On Monday morning I came to the JR knowing that more than likely this would be my last appointment here being pregnant with triplets. With regards to the appointment all went well with there being no signs of any significant changes from the previous scan on the Friday. So when I left, I knew that the next day when I returned to the JR that the triplets could be born! We were told that because of the staffing required and the space in special care that we may get bumped to the Wednesday if any emergencies came in.
After a relatively decent nights sleep I was up at 6am to eat my last meal before the planned C section. Flo must have been psychic as she awoke early and came in to our bedroom to ask were I was! This was nice as it gave me a bit of extra time to spend with her before we dropped her off at my mum and dads on our way to the JR, and to hopefully meet our three new daughters!
When we arrived at the delivery suite we were showed into our waiting room. Here the steady stream of doctors, surgeons, anesthetists, midwives came through introducing themselves, explaining the procedure and asking the essential medical questions and asking us if we had any questions! Due to all the people coming in and out time passed relatively quickly, with eventually one of the surgeons coming in to say it was going to happen today, with me more than likely being called down to theatre for my epidural at shortly before 3pm. Throughout the whole process up to and after this point the staff in Oxford were amazing and made us both feel cared for and as relaxed as possible.
Holy crap this was really happening!! The girls have been in my tummy for what has seemed like an eternity, it felt very surreal to think that in just a couple of hours they would be here, starting their lives in the world! Shortly before 3 the aneathatist came to our waiting room to take me down for my epidural, this was it, the moment i/we had been waiting for!! I gave steve a kiss he would be coming down to theatre once I was ‘numb’ apparently an epidural isn’t a pleasant experience for the partner to watch hence why they tend to come in after.
As I came into theatre, reality was really hitting home, there were so many people readying themselves for ‘the triplets’ it was crazy! Once my legs right up to my ribs were numb and my tummy had be painted down, everyone went around the room one by one saying their names and roles for the afternoon, myself and Steve were included, in my stupid humour when it got to me I said my name and that I felt like I was at an AA meeting and started clapping! I think that helped to set a very relaxed and happy tone throughout our whole delivery experience. The curtain went up in front of me, then the doctors began the operation, they kept us informed all the way through explaining what was happening, that I may feel a pulling sensation etc. I have to say as weird as this sounds it was one of the most amazing, yet surreal experiences of my life, I loved every minute!! They had told Steve to make sure to bring a camera, to take photos of the girls, the incredible moment came when they allowed him to take a picture of each of the babies being ‘born’. At first when I’d said to Steve you must watch them coming out from my tummy I think he thought I was mad, but he admitted after that the whole thing was incredible to be able to witness. Our singleton was the first to arrive at 15.53pm, she was the biggest at 3lb 8oz, she instantly cried to which I started crying too, even though I’d seen loads of scans and felt the kicks daily to hear that first cry it all became so real! They asked me to look to my right to see the girls as they came out one by one before they whizzed them off to be helped by the neonatal doctors. Next out with another cry was the bigger of our twin girls at 3lb 1oz at 15.54pm, followed swiftly at 15.55pm by her littler sister letting out a mini cry weighing 2lb 13oz!! I felt so overwhelmed, I had heard each one cry and been able to see them it was just the best feeling ever!!
Steve was then asked to go in with the girls, I wanted him to go with them so he could let me know all that was happening and to also give them their names rather than the Halsey triplets.
The next account of things is from Steves perspective, as I had to remain in theatre to be stitched up and my cervical suture needed removing.
I was taken into a room across the corridor and got to see the three medical teams in full flight taking care of all 3 of our little girls. I must admit it was an awesome sight to see the medical staff working with such calmness, care but also an efficiency to make sure they were all ok, all the time I was trying my best to just stay out of everyone’s way! After a while (probably only a few minutes, but seemed a lot longer) I was asked to follow the doctors down with our singleton daughter who was first out to the NICU. After the short walk through a number of doors we came into the amazing looking NICU at the JR, the new unit was full of new machines and again a team of staff welcomed us in and went straight to work connecting her up to machines that will monitor her heart rate, breathing rate and oxygen saturation levels along with getting her settled into her incubator. At this point I was asked to go back so that I could accompany our next daughter, triplet 3. It was explained to me that the 2nd baby out was experiencing a few breathing difficulties so she was still being looked after up there, which was a bit of a shock as she had been the bigger of the two identical twins. Again with great skill and care the staff got straight to work in settling her into her incubator. After a few nervous minutes triplet 2 arrived in the NICU with the reassuring news that she was ok and stable. With all the girls all set up in the NICU, it was then down to me to get some pictures of them for Jaime (who was still in theatre) and to give the girls their names so the would no longer be referred to as Triplet 1, Triplet 2 and Triplet 3.
It was great to be completely put at ease upon seeing Jaime happy and chatting to the medics who had just finished the section on her. This then allowed us to spend a bit of time together in the recovery ward and give me the opportunity to tell and show Jaime how immensely proud of her I am for growing and housing three beautiful little girls to compliment our beautiful daughter Florence.
We both know that the triplets have a long way to go, and many hurdles to get over before we can bring them home; but we know that we have given them the best chance possible and the wonderful medical staff at the JR have and will continue to give them the best chance possible too.
So we would proudly like to welcome into the world our beautiful daughters, middle names Rose and Joy after our Mums and Aila meaning ‘from a strong place’.
Eden Rose Halsey – Triplet 1
Amber Joy Halsey – Triplet 2
Erin Aila Halsey – Triplet 3
Now our journey really begins!!