As expectant parents to triplets, Shane and Tanya were eagerly anticipating meeting their three daughters at the 34-week gestation milestone; a delivery plan was in place, and a Caesarean section was scheduled in advance, due to the complicated delivery that commonly accompanies the arrival of triplets.
However, at their regular 29-week checkup, the Kings’ medical team became concerned with the growth of Baby A. Tanya was quickly admitted to the Foothills Medical Centre, where the soon-to-be-parents were told to prepare to meet their three daughters any day – weeks before they had anticipated!
Then one bright, Stampede-week Tuesday morning at 31 weeks the care team exclaimed, “Today will be the day you meet your girls!”. By mid-afternoon on July 9th, 2018, Shane was officially wrapped around the fingers of three beautiful baby girls.
Shane followed his three daughters, Madelyn, Finley, and Charlotte, into the Neonatal intensive care Unit (NICU), their home for the next few weeks.
“When you have triplets, you know your children will be requiring the support of the NICU. What you don’t expect, is how small they are, and how you feel as a parent when you see them hooked up to the monitors that are keeping them alive and stable,” reflects Shane.
Due to space constraints at the time, the three girls were separated in different areas of the unit. However, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, Madelyn, Finley, and charlotte were brought together, establishing what Shane and Tanya jokingly referred to as ‘Kings’ Corner’ in the NICU.
“It is truly due to the entire team – admission clerks, dietitians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists – working together to deliver clear and consistent communication and care to our daughters, which made our experience in the NICU so positive, despite the stress and worries of being there.”
The girls spent their first 12 days receiving critical care at the FoothillsMedical Centre NICU before being transferred to Rockyview General Hospital, a specialized care NICU for another few weeks. As the girls remained stable, both parents recall the encouragement of the care team, who welcomed all questions and involved the new parents in a hands-on care plan for their girls.
Shane fondly remembers arriving in the unit to visit the girls on his birthday- a birthday card was waiting for him, complete with the foot and handprints of his three daughters, and his first “Happy Birthday Daddy” note.
“That got me!” Shane remembers, “It was not only touching as a new father, but also made me realize how much our care team cared about us as a family”.
Today, Shane has his work cut out for him, but he is happy about it! He and Tanya proudly describe their three girls as ‘forces to be reckoned with’, each with their own strong, bubbly personality. The eldest, Madelyn, has embraced the ‘Boss Babe’ mentality and is the first to lead her sisters by example, while Finley is fondly referred to as the ‘Go-Getter’ of the family, and Charlotte is known to make both her parents laugh at any given time.
“It took a village, a massive team to get the girls to thrive on the outside. Without the NICU, we wouldn’t have our girls- its that simple. We can’t fathom our lives without them”, Shane and Tanya concluded.
This upcoming Father’s day, the Kings look forward to celebrating Shane by bringing together everything they love, and spending time outside together as a family on a walk or run.
The Kings look forward to participating in the McLeod Law LLP Father’s Day Run & Walk this Father’s Day, June 20th, 2021.