazon.
4th July 2017…….
It was a big theatre and we had already been told that there would be quite a few people present and not to let that overwhelm us. As we walked down the corridor and into the room we were met with an exited crowd of nurses and technicians. There were three open cots along one side of the room. Each had a baby’s name on a piece of paper attached to it. Each cot had a doctor, a paediatrician and a midwife stood with it. The atmosphere was electric. I was asked to sit on a stool, neatly tucked in besides Stacey’s upper half surrounded with wires and equipment, holding my wife’s shaking hand as the room vibrated with people. The next moment the doors swung open and a surge of more doctors and technicians rolled in. I counted eighteen people in that theatre, not including us. It was an impressive show for our girls.
It was at our request that music was played during the procedure. We had chosen Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ which was played on repeat, a song we had played to the triplets in utero regularly at home. As soon as the music started the whole room began moving to the rhythm, with people dancing and singing along. It was a moving moment that such a show was in place for our girl’s big arrival. I will never forget the theatre that morning, or the atmosphere that was present. Not just for the reason we were there, but for the sense of joy and love that the triplets would enter the world to. It was simply beautiful.
Stacey was positioned, sat on the edge of the bed for the epidural injection. Looking at her in so much fear in a room full of so much excitement is what kept a foot on the ground for me; there was so much that could go wrong in the next few moments but also so much that could go right. Adrenalin continued pumping around my body as the surgeon and technicians prepared for the C-section. A sheet was placed just below Stacy’s chest, so she was unable to see what was happening. One of the technicians asked if we had a camera or phone handy, she was kind enough to offer to take a few photos; to capture the moments the triplets left the cramped confines of the womb and took their first hits of oxygen. I was looking directly into my wife’s eyes, reassuring her, telling her I loved her and how proud I was of her, that she was strong and we would be okay no matter what, I kept repeating myself over and over to try and give her some comfort. She could hardly speak, her voice broken with fear and her hands were shaking as she gripped mine tightly.
She asked me when they would be starting the procedure, a kind smiling technician leaned down and told us that they already had begun and to watch above the partition sheet. In the next moment a baby was lifted into the air, the twisted umbilical cord still attached, her arms stretched out straight to the sides like a bird stretching her wings in freedom for the first glorious time. In that instant my heart stopped – my breathing stopped. Everything stood still. I was looking at Ava for the first time. The tears began running down my face as her cord was cut and she let out a cry as they placed her on the open cot to be cleaned and given oxygen. She was out, alive and breathing, and the relief and joy I felt was overwhelming. Stacey looked at me and smiled for the first time that day at the sound of our daughter working her lungs out while the midwife and team cleaned her up. Exactly two minutes later Blakely was pulled into the world, visibly smaller than Ava as we knew, but just as vocal as we prayed she would be.
Two were out and breathing well. Another two minutes past and Lacey was finally with us. She too let out a high-pitched cry at the shock of leaving her first home in this world. The room kept buzzing with excitement as Ava was brought over and placed on Stacey’s chest. Lacey and Blakely were then brought over one at a time with their little hats on, wrapped in white towels. Their little faces were beautiful. They passed each of them to me and I held their tiny frames for the first time. Stacey ‘s face was beginning to show signs of relief that the babies were out and okay, and that she seemed to have gotten through it without complication. We later learned she had actually lost litres of blood and was given a transfusion, and that her uterus wouldn’t contract and had to be manually squeezed back into place by hand which caused her a lot of pain when the medication wore off. But there was no panic in the room from anyone, it was all efficiently taken care of without us being aware of any problems.
One of the memories Stacey has of the C-section was our surgeon bobbing up and down in rhythm to Bob Marley while he smiled down at us and stitched her up. I was called over to the cots and asked if I would like to trim their umbilical cords back as they had been left long during the procedure of their exiting. It was another moment that strengthened my bond with the triplets. My hand has never been steadier. Ava was born at 9.37am weighing 4lb 12oz, Blakely at 9.39am weighing 3lb 4oz and Lacey at 9.41am weighing in at 4lb.7oz. And we were soon to discover – identical.
So that was it over. The triplets had arrived after a pregnancy with no complications to enter the world all screaming. God had graced us with three healthy babies who were already making waves with their arrival. After a short time of holding each one with my wife, they were taken through to another room to be checked over thoroughly by the doctors and moved on to the Neo-natal intensive care unit to be closely monitored. Lacey was off the oxygen almost immediately and holding her own. Ava and little Blakely needed a bit more support to begin with. Stacey was cleaned up and just before we left the surgeon said to her with a smile “you were my third set of triplets”. He and everyone in that theatre had done a phenomenal job in taking care of us and the babies and in keeping the whole situation calm. It was one of the most moving hours of my life, nothing has shifted and lit up my consciousness more. When I held my daughters, I experienced an unconditional love for another human I had never felt before. It was a pure conscious connection – a spiritual bond. As a Father I knew that whatever happened now during my time here on earth I could not fail them. Moving forward and growing towards love as a human being had to become my priority for those who had been entrusted to me, for all those under my roof.