By REBECCA SPARROW
Almost 9 years ago, Mandy Grabovac and her husband Ante were overjoyed to find out that they were having triplets.
As if that wasn’t enough of a shock – one of the triplets turned out to have Down Syndrome.
And from there, their world turned upside down.
Take a look at their video with Richard Wilkins from the Today Show:
And read through our Q&A with Ante below:
1. You and your wife Mandy fell pregnant after several years of trying and you found out you were having triplets! That must have been the first shock you had to get over, I imagine?
Absolutely, I recall going to the first ultrasound and going back to work shocked. I remember sitting at my desk just freaking out. At the first scan one of the triplets had a weak heart beat so the obstetrician said come back next week and the third one won’t be there, it will naturally pass. Sure enough a week later it was there with the heart pounding as strong as the others. We had friends who had twins but we never knew anyone with triplets or more.
2.How far along in the pregnancy did you and your wife Mandy discover that one of the triplets had Down Syndrome?
We didn’t know that Adam had Down Syndrome until he was born. I remember holding him and thinking this child has Down Syndrome but as we had a team of doctors and nurses in the delivery ward I thought surely they would have said something. This was at 9.30am. As Mandy had a cesarean and was in a daze, she wasn’t able to come back down to see the children until later that night. I didn’t want to alarm her and so I didn’t mention it to her but in the afternoon I asked a nurse does this child need some testing she said look at him he is beautiful, I said I know he is but I still thought they weren’t telling me the whole story. Then when Mandy came down Adam was the only one we could hold as all three were in the special care unit and in a humidicrib but he was the one needing the least assistance to breathe. When Mandy held him she said this child has Down Syndrome and that is what confirmed it for me and we called the doctors over. It was a difficult night with many things going through our heads.
3. So there you are first-time parents, you’re trying to get your head around the fact you’re having triplets and now you’re also coming to terms with the fact that one of them will have a disability. How did you feel when it was confirmed?
The confirmation was a harsh reality. The doctor explained that first night that Adam had Down Syndrome traits but it couldn’t be confirmed without a blood test. So we agreed to the blood test but we knew the answer already. The next evening the pediatric cardiologist confirmed that Adam had a hole in the heart as one in two children with Down Syndrome are born with the condition. He will need to have a heart operation. So there we were in the hospital we just had triplets, one with Down Syndrome. I remember texting everyone on the day they were born to tell them the great news and then the next day asking them not to visit the hospital as we have some concerns. There were a lot of tears in those first 24 hours.