Unique: Triplets born in Ukraine push doctors to their limits
In April 2015 an ambulance brought Elena Sedova, a young pregnant woman from the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, to the hospital. Elena needed to be examined because there were unexplained movements in her belly that were also causing her worry and discomfort. The doctors had been expecting a typical birth and had no idea that this was about to become the most unusual case of their careers.
When they looked at Elena, what they saw left them speechless: she was 25 weeks pregnant but something was pushing her baby out of the womb...
The explanation quickly emerged: she was expecting not one baby, but three! And the two on top were pushing the one underneath out of the uterus. For days Elena had been feeling it, hoping that her baby wasn't about to be born so prematurely.
But soon after that — in only the seventh month — little Likeriya was born. She was very weak, weighing in at just two pounds, and was immediately placed in an incubator. Now the doctors were waiting for the other two siblings.
But they had a difficult decision to make: usually the second baby (or second and third, as in this case) come out within a few hours of the first. The doctors waited... and waited... but no more babies arrived. The other two girls were noticeably smaller than their sister and their chances of survival weren't great. So the doctors chose to wait instead of inducing another labor.
Elena meanwhile had to stay in bed and wasn't allowed to visit Likeriya even once. Even the slightest movement could have endangered the other two girls. A whole day went by. And then a week. Two weeks. Three... The doctors started asking colleagues around the world if they'd ever seen such a case in their respective countries.
Exactly 38 days after the birth of the first triplet, now weighing a still precarious three and a half pounds, Elena began feeling weak and nervous. The medical team decided after one last exam to get the girls out. Everything went well and both of the remaining triplets emerged healthy. Finally Stefania and Zlata joined their sister, and their mother could hold all three of her daughters in her arms at last.
Today the triplets — whose birth story made them famous — are a year and a half old, all adorable, healthy, and very active. And Likeriya, who was twice as small as her sisters at birth due to her reduced gestation time, is just as curious and strong now. They're ready to discover the world together!