Janet and Philip's Perinatology Story

Once, twice, three times a baby

By Philip

We always knew we wanted kids. And if one went okay, we’d have one more. But when Janet had her eight-week prenatal ultrasound, we learned we were going to have triplets. On the ultrasound, they looked like circus peanuts.

It felt like an emotional roller coaster: One day we’d be scared, and the next, excited and happy. Identical triplets with one placenta are very rare, one in 100,000.

This rarity meant we needed a perinatologist, an obstetrical subspecialist that takes care of high-risk pregnancies like ours. Dr. Clock, our OHSU doctor, had a calm demeanor and we always felt like she was in control of the situation. If she was ever concerned, she didn’t let it show.

This wasn’t a planned C-section, either: Janet attended regular fetal heart monitoring appointments. At 34 weeks they had her come in for a follow-up.

By Janet

While I was at my follow-up appointment for the fetal heart monitoring, I started having labor contractions. Luckily Dr. Clock was also on call that night, so she delivered the boys: They were as perfect as could be. They didn’t need any breathing assistance: They were screaming just fine.

Once they were delivered, three people for each baby worked on them, assessing, doing all their vital signs, putting IVs in them for nutrients and hydration. The entire team, from ultrasound techs to nurses to doctors - everyone - was great.

The boys stayed in the in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), until they could take in enough food on their own. And I stayed a few extra days, because of blood pressure issues. So we were residents of OHSU for a while.

The nurses and everyone made it as comfortable as could be; everyone loved our boys, gave great advice, would playfully fight over who got to hold them. One of the nurses even made Philip a pot of coffee one morning because she didn’t want him to have instant.

Nowadays, we don’t get too much sleep: The boys are on a pretty strict feeding schedule—every three hours. Each feeding takes an hour and a half, though we switch off so one of us gets a little more sleep every other night. But it’s worth it.