SALMON ARM – Giving birth to triplets is relatively uncommon and having identical triplets is considered rare.
Yet that is exactly what happened to a Salmon Arm couple.
Born prematurely in November, the three baby girls have now been home for weeks and are developing well.
A year ago the triplet’s mother Mahalia Meeuwsen, 43, didn’t expect to be caring for one baby, let alone three baby daughters.
Told they had unexplained infertility, she and her husband, Mike, had accepted the idea they wouldn’t be able to have kids.
“Suddenly in April I actually thought I was going though early menopause so I went to go and see my doctor and Dr. Grieve thought that we should do a pregnancy test,” says Meeuwsen. “I didn’t really agree with her but we said okay.”
That test came back positive and an ultrasound days later appeared to show they were having twins.
“For two weeks we thought we were having twins until we had another ultrasound and that is when they found the third heartbeat,” she says.
In a matter of weeks, the couple went from thinking they’d never have children to having identical triplets on the way.
“It was surreal,” she says. “It was a dream it really was. There are still days now that Mike and I look at each other and we just can’t believe the blessing. It is so hard to believe that these three little miracles are part of our family.”
After Meeuwsen’s health deteriorated during the pregnancy, identical triplets Hannah, Rileigh and Isabelle were born prematurely November 3. Each weighed less than four pounds. After weeks in hospital, the girls were able to go home December 14.
“We were so excited to finally come home as a family before Christmas,” says Meeuwsen.
Now more than two months old, the babies have been gaining weight and are already developing their own personalities. This week the smallest weighed 6lbs 15oz.
“They are doing extremely well,” says their family physician, Dr. Kim Grieve.
Meeuwsen is now looking forward to watching her daughters grow.