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Triple surprise for mom keeps the family hopping

PARKSVILLE — When Carmen Hammond went for an ultrasound eight weeks into her pregnancy, she was expecting to get a glimpse of a single healthy baby. Instead, the ultrasound technician looked concerned.
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New mother Carmen Hammond with her triplets last week at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

PARKSVILLE — When Carmen Hammond went for an ultrasound eight weeks into her pregnancy, she was expecting to get a glimpse of a single healthy baby.

Instead, the ultrasound technician looked concerned.

“She kept screwing up her face and I was going, ‘What’s wrong?! What’s wrong?” Hammond said.

“Then she said, ‘I’ve got three heartbeats.’ I think I cried all the way home.”
Hammond and her husband, David, still wonder how they are going to manage to financially support and care for three babies, but after giving birth to non-identical triplets — two boys and one girl — the Parksville couple is overjoyed.

The babies were born on Nov. 10, two months early, and have been getting over some initial health scares in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

When the babies were born, the smallest, a boy, weighed just two pounds, 12 ounces.

But he is getting stronger every day and the other two babies, who weighed in at three pounds, four ounces, are nearly ready to go home.

The three tiny hospital patients are miraculous in more ways than one, according to doctors — they are spontaneous triplets, which is very rare, and they are the only triplets known to doctors on the central Island.

“It was very much a surprise to us,” Hammond said. “Most of the doctors that are around today haven’t dealt with triplets, only twins, so our doctor was quite excited.”

Hammond has been at the hospital every day since the babies were born, commuting back and forth from Parksville with very little sleep.
While delivering and caring for the babies has been no easy task, Hammond said her pregnancy was a breeze compared to what she was anticipating.

She was put on a high-protein diet to gain weight, but only gained about 30 pounds throughout her 32 weeks of pregnancy, and had no morning sickness.

She said some of the initial terror she experienced when she found out she was pregnant with triple the babies she was expecting still remains, but she and her husband are figuring things out.

The couple realizes that their family is quickly going to outgrow the two-bedroom house they are currently renting, and that they’re going to need some outside help.

“We’re still trying to arrange some support for when we do go home,” Hammond said. “The biggest thing right now is we just want to make sure that the babies are all healthy. That’s our primary objective. And we’re almost there.”

But when Hammond was asked if she would ever consider another addition to the family, she said that three babies and she’s out.

“These are the first and last,” Hammond said.