When Bobbie Rutland arrived at Armadale Hospital in advanced labour with triplets not due for another 10 weeks, staff realised they faced an emergency.
The maternity unit had never handled triplets but when clinical midwife Jeanine Vlyminck examined Ms Rutland and could see one of the babies, she knew there was no option except to deliver them.
Ms Rutland was 30 weeks pregnant on March 7 and when contractions started in the evening she was taken to hospital, where staff initially assumed she was having one baby. “When the mum told us she was having triplets, I thought well this is going to mean all hands on deck,” Ms Vlyminck said.
After calling an ambulance to try to get Ms Rutland to King Edward Memorial Hospital, Ms Vlyminck, a midwife of 25 years, swapped to plan B. The hospital ordered a priority one emergency caesarean, calling in off-duty doctors, nurses and other staff who lived nearby.
Within five minutes of going into the operating theatre, Ms Rutland had safely delivered three “pink and beautiful” babies — daughters Emma and Charlie and son Cooper.
Ms Rutland and her partner Shane Sutherland now have a brood of seven.
To help the family, visit gofundme.com/triplets-here-now