'I was gobsmacked': Sunshine Coast mum shares her 'incredibly rare' natural triplet birth

Photo: Instagram / Bianca Aiono
Photo: Instagram / Bianca Aiono 

Many women fear the idea of giving birth to one baby, but when Sunshine Coast mum, Bianca Robertson found out she was pregnant with triplets she hoped to birth them all naturally.

"I had trepidation of course", she tells Essential Baby. "But I've been an athlete and studied movement and the body, so it was a fascinating journey I was keen to go on." 

After undergoing fertility treatment to have a second child, scans at eight weeks revealed that Bianca was having triplets.

Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography
Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography 

"I was gobsmacked", admits the wellness coach. "My hands went up to my mouth. The biggest fear was that the doctor would ask me to consider reducing them." 

Bianca suspected she could have twins after the pregnancy test showed her hormone levels as higher than one-to-two weeks, before she'd even got off the toilet.

"From six weeks I was violently ill and had to run out of the doctor's office. I had to take medication. It was so consuming and debilitating."

After the scan Bianca gave her husband, Pete, the news. 

"He said, 'oh my god. I'd better get back to work then'. For 48 hours he couldn't say anything. He admitted, 'I'm just processing things'."


A post shared by Bianca Aiono (@biancaaiono_triplets) on


At 10 weeks the doctor broached the subject of terminating a baby.

"They give you this impressive and scary bar graph of all the risks, such as having three times the rate of physical and mental impairment, and here are all the babies that die - 140 out of every 1000.

"I said, 'so, you want me to terminate one now because it might be one of the 140, but what if it is one of the 860?'"

Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography
Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography 

The doctor also explained the toll the pregnancy would have on Bianca's body. 

"I was told I'd need a full-time carer from 28 weeks, that I would be house-bound and that I would feel like I was going to burst," she explains. "Fortunately, none of those things happened.

"I just knew that I would make compromises and sacrifice myself for my babies as much as possible. This would be the biggest physical conquest I could achieve."

Photo: Bianca and her triplets. Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography
Photo: Bianca and her triplets. Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography 

By the time she got to 30 weeks, Bianca was carrying 12 pounds of baby and was so big people would stop her in the street. 

"If I tried to roll over in bed it would leave my stomach behind."

At 33 weeks she was unable to breathe or get around. She was gasping for breath and put on a ventilator, which didn't help ease her symptoms.

Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography
Supplied / Melissa Jean Photography 

It was then that doctors decided it was time to perform an induction.  More than 20 people filled the birthing room, including three paediatric teams and numerous students and spectators, there for a once in a career opportunity to see triplets born vaginally.

Bianca's waters were broken, and she was given an epidural to reduce the pain if they needed to put a hand inside her.

"I had a really enjoyable labour," she said, even sending her husband and best friend and photographer off to the pub for a while.

After eight hours of labour she was ready to start pushing her first baby out. The first baby arrived after 20 minutes, with a gap of 25 minutes between the next two.

Each baby had developed in their own sack with their own placenta.

Bianca had decided not to find out the sex of the babies and said this contributed to the sense of excitement felt by everyone in the room.

"The girl arrived first headfirst.  It was amazing to be able to touch her head and use a mirror to look at her.  It felt really surreal.  What I'd been hoping for was here.  The energy in the delivery room is so different when you don't know the sex," she said.


A post shared by Bianca Aiono (@biancaaiono_triplets) on

The obstetrician reached inside to direct the second baby, allowing Bianca to be able to push her breech baby (Dakota) out. The third baby, Hendrix, was a footling breach extraction.  

"The Sunshine Coast hospital staff had a lot of experience with multiple births," she says. "I had a fantastic team, who were really accommodating the whole way through. And I'm told a natural triplet birth is incredibly rare.

They needed very little assistance. My girlfriend told me one of the paediatricians had tears in his eyes because they were such healthy triplets," Bianca says.


A post shared by Bianca Aiono (@biancaaiono_triplets) on

The babies are now four-months-old and she is still breastfeeding them as well as supplementing with formula.

"I didn't think I could produce enough milk for triplets, but I did express enough for the first month," she said.

She generally has two on the breast while feeding the third with a bottle.


A post shared by Bianca Aiono (@biancaaiono_triplets) on

"When they wake at the same time at night it can be chaos and horrible. I am not a scheduled, rigid mum. Usually I can manage two at once and one will give me a break.

"People always ask, 'how do you do it?' and 'you poor thing,' she admits. 

"It is difficult. I pay for a lot of help and get given a lot of help. It is a practice in mental and emotional resilience every day. I might be doing ridiculous circuits of burping and changing and sleepless nights, but I also get three times the giggle and smiles."

"And this newborn phase won't last forever!"

Bianca shares her journey of being a mum to four children under three on Instagram and Facebook, and gets lots of messages from people saying they think about her when they are having a hard day.