Angie and Gino always dreamed of becoming parents. They were overwhelmed with joy when Angie got pregnant for the first time, and then gave birth to a baby boy nine months later. A couple of years later, Angie got pregnant again with her second son. Angie and Gino were over the moon about their growing family, but they still felt like something was missing. They loved their sons, but they really wanted to have a baby girl.
A few years later, their dreams came true, but not in the way you might expect. Keep reading to see what news completely shocked Angie and Gino.
Angie And Gino Were Made To Be Parents
Angie and Gino started talking about what they would name their kids pretty early into their relationship. Before the even got married, they knew they wanted to have at least one boy and one girl. Gino proposed to Angie, and Angie enthusiastically accepted. These two had a beautiful wedding and started planning for a family.
Not too long after they got married, Angie got pregnant with their first child, a healthy baby boy. A little less than two years later, Angie got pregnant again with another beautiful boy.
A Picture Perfect Family
Angie and Gino were loving their lives as parents, just like they knew they would. They didn't mind the late-night feedings or diaper changes— they just loved watching their kids thrive and grow.
These two little boys were their parents' pride and joy. Andie and Gino celebrated every milestone, from their sons' first steps, their first teeth, their first words, and their first days of preschool. They were proud of the young men their sons were becoming, but they still longed for a baby girl.
The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle
Angie and Gino didn't feel like their family was complete. They were living a fantastic life in Southern California, but they wanted to be the parents of a daughter, and they wanted their boys to have a sister. Angie and Gino decided that it was time to try for a third child. They were hoping for a girl, but they were happy to have another baby boy as well.
The couple prayed for a healthy and easy pregnancy. One day, Angie took a pregnancy test, and it was positive!
Congratulations, It's A Girl!
Angie was so happy to be pregnant for the third time. She booked an appointment with her doctor to have an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. She was so excited to find out the gender of this third baby. She would have been happy with a boy or a girl, but because she didn't have a daughter yet, she was hoping for a baby girl.
Angie had a blood test that allowed her to find out the sex of the baby, and she was glad to find out that she was, in fact, having a girl.
There Wasn't Just One Girl In There
Angie and Gino were so excited to find out that they were finally going to be the proud parents of a baby girl. When Angie had a follow-up ultrasound, the doctor noticed something strange. There wasn't just one little girl in Angie's uterus. Angie and Gino were expecting triplets.
That's right, this couple was about to have three little girls running around their home. Angie and Gino were completely shocked. At first, they weren't sure how to process the news.
Twins Plus One
Then, the ultrasound revealed even more information about Angie's unusual pregnancy. When the doctor looked at the ultrasound, he realized that Angie was carrying two placentas even tough she had three babies inside her. That means that two of the babies share a placenta because they split from a single egg.
Angie was carrying a set of identical twins, plus a third baby that formed from a different egg cell. The doctors told Angie and Gino that this is a super rare occurrence.
How Rare Is It?
Angie and Gino were so happy that their prayers had been answered and that they were going to be parents to not one, but three baby girls. Still, they were worried. The doctor told them that a triplet pregnancy may come with complications.
Angie and Gino didn't have IVF, so the possibility of them getting pregnant with triplets was very rare. The chances of a triplet pregnancy through natural conception is just 1 in 4,000. The chances of two of the babies being identical are even slimmer.
Let The Preparations Begin
It takes a lot of preparation and planning to bring one baby into the world. Bringing three babies into the world takes even more planning. Gino and Angie knew their lives were about to change drastically, so they quickly got to work.
The couple hired a nanny, bought a minivan, and reached out to their friends and family for support. They also both requested parental leave from their employers so they could be there to support each other when the babies were born.
Triplet Pregnancies Are Always High Risk
Angie's pregnancy was considered high-risk because she was carrying triplets. When she was only a few months pregnant, her doctor, Dr. Daneshmand warned her that this pregnancy would be a lot different than her previous two pregnancies.
Angie always knew that twins and triplets had a higher chance of being born premature, or of having complications in-utero. She was mentally prepared for what could happen to her babies, but she wasn't emotionally prepared. She definitely wasn't prepared for what happened next.
Immediate Action Needed To Be Taken
Angie started experiencing some serious complications when she was 26 weeks pregnant with the triplets.
In an interview with Sharp Healthcare, Angie said, "We saw that the liquid for 'Baby B' was too low and for 'C' was a little high." The levels of fluid around the babies impacts how nourished and protected the babies are while they're developing. Angie and her doctors needed to take action right away. To make sure Angie and her babies were safe, the couple decided to do something rather extreme.
A Long Time To Be In The Hospital
This fluid discrepancy was a serious problem, especially in a high-risk pregnancy. If the fluid around the babies was too high or too low, the girls were at risk of being born with brain hemorrhaging and underdeveloped lungs.
Angie couldn't go on living her normal day to day routine. Dr. Daneshmand urged Angie to spend the remainder of her pregnancy in the hospital so that she could be constantly monitored. Angie still had 14 weeks of pregnancy left, which is a long time to be in a hospital.
A Major Life Change
Angie was upset about her prognosis. "I said, 'Wait, right now?'" she said in an interview with Sharp Healthcare.
Naturally, she was going to do everything in her power to make sure that her children could be brought into the world safely, but that also meant that she had to put her life on hold and spend less time with her two young sons. She wasn't happy about possibly spending weeks in a hospital bed.
Angie And Gino Made It Work
Angie wasn't excited about moving into a hospital full time when she was 26 weeks pregnant. She didn't even feel sick, but she had to be on strict bed rest away from her home and her family.
Gino made sure to bring his boys to see their mother every day. This family ate meals together in the hospital and prepared for the arrival of their triplets. The hospital wasn't home, but at least the four of them were all together.
A Helping Hand From The Nurses
Gino did everything he could to make the hospital feel like home for Angie. The nurses really helped out too.
"They're taken away from everything that's normal," Toni Hicks, RN, said in an interview with Sharp Healthcare. "So by telling them, 'You know, I understand that this is really hard for you' — that's huge for our patients." All of the hospital staff knew how difficult it was for Angie to be away from home, so they did everything they could to make her feel comfortable.
Hospital Date Nights
Angie spent a lot of time by herself in the hospital because she didn't want to disturb her sons' routine that much. That meant that Gino had to spend a lot of time at home with the boys away from Angie.
Gino was determined to do whatever it took to make his wife feel better. Together, they decided to have hospital "date nights." While Angie and Gino shared dinner together in Angie's hospital room, Angie said, "This is our date night that we never get at home."
A Tour Of The NICU
Angie was instructed to stay in bed for most of the time that she was in the hospital, but she was allowed to be wheeled around in a wheelchair for short periods of time every now and again. Angie's medical team took her on a tour of the neonatal intensive care unit, or the NICU. They told her that her babies might have to spend some time there if they're born prematurely.
The team wanted Angie and Gino to be prepared for whatever challenges came their way.
A Sense Of Empowerment
The NICU is not a fun place to be, but Angie was glad to know that her team was ready for whatever life was going to throw at them. She knew that she was in good hands. Together with her medical team, Angie put together a birth plan that gave her back a sense of control.
"You hear a lot of stories, you know, of triplets who don't make it or especially of identical twins. The body absorbs one of them," Angie said. "I didn't see [the NICU] as a sad place, I saw it as a place that was empowering for me."
One Of The Babies Wasn't Developing As Fast As The Others
Angie and her babies were constantly monitored while they were in the hospital. Angie had ultrasounds daily to make sure that the babies were developing correctly. During a routine ultrasound, doctors discovered that baby 'B' was smaller than baby 'A' and baby 'C.'
Doctors expected one of the identical twins to be smaller because these two babies were sharing a placenta, but this meant that baby 'B' needed extra monitoring. Each time the doctors performed an ultrasound, they paid special attention to baby 'B's development.
34 Weeks Was The Goal
Angie knew that she probably wouldn't be able to carry these babies for a full 30 weeks, but if these babies could just stay inside of her for a total of 34 weeks, they would be developed enough to survive outside of her womb.
If the babies were born before they reached the 34-week mark, there was a greater chance that they could have severe complications or underdeveloped organs. Even though Angie didn't like being on bed rest, she didn't want her pregnancy to end before it was supposed to.
One Day At A Time
Angie made it to 30 weeks and she was feeling good about the triplets' progress. She and her family were just taking things one day at a time. She was eager to meet her new babies, but she didn't want to meet them before they were ready to meet the world. The longer the triplets stayed inside Angie's womb, the stronger they would be.
"Anything could happen between now and my due date," she said in an interview with Sharp Healthcare. "We could have contractions that can't control. We may do an emergency C-section. For us, we don't count the weeks here, we count the days."
The Triplets' Birthday At 32 Weeks
Angie was hoping to make it to 34 weeks, but the triplets had other plans. They wanted out when Angie was just 32 weeks along. Angie went into labor and Gino prayed for a safe delivery.
As Angie was being wheeled into the operating room where she would have her C-section, Gino said, "Three little stars will be born tonight. I have some hard work ahead of me now," At the time, Gino had no idea how true that statement would become.
Welcome Earthside, Little Girls!
A C-section was always part of Angie's birth plan. She had discussed giving birth naturally with her doctors, but because of safety concerns, everyone agreed that a C-section was the best option for everybody involved.
The medical team prepped Angie for surgery and the C-section was underway. Gino held Angie's hand as the doctor made the first incision. After a bit of time, the first baby girl, Daniella, was born. Then her sister Anabella was born, and finally, Gino and Angie go to meet their third daughter, Camilla.
A Team For Each Of The Babies
These babies needed urgent medical attention because they were born a few weeks premature. The medical team was prepared for anything, though. Each of the babies had their own advanced life support team.
As soon as each baby was delivered, they were passed through a window to a room beside the operating room, where they were assessed, stabilized, and hooked up to monitors before being transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. These babies had a long journey ahead of them.
Angie Didn't Get To Hold Her Daughters
Angie wanted to hold her children more than anything, but she knew that they were in good hands in the NICU. She was prepared for them to be whisked off to intensive care, but she was still upset that she didn't get to spend more time with her daughters right after they were delivered.
These triplets were tiny when they were born. They needed to be put into incubators immediately so that they could be kept warm as they grew stronger.
The Babies Needed Some Help Breathing
Each of Angie's three triplets was under four pounds when they were born. Because Daniella, Anabella, and Camilla were so small, their lungs weren't fully developed yet. That meant that they couldn't fully breathe on their own.
Angie's medical team knew that these babies would likely be born premature, so they had a plan in place to help the babies breathe until they were ready to breathe on their own. All three of the baby girls were put on C-pap.
Making Sure The Triplets Were Stable
C-pap uses pressure to open up the babies' lungs. At one point, the babies' oxygen levels were at just 55 percent. At that point, C-pap helped them get the oxygen that they so desperately needed.
While Angie was still on the operating table, she got to see photos of her babies for the first time on a digital camera. It wasn't the same thing as being with them and holding them, but she was glad to see that they were doing alright.
The Babies Weren't Left Alone For A Minute
Daniella, Anabella, and Camilla didn't spend one second alone while they were in the NICU. There was a nurse with them at all times. These babies were still at risk for a lot of health complications, so it was important for them to be monitored around the clock.
Alina Harper, one of the RNs working with the triplets, said, "You know, I really empathize with the parents that have to have their babies and be separated from them."
The Babies Were Looking Healthy
Nobody knew exactly what to expect when these three little girls were delivered a few weeks premature, but thankfully, just a few hours after they were delivered, Daniella, Anabella, and Camilla were stable and breathing on their own. They still needed to be monitored and they weren't ready to go home just yet, but Angie and Gino could rest easy knowing that their daughters were healthy and doing well.
Pretty soon, they could go home and start living as a family of seven.
The Reality Of The Situation
Angie was so happy to not be pregnant anymore. Being on bed rest was making her stir crazy, and she was so excited to be able to go home and live a normal life with her husband and her children. She had a long recovery ahead of her, but she could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Angie was also very excited to meet her newborn babies. Now that Daniella, Anabella, and Camilla were stable, Angie and Gino could finally meet their daughters.
Everyone On The Medical Team Celebrated With Angie And Gino
The NICU nurses see a lot of nervous parents, so they are extremely excited when babies are in stable condition and parents can rest easy. Still, they know it's hard for parents to be away from their babes for long periods of time. The NICU nurses were cheering Angie and Gino on as they were finally reunited with their daughters.
"I love to see the initial contact between mommy and baby," Alina Harper, an RN, said. "I always look for that, that moment that is just theirs that I get to be a part of."
An Emotional First Meeting
As soon as Angie was out of surgery and in stable condition, she could finally be reunited with her babies. She was on a lot of medication and she was still in pain from her surgery, but all she could think about was meeting her three beautiful little girls.
The Nurses wheeled Angie to the NICU and Gino was right by her side. They couldn't wait to see their family's newest adorable additions. They could hardly contain their excitement.
Finally Holding Her Baby Girls
Angie didn't get to hold her babies when they were first born, but when she and Gino got to the NICU, a nurse handed them each a baby. Angie was in complete disbelief. At that moment, she knew that all of those days she spent on bed rest were totally worth it.
Angie was overwhelmed with happiness and she started to cry. She turned to Gino and all she could say was, "It feels so right."
Each Baby Got A Special Moment
Angie was only separated from her babies for a few hours, but to her, it felt like ages. "I was only a few hours apart from them and I already missed them," Angie said. "So it feels good to be reunited."
Angie got to hold each one of her girls and havea special moment with each of them. She got to hear them cry, and then she soothed them back to sleep. She was so happy to know that her children were already so strong.
Skin To Skin
Gino also got to hold each of his daughters. He and Angie took turns doing "skin to skin" with each of the babies. The nurses tucked the babies into Gino's shirt so that they could receive the benefits of skin to skin contact.
Skin to skin contact is especially important for premature babies who can't yet regulate their own body temperature. Gino's body was acting as an incubator to keep his daughters cozy and warm.
Gino Had A Special Moment With Anabella
Newborn babies, especially premature newborn babies, sometimes don't open their eyes right after birth. As soon as Anabella was placed on her dad's chest, she looked up at Gino with squinty open eyes. When Gino started speaking, her eyes followed the movement of his mouth.
"Look at that, she's opening her eyes, listening to me," Gino said. "Beautiful, beautiful feeling." Gino was so happy to finally be holding his baby daughters. Everything was falling into place.
The Little Girls Grew Up
After a precarious start to life, the triplets were finally stable enough to go home. They only had to spend a few weeks in the NICU. Angie and Gino were finally able to complete their family and introduce the triplets to their older brothers.
Now you would never know that these girls were born prematurely. They're as strong and as healthy as ever. This photo was taken when they were just under a year old.
The Triplets' Sixth Birthday
Angie gave birth to her daughers in 2011, and a lot has changed since then. This is a photo that was taken at the triplets' sixth birthday party. The years are flying by and these girls are just getting stronger by the minute.
Angie says in some ways it feels like it's been a long time since she had to spend weeks in the hospital on bed rest, but in other ways, it feels like the whole ordeal happened yesterday. Time seems to go by in the blink of an eye.
A Busy Family Of Seven
Angie and Gino already knew that being parents wasn't easy, but being a parent to five children is a whole different challenge. Angie and Gino make it work because they are committed to raising happy, healthy, thriving children. Sometimes it gets tough, but they're always there for each other.
Gino and Angie make parenting look easy, but they've admitted that parenting always looks easy when you aren't in the thick of it. Overall, they are so happy with the life that they've created for their family.
One Big Happy Family
Just a few years ago, Angie and Gino were praying for a baby girl. They knew that their family was missing something, they just didn't know that their family was missing three somethings.
Angie and Gino refer to their life as a "fun chaos." Their children are all very close in age, which can be chaotic, but it also means that their children get to go to school together and have fun playing and learning together.
A Life They Never Could Have Dreamed Of
Now that the triplets are a bit older, things have calmed down at Angie and Gino's house. A house with five kids in it just seems normal to them now. It's now impossible for them to imagine their lives without those three little girls in it.
Angie and Gino definitely got more than they bargained for, but in the best way possible. "It's truly a dream come true to have them come into my life," Angie said.