Kirsty Dow, a 33-year-old woman from East Lothian, Scotland, believed giving birth would be the happiest day of her life. But, she and her three kids, Grayson, Travis, and Max, had to battle for their lives just moments after being born. “I’m really moved, I can’t believe how far we’ve all come, and that we’re all here to celebrate our first birthday,” Kirsty told Metro.co.uk. I feel incredibly fortunate to still be alive. At 13 weeks into her pregnancy, Kirsty who is married to 37-year-old Darren discovered she was naturally pregnant with triplets.
I suspected I might be carrying twins, exactly like my brother, so I was surprised when the sonographer announced there were actually three kids. I remarked, “No way! Never have! I was terrified and wondered, “How am I going to care for dad?” Although Kirsty’s pregnancy was easy, she underwent a cesarean section at 32 weeks since an ultrasound revealed that Max was not growing normally. Grayson, Max, and Travis, her lovely trio, were born five minutes apart. Nonetheless, the boys were admitted to the ICU with breathing difficulties soon after birth. Unexpectedly, their mother, who had suffered severe blood loss, cardiac issues, and was unable to breathe due to fluid-filled lungs, followed them. According to Kirsty, “All the boys cry, which is the best feeling, but they need oxygen to breathe. Then suddenly I couldn’t breathe.
I woke up in the intensive care unit with photographs of the kids next to me, the room spinning, and I couldn’t see or hear clearly. Kirsty had fluid pumped into her lungs, which made it difficult for her to breathe, to stop blood loss during birth. Her heart was also widening at the same moment. Although we were aware that having triplets would alter our lives, Kirsty says there was no way to prepare for everything. After spending a night in the intensive care unit and undergoing numerous heart exams, it was determined that Kirsty’s symptoms were brought on by the stress of carrying triplets.
Also, pre-eclampsia, an undiscovered illness that might be dangerous for both mother and child, was mentioned as the reason for her elevated blood pressure. She was also informed that Travis and Max, who are identical twins, suffer from Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a dangerous ailment that causes blood transfusions between one twin (the donor) and the other (the recipient) while still in the womb. Max is quite pale, whilst Travis is a vibrant pink color, and both require blood transfusions. The NICU’s early stages were frightful, according to Kirsty. We must put forth an hour by hour effort. The next alarm will sound when they have calmed down for a moment. We’re incredibly appreciative that they make it happen every day. Before being allowed to hold her sons, Kirsty was forced to wait several days. ‘Getting cuddled for the first time feels so amazing – the best thing ever.
Yet when I hold them, especially Max, I get frightened. There are so many screens and wires everywhere, and I have never seen a child so small. Their not knowing I was their mother scared me. The neonatologists packed a package with the infants’ hospital bracelets, little cpap masks, and footprints, as well as fabric squares for Kirsty and the three to smell each other. When Max was a week old, he was diagnosed with rectal bacteria and sepsis while Travis and Grayson started to make improvements.
The hardest thing is walking out the door and not having Max with you. ‘It’s really hard to take care of two people at home while going back and forth to the hospital. I felt far away from Max and always felt guilty. We were so excited that we could all be together at last. All three boys have now returned home. They have their own personalities and are at different stages of development.
Grayson is extremely cold and funny, enjoying babbling and observing his brothers. He has a genetic disease that affects his heart and development, but is progressing very well. Max is a real giggler. He surprises me every day with all that he has overcome in life and he has the best laugh I have ever heard. Max is deaf and looks cute wearing a hearing aid. He has started physical therapy and Darren and I are about to learn sign language. The trio had two birthday parties with family and friends and a light outing to mark their big birthday.