Hailey's Hope Foundation

Supporting Families in the NICU

Valentina, Victoria & Vienna – 33 weeks

Vienna (born at 33 weeks,    )


My husband and I were so excited when we found out that we were having triplet girls.  Everything was going well throughout my pregnancy.  On July 15, 2010, at 33 weeks, I went for my regular sonogram appointment.  Our excitement immediately turned to shock when my doctor, Dr. Geetha Rajendran, told us that the babies were in delivery position and coming soon.  We were scared, but we hoped and prayed they would at least make it to 36 weeks.

Before leaving the doctor’s office, they gave me a check up.  I was feeling fine but my blood pressure was 150/85.  This was the first time during my pregnancy that it was elevated.  It quickly rose to 165/90.  My doctor instructed me to go to Labor and Delivery just in case so they could monitor my blood pressure. “It could be nothing but let’s be sure.  This way you can go home with no worries” she said.  My husband was nervous and felt bad because he had to leave me at the hospital to go to work.  I told him I would be fine and that I would see him in a couple of hours.  We had so many false alarms and I thought this one was just another one…well it wasn’t.  My blood pressure rose to 175/100 and I dilated 4 centimeters, my contractions were coming every 5 minutes. My baby girls were ready to come out!

Victoria (born at 33 weeks,   )

Victoria (born at 33 weeks, )

I finally reached him on his phone and he came back as fast as he could. He was crying the whole way to the hospital and didn’t want to miss his daughters’ birth.  With tears in his eyes, he finally walked into the operating room. The chaos was surreal, something we never experienced. There were 30 staff members in the operating room, with three doctors and two nurses for each of my daughters.  I delivered three beautiful baby girls via c-section by Dr. Geetha Rajendran and Dr. Michael Kessler, M.D. My first daughter, Valentina was born at 7:15 p.m, my second daughter, Victoria, was born at 7:16 p.m. and my third daughter, Vienna, was born at 7:17 p.m.

Valentina (born at 33 weeks)

Valentina (born at 33 weeks)

The experience of having my triplet baby girls placed in incubators and on all types of medical gadgets and I-V’s was upsetting.  I visited the next day as they were monitoring my blood pressure to make sure I was okay to leave to the maternity ward.  It was sad seeing them in there, and I could not hold them right away except just touch their hands through circular openings in their isolettes. I stayed in the hospital for four days. The most hurtful part was I came home empty handed, no babies. I cried and yelled my heart out. I felt it was not fair, why us?  Why me? I walked in to our apartment that was filled with boxes for moving to our new home and of baby gifts for my baby shower that I never attended, and I cried more. The emptiness and sadness was intense.  It was hard to sleep. I called the NICU every day and night to get update on the triplets. I finally felt better in about a week and made it in to see them. I traveled by bus to see them everyday.  It was sad to see them so fragile and helpless, crying and having their formula fed to them by a tube and I could do nothing about it. My husband never missed a day, he even came in the wee hours just to hold their hands, caress their little heads and backs and just talk to them. We felt it was important they knew we were there to get better faster with our constant presence of love. My most upsetting day was when they told me Vienna needed open heart surgery due to her A.S.D. Atrial Septal Defect also known as a severe double heart murmur. These are two holes that will not close naturally as other mild heart murmurs do as the child grows. I cried. I thought we were in the clear. I thought Vienna pulled through some rough days and we did not lose her as she was eating well and gaining weight. Thank God for prayer and support of family and friends.  This is how we made it everyday. We talked, we cried and we prayed.

Rivera Family w-triplets

We finally brought them home one by one, but they have all been home since August 21st. All are doing well and doing what every baby does…eat, sleep, cry and smile. They are a joy and every moment is precious and valued.

Rivera Family at Halloween