Tell us a bit about yourself!
This is one of many True Story interviews, in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting/challenging/amazing things. This is the story of Blair, her sisters, and their unusual birth.
My name is Blair, and I’m 21 years old from Maryland. I am studying developmental psychology, and will begin a forensic psychology master’s program in London in September. I like practicing yoga, hiking, running, SCUBA diving, vegan cooking/baking, and having lots of adventures with my incredible family and wonderful friends.
How did you parents feel when they discovered they were having triplets?
My parents really, really wanted to be parents, so they were very excited (but also nervous) when they found out they were expecting! My mum and dad went through five years of unsuccessful fertility treatments until they conceived. Ultimately, a program called Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT) worked for them.
Why do you and your sisters have different birthdays?
My sisters and I have two different birthdays, which is pretty uncommon for multiples. My oldest sister Rachel was born 29 July 1991, and Emily and I were born on 9 August 1991. That’s eleven whole days!
Can you tell us about your delivery?
Our delivery was very… stressful. My mother went into premature labor at 26 weeks, and the doctors decided to give her anti-contraction medicine to halt the labor. By the time it went into effect, my sister Rachel was crowning (almost born). Thus, our doctor decided to deliver Rachel and leave Emily and I inside to mature a bit more. Rachel was incredibly tiny – only two pounds – and had a lot of health problems. Emily and I were also small, but were healthier than Rachel was.
My mom developed a stomach infection eleven days later, so the doctors needed to deliver Emily and I before we contracted the infection, too. However, the umbilical cords were all tangled up from Rachel’s delivery, so the doctors conducted an emergency C-section to get us out as fast as possible. My dad describes this part as “nothing like the videos.” Emily was 2 pounds 8 ounces, and I was 2 pounds 6 ounces.
How long did you and your sisters have to stay in the hospital?
We stayed in hospital for a long time. Babies usually drop weight once they’re born, so we all dropped down to dangerously low weights pretty quickly. Emily and Rachel couldn’t breathe by themselves, and Rachel ended up needing experimental laser eye surgery to correct a corneal scarring disease. Rachel was in hospital for 81 days, and Emily and I were in hospital for 66 days. The picture below was taken once we were all home from hospital (I’m in the middle).
What is your relationship like with your sisters now?
My relationship with my sisters is wonderful. We are quite different, but we get along really well. I don’t see my sisters as often as I’d like, because we attended college in three different states (Michigan, Maryland, and Massachusetts – maybe we like “M”?). We always have a fun time when we are together and come up with ridiculous inside jokes. I love my sisters, and I am so lucky to have them.
Do you guys do anything special to celebrate your birthday(s)?
I like to call the time between 29 July and 9 August “birthday season.” We usually celebrate Rachel’s birthday in a more low-key style with a family dinner, cake, and Rachel-specific gifts. Since we’re triplets, a lot of our relatives/friends get us matching gifts. On mine and Emily’s birthday we usually do something similar, but we invite friends over to celebrate, too. Rachel also gets to open all the triplet-matching gifts that she couldn’t open on her birthday because it’d spoil the surprise. We had our 21st birthday last summer, and took a family dive trip to celebrate in Marathon, FL.Thanks so much for sharing, Blair! Are any of you guys twins or a triplet?