That’s how I would describe my reaction when they told me that I was having triplets. Shocked and scared.
But that changed immediately when the team at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley stepped up to become my partner, and they stayed with me every step of the way.
Akron Children’s went above and beyond to put my mind at ease.
At 13 weeks, I visited the hospital’s new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mercy St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital. There, we met with Dr. Rossi, who told us what we should expect and showed us where our babies would receive their care.
It was comforting to know that she took the time to personally meet us and show us around. It set the tone for the level of care that we would receive going forward.
Plus, after seeing the new facility with its state-of-the-art equipment and amenities for my family, I knew this was a special place.
On Dec. 19, 2014, at 33 weeks, we were overjoyed to welcome 3 healthy babies – Ali, Eddie and Charlie.
We stayed in the NICU for the next 5 days. Then, on Christmas Eve, our triplets were transported to the special care nursery at Akron Children’s Beeghly campus.
The newly renovated facilities were top-notch. Ali and Eddie stayed in a special room designed for multiples. Charlie’s room connected right to theirs, so we were mere steps away from all three of our babies.
We also enjoyed the privacy of individual rooms, making the most of quiet time as a family.
These features and more made our family’s stay more comfortable, and we’re thankful that Alexis Watanakunakorn’s grandmother, Eleanor, made a $1 million gift to the hospital to make this possible.
The staff went beyond our expectations. I knew that when I couldn’t be there, they were holding, caring for and loving my little ones as if they were their own.
We even received support from wonderful volunteers and donors. We got handmade blankets, matching hats, books, teddy bears, ornaments and so many adorable gifts to celebrate the birth of our babies. All from people who don’t know us but just wanted to help.
Today, our triplets are home, and the real adventure has begun.
In the beginning, I didn’t know if my mind and body could do it. But it was a team effort. The doctors, nurses and specialists at Akron Children’s helped me bring 3 happy and healthy babies into this world. They touched our lives every step of the way.