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Nain woman gives birth to triplets

The triplets with their parents Renee Semigak and Dennis Merkuratsuk.
The triplets with their parents Renee Semigak and Dennis Merkuratsuk.

NAIN, N.L. - Monday was a big day for Renee Semigak and Dennis Merkuratsuk of Nain: the couple brought their three tiny, pink bundles of joy home to the Big Land  on June 5.  

Semigak and Merkuratsuk will stay in Happy Valley-Goose Bay with the triplets for about a week before heading home to Nain.

Semigak moved to St. John’s on March 3 to be near the hospital.

The babies were born by a scheduled C-section  May 9 when Semigak was 34 weeks into her pregnancy. All three newborns were placed in the Janeway’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Justine weighed four pounds, four ounces; Emily’s birth weight was pounds, two ounces while Naeme tipped the scales at three pounds, 13 ounces.

Two of the babies are identical and one is fraternal, Semigak said.

“They were born a minute apart,” 18-year-old said during a recent phone interview.

Merkuratsuk was also on hand for his daughters’ births.

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The couple found out they were having triplets during Semigak’s ultrasound at just over 22 weeks.

“The (technologist) said ‘It looks like there is more than one head in there. Then she started to count heads,” Semigak said.

Semigak’s sister Lorna was also in the room at the time. The soon-to-be new parents and the babies’ aunt were shocked at the news.

“I honestly had no idea what to think. I was in shock,” Semigak said.

Merkuratsuk, 26, said he was speechless when the ultrasound technologist said his girlfriend was having triplets.

“I was in shock. I thought I was going to have one (baby). Then another head came up. Then another head,” the excited father said during a recent phone interview.

Since the babies’ birth Semigak has been spending much of her time at the Janeway.

“I’m at the hospital from practically when I wake up until visiting hours which is from 1:30 to  3:30 (pm). Then my mom (Emma Kalleo) goes in with them. Then I am back before their five o’clock feeds,” Semigak said.

Semigak said it’s great to have family support.

Her mother moved to St. John’s two weeks before the babies were born, she said.

The triplet’s arrival upped Kalleo’s grandchildren to ten.

“I feel honoured,” she said, of being given an opportunity to help care for her granddaughters.

Kalleo admits that, while caring for the babies is great, she was initially worried about their arrival and how her daughter would do during the delivery.

“I was nervous when she went in (for a C-section). But I knew she was in good hands... my daughter did really good,” Kalleo said.

Kalleo is now looking forward to returning home to Nain where she will continue to be a big part of the babies’ lives.

It will be fun watching them grow up, she said.

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Semigak said she is thankful not only to her mother and other family members for their support, but also to the community.

“They had a Pamper and (baby) wipe drive for me. One of my cousins was collecting donations and there was a lot of stuff dropped off down to her place,” she said.

Semigak is looking forward to taking the babies home to Nain.

“My family are in Nain and my boyfriend’s family. So we’ll have a lot of help,” she said.

Merkuratsuk, who has been spending much of his time at the hospital with his girlfriend and the babies, said he’s also anxious to get his daughters settled at home.

“I just want them to grow up, go to school and finish college,” he said.

Sadly, his parents Emily and John Merkuratsuk both passed away six years ago.

“But I know they are watching over them,” he said.

danette@nl.rogers.com

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