Triple Play One-in-5-Million Odds
Panic set in to the heart of 26-year-old Kristen Bevard last summer when, at 18 weeks into her first pregnancy, her obstetrician said, “Your blood test results look a little funny. I want you to see a specialist.”
Deeply concerned that something was wrong with their baby, Barry and Kristen Bevard, of Huntingtown, in Calvert County, went to the appointment with maternal-fetal specialist William J.Sweeney, M.D., at Anne Arundel Medical Center, with a sense of dread.
Their panic turned to joy when Dr. Sweeney told them the unusual blood test results and subsequent ultrasound results meant she was pregnant with identical triplet girls. “We were floored when we found out,” she said. “To go from the low of thinking something’s wrong to finding it’s three is just fabulous!”
What made the news even more special is the conception occurred without the aid of fertility drugs, and one fertilized egg split three ways—a one in five million occurrence.
Mrs. Bevard was admitted to AAMC during her 24th week of pregnancy, and her “three little miracles” were delivered at 31 weeks, on Jan. 12,2007, by obstetricians Melissa Moen, M.D.,and Miriam Yudkoff, M.D. The girls were born in this order: Meghan Danielle, 3 pounds, 1 ounce; Emily Jo, 2 pounds, 12 ounces; and Kallie Ann, 3 pounds, 4 ounces.
After four days, Mrs. Bevard went home with her husband Barry, leaving the tiny girls in the care of the “wonderful staff” in AAMC’s 20-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (nicknamed “Teddy’s Place” in memory of the aunt of Suzanne Lord). “The new NICU had just opened when I was admitted. I could not have asked for better care for my girls and me. It’s worth the 45-minute drive, that’s for sure!”
Dr. Sweeney, who has been practicing maternal-fetal medicine for 15 years, said there are many risks involved carrying triplets. “Mrs. Bevard’s situation was especially delicate because all three babies shared the same placenta, and two of them did not have a dividing membrane. Those two babies were at significant risk for cord entanglement and fetal death. Up to 50 percent of babies do not survive this complication. Also, there is a significant risk of impaired blood flow to one or more of the babies when they share the same placenta. Fortunately, we did not see evidence of any of these events with daily monitoring.”
The Bevards took their three little loves home on Valentine’s Day,one month and two days after they were born, a coincidence not lost on the blissful new parents. Life has settled into a comfortable routine of feedings, diaper changes, naps, and playtime. To avoid accidental misidentification, the Bevards never have all three girls undressed at the same time.
They are fortunate, Mrs. Bevard said, to have both families living nearby.
“We’ve been taking one day at a time,” Mrs. Bevard said. “We’re loving every minute of it.”
AAMC’s Women’s and Children’s Center is a comprehensive women’s center offering advanced treatment options for women at all stages of life. For a physician referral, call askAAMC, 443-481-4000.
To learn more about AAMC’s Level III NICU or the maternal-fetal medicine program, visit www.aahs.org.