DELTA, Ohio — What’s rarer than triplets?
In 40 percent of triplet pregnancies, one or more babies will miscarry during the first half of the pregnancy. And multiple births also increase the likelihood of a stillbirth, said Dr. Pedro Roca, maternal-fetal medicine physician at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. Only 4 out of the 1,000 to 2,500 births at ProMedica Toledo each year are triplet births.
But Katie and Kyle Segrist’s triplets defied the odds. When Londyn, Luke, and Logan were born on May 25 at ProMedica Toledo Hospital through a scheduled cesarean section, all three babies started crying and screaming almost immediately. Katie was even able to do skin-to-skin with the two girls, Londyn and Logan.
“That’s unheard of with triplets because normally, they are being worked on [right after their births],” Ms. Segrist said. “All the nurses were surprised at how well they did.”
Even the babies’ weights were an anomaly. Born at 34 weeks, Logan, Luke, and Londyn weighed 3 pounds, 10 ounces, 4 pounds, 13 ounces, and 5 pounds respectively. Ms. Segrist said she had expected the babies to be in the 3 to 4-pound range. But she never anticipated having a “5-pounder.”
Within 11 days, all three babies were out of the neonatal intensive care unit and at home in Delta with their mother, father, and three pets — two dogs and a cat.
The Segrist triplets are a happy ending to a tumultuous story eight years in the making.
Like many couples within the United States, the Segrists suffered from infertility, or the inability to have children after one year of trying. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 percent of U.S. women between the ages of 15 and 44 have sought infertility services.
The couple started trying to have children eight years ago. But after about a year of local fertility treatments without results, the couple spent four years saving up money to afford in vitro fertilization, which their insurance did not cover. Ohio law does not mandate that insurance companies pay for IVF, so the majority of insurance companies within the state do not cover the expensive procedure, Mr. Segrist said.
Dr. Roca partially attributes the increase in multiple births throughout the United States to the increase in the prevalence of IVF, though the birth rate of triplets has decreased during the past 10 years. IVF, which is often used to treat infertility, increases the likelihood of multiple births.
Soon after starting IVF at a fertility clinic in Syracuse, N.Y., in May, 2016, the Segrists found out they were pregnant with twins. But after only 18 weeks, Ms. Segrist went into labor and delivered the babies before viability.
The two girls lived for one hour.
“We’re a success story, but in those eight years you don’t see that. You just see what you want, and you think that’s never going to be me, no matter what I do, no matter what I try,” Ms. Segrist said.
After the Segrists lost the twins, their local obstetrician recommended Ms. Segrist get a cerclage procedure during her next pregnancy to correct a condition called cervical incompetence, in which the cervix begins to widen and thin before the pregnancy has reached term.
But Ms. Segrist did her research and found that a prepregnancy transabdominal cerclage gives the mother a higher probability of carrying her children to term, rather than just to viability. So, she and her husband traveled to Akron to get the procedure.
Logan yawns after being fed. Katie and Kyle Segrist bottle feed their triplets in their Delta, Ohio home.
When Ms. Segrist finally became pregnant with the triplets, two of which were conceived through IVF, the loss of the twins a year earlier added a great deal of stress to the pregnancy, Mr. Segrist said.
“The first thing I thought is ‘My body couldn’t hold on to two. How could I do three?’” Ms. Segrist said.
The Segrists advise other couples suffering from infertility to advocate for themselves and keep persevering.
“There were so many times we were told that something isn’t possible. But there are different avenues and different ways of looking at things,” Mr. Segrist said.
In the eight years the couple has tried to get pregnant, Ms. Segrist has traveled to New York 26 times, taken 801 shots of hormones and other assorted fertility treatments, and underwent three surgeries. But for the Segrists, the triplets were worth the wait.
Now, the couple are enjoying getting acquainted with their three children. Ms. Segrist said both she and her husband have “our own little thing with each one.”
“They each have different personalities. They’re three complete individuals,” Mr. Segrist said.
Though juggling three babies at once can be difficult, Ms. Segrist said losing their twins makes them appreciate every little moment with Luke, Londyn, and Logan.
“The ending might not be what you see it as, but as long as you keep pushing, you’ll get a good ending,” Ms. Segrist said, holding Luke close to her chest.
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