Three's a charm
By TOBY WALKER
THE thought of giving birth to triplets would be daunting enough without the added pressure of knowing you may have to fly interstate at the last minute to do it.
Grafton's Kerry Herbert knows all about that kind of pressure.
During her time in Brisbane's Mater Mothers' Hospital, Mrs Herbert was told she may have to be flown to Adelaide or Sydney to give birth if she went into labour while there was a shortage of places in the nursery ward.
"That happened a few times," Mrs Herbert said.
"They said 'don't go into labour today because otherwise we're going to have to transfer you', so it was a bit scary after having been transferred up there (from Grafton) in the first instance."
Luckily, Kerry was able to have her 'instant family' in Brisbane on February 23 and after an uncomplicated delivery, Rhys, Cooper and Makaila were born within a minute of each other.
Yesterday Mrs Herbert was back in Grafton Base Hospital with the triplets, her husband, Matt, and their two children, Jaydon, 6, and Tahlia, 3.
And it seems the arrival of two brothers and a sister has Jaydon and Tahlia excited.
"Tahlia says 'Makaila can come and stay in my bed now and play with my horses', and Jaydon says 'I'll play soccer with them'," Mrs Herbert said.
Despite coming into the world only three weeks ago, the triplets are already showing glimpses of the personality traits they are likely to take on later in life.
According to Mr Herbert, Cooper definitely seemed the more inquisitive of the boys, while brother Rhys appeared happy to remain quiet and rest while the youngest by two minutes, Makaila, shares Cooper's curiosity and Rhys' calm nature.
Because they were born prematurely at 34 weeks ? a normal occurrence for triplets ? Rhys, Cooper and Makaila will continue to receive care at Grafton Base Hospital's maternity ward until they are given the okay to go home.
Mrs Herbert said once she and her husband had overcome the initial shock of learning they would be raising triplets, they began to plan for their new future, thankfully with the support from their family.
"They're all excited and have all been supportive from the start," she said.
"If we didn't have that support...you know, it's a major thing financially, so we've had to go out and get a new car and we've bought a new block of land to build on."