When you’re the mother of three babies, you had better get used to changing plans.
Johanna Thomas found that out from the very beginning.
The plan all along had been for Thomas to deliver her triplets at the Kansas University Hospital, which is one of the area hospitals specially equipped to deal with triplet births. But then she woke up early Monday morning with labor pains. She called her nurse at KU Med, who said it would be best to get a quick checkup at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital emergency room before trying to travel to Kansas City.
The LMH diagnosis was clear.
“They said we were going to have a lot of babies in a little bit of time,” Thomas recalled from her hospital room Monday afternoon.
Thomas arrived at LMH at 1:30 a.m. and by 4:30 a.m. had been prepped and taken to a Cesarean section operating room. All three babies were brought into the world before 4:40 a.m.
With them came a little bit of LMH history. The delivery marked the first time in at least 25 years that the hospital had delivered triplets, Belinda Rehmer, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said.
Thomas said it was quite a scene from her vantage point as well. She said she was told that there were 14 staff members in the room to attend to all the specialized procedures required for multiple births.
The three babies — two girls and a boy — were born with healthy birth weights ranging from 5 pounds, 15 ounces to 6 pounds, 1 ounce. The boy was breathing with the help of oxygen on Monday, but Thomas said he was no longer expected to need that by today. The biggest issue, perhaps, was that Thomas and the babies’ father, Jason Whitewater, hadn’t yet figured out what to name all of them.
Thomas admitted that she did feel uneasy about the change of delivery plans at first.
“I was unsure in the beginning, but the doctor made me comfortable with everything,” Thomas said. “They were great, and they seemed really excited to do it.”
And now, it seems appropriate that this new chapter in Thomas’ life started with a change. After all, she went from being a mother of two to being a mother of five in a matter of moments.
“When we first learned we were having triplets, it was scary,” said Thomas, who said the triplets weren’t the result of fertility drugs or any similar efforts. “But we always say everything happens for a reason.
“Now it is so exciting. When I saw them this morning, I fell in love all over again.”