WHEN Danette Glitz felt a stabbing back pain one day at work, she was convinced it was kidney stones.
But the mum, a supermarket worker from South Dakota, was horrified when she went into hospital – and was told she was in labour with multiple babies.
Danette Glitz had no idea she was pregnant until she went into labour – with triplets[/caption]
Far from having a bump, the 31-year-old had lost weight during her pregnancy and still had periods too.
And Danette was in for more surprises – when she gave birth to triplets via C-section.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Danette tells her story…
“Pregnant? No,” I said firmly, as the pain stabbed through me. “That’s absolutely impossible.”
Maybe the doctor hadn’t heard me properly. “I have kidney stones,” I said again, trying to take deep breaths. “That’s why I’m here.”
But when the ultrasound machine touched my tummy there was an even bigger shock in store.
The mum-of-five had lost weight during her pregnancy and still had periods[/caption]
“There are two heartbeats,” the doctor said firmly. “Dannette listen to me. You’re pregnant with twins. And they’re on their way.”
Three days earlier, everything has been totally normal. I’d checked my son Ronnie, 10, and daughter Angelina, nine, had everything that they needed for school.
Kissing my husband Austin, I’d dashed off to work at the supermarket checkout.
It was such a busy day, I barely had time to think. But four hours into my shift, I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my back.
“Oh no,” I groaned as the pain crept round to my stomach. My kidney stones were back.
I’d had them before, and they were awful. “Right,” I thought. I need cranberry juice.
If I was pregnant, I was doing a good job of hiding it. I’d been losing weight lately and I’d still been having my period
The other staff knew something was wrong. Usually I’m quiet and calm, that day I was in tears and drinking as many liquids as I could.
“I just need to get through today,” I thought through gritted teeth. “Then I can rest up at home.”
“What’s wrong?” Austin asked as I staggered through the door that evening.
“I’ve got kidney stones again!” I said, collapsing on the sofa. If I drink enough liquids and rest, I thought, I should feel better tomorrow.
But the next morning, the pain was so bad that I couldn’t even get out of bed.
“Babe,” Austin said, “it’s time to go to the doctors.”
The babies were all born healthily – despite the odd drink and lifting heavy boxes[/caption]
We dropped the kids off at my mum’s and headed to the clinic. There I explained what was going on, stopping when the pain got too much for me to speak.
“Is there any chance you’re pregnant?” she asked.
Austin and I looked at each other and laughed. We’d been told by a doctor we couldn’t have any more kids, so hadn’t used protection for years.
We had our girl and boy, we were done.
Anyway, if I was pregnant, I was doing a good job of hiding it. I looked down at my stomach. I’d even been losing weight lately.
“We’ll do a quick test,” the doctor said brightly, “just to be sure.”
So, I weed into the cup and watched her take it out of the room to the lab.
“What a waste of time,” I said to Austin. I’d still been having my period. OK, it was a bit irregular but still.
“I know, but they just need to rule it out,” he replied.
“It’s not kidney stones,” the doctor said. “It’s labour pains. The twins are on their way”
A few minutes later she was back. “The test is positive,” she said. “You’re pregnant”.
“That’s impossible,” I said, shaking my head in disbelief. “You need to do the test again. It must be broken.”
As the doctor wheeled in a small ultrasound machine and wiped goo on my stomach, I was still shaking my head.
I’m not an innocent 16-year-old. I’ve had two babies. I know what being pregnant feels like.
There’d been no morning sickness or cravings, no movement keeping me awake at night. This has to be a big joke.
“There’s a heartbeat,” the doctor said, pressing the wand on my tummy. “And there a second one. It’s twins.”
“But the kidney stones,” I said weakly, barely able to get the words out of my mouth.
She replied: “It’s not kidney stones. It’s labour pains. The twins are on their way.”
Ronnie, 10, and Angelina, nine, and the triplets Blaze, Nikki and Gypsy[/caption]
My mind went blank. I looked over at Austin who was in complete shock. This cannot be happening.
But as the pain intensified again a small part of my brain thought she must be right. There were two babies coming.
“You need to get Dannette to the hospital immediately,” the doctor said to Austin. “No stopping. She is in full, active labour.”
We didn’t have time to think. Austin drove like mad to the hospital. My mind was whirring at 100 miles an hour and I was desperately trying to breathe through the pain.
I’d been to a party a month earlier and had a few drinks. I’d helped a friend carry heavy furniture and lugged huge bags of dog food around. I’d gone for a ten-hour drive. What if I’ve damaged these babies?
But as the pain intensified, even the panic went away. All I could think about was how much this hurt. I just wanted it to stop.
Opening my eyes a few hours later, the shock hit me all over again. Yesterday I’d been a mum-of-two. Today I’d woken up as a mum-of-five
Hooked up to all the machines, the doctors tried to find out what they could. One baby was breach, they told me, and they didn’t even know how big the babies were supposed to be.
Rushed into a hospital gown, holding Austin’s hand, I was wheeled into the operating theatre for a C-section.
“We can do this,” Austin said to me, smiling. “Let’s just get this done and then we’ll figure out what to do next.”
All I can do was nod. With a screen up across my stomach, I couldn’t see a thing the doctors were doing.
“Here’s the boy” I heard the doctor say, through the tiny cries. “And here’s the girl.”
Just like that, my twins had been born. I couldn’t believe it. Then everything went quiet.
Dad Austin joked doctors should ‘put one back’ as they could only cope with two[/caption]
The triplets enjoying their first Christmas in 2019[/caption]
“Wait a minute,” the doctor said. “We need another blanket. There’s another one in here.”
“What did he just say?” I thought. Three babies. That’s couldn’t be happening.
“Put it back!” Austin yelped. “I can handle twins but not triplets. No!”
I didn’t even get to see them. Born six and a half weeks early at under five ounces, each the triplets were tiny and needed immediate medical help.
Whisked away to the NICU, I didn’t get to see my newborns for a day and a half.
“What are they like?” I asked Austin, when I’d been sewn back together and was in the recovery room.
“They are so tiny, covered with feeding tubes and in an incubator.” He looked happy, tired and in total amazement.
He’d even named them as they’d been born. Our three new babies were called Blaze, Nikki and Gypsy.
I felt a wave of relief, that they were born safely and that Austin was here by my side. I was on an insane roller coaster but he was on it with me.
I finally managed to drift off to sleep.
The kids were taken to NICU as they were all tiny[/caption]
Danette couldn’t believe she’d started the day with two kids and ended it with five[/caption]
Opening my eyes a few hours later, the shock hit me all over again. Yesterday I’d been a mum-of-two. Today I’d woken up as a mum-of-five.
Holding the triplets for the first time was incredible. These three tiny babies fitted so easily in my arms.
They hadn’t had any prenatal vitamins or pregnancy check-ups. But somehow, they were all here and healthy.
There was no history of triplets or even twins in either of our families. It was a miracle.
Triplets: the facts
Here in the UK, the chances of having twins is about 1.5%.
This is a 50% increase since the 1980s, partly because of fertility drugs and treatments.
There are only 150 sets of triplets born in the UK each year, or one in every 5,000 pregnancies.
Your chances of conceiving triplets naturally is more like one in 10,000 – or 0.01%.
“How could you all have been in there without me knowing?” I said to them with a smile.
“OK,” I said, turning to Austin. “This is happening, it’s real. We need a plan.”
It was wild, returning to our two-bed flat with five children. We needed so much stuff.
Friends and family rallied around with car seats, bassinets and bottles.
Days flew by in a constant whirl of feeding, changing, burping and sleeping. As soon as one baby was clean and fed, it was onto the next.
Our babies are now nine months old, amazing and exhausting in equal measure.
Watching people’s mouths fall open when I tell them my story is funny. Some people simply don’t believe it.
Even my best friend said: “Dannette, I just saw you a couple of days ago. I don’t see how you were pregnant with triplets.”
“Imagine how I feel!” I replied, and we both laughed.
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Only one person wasn’t at all surprised. My gorgeous son Ronnie.
“Remember that shooting star I saw mum?” he asked me as we sat cuddling the babies. “I wished for a brother and a sister. And here they are.”
“And you got one extra,” I laughed.
We preciously spoke to another mum who had no idea she was pregnant until she went into labour – she LOST weight while expecting and downed pints of beer.