Singaporean mother with PCOS defies odds to have triplets

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Meet Winnie Puah, a young mother who gave birth to triplets after a long emotional journey. She was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome which made it impossible to get pregnant without treatment. Against all odds, she stuck it out and emerged with three beautiful children.

PCOS is a disease that affects many women around the world, and here in Singapore too. It affects fertility and often leaves women trying desperately to conceive. One Singaporean woman with PCOS defied all odds and became pregnant — with triplets! 

How was this possible? We managed to catch mummy Winnie Puah for an interview and she told us her story:

How did you feel when you were diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome( PCOS)?

Let me give a little background on PCOS. I was told that about 10 percent of women get this condition. It starts when you are young and gives you an irregular menses. Our ovulation will go haywire. However, I’m fine with it since it affects a few women out of a hundred, instead of one in a thousand. Not being able to conceive was disappointing though.

How did you feel when you first found out it was three in the womb?

I was shocked. All of us were unprepared for this. Even the doctors and the nurses were shocked.

My case was a rarity. I was given a kind of hormone injection, which stimulates the ovaries. Women who undergo this medication will have their eggs released. Usually, when one  egg fertilizes, the womb will make it difficult for the second to fertilize, let alone a third or fourth egg. Triplets mean that three eggs were fertilized.

Initially I was taking an oral medication, on and off, but seeing that it was not working, the doctor recommended a switch to a hormone injection.

Keeping all this in mind, the doctors didn’t expect three.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2012/04/family.jpg Singaporean mother with PCOS defies odds to have triplets

Triple bundles of joy for Winnie and her family

Were those around you (friends, family) supportive of your potential triplet birth at that time?

They were very happy. But I guess most of them did not realise the danger. For pregnancies, having more than two babies in the womb is considered to be a high risk.

The doctors told us to undergo a process called selective reduction to remove one of the babies. We kept that option in mind but eventually decided to carry on with three. We were told that the chances of survival for each of the triplets remained very low. It was a 50-50 chance that all three would survive.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2012/04/ROM1.jpg Singaporean mother with PCOS defies odds to have triplets

Triple bundles of joy for Winnie and her family

Were those around you (friends, family) supportive of your potential triplet birth at that time?

They were very happy. But I guess most of them did not realise the danger. For pregnancies, having more than two babies in the womb is considered to be a high risk.

The doctors told us to undergo a process called selective reduction to remove one of the babies. We kept that option in mind but eventually decided to carry on with three. We were told that the chances of survival for each of the triplets remained very low. It was a 50-50 chance that all three would survive.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2012/04/ROM1.jpg Singaporean mother with PCOS defies odds to have triplets

How was your delivery experience?

Upon pregnancy, I was bedridden for 7-8weeks onwards till the fourth month, due to severe morning sickness. Then I was able to enjoy 1-2 mths out of bed and even out of the house during the 2nd trimester. But from 3rd trimester onwards, I was once again bedridden and house bound.

Weeks before delivery, I felt very heavy. I could not walk much and I could not sleep well. I even had trouble standing and sitting down. I was told that triplets had to be prematurely delivered, and the doctors set their sights on week 35 of my pregnancy.

I gave birth through caesarean and the room was crowded with obstetricians, pediatricians and nurses. As it was a triple birth, the doctors took the babies out very fast. It was literally a minute per baby. I could not see my babies immediately after birth as the nurses had to rush them for post-delivery tests. Eventually, the babies were all deemed healthy and we were all even discharged together.

How are the trio doing now?

I have two boys and a girl. They are non-identical triplets because all were from different eggs. They have different characters but they are naughty (laughs). We just celebrated their first birthday.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2012/04/swing1.jpg Singaporean mother with PCOS defies odds to have triplets

Mum’s sacrifices for the trio

How do you find time for yourself, your husband and your work while taking care of the kids?

 

How was your delivery experience?

Upon pregnancy, I was bedridden for 7-8weeks onwards till the fourth month, due to severe morning sickness. Then I was able to enjoy 1-2 mths out of bed and even out of the house during the 2nd trimester. But from 3rd trimester onwards, I was once again bedridden and house bound.

Weeks before delivery, I felt very heavy. I could not walk much and I could not sleep well. I even had trouble standing and sitting down. I was told that triplets had to be prematurely delivered, and the doctors set their sights on week 35 of my pregnancy.

I gave birth through caesarean and the room was crowded with obstetricians, pediatricians and nurses. As it was a triple birth, the doctors took the babies out very fast. It was literally a minute per baby. I could not see my babies immediately after birth as the nurses had to rush them for post-delivery tests. Eventually, the babies were all deemed healthy and we were all even discharged together.

How are the trio doing now?

I have two boys and a girl. They are non-identical triplets because all were from different eggs. They have different characters but they are naughty (laughs). We just celebrated their first birthday.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2012/04/swing1.jpg Singaporean mother with PCOS defies odds to have triplets

Mum’s sacrifices for the trio

How do you find time for yourself, your husband and your work while taking care of the kids?

 

I had a busy marketing job, working from 9am to 9pm and even on the weekends. I quit my job before my pregnancy to prepare my body before trying the hormonal injection. In the meantime I set up a blogshop to kill my boredom. I now work flexible hours as a property agent, and when I’m not around, my maid and my mother-in-law take care of the kids. My mother-in-law actually quit her job to help us out!

If you were to go back in time, would you do it all over again?

Definitely.

Bonus question: Are you considering another baby?

No. (laughs) We only wanted one but were blessed with three. That’s enough.

Winnie runs a blog where she talks more about her triplets and the issues mothers face during and after pregnancy. Check her blog out at : http://winnietriplets.com/

For more related articles on babies and multiples, see:

Tall women more likely to conceive twins

How to manage twins

66 Year-Old Indian Woman Gives Birth to Triplets