A woman originally from Sault Ste. Marie isn't quite sure if the newest additions to her family have broken some kind of world record, but here's what Samantha Palmer does know for sure: she has given birth to three babies in less than a year.
Palmer and her partner, Brad Stubbington, welcomed twins Eli Daniel Stubbington and Mia Grace Stubbington into the world Nov. 4 at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, Nfld.
The twins were born just three minutes apart - and just nine months, three days removed from the birth of their second son, Grayson.
Palmer and her partner are currently lodged at Ronald McDonald House while the new additions are monitored by staff at the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
“They’re actually doing really well,” Palmer told SooToday from St. John’s, Nfld. “Eli’s off all of his breathing machines, so he just needs to gain some weight and be healthy enough to get out of there.”
“Mia’s still on her breathing machine. Other than that, they’re good - just a little behind on everything, obviously, for being two months early.”
The original due date for Eli and Mia was supposed to be Dec. 28, but Palmer was induced after concerns were raised by doctors in Newfoundland about the possibility of a uterine rupture.
“Once we moved here, my new doctor actually explained what could happen, because I just had a c-section with Grayson in February,” said Palmer. “So basically, she said it could rip open. It’s called a uterine rupture. So my doctor said, ‘if you have any pain, go to the hospital.’”
Palmer and her partner relocated from the Sault to Port Aux Basques, Nfld. in August in order for her partner to take up an industrial trades-related certificate program at the College of the North Atlantic.
Palmer and her partner then temporarily relocated to Corner Brook, Nfld., where the couple could be closer to an adequate hospital.
When Palmer began experiencing pains, she was transported via air ambulance to St. John’s.
“I was sitting in the hospital for a day before they decided that they needed to take them out because if they didn’t, I would’ve completely ruptured, basically,” she said. “Then it would’ve been a bigger risk to all of us, because my c-section was starting to open.”
Mia was born at 3:04 a.m., weighing three pounds, nine ounces.
Eli was born just three minutes later, weighing four pounds, eleven ounces.
Both newborns were then sent to the neonatal intensive care unit, where they required machines in order to assist their breathing.
“They’re actually doing really well,” Palmer said.
Palmer says she was concerned for her new arrivals, but was prepared in advance due to the birth of Grayson, who also spent time in intensive care following his birth.
“I was kind of preparing for it, considering the whole situation as to how close they were when they were born,” she said. “But I kind of went through it all with Grayson, so I understood what it was like to have babies in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), and to deal with all of that.”
“I’m just really lucky their health is OK.”
Palmer says her family will move back to Port Aux Basques once Mia and Eli are strong.
Her partner will eventually go out west to work in the industrial trades while Palmer takes care of her four children in Newfoundland.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to last, but that’s the plan,” she said, chuckling. “My Mom’s helping a lot right now, and I’m sure she will be around until I can for sure do it all on my own.”
From the sounds of it, Palmer is up to the task.
“Life gave me four babies, so we’re going with it,” she said. “I definitely wanted two at least, and then I said if I was going to end up having three, that I’d want four, so I got all four - in three pregnancies.”