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Feature Story

One, Two, Three Bundles of Joy

Couple delivers naturally conceived triplets at Kaiser Permanente Modesto Medical Center

June 16, 2014

A smiling mom and dad holding three infants. Sandra and Keith Mejía holding their new triplets Emma, Grace and Faith.

Sandra and Keith Mejía were understandably excited when they learned she was pregnant. And that excitement grew during her first ultrasound appointment.

“I was completely unprepared for what I was about to hear,” Sandra recalled.

Sure, there was a fetus. Then another. And yet another.

Kaiser Permanente San Jose (Calif.) ob-gyn Heidi Olander, MD, announced that Sandra was having triplets — a rare occurrence because the Mejías were not taking fertility drugs.

On April 11, she gave birth to three girls at the Kaiser Permanente Modesto Medical Center. It was the first delivery of triplets for the nearly six-year-old hospital.

The historic deliveries created a buzz in the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Department, said Judy Moore, Maternal Child Health director for the Central Valley Area. The chance of having triplets conceived without fertility treatment is about one in 10,000 births, she added. Two of the Mejía triplets are identical twins.

Fortunately, Kaiser Permanente Modesto’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was upgraded last year to provide the advanced care that triplets require. The babies were born six weeks premature.

“Our nurses and staff provided superb care to the three children, and our newly expanded Level III NICU made it possible for the mother to deliver in our hospital and be close to home while the babies grew stronger before they were released,” Moore said.

The babies, Emma, Grace and Faith, went home within several weeks of their births. They join a family that already has a 7-year-old girl and a 21-month-old boy.

Life since their homecoming “has never been crazier, but in a good, exhausting way,” said Sandra. She said she looks forward to “having great, big family holidays.”

Sandra, 35, is a stay-at-home mom, and Keith, 34, is a foreman for a construction company. They have been Kaiser Permanente members for years and at one point during the pregnancy feared their health insurance was in peril when Keith’s company went through a transition. Fortunately, the employer kept Kaiser Permanente coverage.

“There is no place on earth I would rather have a baby than at Kaiser,” Sandra said.

Thinking back to that memorable ultrasound appointment, the births six months later, and then her multiple daily feedings in the NICU, she expresses great gratitude for her providers. There was the nurse who held Sandra’s hand during the spinal tap, there was the “calming” nurse who administered IVs, and another nurse who provided special care at the birth. She called the NICU nurses “angels.”

“Hands down, my total experience with deliveries at Kaiser were outstanding,” Sandra said. “We are truly blessed to be privileged to have Kaiser to help us ‘live well and thrive,’ and give such exceptional care to our little ones — all five of them.”