“How will you ever handle that?”
Vesna Politis says she heard this often after telling people she was carrying triplets. Her response: one day at a time.
When Vesna and her husband Elias learned last year she was pregnant with two boys and one girl, they weren’t overly concerned about their own coping skills or stockpiling supplies. Instead, they were more focused on the passing weeks – each one a milestone signifying increasingly healthy babies.
“People believe babies need so many things, like toys and accessories, when they really don’t,” she says. “We can provide them with love and all the necessities, which we already have at the ready. Everything else can be figured out later.”
Healthy Triplets Born at 36 Weeks
On May 11, Elias and Vesna welcomed Maximos Alexander (4 lbs., 5 oz.) at 2:15 pm, Zoe Anastasia (3 lbs., 15 oz.) at 2:16 pm and Elias Christos (4 lbs., 10.5 oz.) at 2:17 pm following a planned Cesarean section at Mercy. Vesna was able to carry the triplets for 36 weeks when the usual gestation period is only 32 or 33 weeks. All three were healthy enough to receive traditional newborn nursery care.
Vesna’s obstetrician Godwin Meniru, MD, OB/gyn chair, and Mercy Maternity Services spent many weeks planning and preparing for this special birth.
“Triplets are not a common occurrence, and I took many special precautions with Vesna and her babies,” Dr. Meniru says. “Once she reached her 28th week, we took her monitoring to a higher level. We added regular outpatient biomedical profiles and ultrasounds to check for fetal wellbeing, amniotic fluid levels, and many other factors.”
In addition, because premature infants often have underdeveloped lungs, Dr. Meniru prescribed steroid injections to promote fetal lung development.
“I am pleased at how healthy Vesna and the babies remained throughout the pregnancy and that she was able to remain at home until the birth,” he adds.
Mercy Team Prepares for All Outcomes
In maternity services, Mercy’s team readied the operating room and special care nursery when Vesna reached her 32nd week.
Stacy Kovacs, RN, administrative director of Mercy Maternal/Child Services, says a lot of planning went into this birth. “We had to think ahead and work ahead, just in case Vesna unexpectedly went into labor, which is certainly possible with triplets,” she says.
Preparations included setting up the operating room and three radiant warmers; labeling everything for each baby; and having three monitors, three open cribs, medications, supplies, newborn hats, diapers, shirts and more on hand. Even staffing was determined in advance, with a nurse for each baby and neonatology and respiratory care on call.
“Our goal was to ensure as smooth of a delivery as possible by anticipating all potential outcomes,” says Stacy.
New Family of Five Has Good Support
Elias is a Canton native of Greek heritage, and Vesna emigrated to the United States in 2000 from Macedonia. The couple lives in Canton. He is manager of Lucky Shoes in Belden Village, and she is employed as a chemist at WIL Research in Ashland.
Both are thankful to have their parents nearby for support, which they will rely on in the coming months.
“The only major purchase we've made is a new van, so that we can have all three babies in one vehicle,” says Elias. “Right now, though, we plan to stay close to home as we adjust to our life as a family of five. We are very excited.”