Megan cradles her triplet boys in the Janeway's NICU. (Photo courtesy Megan Hunt & Chad Lowther)
This July, mom Megan Hunt of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland is going to be throwing one heck of a birthday bash. Through what can only be described as an incredible coincidence, Megan and her boyfriend, Chad Lowther, welcomed triplets into the world at the Janeway children's hospital on July 23, 2015 - which happened to also be their older son, Jayden’s, third birthday.
“Labour started and I was like, ‘Really guys, he couldn’t even have his own birthday? Now he literally has to share everything!’” laughs Megan. But the triplets - all boys - were coming anyway, nearly two months before Megan’s due date.
Born via Caesarean section, Austin weighed 4 lbs 10 ozs, Ryder weighed 4 lbs 4 ozs and Dominic barely tipped the scales at 2 lbs 13 ozs. The trio was admitted to the Janeway’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where they were fed through nasogastric tubes until they learned to feed on their own. Besides that, for the most part, Megan says they were healthy preemies. Still, it was a scary time for her and Chad.
“It was an emotional roller coaster for sure,” says Megan of the nearly six weeks the boys spent in the NICU. But she says the staff played a major role in making the ordeal easier.
“The staff were amazing,” says Megan. “It takes a lot to be able to trust people with your new babies, so they made it a lot easier to be able to come home every night and just leave them there.”
So six months later, Megan decided it was time to give back to those who gave so much to her children, and to other families who would face similar journeys with their infants.
“When we were in hospital all the nurses were talking about how they were really short on preemie sleepers - and preemie sleepers are nearly impossible to find in this city…Whatever sleepers the NICU had, the buttons were falling off, there were holes in them, they were just washed out,” says Megan. So for Megan’s birthday this year she invited family and friends to donate money in lieu of gifts. Her goal was $200, but in the end her family, friends - and even strangers - brought the grand total to $1,000.
Using those funds, in February Megan was able to deliver 96 pairs of pyjamas (mostly preemie sizes) to the NICU, plus a Newfoundland Blossoms fruit bouquet for the nurses.
“It meant the world to me. Even though our boys weren’t in the hospital having medical issues, I’ve seen a lot of parents in there dealing with a lot harder situations,” says Megan, choking back tears. “You go and have a baby expecting to come home a couple of days after with your baby…it’s pretty difficult. I just wanted people to donate some money to be able to say thank you.”
Since their own NICU experience, Megan says she and Chad have settled nicely into life at home with four children under four. The triplets began sleeping through the night about two weeks after coming home, and Megan says she can already see their individual personalities starting to shine through.
“The little guy, Dominic, I think he’s going to be the bully. He has a sweet face, a sweet look about him - but he gets feisty,” says Megan. “Ryder, we call him the goober because he always has a huge smile on his face…and Austin, he’s the goofball. We think he’s going to be the comedian.”
Luckily Jayden, who will soon turn four as his younger siblings mark their first birthday, has enthusiastically stepped into the role of big brother.
“He’s taking it a lot better than we figured he would. He loves his brothers, he loves to help out - he likes to help change diapers! He’s doing pretty well, considering he went from an only child to one of four literally overnight,” says Megan.
Megan and Chad are taking it all in stride, too. While Megan admits they were both in a state of shock when they first found out they were expecting triplets, they now can’t imagine their lives any other way.
“I really can’t imagine not being a mom right now,” says Megan. “It’s definitely a beautiful adventure to be a part of, to watch a child grow up. The little milestones are amazing to watch.” - By Ashley Miller
Click here for another incredible, coincidental triplet tale.