Fundraising bid to help parents of tiny triplets
A MOTHER of tiny triplets has urged mums-to-be to check out any medical concern 'no matter how small' after she gave birth at just 25 weeks.
Rebecca Bennett, who decided to bring forward her antenatal appointment a few days early after feeling some 'discomfort' was airlifted to the UK when medics discovered she was in premature labour.
Within hours of being seen on Monday 26 February, the 26-year-old, who is married to Daniel, had given birth to Willow (1 lb 6oz), Primrose (1 lb 5 oz) and Jasper (1 lb 10oz) at Portsmouth Hospital.
A fundraising page – which has raised more than £2,000 – has since been set up by family friend Jessica Silver as the triplets are expected to have to remain in the UK for the foreseeable future.
'We had a check-up with the Hospital on the Monday,' Rebecca, a support worker at Les Amis, said. 'They said: "You're in labour". They were under 25 weeks.
'It was a bit of a whirlwind. I got rushed over to Portsmouth.
'I had a little bit of discomfort in my back and pelvis but I had thought it was just the pressure of having three babies. There were no symptoms previous to that. It was a massive shock.'
Rebecca, who married Daniel two years ago, has nothing but praise for the medical team at the Hospital who ensured her safe transfer to the UK.
'They were amazing,' she said. 'Within an hour they had arranged for me to be transferred to Portsmouth. I was on the air ambulance but unfortunately Daniel couldn't go on it and had to come by plane.
'There were two midwives onboard in case full labour happened on the way.'
On arrival at Portsmouth, Rebecca was rushed straight into theatre but unfortunately Daniel was unable to get to the hospital until after the births.
'By the time I got to Portsmouth they did a quick check and said: "They're coming now",' Rebecca, who lives in Trinity, said. 'I had an emergency C section.
'They managed to give me an epidural which was great. Daniel wasn't there which was scary. It was such a big team. There were 12 people in the room at the time, working on each of them.
'I didn't really know much about premature labour. I didn't know they could survive at that size. I had no clue.
'They all got whisked away. I didn't see them - they had to be put on ventilation.'
Rebecca waited until Daniel arrived at the hospital before they went to see their children for the first time.
'It was such a relief,' she said. 'Even though I was upset they were early I was relieved I could see them and I could see they were pink and breathing.
'Unfortunately we are not allowed to hold them yet. We are allowed to put our hand in [the incubator] and hold their hand our foot. They have to be in an incubator as it's too cold outside. It regulates their body temperature and its quite humid in there.
'They look so fragile. Their lungs and hearts are so weak. Their skin is so thin - their heart monitors cut their skin.'
The triplets are currently being weaned off their ventilators as their lungs develop.
'They are stable at the moment which is amazing,' Rebecca said. 'They are doing really well but it is quite up and down. The first couple of weeks is really critical.
'We are keeping our fingers crossed. They have been fighting for this long. Hopefully they can continue growing and improving. We are going to be here for a good couple of months because they don't have a neonatal intensive care unit in Jersey. We can't come home until about 32 weeks, depending on the situation. Each baby is different.'
Rebecca is going to remain with the triplets until they are healthy enough to come home but Daniel who has returned to his job as a senior buyer is flying back and forth.
'He needs to carry on working,' Rebecca said.
'It's amazing that my friend set up this funding page. The money from that will be put towards Daniel flying over. It is hard being here without him. He is being a crutch - a rock of support.
'I ring him every morning and night with daily updates. It must be difficult for him to be away from the situation.'
And Rebecca is calling on all mums-to-be to ensure they report anything untoward in their pregnancies.
'What I want to get over to mothers is if there is anything that they think is not quite right, no matter how small it is, go and get is checked out,' she said.
'If I had waited it could have been a completely different situation. I'm so thankful that I did go.'
To donate log on to: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thebennetttriplets.