Real Life

Triplets: Good things come in threes

Carolyn Akerboom tried for years before she finally hit the trifecta.
Identical triplets.

I’m a 38-year-old mother to identical triplets – Kieran, Joel and Elliot (2) and we live in Hamilton.

It took my husband Michael, who is a builder, and me three years to start our family. We tried natural remedies for the first year without any luck. The second year, we tried the fertility drug clomiphene. And, as a final resort, we tried IVF and had nine unsuccessful rounds.

Those three years were very difficult. It seemed that within 24 hours of being told our attempts were unsuccessful, friends would announce they were having a baby. That was tough.

During our very first round of IVF, we got pregnant straight away, which was a blessing. We had the first scan at eight weeks, which only showed one heart beat. Also, my hormone levels weren’t very high and suggested there was only one baby.

When we went back for the 12-week scan, we were in for a shock. I saw the extra head but thought it might be some sort of tumour. The sonographer asked us how many babies were in there. My husband and I told her there was only one. She said, ‘No, there’s not,’ and started counting. When she got to three, I told her to stop.

Having IVF was our last attempt. It was all or nothing for us, so I guess we got what we wished for.

Carolyn Akerboom, mother of three identical triplets.

Michael and I come from big families and thought having three kids would be a nice number. We never imagined it would all happen at once. We ended up having one baby for each year we tried to start a family.

Having triplets, you expect a difficult pregnancy. We weren’t too worried about what would happen when they were born. We were more worried about our sons surviving the full term.

But luckily for us, I had a great pregnancy. I had a planned caesarean at 32 weeks and our gorgeous premature sons arrived home after six weeks in intensive care.

I love being a mother and you can imagine how hectic our home has become, but our boys provide us with lots of joy.

Carolyn Akerboom’s triplets.

Everything is done in threes – three extra pieces of clothing, three sets of toys.

I have a nanny three mornings a week to help out. An extra pair of hands makes a big difference, not to mention having someone else to entertain them.

I don’t take them out of the house all at once, unless I have a planned coffee group. Everyone just loves having them around.

Carolyn and her three boys.

Although my sons look exactly alike, they have very different personalities. Joel is easy-going, very placid and has a gentle nature. Elliot is feisty and independent. Kieran is very affectionate and outgoing. Even in the womb, the way that they lay and kicked, I could tell they each had different personalities.

I enjoyed being pregnant, but I’m not likely to have more children, and that saddens me.

I love being a mother to three very special boys. They each survived where lots of things could have gone wrong. I feel bloody lucky!”

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