Early Bird Foundation, Inc. had the absolute joy of meeting Adrian and Steven several months back at a support group at one of our local hospitals! It was just shortly after the birth of their triplets and hearing their beautiful story and seeing the pure strength and the love that was radiating from them both after such a long journey was inspiring. Through the hardships, they were faithful in waiting and trusting and, as you’ll read below, giving God all the glory! Below is the Campbell’s story written by Adrian:
Our journey to parenthood was not an easy one, but every trial we went through was worth it for the blessing we received in the end. My husband Steven and I struggled with fertility issues for almost 4 years before finally seeing those two beautiful pink lines. We thought we had our life all planned out, but just like he always does, God reminded us that we are not in control of our destiny, he is the one who holds tomorrow.
In 2014, we decided we were ready to bring a baby into our world and thought it would come easy. But the months slowly went by and turned into years. After 4 years, 2 surgeries (one for both of us), one round of Clomid, and most importantly many prayers, I fell pregnant in July 2017! Our prayers were answered! God also worked out a miracle in Steven’s work schedule after being onnight shift for 7 years, literally the day after we got the positive test, he got a call from work saying he was being moved to dayshift within a couple weeks. Everything was coming together for our family. God’s timing is always perfect.
Our first OB appointment came sooner than we expected because of some bleeding and cramping I experienced at around 5 weeks along. We were terrified that we could be losing our baby. We were the last appointment of the day and the ultrasound tech told us what we should expect to see with a healthy pregnancy, and then warned us what we could see; or not see if something were wrong considering the symptoms I was having. As she moved the probe across my belly, I noticed there was more than one “blob” on the screen and thought it could mean there were two babies. The nurse asked if we were ready, and asked Steven if he was sitting down. She said “okay here’s baby number one” and took a pause. We thought by that point it had to be twins. “And here‘s baby number two”. Steven just smiled and said “I knew it” until she moved a little further and said “Surprise! Here’s baby number three!” Our jaws dropped and we were both in shock. We were overwhelmed but still excited for the news. Not only were we finally going to be parents, but parents to triplets! We got to listen to their little heartbeats and even though they were only 5 weeks along, they were so strong. It was such a relief to hear her say that the bleeding and cramping was normal for most multiple pregnancies. They referred me to a high risk OB who would be able to monitor the babies closely and deliver them when the time came.
Overall I had a pretty healthy pregnancy considering I was carrying three humans. I was so sick the first three months, and had a couple complications that could cause the babies to come sooner than expected. Our original goal of making it to 35 weeks seemed to be shortened more as the pregnancy went on. Our goal eventually became weekly once we made it past 28 weeks (which was our safe zone) On the morning of January 29 (I was 29 wks 5d) I woke up around 4am with contractions, and didn’t realize at the time, but my water was slowly breaking.Thankfully, I had an appointment already scheduled for that morning with my OB. During the ultrasound I could tell something was wrong by the look on her face and I knew we wouldn’t be leaving the hospital that day. Baby A was very low and only had a thin lining of fluid around him. They took me upstairs to Labor and Delivery for monitoring and steroid shotsto help the development of their lungs, the next day they moved me to another side of the building and said that would be our home until I delivered.
The next morning I woke up with strong contractions. Steven got the nurse to come in and then the doctor came and said it was time. My contractions got worse as they were prepping me for surgery, and I was already almost completely dilated by the time they started. I was lying on the table in anticipation, when they said “here comes baby number one”, but I didn’t hear him cry and asked “why isn’t he crying?” and a few seconds later I heard a sound I will never forget. On February 2, 2018 at 7:00am my little 2lb 14oz Clayton Abner let out the most perfect little cry. They brought him to meet us and I think that was the first time that I felt super emotional even throughout my pregnancy. He was bruised and his poor head was a little banged up from being low for so long but he was here, and he was perfect. One minute later at 7:01am I heard my son Weston’s cry for the first time. It amazed me how many nurses were there to help with them; they each had 2 to 3 wonderful nurses at their side when they were born. It was an amazing moment when I met him for the first time. He was a beautiful 3lb 6oz baby boy. It took another couple minutes for them to get to Caroline since she was so far up and also transversal across the top of my belly. But we heard her sweet little cry at 7:03am, she was 3lbs 3oz, and so beautiful. Our family was complete.
My memory is a little fuzzy of the rest of that day. I know I was really sore from surgery and tired from the pain medication. I remember being irritable and overwhelmed with visitors coming in and out of the room, all I wanted to do was rest and I couldn’t seem to get any at first. I remember feeling a little jealous that they were able to go back and visit the babies and I couldn’t. They were getting to spend time with them before I could, but I think my hormones were just out of whack. Steven was amazing though, he was so great throughout everything. He realized howexhausted I was and asked everyone to go out to the lobby so I could rest. He took family members back to meet them one at a time. I fell in love with him a little more that day because he became a dad, and he made sure I was taken care of. I finally got to be wheeled down to the NICU later on that night. They had their own corner and were lined up along the back wall in incubators and hooked up to a bunch of monitors. It was hard to even see them because of the CPAP mask covering their faces. They looked like little aliens to me, but still cute. Their hands and feet were so big compared to their bodies, they were so tiny. The nurses were very helpful and explained what they were doing every time we came in to visit them. We did have a couple misunderstandings with the night nurses at first because they initially did not tell us what a “care time” was or what times they were, and may have thought we already knew. In the NICU there are special times when the babies are cared for called care times. So we would come at random times when they would be sleeping, and they didn’t want us to touch, or even talk to them. It broke our hearts that we couldn’t hold them for a few days, but we knew it was for the best for their health.
Ours were on an every 2 hour schedule at first, so they would feed them through a feeding tube every 2 hrs. They only ate a few ML’s at first. They allowed us a stay of 5 days in my postpartum room for recovery, so we visited at almost every care time. We live almost an hour and a half away from the hospital so instead of driving back and forth all the time we were able to get a room about 15 minutes away at a local Ronald McDonald house. We were so thankful to them for taking us in at our time of need! We met many people with babies in the NICU as well and it was good to have people around us who were going through the same thing we were. The nurses stressed to me that I needed to get as much rest as I could while the babies were in the hospital before we took them home. At first I felt guilty for not being there for every care time, because I felt like since I was their mother I needed to be there for them. But the nurses ended up convincing me that I would not be considered a bad mom for getting restthat was much needed. Being a parent of a child in the NICU is stressful enough. I would go visit them at the 12:00 feeding, andstay until the nurses had their shift change at 7pm. Even though we were mostly just sitting around with them, it was still exhausting by the time I got back.
I think our NICU experience was a little different than most because we had the expectation very early on that the babies would have to go to intensive care when they were born. We had time to research and for the most part knew what to expect. I can only imagine the stress it would be for a parent whose child was unexpectedly taken to the NICU after birth without their hearts being prepared for it.
For the most part, they all met goals around the same time. It was amazing to me how they would change from day to day. It was always a great surprise when they met a goal and we would walk in and something was different. One time we walked in and they had their CPAP masks off, or had their feeding tubes out, the best day was when they handed us Caroline’s first bottle, and she drank the whole thing the first try. Even in the first few days at care times we were able to change their diapers and take their temperatures. It was so nice to be able to actually do something for them. The nurses taught us how to feed them from a bottle. Who knew you’d have to be taught how to feed a preemie? It was a big step toward coming home when they got the hang of taking theirbottle.
After a month in the hospital the only hurdle we had to overcome to go home was keeping body temperature up and we were so close. They were all moved to an open crib and had most of their wires off. The pediatrician cleared us to go home on March 7, at 31 days old. We were so relieved and excited for the new adventure waiting for us at home. It was a little nerve racking taking them home since we wouldn’t have the monitors there to let us know they were breathing. They got a tour of the house and we laid them down in one of the cribs together all bundled up in their sleepers and hats. We stuck with the original feeding schedule they established in the NICU for 12 weeks and then began stretching the feedings out after that. A lot of times we would have to wake them up to feed them to make sure they were on schedule and of course getting enough food.
Life since we brought them home has been the busiest but most blessed time of our lives, if you can imagine. They are now 5 months old all weighing a little over 12 pounds now and doing well. We are forever grateful to God for trusting us to be their parents. We get asked all the time how we do it. God gives us the strength we need to make the best of every day with them, and they are worth it all. Sometimes I have to stop and think about how incredible it is that three babies were in my womb at once, how amazing is that?
They are our beautiful miracle babies sent from heaven!
A big thank you to Adrian and Steven for allowing EBF to share their story! It is often through stories just like this of overcoming great obstacles that we are able to witness God’s modern miracles! Join us in continued prayers for this family as they continue to thrive and grow into the beautiful purposes for which God created and sustained them!