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Mothers Of Multiples Nicole Kaul vividly recalls the moment when she and her husband, Dean, found out they were expecting not one, not two, but three babies. The Tyndall couple had a routine doctor’s appointment when Nicole was eight to nine weeks pregnant. As they looked at the ultrasound monitor, Nicole thought she saw more than one gestational sac and received confirmation when the doctor took a look and verified that there were indeed multiple babies. “The doctor said, ‘Yeah, there are some babies in there,’” said Kaul. “We (my husband and I) just looked at each other and kind of laughed. We were in awe.” Casidy Potts of Fordyce, Neb., had a similar reaction when she and her husband, Kurt, discovered they were expecting twins. “We found out we were expecting twins when I was five weeks along,” said Potts. “Before my first ultrasound, my husband jokingly said, ‘I bet we’re having twins.’ I was a little confused when looking at my ultrasound until the tech started labeling ‘Baby A’ and ‘Baby B.’ We busted out laughing and couldn’t have been more excited.” Both Potts and Kaul share a family history of twins. They were able to draw on the experiences of family (Potts also has friends with twins) as they prepared to expand their own families. Their time to prepare, however, was cut short when Potts and Kaul welcomed their children much sooner than expected. Kaul went on modified bad rest – “more of a chair rest” – in the weeks leading up to her sons’ birth at 32 weeks. “I started going into preterm labor,” said Kaul. “We tried drugs to stop the contractions, but the contractions weren’t stopping. I just had that feeling something was going on.” When the contractions couldn’t be stopped, Kaul was flown to Sioux Falls and, just 1½ hours after arriving, she and Dean welcomed Memphis (3 pounds, 11 ounces), Wesley (4 pounds, 1 ounce) and Trey (4 pounds, 6 ounces) into the world. While Memphis and Trey were breathing on their own, Wesley needed to be intubated. He would later have surgery at 10 days old to close a blood vessel – the ductus arteriosus – that normally closes soon after birth but didn’t in Wesley’s case. Surgery was successful and restored normal blood flow to Wesley’s heart. It wasn’t until 52 days after the boys’ arrival that the entire family was able to be at home together. Memphis was discharged at 32 days, with Trey following at 45 days and Wesley a week later at 52 days. Potts’ introduction to motherhood began even earlier when her 12vHERVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 twin boys were born at 28 weeks. “I planned on working part-time after 27 weeks to avoid bed rest,” said Potts. “Unfortunately, after being flown to Sioux Falls, I delivered the boys at 28 weeks.” Potts’ boys – Bennett and Liam – weighed 2 pounds 5 ounces and 3 pounds 1 ounce at birth. Both were immediately put on ventilators. They spent their first 80 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) learning to breathe on their own and eat. “The NICU experience was the hardest think I have ever gone through and I don’t wish that experience on anyone,” said Potts. “I stayed at the hospital with the boys for their entire stay. My husband drove back and forth three times a week. Thankfully, my children are fighters and are completely healthy.” Once home, both families relied on support from family and friends, especially in the early days. “There is no way we could have gotten through the NICU experience or some stages such as teething without the help and guidance of my parents,” said Potts. “I honestly believe I have the greatest family support system. Our friends are pretty amazing as well.” Kaul agrees that the support of family helped them survive those first days, weeks and months. “We did have tons of help,” Kaul said. “Both of our families are from the Tyndall/Tabor area. My husband’s mother would Bennett and Liam Potts Olivia, Memphis, Wesley and Trey Kaul

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