“Kayla’s Story: Surprise, it’s Triplets!” – with Kayla Laubach

Dr. Fox welcomes listener Kayla on this episode of Healthful Woman to discuss the birth of her triplets. She tells her story from pregnancy to birth, to how her triplets are doing present day.

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Dr. Fox: Welcome to today’s episode of “Healthful Woman,” a podcast designed to explore topics in women’s health at all stages of life. I’m your host, Dr. Nathan Fox, an OBGYN and maternal-fetal medicine specialist practicing in New York City. At “Healthful Woman,” I speak with leaders in the field to help you learn more about women’s health, pregnancy, and wellness.

Kayla, welcome to the podcast. Thank you for volunteering. How are you doing today?

Kayla: I’m good. How are you doing?

Dr. Fox: I am great. It’s nice to meet you over, I guess, the phone. We’ve been emailing back and forth. You shot me an email to volunteer to tell your story, and you found us because you’re a Toaster. Correct?

Kayla: I am. I am a very avid listener of “The Toast.” So I listened to your episode with Jackie, and when you mentioned like, hey, if anyone wants to have…you know, if you have any future topics, or want us to talk about your story, you know, reach out, and I was like, well, I kind of have an interesting story…

Dr. Fox: It’s great, we are getting a lot of people who are Toasters to either volunteer their stories, or they’re throwing questions at us, which is great, some of them are hopping along the podcast train, and continuing to listen, which is all great. So it’s wonderful. We’re happy you did it, we’re happy to have you, and it’s always good to meet another Toaster. That’s a fine, fine community of people.

Kayla: It is, yeah. Well, I’m really excited to be here.

Dr. Fox: Excellent. So we’re going to be talking about basically the birth of your triplets, right? So, you know, this is going to be…I guess the title will probably give it away too, but spoiler alert, Kayla’s got triplets. So I think that everyone listening is probably thinking, well, that’s an interesting story, no matter what we’re talking about here.

So first of all, how are they now? How old are they now? What are we talking about in terms of your life currently?

Kayla: Well, they just turned three. So they turned three in October, they’re all boys, their names are Anthony, Grayson, and Parker. And we’re doing well, they’re just crazy toddler boys. But it’s just been such a journey, from the start of our pregnancy to where we are now.

Dr. Fox: So they must be just destroying everything in their wake.

Kayla: They are. They’re crazy. They’re jumping on things, they are always running around, but… It’s chaotic, but it’s a really fun chaotic mess.

Dr. Fox: Well, that’s exciting.

So they’re three years old. So take us back to before you got pregnant with them, who are you? Where are you living? What are you doing? What’s your family situation? You know, what’s going on going into pregnancy?

Kayla: So my husband and I, my husband, Nick, we at this point have been married I guess a year or so, and we knew that we wanted to start a family. And we live up in Northern Virginia, and before we started to try to get pregnant, we…it took us a while to get pregnant, probably six or so months, and unfortunately, my first pregnancy ended up in a miscarriage in February of 2020. So that was really hard for us, and a few weeks later, as everyone can remember, the entire world shut down because of COVID. So at that time, it was just so, so lonely, you know, having a miscarriage, and then the world shut down, and so we were completely shattered from that.

And I remember sitting in the doctor’s office, and my doctor saying, you know, after women have a miscarriage, you’re really fertile. And at the time, I was a little annoyed that she said that because I was starting, you know, my grieving process, I didn’t want to hear that, and she said that once I started my period, we could start trying again. And so exactly four weeks after my miscarriage that happened, and you know, eight weeks after the miscarriage I found out I was pregnant again. So we were completely thrilled with that.

And I remember going into my first doctor’s appointment having a little bump, and I was like, oh, okay, I’m just showing a little early this time, and my first appointment, my doctor said, “Oh, you’re pregnant with fraternal twins.” And I said, oh, that’s…you know, that’s surprising. I was not expecting that at all. And I have no history of multiples in my family, so being pregnant with fraternal twins was just not on my radar at all.

But we were really excited, and it wasn’t until we went in for genetic testing about at 14 weeks when they discovered there was another baby. And they were like…

Dr. Fox: Surprise!

Kayla: Yeah, they were like, “We found another baby,” and I was like, what? What are you talking about?

Dr. Fox: Where…yeah.

Kayla: So It wasn’t until 14 weeks, and then surprise, it’s triplets, and I was like, oh, my gosh…

Dr. Fox: Behind the couch, between the cushions, you know, we just found another one.

Kayla: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Fox: Wow. So that must have been pretty wild. Tell me about that moment when you learned that not only are you having twins, you’re having triplets.

Kayla: Yeah, I mean, so it was during COVID, so my husband was not allowed to be in the room with me. So he was…I believe he was out in the car waiting. And so I go in, and you know, at this time, I just thought it was twins, and so I’m talking to the sonogram technician, and we’re chatting, and… You know, I would love to go and talk to her now, because I feel like she didn’t realize what she was going into in that appointment as well. And I remember we were talking, and then all of a sudden she got very quiet, and you know, I had just had a miscarriage, and so when she got quiet, you know, I was thinking the worst.

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: And she said… She started asking questions. She was asking, you know, “When was your last appointment with your doctor,” and like, “What did they tell you,” and I was like, “I don’t know, that there’s two babies in there, they’re fraternal twins…” I was like, “I don’t know how specific you need me to be.” And she said, “Okay, well, we’re going to count.” And I’m thinking, well, what…I don’t know what we’re counting, but okay. And so she said, “Here’s one baby, here’s the other, but here’s a third baby.” And then I remember she looked at me, and she said, “I’m sorry, did no one tell you this was triplets?” And…

Dr. Fox: You’re like, not ’til now.

Kayla: Now. And you know, we had our masks on, and my mouth was completely open, and I wanted to be like, does this look like a face that knows that I’m pregnant with triplets? And so she’s like, you know, let’s bring in the doctor. And so I went to the bathroom because I, like, needed a moment to myself because I didn’t feel…it didn’t feel like I was in real life. Like, I was pinching myself because I was just like, how, how did this happen? I didn’t know that I could naturally get pregnant with triplets. So I think I was just very confused, and I really did not feel like I was in real life.

So I was in the bathroom, trying to…what I thought was waking up from a dream, but when I went back into the room, my husband was there. And the doctor ended up calling him, to bring him in because he just said, you know, it’s COVID, but I need you to come in and see that you are having triplets. Because he didn’t think that Nick was going to believe me when I told him, so he was like, I needed Nick to see this.

And so when the doctor showed all three babies to Nick, he just started laughing. So…

Dr. Fox: He, Nick, or he, the doctor?

Kayla: Nick, my husband.

Dr. Fox: Okay.

Kayla: He just started laughing. And that made me feel so much better, because I internally was freaking out, and so seeing him laugh made me feel a lot better, and I was like, all right, let’s do it. We’re having triplets.

Dr. Fox: And then you had sort of a unique kind of triplets, where two of the three were identical twins. Correct?

Kayla: Correct. And so that’s what we think what happened with my first couple appointments with my doctor, where they only saw two babies and only two heartbeats were registering. So we think that one of the identical boys was hiding behind the other. And they’re so small, you know, during the first trimester, and their heart rates are so fast… So one of them was hiding, and their heart rates were just registering as one, so…

Dr. Fox: Wow. Now, when you first got diagnosed with the triplets, I’m curious, either the doctor who diagnosed it, or your own doctor, did anyone at the time suggest to you, or offer to you, or even recommend to you that you should reduce them from triplets to twins or triplets to a singleton, or did that… Did that come up, or not?

Kayla: No, it did not.

Dr. Fox: It did not come up.

Kayla: No, it didn’t.

Dr. Fox: Okay, so that wasn’t something you guys had to, like, grapple with or make a decision about at the very beginning?

Kayla: No. No, no one offered that, or suggested it at all, so…

Dr. Fox: Okay. It’s so interesting regionally, you know? You said you’re in Virginia, and in New York, when people get pregnant with triplets, that’s like the first thing that people talk about is reduction. And you know, there’s pros and cons, and it’s a complicated discussion, but I was just curious. But it’s not the same around the country. It’s different for a lot of reasons, some of them cultural, some of them legal, some of them… I mean, there’s a lot of, you know, differences regionally in how people are counseled.

Kayla: Yeah, no, they just told us, you know, to kind of be prepared to have the babies whenever, just because triplets do not go full term.

Dr. Fox: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Kayla: My doctors explained, you know, if you could make it to 35 weeks, that would be, like, the ultimate…that would be, like, incredible.

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: But really, the first they recommended, you know, you really want to get to that that 27, 28 week mark, and then your next goal is 30, and then 32, so it’s just…

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: You know, you take it really week by week.

Dr. Fox: Right. And were you being followed by an OBGYN, by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, by both?

Kayla: I was seeing a high-risk doctor.

Dr. Fox: Yeah.

Kayla: So after with my OBGYN, she said that that practice did not specialize in triplets, so [crosstalk 00:10:24.015]

Dr. Fox: So they transferred your care?

Kayla: They transferred my care, which was great. This care, they were experienced with women pregnant with triplets, and then with this practice, all of my appointments were at the hospital.

Dr. Fox: Right, right.

Kayla: Just in case anything squirrely happened, I would be at the hospital. And all of my appointments were every two weeks, so after I made it to that 14-week mark, they said no, you’re going to have an appointment every two weeks at the hospital.

Dr. Fox: Yeah. And also probably because they had to do sort of high-level ultrasound now for every visit, and so probably the units in the hospital, and that’s where the high-risk doctors are…

Kayla: Yeah.

Dr. Fox: So yeah, it makes a lot of sense. Yeah.

Kayla: Yeah. And that was a benefit of being a high-risk patient, was I got to see my babies every two weeks, where… You know, I’m not super familiar with, like, “a normal pregnancy,” but from my friends, you know, I know that you only get to see your baby, like, at the 12, 20, and then like, 35-week mark, or something like that.

Dr. Fox: Right, right.

Kayla: So that was a benefit of being high-risk.

Dr. Fox: Right. So how did the pregnancy go, after the initial shock of finding out you were having triplets?

Kayla: You know, it was…I didn’t have a lot of bliss in my pregnancy. It was after…I think it was probably 18 weeks was when I started to get really uncomfortable. I feel like I only had a few weeks where I was like, oh, like, I’m going to go on walks, and try to stay active, and then once I hit that 18-week mark, it was really tough to move around. And it was also during COVID, so there wasn’t much I could do. But I mean, it was tough. It was tough sleeping early on…yeah, it was not the most enjoyable pregnancy.

Dr. Fox: Got it. And plus, I mean, you were probably one of the few people around who got to go out every two weeks at least, right?

Kayla: Yeah.

Dr. Fox: You sort of had to…

Kayla: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Dr. Fox: …leave it home, go for a walk or drive… Okay, great. And how about, like, medically?

Kayla: Since we did have our appointments every two weeks, we, you know, got updates with our boys, like how they were doing, and they were growing how they were supposed to be growing, which was really comforting to know, because that is a concern with triplets. There was a point during our pregnancy where they saw something that looked a little off, nothing too concerning. And they did offer, you know, if this was something…you know, what they saw could mean something else, and that our kids could be severely disabled. And they did at that point not suggest, but they offered, you know, if we didn’t want to continue with our pregnancy, there were options for us to terminate. But everything looked fine to me and my husband, and we met with some other doctors, and everything looked fine. So that was very stressful.

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: That was the most stressful part at that point with our pregnancy. And luckily, everything turned out fine, but that was very stressful. And then shortly after that, I ended up being admitted to the hospital on bed rest. So I spent a lot of time of my pregnancy in the hospital.

Dr. Fox: So what happened that you got admitted to the hospital on bed rest? Tell me about that.

Kayla: Yeah, so I ended up having a baby shower, and it was during COVID, but it was during one of those times where the government said, you know, it could be a certain amount of people outside, right?

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: So at this point I was like, you know what, I want to do something outside. This is probably going to be my only pregnancy. And so at my baby shower, it was on a Saturday, and I remember just feeling so uncomfortable. And I thought that Baby B, which in multiple pregnancies, they refer to, you know, each baby as like, Baby A, B, or C, right? And so Baby B I felt like was kicking me so much during my baby shower, and I was just so uncomfortable, and I was just like, yeah, he’s just…he’s super active. And that following Tuesday, I remember I went into the hospital, my husband and I put together some questions that we had, and I remember laying there, and the sonogram technician was quiet again. And all of a sudden my doctor storms through the door, and he said, “Mrs. Laubach, hey, how are you feeling?” I was like, this is kind of random. Why is my doctor running into the room right now? And I said, “Oh,” like, “I’m good. I have a lot of questions I want to go over today,” and I start going into my questions, and he said, “Mrs. Laubach, I don’t mean to interrupt you, but you are having contractions every one to two minutes, and we need to get you up into the labor and delivery room.”

Dr. Fox: And how far pregnant are you at this time?

Kayla: Twenty-four weeks.

Dr. Fox: And when she got quiet, you didn’t think that there was a fourth baby in there did you?

Kayla: No, no…no. No.

Dr. Fox: Last time you got quiet, I had another baby, so… All right, got it.

Kayla: No, no, he just…

Dr. Fox: So, the doctor come in… How did they know you were contracting from an ultrasound?

Kayla: I don’t… You know what? I don’t remember that.

Dr. Fox: Okay.

Kayla: I don’t know if they could just…yeah, I can’t remember. I don’t know if there [crosstalk 00:15:31.698]

Dr. Fox: Was the cervix short? Maybe the cervix was short, or something like that?

Kayla: Well, they didn’t check it then, but they ended up taking me, and they did check my cervix, and I was one centimeter dilated.

Dr. Fox: Got it.

Kayla: So that was kind of when, like, things started to roll. They put me on magnesium.

Dr. Fox: Ugh. That’s unpleasant.

Kayla: I know. Yeah, that was awful.

Dr. Fox: Yeah.

Kayla: I was on magnesium for 24 hours, and I remember…I just remember a nurse looking at me, and she said, “This is going to be a very rough 24 hours.” And she said, “I’m going to give you a cold washcloth that you’re going to put on your head, and I’m going to get you a fan,” and she said, “You’re going to feel like you’re on fire for 24 hours,” and I was like, great. Can’t wait.

So yeah, that was pretty miserable. But they put me on the magnesium to slow down my contractions, and to help with the boys’ brain development, just in case I were to deliver them at 24 weeks, which you now, we were trying to avoid.

Dr. Fox: Yeah, yeah.

Kayla: And luckily, the magnesium did work. The next day, I think my contractions were like, five to eight minutes, or something like that. So they kept me around for a couple days because at this point, I was like, you know, I want to go home and rest, but I had to, like, hit a certain mark to go home.

Dr. Fox: Right. Yeah, at 24 weeks, I mean… So you’re there, you’re a centimeter dilated, you’re contracting, they’re giving you magnesium, I assume they gave you steroid shots as well…

Kayla: Mm-hmm, yes.

Dr. Fox: They’re sort of preparing for the worst, and obviously that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but they’re preparing for it. Did you also have… Like, sometimes in those first two or three days is a time when you have all, like, the most horrifying conversations you’re ever going to have in your entire life, where like, the NICU doctors come in and tell you, like, well, what do you want to do, are we going to resuscitate the babies, are we not, here’s all the horrible things that could happen to them if they’re born now… Did you have those conversations, or did you not have them, or did you not want to have them…? What was going on those in those initial two days? Because that’s a very scary time period, obviously.

Kayla: It was a very scary time period. And you know what? I’ve learned through the last three years I did a lot of, like, trauma blocking, and there’s like, a lot of stuff from my pregnancy I think that my brain chooses not to remember.

Dr. Fox: Yeah. And you were on magnesium, so you were probably a little loopy as well.

Kayla: Yes, very loopy. But you know, even in the last, like, two years, you know, my husband will say, oh, remember, you know, X, Y, Z, and I’m like, no, I don’t remember that. He’ll say, yeah, that happened, and I’m like, I don’t remember that at all. So I do remember they had, like, a NICU representative come up to my room, and she gave me, like, a virtual tour of the NICU, and what that looked like, and I just…I mean, honestly, I had no control of what was actually going to happen, but I was just like, I’m not having the babies at 24 weeks.

Dr. Fox: Right. Right.

Kayla: So I was trying to stay positive, but yes, there were some tough conversations, and kind of what the NICU was like if our babies were to be born at 24 weeks or 25 weeks.

Dr. Fox: Yeah, I mean, so I’m sure they had the conversation with you. And for our listeners, I mean, at 24 weeks, you know, that’s what a lot of people call around the time of “viability,” which means they can survive. But it doesn’t mean they’re going to survive, and it doesn’t mean they’re going to do well, and for very, very rough numbers, at 24 weeks, about a third of the babies are going to survive and do well, a third of the babies are going to survive and be, like, seriously ill, and a third of the babies are not going to survive. And so when you’re told those numbers at 24, at first you’re like, oh, my God, you know? Like, that’s like…that’s pretty scary, right?

Kayla: Yeah.

Dr. Fox: And it could end up well. It’s not like it’s always a disaster. But there’s a lot of… It’s there’s a lot of it’s a very, very terrifying time to be in, particularly in those first few days, because you have no idea. For all you know, you’re delivering 12 hours later. I mean, it’s so hard to know what’s going to happen. Fortunately, you didn’t, but it’s very hard to know at that time. And fortunately, you blocked those conversations out of your memory. That’s good.

Kayla: Yeah, I think I did. My biggest concern was going back home, because my mom was supposed to come the next weekend and help me get our nursery…our nursery wasn’t even together.

Dr. Fox: Right. Right.

Kayla: So that was my main focus at that time.

Dr. Fox: So did they let you go home?

Kayla: No, I never went home.

Dr. Fox: Wow.

Kayla: They monitored me… They kept monitoring me for a few days, and I just couldn’t… My contractions weren’t long enough for me to go home, and they didn’t feel comfortable letting me leave, being one centimeter dilated, with triplets.

Dr. Fox: Right, right. Right.

Kayla: So that was when I kind of went on bed rest in the hospital.

Dr. Fox: Mm-hmm. Were you…

Kayla: During COVID.

Dr. Fox: Were you working at the time, before this happened?

Kayla: I was, yes. I was working full-time. I mean, at that… My job is customer-facing, but you know, during COVID it was all remote, so I was working from home. And my company gave me the option, they were like, well, if you do want to work in the hospital, you can, which was incredibly awesome for them to offer, but I was just…a lot of stuff was happening. And so once I was admitted, that’s when I, you know, stopped working until…I was just waiting for the boys to come.

Dr. Fox: Yeah. So how long were you parked in the hospital?

Kayla: Five-and-a-half weeks.

Dr. Fox: Wow. And tell me about what was going on during that time? Were you allowed any visitors?

Kayla: No. My husband was the only person allowed to visit me.

Dr. Fox: That’s rough.

Kayla: It was rough. And it was a bummer because I remember my doctor saying, you know, how unfortunate that it was COVID, because he said, you know, typically the moms on the floor would get together in the lobby, and so there would be certain events, and for us to socialize, but since it was COVID, I was just in my room for five-and-a-half weeks.

Dr. Fox: Oof.

Kayla: Yeah. And it was pretty nice, I did have some friends come to the hospital, and like, drop off food, I had some friends that there was a parking garage across from my window, and so I had friends go up to the parking garage, and made signs for me, and I would look out my window and I would see them.

Dr. Fox: Oh, that’s so nice.

Kayla: So I did have a lot of support, you know, even though they couldn’t come inside. I was very fortunate that I had friends and family that would come and wave out by the window to me.

Dr. Fox: Yeah, I mean when people… Listen, it pretty much always sucks to be in the hospital for a long time. It’s never a party. But you know, when people are there and have to do it, you know, everyone, you know, they make the best out of it, you know? They decorate up the room, and they bring in photos, and they typically have visitors all day, and they’re not…you know, there’s people coming in and out, and trying to make it as homey as possible under the circumstances. But to be isolated like that, that’s really…that’s hard on top of hard.

Kayla: It was, it was really tough…yeah. It was unfortunate. But I mean, luckily, because I was high-risk, there was people in my room all the time. So, that was nice.

Dr. Fox: Well, yeah, you become friends with nurses, medical students, residents, OBs, blood draw people…

Kayla: Yeah. Right.

Dr. Fox: You get a whole new group of family and friends that you never met before in your life. Wow.

So what ended up happening, that you were delivered five-and-a-half weeks later? So I guess you were at 29 to 30 weeks, in that range?

Kayla: Yeah, so I ended up delivering at 29 weeks and 4 days.

Dr. Fox: Okay.

Kayla: And also, during my stay at the hospital, I did develop gestational diabetes.

Dr. Fox: Oh. Okay.

Kayla: So that was another fun…

Dr. Fox: Yeah.

Kayla: Another, like, fun aspect of my pregnancy. But you know what? I cannot tell you what really happened. I remember waking up, it was October 19th, and I woke up that morning, and I just felt different. I felt as though… I mean, obviously my stomach was rather large, and very tight and hard, but this was different. Like, I felt like my stomach was going to burst, and I couldn’t feel any of the boys move. And so I remember talking to my nurse that morning, and this was a nurse I had not had before at this time, and I was just like, hey, something feels off. And you know, she would find the boys’ heartbeats, everything was, like, fine, she’s like, you know, we’re good, and like, I don’t know, I just, like, I felt off. And the whole day I felt like that, and it wasn’t until that evening when my husband was able to come to the hospital, I was like, I don’t…I just feel different. Like, I just…I feel like something’s happening, but I don’t know what it is.

And so the doctor came in that night, and they checked my cervix, and I was two centimeters dilated. And she didn’t seem too concerned, because she said, you know, sometimes it’s different, you know, since another doctor had measured me when I was first admitted, you know, it could be a little bit off, she mentioned. And so she said, let’s just get you down to labor and delivery just in case, and I was like, okay, here we go again. And so they put me back on magnesium for 12 hours, which was rough, but I did feel like I was more prepared for this go-round with magnesium. And so they obviously were monitoring me all night, and so we go into the morning of October 20th, and the reason why I can remember these days is because October 20th is me and my husband’s anniversary.

Dr. Fox: Nice.

Kayla: And I was really excited because he was going to bring me my favorite pizza for dinner, you know? I remember waking up that morning, telling him my order, you know? It was like 8:00, and I’m already telling him my dinner order. And so my doctor came in, and he’s like, I’m going to take you off of the magnesium, everything’s looking fine, and as he’s talking and I’m getting taken off of the magnesium, my contractions are going…you know, they’re getting shorter, and he’s like, you know what, I’m going to check your cervix again.

Dr. Fox: Shorter, you mean shorter time between them, closer together?

Kayla: Yes. Yes.

Dr. Fox: Yeah, okay.

Kayla: Yeah, my contractions… I can’t remember exactly, like, what they were at when I was on the magnesium, but then, like, yes, as soon as I got off, it was like, two or three minutes, or…yeah.

Dr. Fox: Yeah. Yeah.

Kayla: And he’s like, you know, let me just check your cervix one more time, and I was like, okay. So he does that, and like, as that’s happening, I remember a nurse bringing in some balloons that my brother and sister-in-law sent us for, you know, our anniversary, so the balloons said, oh, “Happy Anniversary.” And my doctor turns, and he said, “Oh, is today your anniversary,” and we said, “Yes,” and he said, “Okay, well, happy anniversary, and happy birthday.” I was like, “What do you mean,” and he said, “You’re having the babies today.” And I was not expecting that. Because at this point, you know, I’d been in the hospital for so long, I felt like I was cruising.

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: I was very confident, I was like, I’m going to get to that 32-week mark. That was my goal.

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: So I was very scared when he said the babies were coming today, and a few hours later I, you know, went in for surgery for my C-section.

Dr. Fox: Wow. And so when they were born… I assume you were awake for the C-section? The did a spinal, epidural, whatever?

Kayla: Yes, yeah, spinal.

Dr. Fox: So when they were born, you got to see them and hear them, and they came out and squealed a little bit for you?

Kayla: So that’s, like, the one thing that was also very scary. You know, growing up, I always knew that I wanted to have kids, and you know, in movies you see, you know, when someone has a baby, you hear the baby screaming, right? So I always had, like, that vision of hearing my baby cry, and I didn’t realize with having a premature baby, you know, how weak their lungs are.

Dr. Fox: Yeah.

Kayla: And so I remember not hearing the first two boys, and at one point I yelled, “Are my babies alive?” Like, I couldn’t hear them cry. And you know, they weren’t saying like, oh, here’s Baby A, here’s Baby B, because I think that they were so focused on getting…

Dr. Fox: Working on them, yeah.

Kayla: Exactly. Because you know, in the operating room, each boy had…I believe they each had three nurses, and then there’s the head doctor in the NICU, and then that didn’t even include all the doctors for me. So there was a ton of people in the room, and it’s kind of chaotic, but I did get to hear Parker. He was the last one.

Dr. Fox: Hmm.

Kayla: I did get to hear him, but his cry, it sounded… Like, you had to really listen for his cry to hear it. It sounded like he was in…like, down the hall and a few rooms, because their lungs were just so weak.

Dr. Fox: Yeah. How long were they in the NICU?

Kayla: So they each came home at different times. Grayson came home first at 55 days, Anthony 59 days, and Parker was 66 days.

Dr. Fox: Mm. Okay, so that’s…I’m just doing the math on that. Yeah, so that’s both…they all came home somewhere around when you would have been full term, plus/minus.

Kayla: Yes. Yeah, and that’s kind of what the doctor expected.

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: So I mean, obviously it varies per kid and all of that, but even though the boys’ stay was pretty long, luckily it was a pretty uneventful NICU stay. Everything that, you know, they did was, like, “normal preemie baby things.”

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: So it was, you know, a pretty uneventful stay, just a long stay.

Dr. Fox: It’s amazing. I mean, you’re basically two months times three kids in the NICU, and that… I mean, what a miracle that it’s basically uneventful, right? Because it could be eventful for all three, and any combination between that.

Kayla: Yeah. I mean, we got extremely lucky with that, and it was just… It’s incredible, how far they came. And just, like, seeing them, you know, with their CPAP machines, and then, you know, upgrading to the high flow…or airflow, excuse me, and then, like, leaving the NICU, it was just incredible to see them grow like that.

Dr. Fox: Right. And by the end, you and Nick are basically like NICU nurses, or you know, neonatologists, you guys know everything. You’re like, all right, what are the readings on the machine today, you know, let’s up that, let’s down that, you know, tweak that a little…

Kayla: I do remember the first time holding them, you know, how many cords there were. And I was so nervous, I didn’t want to, like, move too much because I was worried that a cord was going to come out, and it was going to be harmful for the boys… And then by the end, I remember I was just picking them up out of their crib, and moving the cords, and I was like, I got this. I definitely felt more comfortable by the end of our stay.

Dr. Fox: Wow. What was it like when all three of them were home, and you’re like, we’re here with these three little boys in their cribs or whatever?

Kayla: Yeah… Yeah, again, trauma blocking for three [crosstalk 00:30:15.598]

Dr. Fox: I didn’t sleep for a year, yeah.

Kayla: Yeah, no, the beginning was really rough. I will say Parker, he was our last one to come home, and he came home on Christmas morning, so that’s definitely a Christmas I’ll never forget. And I just remember feeling so complete, having my family home on Christmas. And my parents were there to help us because we had a feeling Parker was going to come home on Christmas, and yeah, that first night, I definitely…actually, the first, like, few weeks, I definitely did not sleep. But one of the benefits with having our boys all in the NICU was they were already on a schedule.

Dr. Fox: Right.

Kayla: So thank you to my NICU nurses. So luckily, they were already on a schedule, so I just had to stick to their schedule, but it was just, you know, getting comfortable to feed three babies at the same time. Because I wanted my boys to be on a strict schedule, and that’s what I did.

Dr. Fox: Right. Yeah.

Kayla: So that was definitely an adjustment. But yeah, three babies at home, it’s tough.

Dr. Fox: Yeah, and you also, fortunately…it’s not fortunate they’re in the NICU, but it’s fortunate you got to recover from your C-section before they got home.

Kayla: Oh, absolutely. I have no idea how these women come home a few days after having a C-section, with a baby.

Dr. Fox: Yeah.

Kayla: So, I was… It is, it’s rough. And you know, I was able to come home and rest the majority of the day before I’d go back to the hospital, and check and see the boys in the NICU, you know? So that definitely helped with my recovery, because my recovery, it was hard… Like, I couldn’t go up and down the stairs for two weeks, so it was…yeah. That definitely helped me recover.

Dr. Fox: Looking back on all this, you know, they’re three now, what do you take away from your awesome story?

Kayla: Oh, gosh, it’s crazy to think back on this, because… You know, and I had to go back and write down some of the stuff that we went through just because, you know, it’s been three years. And I feel like who I am today, and who that person was who had the boys, like, we’re almost different people. Like, I can’t believe that me and my husband did that, and I’m really proud of us. Because having a newborn is very challenging, raising kids in general is just very challenging, so doing this times three is really tough, and at times, I didn’t feel that we could do it, but we did it. We’re still navigating, you know, we have three toddlers, and that’s crazy, but it’s just… I’m very proud of us for going through that, and very grateful for the support that I had with my family, especially my mom.

My mom has been incredible. She stayed with us when the boys first came home from the NICU, she stayed with us for five weeks. And she doesn’t live nearby, she’s about three hours away. And then also friends, I have friends that would come visit me and do the night shift so me and my husband could sleep. And so I’m just forever grateful for my village, because it really does… We needed our village during this time, and they definitely showed up for us.

Dr. Fox: That’s amazing.

Kayla: Yeah, we are very, very lucky.

Dr. Fox: That’s amazing. What do you want our listeners to take away from your story?

Kayla: You know, I don’t want this to sound bad, but with my experience with triplets, and when I first found out that we were having triplets, it took me a while to get excited, because it was so scary. And I felt guilty for feeling that way. But when you’re told that you’re having twins or triplets or quadruplets, like, it is scary, and it’s okay to feel that way. But it’s also incredible. I truly, truly believe that, you know, certain people can really handle this, and like, it might sound cheesy, but like, you were chosen to be able to handle this, and you will handle it. So I think that it’s okay to be scared. You will be excited. And when you have all your… I just remember, like, looking at three of my babies interact for the first time together when they’re babies, and just how special that is. And also three years later, seeing their bond, and being able to be a part of…being able to watch that from the beginning is so incredible. And seeing how much that they love each other, and they always have a little built-in buddy, they’re so lucky to be a triplet.

Dr. Fox: Amazing, Kayla. Thank you so much for volunteering to do this. It’s a great story. I’m so happy how well it turned out, and that you now have to sort of navigate three terror-making machines for your home, and all surroundings. But no, it’s really, it’s awesome, and I love your perspective on it, and I’m sure that our listeners are going to find it really interesting, but also really helpful, potentially, to them if they’re facing potentially a tough pregnancy. So thank you.

Kayla: Of course. Thank you for having me.

Dr. Fox: Thank you for listening to the “Healthful Woman” podcast. To learn more about our podcast, please visit our website at www.healthfulwoman.com. That’s healthfulwoman.com. If you have any questions about this podcast, or any other topic you would like us to address, please feel free to email us at HW@healthfulwoman.com. Have a great day.

The information discussed in “Healthful Woman” is intended for educational uses only, and does not replace medical care from your physician. “Healthful Woman” is meant to expand your knowledge of women’s health, and does not replace ongoing care from your regular physician or gynecologist. We encourage you to speak with your doctor about specific diagnoses and treatment options for an effective treatment plan.