When single mother-of-four Sammi Edes from Melbourne, Australia went to see doctors for her 20-week ultrasound, she was in for a surprise.

“I couldn’t believe when the sonographer left the room and came back to drop the bombshell that I wasn’t having twins, I was having identical triplets,” said Edes.  Edes has a 21-month old daughter, Willow, and the thought of having triplets made her both nervous and excited.

However, soon after, doctors delivered the bad news: Her smallest baby, Thomas, was not developing normally and posed a risk to his healthy unborn brothers. Edes was given the option to abort her smallest child.

“Doctors told me at 25-weeks that it was unlikely Tommy would survive and that he might cause other complications for his unborn brothers. They asked me if I wanted to terminate him. It was awful but I didn’t want to play God.”

Instead, Edes chose life for her son.  “Everything happens for a reason and I wanted to give all three of my boys the best chance at life, so I continued with the pregnancy.”

Edes gave birth to her three sons on May 14, 2015.  They were born at 30 weeks, almost two months premature from the original due date of July 17.

After the birth, doctors cut the umbilical cords and injected dye into each, dying Edes’ placenta. This revealed the lack of blood vessels attached to Thomas, whose oxygen and nutrient supply was much smaller than that of his brothers, Geoffrey and Hunter. Doctors were surprised that all triplets survived. After examining the placenta, doctors determined that they would not have expected Thomas to survive.

Edes felt the same.  “I couldn’t believe when I saw the dyed placenta, it really hit home what a fighter Tommy is and how far he’s come. He had barely any access to food as Geoffrey and Hunter had the lion’s share and doctor’s were amazed he survived.” If the triplets were born any later, Thomas likely would not have lived.

Edes posted the picture of her dyed placenta on Facebook and commented, “I thought I would share this picture with all of you guys as it’s something we as mums don’t really ever get to see and this is our babies’ lifeline when inside us.  It’s pretty amazing to think that was keeping them alive.”

placenta

As a single mother, Edes is thankful for her family support network and feels lucky to have her sons. “I never gave up hope on my boys and they really have defied all the odds and I feel incredibly lucky,” Edes said. “Even though I’m going through this alone, I want other single mum’s to not give up.  My children are my world and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.