“We are so lucky”
When Alen Tran arrived at St. Michael’s to give birth last March, hospital staff alerted high-risk pregnancy specialist Dr. Howard Berger, because this was not going to be an ordinary delivery. Alen was carrying triplets, a rare occurrence in itself, and she was only in her 34th week of pregnancy. The babies were premature and worryingly small.
Thankfully, Dr. Berger, head of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Obstetric Ultrasound, was there to help Alen deliver the triplets, all girls. “It was an amazing experience,” Alen says. “At first Dr. Berger was worried because the babies had all been sharing the same placenta, and he said one didn’t get enough nutrition. But the delivery went really well.”
The tiny babies—Minh, Linh and San—were transferred to St. Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where experts helped them gain weight and learn to feed without tubes. Minh and Linh were there for two weeks, while little San, who was only 2.2 kg at birth, spent a month there. Alen visited them for several hours a day, and she’s thrilled with the care they received. “The nurses were so amazing,” she says. “At first I didn’t have enough breast milk, but every time I produced some they would cheer for me and say ‘Good job, Mommy! You can do it!’ They were so patient with the babies as well. They all had some problems taking the bottle, and the nurses were always there to help.”
In fact, when the nurses found out that Alen and her husband didn’t have help at home, they contacted community agencies and found them diapers, clothes and other supplies.
Now, the girls are nearly six months old and thriving, and Alen is grateful. “They’re healthy and even chubby!” she says. “We are so lucky.”
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