From Calm to Chaos
They wouldn’t have it any other way
Aubrey Ullom, husband Eric, and their son Deagan had a nice, little family of three. They were enjoying all of the “firsts” that a baby in the house will bring, but they decided it was time to grow their family.
Soon after, the news came that Deagan (age three at the time) was going to be a big brother. Life was good. Aubrey and Eric were prepared and excited. They had planned, and everything was falling into place to add an additional Ullom to the mix.
Twins run in Eric’s family and his grandmother often teased them about getting two babies for the price of one. This made Aubrey a little nervous but she had the attitude, “if it happens, it happens.”
Aubrey is a medical assistant at OhioHealth Marion Area Physicians (MAP) in Obstetrics so she knew what to look for when she and Eric went in for their ultrasound. “I looked at the screen and I said, ‘there’s two,’” she recalls. “My husband sat down to soak in the news and before we could react, my friend, Katy, who was my sonographer, said, ‘um… no. There are actually three.’ We thought she was joking,” Aubrey added.
Aubrey said that she honestly did not believe the sonographer for several moments and her husband turned “several shades of green” at the realization that they were going to have triplets. The ultrasound showed not one, not two, but three healthy babies – two were identical and one was fraternal.
Aubrey recalls having great support. She was working at MAP physician, Dr. Bradley Campbell’s office, at the time. He referred her to his partner, Dr. Brian Assent, now that she would be a patient. “I knew I was in good hands with any of the OhioHealth MAP OB/GYN doctors and couldn’t have been more pleased with my care throughout the entire pregnancy and birth,” Aubrey said of her experience.
Triplets are rare (the odds that triplets are conceived without fertility drugs is about 1 in 10,000), and the pregnancy can be complicated so Aubrey was considered high risk. Because of the wealth of resources that OhioHealth has, she was referred to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital for the remainder of her pregnancy. We are lucky to have the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Level III Nursery at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, owned and operated by Nationwide Children's Hospital, which means they can handle the most critical situations.
“I was nervous to go to Columbus at first, but everyone was very helpful. I see patients come through our office that we need to send to Columbus for something and I can ease their mind now. I know from experience that it will all be okay,” she said.
She said that the time between knowing they were having triplets and then finding out the sex of the babies was “really hard” trying to picture life with three babies and not knowing the gender. The day did finally come and they found out they would be blessed with three girls.
Her pregnancy went very well. She continued working until May, taking a desk position for the last few weeks. She joked and said that she worked “until I could no longer reach the keyboard because my belly.” She was scheduled to have the babies at 36 weeks. At 35 weeks and 5 days (not that she was counting) … it was time.
“It was July 4th. We went to watch the fireworks and had the girls by 4 a.m.,” she said.
All went well during the birth, too. Three healthy baby girls were born. Nora (4.11 pounds), Cassadi (5.13 pounds), and Realynn (6 pounds) all arrived within minutes of each other and needed little assistance upon their arrival. They did spend four days in Riverside Methodist Hospital as precautionary measure, but after that, Aubrey, Eric and Deagan swaddled all three of them up and took them home.
Aubrey remembers, “It changed our lives completely. My husband’s family has pretty much saved our lives.” Aubrey said that Eric’s family was a huge help – and still is. His grandmother (the kids’ great-grandmother) watches them every day while Eric and Aubrey work. “Without the support system we have from friends and family, we would lose our sanity,” she said.
She admits that life can be very stressful at times and schedule is key, but she would not change the chaos for anything. The girls are seven months old now and Deagan is four. They have settled in to a nice little groove and the girls are getting personalities.
“Nora was my smallest and still seems so sweet and innocent to me. I think it was because she was so tiny. Cassadi, her identical, loves food and giggles at everything. Realynn, seems to have an independent, loud personality. She was the biggest so she is the furthest ahead on milestones,” she said. She added that Deagan took a little time to adjust but she catches him trying to make them giggle when she’s not looking.
She did have some tips for the moms-to-be, especially those having multiples. She said wear a belt, keep your body in alignment and find a doctor that you trust. She said staying active as long as possible also seemed to be very helpful with circulation, sanity and overall wellness.
Written by Nicole Workman, OhioHealth Communications and Media Relations Manager for OhioHealth Marion General. This story was a submission to The Marion Star and ran in it's February 27 issue. You can read the article here.
Family portait photography provided by Amberlin's Photography.