Parents of triplets: few people have the luxury of having three children at once

2. July 2018

16 May was a special day at the East Tallinn Central Hospital because that sunny afternoon saw the birth of another set of triplets, little Emily, Mirjam and Gregor.

Kadi and Andres, parents to the triplets, are convinced that this is a special kind of blessing because few parents are granted the luxury of having three children at once. “Twin girls and a boy, the perfect combination,” said Kadi.
This was Kadi’s first pregnancy and the news of carrying triplets was an enormous surprise for the parents. “You expect children to come one at a time or to have twins. Nobody can quite prepare themselves for this, you can’t plan for triplets,” said Kadi.
At the same time, she gladly admitted that staff at the East Tallinn Central Hospital were very supportive throughout the pregnancy. “We were warned that nearly 90% of triplets are not born at all and we should take it one week at a time. They also emphasised that it was important to stay in good spirits and not let the mood fall – every week is a victory. In particular, I am unbelievably grateful to Dr. Konstantin Ridnõi, who always made us feel positive,” said Kadi.
Since the children were born extremely premature, they are currently gaining strength alongside their mother in the intensive care family room at the Newborn Department. The family is very grateful for being involved in the treatment process of their children at the Newborn Department of the Central Hospital.
“I can check on them whenever I want and handle them myself. The sensors might not let me sleep through the night every night, but having my children where I can see them and having them close to me is very important,” said the mother. “It also helps calm my nerves since there is less longing and anxiety. It’s a true gift to have this opportunity for patients.”
Parents thank the hospital staff for their emotional support. “Everyone keeps asking how we are and giving us support. It shows that even if the hospital has great equipment, the end result would be less positive for us if it weren’t for the supporting workers,” believes Kadi.
Both Kadi and Andres are convinced that the outcome for them has been superb. “It’s such a blessing because the children now have their own gang for life. Friends come and go, but sisters and brothers are forever.”
Intensive care family rooms facilitate family-oriented treatment
Dr. Pille Andresson, Head of the Neonatology Department, noted that giving birth to triplets always poses a great challenge for the staff too, but with an experienced team, they are ready for such an occasion 24/7. The work of paediatricians and intensive care nurses starts when premature babies are born. Andresson brought out that doctors and nurses, who take care of premature babies in intensive care, work in two stages, engaging in treatment and working with the family.
“We handle the intensive care of children born extremely premature at the Neonatology Department, such work can be very complicated and individual – each child is approached according to their condition and health issues. Working with the family is just as important – sharing information with them, teaching them and explaining the treatment,” said Andresson.
Andresson added that a number of studies have shown that the sooner the mother and father have contact with their extremely premature child, the better the child will develop. “Stroking the child, talking to him or her, feeding, skin-to-skin contact – these are all family-oriented activities that will improve and accelerate the healing process of an extremely premature newborn. Our goal is to facilitate family-oriented treatment and now we have every opportunity to do so,” admitted Andresson.
In addition to medical support, the hospital provides psychological support for the families that need it, in the form of peer-counsellors who have personal experience with having an extremely premature baby and staying at the hospital. Andersson explained: “They know about the problems of a premature child throughout the period of hospital treatment, the feelings and the emotions and how to manage these.” “At present, Kadi’s family is receiving support from another mother who had triplets at our hospital and who has been a voluntary peer-counsellor with us for several years now. They have a lot to talk about, particularly on how to manage triplets on a day-to-day basis.”