With four daughters under the age of four, including 18-month-old twins, Catherine Delegado thought she would struggle to cope with another child. Then a hospital ultrasound revealed she was expecting triplets.
“I just burst into tears,” she said. “It was so much of a shock. I have ended up with seven children under the age of five – and we weren’t even trying for a baby.”
Mrs Delegado, 34, owns her own domestic cleaning company and lives in a three-bedroom semi in Swansea.
She and husband Juan, 39, a maintenance worker, have no history of multiple births in their families.
They discovered she was pregnant for the first time in April 2001, and daughter Madyson arrived in September, weighing 7lb 7oz.
Mrs Delegado said: “It was a long labour, with a forceps delivery, but it didn’t put me off having any more children – which was a good job. The next year I discovered I was pregnant again.”
In March 2003, she gave birth to Megan, who weighed 7lb 13oz.
In July 2004, she found she was expecting again and this time she was having twins.
“It was such a huge shock,” said Mrs Delegado. “Juan was there with me, and he was so shocked he could hardly speak. I burst into tears and cried solidly for two days.
“I just didn’t know how I was going to cope. How was I going to feed two at the same time – put two to bed and change two sets of nappies, with two young daughters already?”
With her twin pregnancy, Mrs Delegado suffered from so much pressure on her hips that it displaced her pelvis, and she could only hobble about. Emily, 6lb 10oz, and Ellys, 7lb 2oz, arrived in December 2004.
In August last year they had another surprise, she was pregnant again. When they went for their ultrasound the midwife turned the screen around to show her. “Correct me if I’m wrong – but there are three in there,” she said.
She got so big she was only able to shower and then was eventually put on bed rest.
After being on bed rest for 10 days, Catherine delivered the triplets at 35 weeks gestation, weighing between 4lb 11oz and 5lb 7oz. They did not need special care and have been allowed home after ten days. Two have been named Joshua and Brianna, while the couple have yet to decide what to call the other boy.
I am impressed that this mom was able to carry her triplets to 35 weeks. That is unheard of! The average gestation for triplets is 32 weeks weighing 4lbs.