Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic started, Kellee Briggs learned she was pregnant. Her first ultrasound showed she was carrying triplets but two had died. She successfully delivered son Chase on September 24, 2020.
Then, 10 months later, she discovered she was pregnant again — with triplets — and delivered two boys and a girl on 3, 2022.
“They said that sometimes older women are more likely to have more eggs dropped every cycle because you’re getting closer to menopause,” Briggs, 37, of Ankeny, Iowa told TODAY Parents. “That’s their best guess. But they said I could have been dropping eggs like that all along.”Pregnancy and pregnancy loss at once
During that first pregnancy, the 10-week ultrasound was a shock.
The tech finally revealed that Briggs had three amniotic sacs, which meant that she was pregnant with triplets. But only one baby remained.
“The one baby, Chase, which is our survivor, you’d see him fully formed but the other two sacs just looked like empty holes,” she said. “I’ve lost two babies and it was a lot of emotions all flooding in at the same time.”
As they grappled with the loss, the couple also felt surprised by the triplet pregnancy. Neither of them have multiples in their family and Briggs wasn’t taking any fertility hormones.
The couple always wanted two children but their second pregnancy was a surprise.
“We’re both helping our son get ready for daycare and I instantly got really sick to my stomach,” she said. “(My doctor) ran the blood test to see if I was pregnant and when it came back the levels were so high that they said that I was several weeks pregnant, which was further than where I should have been based on timing. So I had a gut feeling.”
The couple thought the tech looked nervous that she’d have to tell them they were having triplets.
“We just knew instantly and we started laughing. It was like, ‘Oh my gosh I can’t believe this happened again,’” Kellee said.
But then the worry started.
Luckily, Kellee Briggs was able to work from home, which allowed her to rest. She developed gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. While she shared with friends and family that she was pregnant with triplets, she didn’t pick out names because she felt nervous.
“I was hesitant almost because I was afraid of getting attached,” she said. “I didn’t want to get attached and then lose one.”
When Kellee Briggs hit 32 weeks, she was ready to deliver. Her health and the babies’ were deteriorating.
The babies’ cord blood pressure was elevated so they conducted a C-section delivery. The Briggs welcomed Aiden, 3 lbs., 15 oz., Isaac, 3 lbs., 12 oz. and Addalyn, 3 lbs. 7 oz.
After Kellee went home, she developed Bell’s palsy, a paralysis that is common with moms and multiples.
She has since recovered. While the babies stayed in the neonatal intensive care between 30 and 55 days.
“They came home in the order that they were born,” Kellee Briggs said. “It was nice to get adjusted.”
“You just got to stop and relax and go with the flow. It’s all you really can do at this point because you’re trying to keep your head above water,” Nick Briggs said.
Kellee Briggs agreed.
“It’s been an adjustment having to say I can’t do it all myself and I need people.”