When Judit Minda’s period was just two days late, she rushed to the store to get a pregnancy test and was thrilled that the test was positive. She and her fiancé, Glenn Undheim, wanted children, but in the weeks ahead they felt completely shocked when they found out that Minda, a triplet, was carrying triplets of her own.
“I had thousands of thoughts,” Minda, 31, of Oslo, Norway, told TODAY Parents via email. “I wanted them all, but I did not want three children at the same time. I thought about all the complications that could occur (with) a triplet pregnancy and I felt extremely scared and confused.”
Undheim also worried.
“I did not dare to look at Glenn so I never got to see his facial expression but I felt that he got frozen, panicked and shocked," Minda recalled. "Once we got out of the doctor's room he could barely speak, mainly because he had never seen me crying like that.”
The two wondered how they could care for three children at once. How would they afford it? Would they ever have alone time again? Then Minda recalled the wonderful childhood she experienced as a triplet.
“Being triplets was often the best, but sometimes it could get terrible too. We got compared all the time. We were not called on by our names — just referred to as the Mindas,” she explained. “But most of the time it was amazing. And still is. I have gone through life having two best friends.”
After overcoming the shock, the couple faced another challenge. Minda has tachycardia, a condition that left her with a weakened heart. Doctors were so worried about the strain of carrying three babies that they recommended removing at least one of the fetuses. The couple decided against it.
“The first 20 weeks were really difficult. I was extremely nauseous all the time,” Minda said. “Throughout the entire pregnancy I struggled with high pulse and difficulty breathing.”
Even though Minda felt ill, her babies were healthy and developing properly. The mom-to-be decided to start an Instagram account, Triplet with Triplets, to connect with other families with triplets for advice and support.
By the third trimester, Minda started feeling better — but then the blood flow to two of the babies slowed at 31 weeks. Doctors gave Minda a shot to help, hoping she could carry the babies to 34 weeks. On Jan. 29, she delivered Filip, Amelia and Henrik.
“They were tiny but mighty," Minda said. "They could breathe. ... They needed feeding tubes and a special bed to keep them warm."
Filip, who was born first, had episodes of tachycardia for two weeks, but hasn't had any more problems since then. The triplets just turned 5 months old and they’re thriving at home, even though Minda and Undheim often feel exhausted and outnumbered.
“We get very little sleep and sleep deprivation can make us feel really down,” she said. “Seeing a smile or hearing a giggle are making up for the sleepless nights, though.”
Minda’s mother has reassured her that life will get easier after the babies turn 6 months old. In the meantime, Minda feels lucky that she has her triplet sisters to help.
“They are absolutely in love with the little ones,” she said. “They feel like they have a special bond.”
She also feels her experience as a triplet helps.
"I know what were the things we really disliked," Minda said, noting that she'll try to avoid those pitfalls with her own kids. “I do believe that being a triplet myself has some advantages when it comes to parenting."