Surviving the Birth of My Triplets
Some of you die-hard MMW fans may remember me from the blog “The knitter who doesn’t knit”. I’m Josh and I manage our social media and digital marketing efforts. I also just had triplets. I’d like to share the first 2 months of my experience since they’ve been born. There’s been a lot of ups and down, with all three having near-death experiences. Here’s a glimpse into my triplet life.
- 11/12/2020 – My wife, Jalissa, moves to Billings, MT for the remainder of her pregnancy (she won’t go past 35 weeks, at this point she’s 30 weeks along and anything can happen). My mother-in-law came from Houston to be with her to help with the kids (we already have a 12 year old, Daya, and a 3 year old, Luke).
I’m on my way to see her and I get to the hospital to find out she has COVID-19. If we deliver the babies while she has COVID-19, she won’t be able to see them until she tests negative twice or her quarantine of 10 days ends on 11/22/2020. I’m now quarantined and need to quarantine for 14 days after her quarantine ends. 24 total days. Ben and Karen are understanding and allow me to partially work from home.
- 11/23/2020 – Jalissa begins to feel heavy contractions and by 6 o’clock that evening they are becoming unbearable and for longer periods of time. We head to the hospital.
- 10pm - She’s 3 cm dilated and they can’t stop the contractions. We’re having these babies and they’re prepping for a c-section.
- 11:00 pm – Still waiting to head to the OR. Are these babies really going to share Luke and my brother’s birthday (Luke was born on 11/24/2017, the same day as my brother)!? I’ll have 4 kids with the same birthdays!
- 12:00 pm (11/24/2020) – We head to the OR. It’s time.
- 12:32 pm – Babies are born! First, Everett 3lbs 12oz. Second, Aspen 3lbs 9oz. Third, Everleigh 4lbs 2oz. (32 weeks and some change)
All three babies need a little extra oxygen and IV’s for fluids due to being premature. Everett and Aspens IVs when in great, Everleigh (Evy) had a hard time. They eventually did an umbilical venous through her belly button. They will likely be in the NICU for 6 weeks.
- 11/29/2020 – Everleigh suddenly takes a bad turn over night. Her kidneys are failing, her chest cavity and lungs have filled with fluid and needs to be on a ventilator to help breath. She looks like she’s dying as we stand over her crying. They insert a tube in her chest to drain fluid. They aren’t sure what the problem is after running several tests and she needs to be at a level 4 NICU, the closest being Denver. They call the life flight team and only Jalissa will be able to fly with her. I’ll stay back with my two other kids and the visit the babies every day.
The plane lands and Everleigh is suddenly starting to look better. Over the course of the next couple days, she improves dramatically. Why? What happened was the IV in her belly button had perforated the vein (rare!) and the fluid that was supposed to support her was killing her by filling her body and shutting it down. One nurse on the life flight team had a gut feeling to take the IV out before the flight and ultimately, without knowing, saved her life.
I picked Jalissa up after 5 days and they fly her (Evy) back to billings hospital. That was the worst thing that has happened to me. I thought Everleigh was going to die then. Thank God for that nurse and the flight team. All babies are together, but Evy needs to quarantine for 10 days.
Also, I should note that Everleigh was also tested positive for Covid-19 when she arrived at Denver. She fully recovered with no symptoms.
- 12/15/2020 – I’m back in Buffalo started working again as my first day back because I’ve been in Billings for over a month without working much. It’s time to get back while Jalissa stays with the babies in Billings!
- 10am – I miss a call from the hospital in Billings.
- 12 pm – I get another call and it’s the Doctor. He explains that Everett took a bad turn through the night and has been put on a ventilator. His kidneys are shutting down and the Doctors were genuinely concerned.
- 12:30 pm – I get another call from the Hospital. The Doctor is now extremely concerned and advised me that I should come see my son.
He was basically saying, it’s so bad that he might die, and I should come spend what time I had left with Everett.
I instantly start crying and go into shock. “Not again,” I thought to myself. I just went through Evy almost dying and now another one. I can’t do this again.
I head to Billings.
After a day, test results come back that he has a blood infection called GBS. Mothers can carry it through pregnancy and it’s common in preemie babies to flair up, but it’s very fatal. They were already treating him with broad spectrum anti-biotics, and he started making improvements, slowly. He was going to be ok. He spends the next 10 days on anti-biotics at the hospital.
- 12/22/2020 – Aspen comes home! :D
- 12/23/2020 – Everleigh comes home! :D
- 12/25/2020 – Aspen doesn’t look good and is mottled (her skin was pale and looked webby). Somethings not right.
- 3 pm - Jalissa takes her to the emergency room
- 5 pm – Aspen codes and needs to be resuscitated
- 8 pm – Aspen and Jalissa are life-flight back to billings to a neighboring hospital
- 6 pm – I pack up the kids and head to Billing to be with Jalissa
Aspen has a blood infection, the same as Everett, GBS. She’s treated with the same antibiotics as Everett and will spend the next 14 days at the hospital.
- 12/28/2020 – Everett fully recovers and has come home.
- 1/4/2021 – All babies are home! Finally.
(Everleigh, Everett, Aspen)
It was extremely traumatic experiencing all three babies going through near-death experiences. When preemies get sick, it happens faster than you can blink and thankfully, most of the time they were at the hospital to get the care quickly. Also, if my wife hadn’t taken Aspen in when she did, we likely wouldn’t have been able to resuscitate her back to life in time to get her to the hospital.
We’re thankful for the medical teams in Billings and Buffalo for all the support and care of our babies, so quickly.
We’re also thankful for Ben and Karen, and the team at MMW. They have been so understanding and supportive through this crazy time of my life.
We’ve received financial and emotional support from our entire community, it’s extremely overwhelming! We still have meals coming in, people offering to watch the babies or clean our home or do laundry. We have a gang of gals who are pumping to provide us extra milk (We went through 800 oz in 8 days!)
While it was very traumatic and we may not process all those events for a while, my family is thankful and healthy now. And tired. Very tired.
I pray everyone is still okay, after getting past the worst in 2020. Strengthen those lungs with learning a wind instrument—-flute, oboe. start out with a recorder as early as 2 or 3 (just get some earplugs). and later get them involved in swimming to further strengthen the lungs and cardio without all the gravity to work against.
I just read your story here to my family and we rejoiced as we saw the hand of God in your lives and the saving grace of your babies. I trust at this point they are doing well.
I found this web site by accident as I was looking for wool yarn. I was very thrilled as I have Wyoming roots. All three of my children were born in Woming.
God is good and my family says that you need to have your story published so that others can share it.
Just read your blog on a break from cleaning. We also live in an area where you have to travel hundreds of miles for medical care. I can’t imagine having premies and dealing with the distances in addition to everything else. Thank God everything turned out well. Bless you and those little babies.
Thank you for sharing. I went into early labor on 11/11 and had our twin boys that night at 33 weeks…. not quite the plan we wanted to follow!
Earlier that day a friend had told me y’all were headed to Billings and even though we don’t know each other, my husband and I thought of you all often as we were in the Sheridan hospital with our preemies. We are so happy to know your babies are doing well. The success of your little ones brings so much joy into a world that needs it!
Your fellow companions in exhaustion and happiness, Sylvia and Ben
Congrats on your beautiful babies! I will keep you in my prayers.
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