Dallas Regional Medical Center (DRMC) recently experienced a first by delivering its first triplets to a Nigerian couple on Oct. 15.
The couple, father Ezenna Victor Okolie and mother Ifunanya Marian Okolie, came to the Dallas area for family and have since returned home with their newborns. Enna has a family history of multiple births, his father’s family has twins and his mother’s brother has triplets as well.
“We’ve been blessed with a number of great events that have taken place at our hospital, and this is another amazing ‘first’ for our facility. We’re thrilled to have been a part of this historic occasion for our hospital and our city,” said Glenda Matchett, DRMC CEO.
According to the National Vital Statistics report published on Jan. 31 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, data collected in 2016 reports that there were 131,723 twin births, and 3,755 triplet births, 217 quadruplet births, and 31 quintuplets and higher births.
“When we got the news that we were having more than one child it was with mixed feelings. First, we were happy to have our first child, but then we were a bit nervous because of the extra care required in handling a pregnancy of multiples and the subsequent care. But overall, we were gladly waiting to receive our bundles of joy,” Ezenna said.
When dealing with multiple births, preparation is needed ahead of time. Extra equipment, such as baby warmers and ventilators needs to be available in the delivery room. Extra supplies will be needed, and extra medical staff such as nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners will need to be available since there will be multiple babies delivered. Multiple deliveries lead to a higher chance of a C-Section, so the operating room needs to be prepped and ready for a potential multiple birth event, according to DRMC’s Labor and Delivery.
“Our nurses and staff were very excited about the triplets. They even put together some decorations to celebrate and made a banner welcoming the triplets to the world,” said Mary Jo Howard, Director of Labor and Delivery.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the risk of complications is higher with a pregnancy with multiples such as preterm birth.
“Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy may have an increased risk of short-term and long-term health problems, including problems with breathing, eating, and staying warm. Other problems, such as learning and behavioral disabilities, may appear later in childhood or even in adulthood,” according to ACOG. “Very preterm babies (those who are born before 32 weeks of pregnancy) can die or have severe health problems, even with the best of care. Preterm multiples also have a greater risk than single preterm babies of the same gestational age for serious complications that can lead to cerebral palsy. Children born with problems related to being preterm may need lifelong medical care.”