Childress family credits UMC Children’s Hospital for miracle triplets

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 5:37 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The DeArmond family has finally graduated from the NICU at the UMC Children’s Hospital, with not just one baby, but three. Getting pregnant at all was a miracle of its own for the family from Childress.

After following along with the DeArmond family for a checkup, it looks like miracles are measured in inches and pounds at UMC Children’s.

For mom and dad, Laci and Adam, it’s in the coos and cries, things they thought they may never hear. They prayed for Dutton, Rowyn and Rainey for years, eventually trying IVF, after having trouble getting pregnant.

“Shortly after, finding out we were pregnant with triplets. We only transferred two embryos so that was a surprise to us and Dr. Fike,” Laci said.

Bringing those miracles into the world wouldn’t be easy, though. At 23 weeks, the triplets were diagnosed with fetal growth restriction. At 27 weeks, doctors decided it was time to deliver and give each baby more room to develop.

Doctors warned if Rainey weighed less than 500 grams, she had a low survival rate.

“So, it was kind of not knowing what to expect that day, and she was 440 grams. And she was the only one that came out that didn’t need to be intubated, and she was a miracle to all of us,” Laci said.

Rainey only weighed 15 ounces. Dutton and Rowyn were tiny, too, at 2 pounds 11 ounces and 2 pounds. With the help of the staff and technology in the NICU, it was time for the miracles to grow.

Director of the NICU, Dr. Melissa Piepkorn, says a lot of things were up in the air for the triplets, but faith took over.

“Luckily we have the ability and the resources and the tools through the help of CMN to care for them, even at the smallest of sizes, and they did well,” she said.

For more than 100 days, doctors and nurses helped get the triplets breathing on their own and battled all of the usual struggles that come with premature birth.

“They become family to you, by the time you leave there. And it’s hard, it’s hard to say by to them whenever you leave, as well. I know she cried, I cried. It was bittersweet for sure,” Adam said.

“Just feels like home. We’ve been here for the last four years, either seeing OB or fertility, surgery, all the things, and this just feels like home,” Laci said.

With the DeArmonds living in Childress, having a high level of care at UMC in Lubbock meant they could stay closer to home and work.

“Especially for me, because I couldn’t imagine making the trip back and forth to Houston,” Adam said.

“And being a new dad and missing out on all of the things, basically,” Laci said.

In June, Dutton and Rowyn were ready to go home, but Rainey still needed some time to catch up. After so long in Lubbock, the team at UMC convinced Laci to go home with them and get some rest.

“That was a really critical point for her. And getting her and having known that she trusted us enough to leave and go several hours away, you know, you felt like we just had a bond with them,” Dr. Piepkorn said.

Initially, weighing the odds didn’t look favorable for the tiniest DeArmonds, but thanks to funds from the Children’s Miracle Network, state-of-the art equipment and first-class staff, the triplets get to keep growing at home.

“It’s a miracle, these babies have been prayed over by the whole community,” Adam said.

“Our community and our church family, and you know people donating to the Miracle foundation, you’re touching so many lives and you just don’t know it,” Laci said.

So, how do you measure a miracle? For the DeArmonds, the word isn’t enough.