A Deeper Love
Patient Name : Colado Triplets
The doctor’s visit had not gone as she expected. “How am I going to tell him?” she wondered. Meg Colado walked into Ray’s office at the bank and showed him the black and white pictures from the ultrasound. “I don’t know what I am looking at?” he confessed. “All I see are three black sacs.”
“Exactly. Three.” Meg stressed as she tried to help him understand. “Oh…” Ray said as he started to sit down, “I think I am going to faint.”
Meg and Ray had discussed children when they married five years ago. Meg came from a large family; Ray from a small family. They had not yet agreed on how many children they wanted. Meg liked the sound of four; Ray thought he could handle two. But, they had had difficulty conceiving, doctors guided them through the first step of infertility – medication. It did not take long before Meg realized she was pregnant.
It looked like instead of four or two they were going to be the parents of three – fraternal triplets.
Doctors guided Meg through her pregnancy and told her that she would be on bed rest by October in order to help the babies make it full term. Head coach for the University of Central Florida Golden Knights women’s volleyball team, Meg coached her players until the last moment. Then from October through December, the athletic and active woman laid on her side at home.
“Ray did so much to enable me to rest and a dear friend helped with the cooking,” explains Meg with a look of deep appreciation. Three months of bed rest takes discipline. “I wanted to at least sit up and work at my computer, but my doctors had informed me that was the absolute worst position to be in,” Meg describes. “I knew it was the best thing for my kids.” A pump, attached through Meg’s leg, delivered medicine to control premature contractions and a fetal monitor registered her contractions and could signal the doctors of an emergency through the phone.
“I found a new respect for my wife,” says Ray. Not only was the pregnancy physically difficult, it was mentally challenging. “Her body changed so much – she gained seventy pounds. She couldn’t do much. She had to leave her job. But, she did what she had to do.”
Thirty-four weeks and two days of pregnancy and the time had come to deliver the babies. On December 31, 2004, Meg underwent a cesarean section at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women. “The operating room had three teams standing by – one for each baby. Fifteen to twenty people waited to care for our children.” Within nine minutes, Merrell, Cole, and Dickson were born. One girl and two boys.
The team took Merrell and Cole to the Newborn Extended Care Unit. But Dickson, who had born the weight of his brother and sister by lying on the bottom of the womb, went to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for oxygen. “I truly believe there is not a finer and more professional NICU in the United States,” says Ray.
As Meg recuperated from her surgery, Ray checked on each of the babies. “The nurses in Extended Care, Amy Chase and Ashley Voit, taught me to change my first diaper.” Meg knows it was essential for Ray to learn basic baby care and is grateful to the nurses in Extended Care.
“You have a different love for your children than you do for your wife. But after you have kids, you have a different love for your wife – deeper.”
“I believe that if you surround yourself with good people, good things will happen. We have found that at Arnold Palmer Hospital,” praises Ray. Merrell and Cole went home on January 3, 2005. Dickson joined them on January 5.
Merrell and Cole went home on January 3, 2005. Dickson joined them on January 5.