British Columbia

Rare identical triplets happy and healthy, mom says

Mahalia Meeuwsen of Salmon Arm gave birth to three identical girls — conceived naturally without the use of fertility treatments — after years of trying to have a baby

Doctors say identical triplets only come along once in 50 million births

From left to right: Hannah, Rileigh and Isabelle. The identical triplets were born in Kamloops on Nov. 3, 2015. (Mahalia Meeuwsen)

A mother who gave birth to identical triplets a little less than three months ago says her three baby girls are healthy and happy — and she is keeping herself organized by keeping to a routine and having the community help out.

"I have an online schedule where neighbours, friends and Rotary members can sign in and they come and help for the morning and afternoon feed, when my husband is at work," said Mahalia Meeuwsen, who lives in Salmon Arm with her husband and three girls.

"We have a schedule that we keep — a feeding schedule — and they're actually really good at sleeping in between feeds at night time"

Meeuwsen said she is also part of a Facebook group with other parents who have had multiple births and said that has been useful as a forum to ask questions and learn from others.

Three little personalities

On Nov. 3, 2015 Meeuwsen gave birth to identical triplets Hannah, Rileigh and Isabelle — something that doctors say happens only once in 50 million births (without the use of fertility treatments).

Mahalia Meeuwsen holds Hannah, Rileigh and Isabelle, rare identical triplets, born at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, B.C. on Nov. 3. (Mahalia Meeuwsen)

Meeuwsen said she can see "little personalities growing" in the girls.

"Isabelle is definitely the busy girl. When she starts crawling she's going to be all over the place. Rileigh is my easy going girl, she's usually the one that's kept for last for feeding because she really just sits in her chair and looks around and is happy as can be," she said.

"And Hannah, well she's the opposite. She's the first to eat. She doesn't have a lot of patience, and she goes from zero to 90 pretty quickly."

No time to relax

But they are definitely keeping her busy.

"After feeding, I wash and sanitize bottles. I try and get laundry done. It's not like I get to sit down and relax after the girls are fed. It's just keeping up to a schedule and a routine and making sure you're organized and the bottles are ready to go for the next feed."

Before their triplets came along, Meeuwsen and her husband Mike had been trying for several years to have a baby.

They decided not to do an in-vitro fertilization and came to terms with being childless, when Meeuwsen discovered in May last year she was pregnant.

Her triplets were born premature by C-section in November 2015 at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and weighed just over three pounds each.

"It was difficult in the beginning having them surrounded by tubes," she said.

"That was really hard to see at first. It was just being patient and just being there as much as we could for them. The fact that all three of them were discharged on the same day and have no health issues is another miracle in itself."

To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled: Salmon Arm mother \Mahalia Meeuwsen says her three identical triplets are healthy, happy, and keeping her busy


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