Here's Diane's Story
It all started very early in the morning. The pope was coming to Malta, today 8th May 2001 and many Maltese families,already at six o'clock ,started preparing for a day out,with banners and flags in hands, to give His Highness the most wonderful welcome the Maltese can give. So for the Pope's sake, shops were closed, routines changed, schools announced the day a holiday and employers joined their employees for the big event!
For sure I wasn't with them, I hate crowds and more than that, today I had to do my pregnancy test. I already did it two more times, due to my irregular periods, so the chances of being negative were there. Besides this time I was doing the test without Chris knowing it.
Kim just woke up. She was very excited today because she has just learnt to walk all by herself and she was showing mum and dad how clever she had become. She shouted for her dad who had just gone to the workshop and for mum who was in the bathroom. The pregnancy test wasn't clear at all and we spent the morning searching for an open pharmacy to buy another test which I did the following day. Still uncertain, we made an appointment to see Professor Brincat and he confirmed that I was pregnant all right, but as it is a very early pregnancy, I had to go again two weeks later.
Can you imagine yourself lying flat on the couch doing an ultrasound with your gynecologist staring at the monitor with his eyes open wide and saying nothing ? What do you think must have happened ? Either you miscarried or that the pregnancy isn't going so well.
'Just tell me what you are seeing'
'More than one baby'
'You mean we are having twins ?'
'I am seeing more than 2 heartbeats. I think you're going to have triplets. Just go to the Gynae Ward this saturday and they will confirm. Stop worrying Ok and please do stay calm'
That's how he broke the news. I was seven weeks pregnant by then.
Our first reactions were full of mixed emotions; worry about how we are going to cope, fear of miscarriage, joy and sheet happiness, unbelief that this is happening to us, how are we going to break the news, what will our parents say when are we going to tell our friends .. but my strongest feelings was the fear of miscarriage. That was continually nagging on my mind. I prayed and prayed like never before and stayed in bed soon after returning from work. Luckily as my career was in teaching I had the summer holidays. On the Other hand, as my school was a church one, I only had one maternity leave and so, with no choice at all, I had to resign.
Poor Kim couldn't understand why all these changes all of a sudden, why had the outings stopped and why isn't mummy doing the laundry and cooking any more, why aren't we cleaning the floors and she used to enjoy it so much going to the supermarket!
But as days went by and summer approached, the loss of appetite and fatigue felt quite a burden on poor mummy and so Kim had to go to grandma once again so that my would rest and sleep as required.
At 14 weeks I did a cervical stitch to keep the babies enclosed in my uterus. Now the triplets were very clearly seen on the monitor, everyone in her separate sac. If everything goes fine, at 28 weeks I was to enter Antenatal Ward for complete bed rest. Until then, ultrasounds every fortnight, plenty of food and rest.
Before entering hospital several things had to be seen. Primary, we had not bought anything for the triplets. We had not buggies and clothes and everything that goes with them. If we are going to buy everything, and that what we did, we had to find considerable prices and good bargains.
Then there was my personal needs. I entered hospital in summer clothes, but i had to leave in winter ones! And there was another problem, I didn't know how large i was going to grown this was my very first experience! And what about pygamas and nightdresses? How much do I need?
The third problem was the kids room. My house is not big at all and I just couldn't imagine how four beds were going to fit all in one room, without being crammed.
Oh God please help us and Chris whilst I'm in hospital. I entered on 6th October 2001 and from day one U was impressed with the staff dedication and support they give to all mothers. Besides plenty of hemoglobin tablets which I had to take everyday, I was on Yutopar every four hours to keep the contractions away and on Dexa for the babies' lungs, in case they're born premature. The blood pressure was taken three times a day and the urine very closely checked in case of infection, sugar or protein. Because my hemoglobin was always low, I had to eat red meat everyday, tomatoes, apples, kiwi and fibre for constipation and two liters of water.
Day after day October and November ran smoothly. The staff became my hospital family and I've made lots of friends especially with Clara who like myself was expecting triplets. In the first week of November we were taken post natal and there I continued to grow large and roundish till my waters broke on December 15th.
They did not operate immediately. Quite impossible after eating a whole box of Baci (big size) and 2 doughnuts. I had to wait for six whole hours with contractions coming and going all the time in the middle of the night. At six o'clock in the morning of December 16th I gave birth to Marija, Sheryl and Martina, 2.2kilos, 1.9 kilos and 1.5 kilos respectively at 36 wk's gestation. I breast fed for 3 weeks Marija and Sheryl and expressed milk for Martina who stayed 10 days at the SCBU because of her weight. (partial breast feeding off course)
We were ready to go home on January 16th. What I was going to find I didn't know, after 3 whole months 10 days away, but life has to start again now ....... on a very new and different dimension, myself with a husband and 4 daughters: ONE MALE, FIVE FEMALES !
Today Kim is four and the triplets two years, one month. Each day is a story in itself, loaded to the full with everything one can imagine: activities, adventures, worries, joyful experiences....Yes the kids are quite a bunch, full of fun, full of joy, full of trouble but, here we are, still going on trying to live the present with every blessing moment. What matters to us now is that every little thing that happens, we share it together, as one big family!