Katherine van der Veen and her husband Ain Baird, photographed in Burnaby, where they are currently staying, and where their children will be born. Photo submitted

After two failed pregnancies, B.C. couple expecting identical girl triplets

Pregnancies of this type are incredibly rare

The odds are 10 in one million, but after two failed pregnancies a Nelson couple will be bringing home identical triplets this summer. Katherine van der Veen and her husband, Ain Baird, were stunned when they heard the news.

“It was a huge shock. My husband didn’t even believe me until I showed him the sonogram images,” van der Veen told the Star from Burnaby, where she is staying with her in-laws. It’s also where the babies will be born.

There is no neo-natal intensive care unit in the Nelson area, and the three baby girls will need to spend time in the unit to ensure they are healthy before making their way home to the Kootenays in the couple’s new minivan, recently purchased to accommodate their yet-to-be-born children.

The road to van der Veen and Baird’s miracle pregnancy was far from easy.

Van der Veen had a miscarriage in 2017. Then, after giving childbirth a second shot, she had a preterm birth at the start of her second trimester. Their child, Ivy Kate, did not survive.

“It was incredibly traumatic to lose a child that way. You feel helpless. Your hands are tied.”

Van der Veen took sick leave and worked through the pain of losing her second child with the help of a team of specialists and friends, including a naturopathic doctor, grief counselor, and acupuncturists.

Then, she and Baird tried again.

In late October 2018, van der Veen was laying on her side during a routine ultrasound. She says the technician kept looking at the screen and looking back at her. Her first thought was, “Oh no, it’s another miscarriage.” Then the nurse asked her if it was a natural conception. Van der Veen said yes. The nurse informed her she was pregnant with triplets. She couldn’t believe it.

It’s incredibly rare for this kind of natural pregnancy to occur. A study in the the Journal of Bio Social Science, published by the school of public health at Cambridge University, says the odds are 10 in a million.

Van der Veen says each of her children, still in utero, have unique personalities. They do, however, reportedly have one thing in common: they love the Toronto Raptors. Van Der Veen says they kick like crazy when the Canadian NBA team is on the television, a hint that leads her to believe she has three little athletes inside of her.

But even if they don’t turn out to be athletes, van der Veen thinks Nelson, where she has lived for almost 15 years, is the perfect place to raise children.

“I think this place affords them lots of opportunities to simply be themselves, whoever they turn out to be,” said van der Veen. “And I’m grateful they get to grow up in a beautiful mountain town.”

The last identical triplets born in Canada were also from B.C.. Mahalia Meeuwesun, 43, gave birth to identical triplets in Salmon Arm, in November 2015.

Van der Veen is currently seven months pregnant. Doctors are anticipating the girls will be born early and the babies are expected to spend a month in intensive care.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help offset the costs of raising triplets. Nelson Family Place is also accepting donations of clothing, toys, diapers, etc., on their behalf.

For more on the history of triplets in the West Kootenay, see Greg Nesteroff’s piece from his blog, The Kütne Reader, here.

 

An early ultrasound image of Katherine and Ain’s triplets. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Alaska ferry service may have to pay armed RCMP at Prince Rupert terminal

Without armed police at inspections, the port faces closure

Prince Rupert to send a high school golf team to provincials

For the first time in more than six years, Charles Hays Secondary School has a golf club

Rock Stock 2019: “It’s going to be better than last year”

For some young musicians this will be their eighth year performing at Rock Stock in Prince Rupert

First ever Indigenous Symposium educates teachers in Prince Rupert

Cedar weaving, drumming for reconciliation and basic Sm’algyax lessons were offered to educators

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read