First came 4-pound, 13-ounce Minlo at 11:57 a.m.
Then 5-pound, 9-ounce Kognea Marie arrived one minute later.
And finally, 6-pound, 3-ounce Siequa checked in at 11:59 a.m.
Triplets. Count 'em. A boy, a girl, and another boy. They were born yesterday to 40-year-old Rosa Wonlin of Baltimore at Harbor Hospital Center.
It was the first time in 16 years that the South Baltimore hospital, which serves a large area in northern Anne Arundel County, had played host to newborn triplets.
Although the babies were bornfour weeks premature, all were doing fine, said neonatologist Dr. Larry Yap.
Kognea Marie was receiving oxygen, but her condition wasn't serious. The infant had gulped some amniotic fluid and her lungs were wet, Yap explained. She was laying in a crib with an intravenous needle stuck in her tiny, thin arm and a round, clear, plastic hood over her head. The hood provided the oxygen.
Before Yap came to thehospital last July, sick, babies like Kognea were sent to hospitals who had specialists to handle them. Now, they stay put.
While Kognea was snoozing under her oxygen hood, her brothers were yawning while a photographer took their pictures.
"These babies are a good size," Yap said. "They're fine. We can take care of them very easily."
He believed it would have been riskier to leave them in Wonlin's womb for another four weeks. So, he and Dr. Ghevont Wartanian, the Wonlins' obstetrician, planned Sunday to perform the surgery.
"If theyhad stayed in the womb longer, they could have gotten entangled in the umbilical cords," Yap said. "This was also best for the mother's sake."
Wonlin's blood pressure had risen Friday and doctors were con
cerned for her safety.
In fact, the whole hospital was concerned, having had a 16-year triplet drought. After their births, hospital employees rushed to catch a glimpse of the three newborns.
Wonlin smiled as she listened to nurses telling her about her beautiful children. But, she announced, her child-bearing days were over.
"This is definitely it," she said from her hospital bed. "No more."
Her husband, Maurice, a computer program analyst, agreed. "We're finished."
Wonlin has three other children, two from a previous marriage, ranging in age from 5 to 22.
The couple has had several months to prepare for the new arrivals. Wonlin's obstetrician told her aboutthe triplets after a sonogram in September.
"I almost fell off the table," she said.
The couples' families have a history of twins,but not triplets.
"Someone asked if I took fertility drugs," saidWonlin, a nurse who worked at the hospital until last April. "But I said, 'just One-A-Day vitamins.' "
She plans to take the infants home in four days. Until then, she's not thinking about how to take care of them.
"I just can't conceive of all three of them crying at the same time."