Red Deer has a new triplet family in town — conceived without the help of in vitro fertilization.
Fraternal triplets Jaelyn, Jocelyn, and Jenika Jenkins were born on March 24 at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital.
But their mom, Sara Jenkins, said they wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t for the staff at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
She was on birth control in September and was recovering from a miscarriage at 21 weeks into the pregnancy in June, when she and her husband, Chris Jenkins, found out they were expecting again.
They certainly weren’t expecting triplets.
“When we went for my eight-week ultra-sound we found out we had three,” said Sara Jenkins, 29, on Wednesday.
On Jan. 1, Jenkins started to bleed and when she went to Red Deer hospital she was admitted.
“Since I lost Ciara (the 21-week fetus) so early I was having lots of panic attacks. I don’t think I would have made it on my own if they didn’t keep me there,” she said.
“If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think we’d all be here actually. They were phenomenal.”
She stayed at the hospital until Feb. 17 when she was moved to Royal Alexandra Hospital until the babies were born at just over 29 weeks.
Jenkins was in labour for 18 hours before having a cesarean. The three babies weighed between 1,304 grams (two pounds, seven ounces) and 1,106 grams (two pounds, 14 ounces) and at birth.
She said four other mothers on the ward in Edmonton were having triplets when she gave birth, but those pregnancies involved fertility treatment.
According to Multiple Births Canada, the incidence of triplets without fertility treatment is one in 6,400 births.
The possibility of having twins increases 20 times with fertility treatments while the possibility of having triplets or quadruplets increases 400 times.
The triplets were transferred to Red Deer on April 16 and staff were waiting to see them, she said.
They now weigh about 2,268 grams (five pounds) each and are all bottle feeding. They may be going home in about a week to join their mom and dad, brother Jayden, 4, and Sara’s mother, Daphne Regular.
Sara has been spending about six to eight hours at the hospital each day.
“We’re from Newfoundland originally. We had no family here so my mom came up in October and she’s been here ever since helping out.”
The Jenkins have lived in Red Deer eight years.