Good things come in threes

By Laura TomassiniMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

"Triplets on Tour" - the sticker on Jill Jungels' car already tells you what to expect when you enter the house. The fact that multiples not only demand a lot in parenting, but are a challenge even during pregnancy, is testified to by both the mother of three and the opinion of the specialist.

Eight years ago, Sami, Mia and Mick were born by Caesarean section and in exactly this order. However, the parents were only allowed a brief glimpse of their newborn triplets at first, because in the 31st week of pregnancy and weighing only 950 and 1,600 grams respectively, the three premature babies were too small and weak to spend their first moments in mum's or dad's arms. "I always joke in saying that the son of my children's godfather weighed as much at birth as my three together", says Jill Jungels, mum of the three.

What the 42-year-old can laugh about today was anything but a bed of roses at the time, because the mother and her triplets spent a total of three months in hospital after the birth. "The smallest of them, Sami, didn't have enough room in his belly and was immediately taken to the neonatology department. He caught everything you can imagine after that: Jaundice, infections, a hernia, an umbilical hernia. I myself was also very weak and had to get blood", Jill recalls. Her other two children, Mick and Mia, also had to go to the neonatal intensive care unit for newborns, but were able to get out of their incubator and into a normal cot after just over a week.

A long unfulfilled desire for children

She herself sat in a wheelchair for the first few days and could not see her children alone, which caused her the beginnings of postnatal depression. However, the time in neonatology was also an instructive one for the new mother, because the tips and tricks of the nurses were worth their weight in gold for her: "I was advised to always wake the three of them up at the same time to breastfeed them so that I should get more sleep. I also learnt how to put the breastfeeding pillow so that three babies could fit on it."

Jill and her little ones also had to stay in the mother-child room for a whole month – the usual time is one week – because the triplets were still receiving oxygen. Having three children, however, was a real gauntlet for the family even before they were born, as it took a whole nine years for Jill to finally get pregnant at 33. "There were a lot of ups and downs during that time. All the hormones you have to take before in vitro fertilisation is a huge strain both physically and mentally", Jill explains. After a first failed attempt at artificial insemination in the laboratory in Luxembourg, she was referred to a special clinic in Trier, where it took two attempts before the pregnancy worked out.

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