"The reassurance was tremendously important."
Diagnosis: Pregnant with triplets
Treatment: EvergreenHealth multiples program
Christine Beatty wanted to give her 4-year-old daughter Megan a brother or sister, but she hadn’t expected triplets.
While excited, she also had to face the extra health risks that come with a multiple pregnancy.
Christine’s obstetrician transitioned her care over to perinatologist Dr. Daniel Gavrila at EvergreenHealth’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Program because of the program’s expertise in handling multiple pregnancies and the complications that can develop.
Growing healthier babies
Christine also participated in EvergreenHealth’s Multiples Program, which provides careful guidance, unwavering support and specialized medical care for women pregnant with two or more babies.
It's one of the very few established multiples programs in the United States.
It was an idea whose time had come when EvergreenHealth introduced the multiples concept four years ago. “We probably see 20 sets of twins or triplets in a typical week,” says program coordinator Melissa Dorn.
Dorn, who has a master’s degree in perinatal nursing, explains that multiple pregnancies are at higher risk for premature labor, pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes.
The Multiples Program aims to reduce these risks by educating patients on nutrition, activity levels and warning signs and by providing more intense monitoring of patients pregnant with multiples.
The ultimate goal is a full-term pregnancy and higher birth weights – which mean healthier babies.
A collaborative resource
In most cases, the mom continues to work with her regular OB for standard prenatal care, and utilizes Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Multiples Program as a collaborative resource.
Some pregnancies, like Christine Beatty’s, are more high-risk and may benefit from complete care from the staff at Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
The initial visit takes place during the first trimester, and includes a brief ultrasound as well as an educational session.
Subsequent appointments are tailored to specific patient needs, depending on whether the patient is carrying twins or triplets, or if there are any medical complications.
If any of the babies share a placenta, they are closely monitored for the potentially fatal Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.
“The ultrasounds showed me my babies were okay,” Beatty recalls. “The reassurance was tremendously important.”
The close monitoring paid off when an ultrasound at 32 weeks spotted a life-threatening complication with one of the triplets. To save her life, all three babies were delivered via a cesarean section.
“They were all within an ounce of each other, around three pounds, 11 ounces, which is nicely sized for a multiple birth,” Christine Beatty shares.
"Life is pretty crazy."
Daughters Mia, Lauren and Jenna spent a month in EvergreenHealth’s Intensive Care Nursery before finally heading home, well ahead of their actual due date.
Since coming home, Christine says, “life is pretty crazy…and the craziest part is how you get used to it!”
She considers the Maternal-Fetal Medicine staff to be extended family. “They make you feel so special, and they treat you so well,” she enthuses. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else.”
For more information
Learn about the Multiples Program at EvergreenHealth
Learn about care for high-risk pregnancies at EvergreenHealth
Learn about the neonatal intensive care nursery at EvergreenHealth
Learn about Maternity Care at EvergreenHealth