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Delivering triplets during the COVID-19 pandemic

Amanda and Angela with their triplets in the UC Davis NICU.

(SACRAMENTO) — When Amanda Boucher found out she was expecting triplets, she and her wife Angela were triply excited.


Amanda and Angela with their triplets in the UC Davis NICU.

Boucher had experienced fertility issues in the past and wanted to expand their family. The couple has a 3-year-old son. She used in vitro fertilization (IVF) with embryo donation to become pregnant. The news of triplets came as a huge surprise!

With that welcome news, Boucher turned to UC Davis Medical Center, which offers expertise across all areas of high-risk obstetrical care.   

“I worked at the UC Davis Carmichael clinic so I knew and trusted UC Davis. I knew that they had a Level IV NICU, which is the highest level NICU,” Boucher said.

Multi-fetal pregnancies, in this case triplets, increase risks for both mother and fetuses. Mothers are at increased risk for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure in pregnancy (also known as preeclampsia) that requires a cesarean delivery. The fetuses are at increased risk for birth defects, growth issues, especially being smaller, and the risks of prematurity, if born early.

In Boucher’s case, she also had the additional pregnancy danger of having a set of identical twins as part of her triplets. Identical twins share the same placenta, which can lead to additional pregnancy complications that need to be monitored closely, including twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS).

UC Davis Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician Véronique Taché provided the high-risk obstetrical care, coordinating a treatment plan to benefit everyone and including frequent specialized ultrasounds by highly trained obstetrical sonographers. During these ultrasounds, they monitored the babies’ growth and watched for any developing complications related to TTTS. She also had frequent prenatal care visits to ensure all four of them were doing well. 

When one of Boucher’s babies was diagnosed with fetal growth restriction (FGR), a condition in which an unborn baby does not receive an adequate supply of nutrients during gestation, she had more intensive ultrasound surveillance and monitoring of the babies’ heart rate.

And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“We wore masks at my appointments and also had telehealth visits. I was definitely worried about giving birth during the pandemic,” said Boucher. “Many other hospitals were limiting visitors to just the mother giving birth. But UC Davis was great. Angela was able to stay the whole time, during the delivery and post-partum as well.”

Their triplets – Myka, Asher and Elliotte - were born at 32 weeks and one day via cesarean section.

“All of them were healthy at birth,” Boucher said. Myka and Asher spent 31 days in the UC Davis NICU, while Elliotte spent 32 days there.  And then were all home. “We had a really good experience at UC Davis. The doctors and nurses were wonderful. The lactation consultant came to visit us in the NICU and provided support.”

Myka, Asher and Elliotte are now happy and healthy at seven weeks old.

“I feel honored that we could be part of Amanda and Angela’s journey by helping bring their triplets into the world,” Taché said.