Chloe Dunstan and her husband, Rohan, live in Perth, which is Western Australia’s capital city. The couple already had three young sons named Evan, Otto, and Felix, and their ages range between three and under. But that’s when the couple decided to go for a little girl. Chloe clearly wanted another female in the household, because no matter how much you love those sons, a little girl can be a true blessing in disguise.
Having a baby is a pretty life-changing event. You know date nights will be nonexistent, and you’re going to spend many sleepless nights. “Alone time” won’t even be in your vocabulary…at least for a while. Whether you’re expecting a boy or a girl, it’s still an exciting time for the entire family. Perhaps even more for that baby’s brothers or sisters who may be pretty worried about their new baby brother or sister.
Having another child changes you in many ways, no matter how many times you’ve already done this before. That much became clear for Chloe and Rohan, who were looking to expand their family. As a parent, you start to see the bigger picture and you become much more patient. But their family, as they knew it, was about to change entirely overnight.
Despite already having a pretty big family, Chloe and her husband were up for the challenge again…or so they thought. They were willing to go through all those sleepless nights again, and no sacrifice was too big for them if it meant having the baby girl they’ve always dreamed of. But odds wouldn’t be in their favor. In fact, things were about to get really complicated for the young couple.
Chloe and Rohan knew that trying for a little baby girl didn’t mean they’d automatically get one. They could end up with another baby boy, or even with no baby at all. Mother Nature likes to work in mysterious ways, and no one knows this better than Chloe, who found out her life was about to get REALLY messy on one of her doctor checkups.
The couple tried having another child, and they hoped it was a girl. A short time later, Chloe told Rohan that she was pregnant. Eventually, during one of Chloe’s medical checkups, the couple learned that they were about to have more than one child. But Chloe wasn’t pregnant with twins, but with triplets! And although two of the fetuses were boys, the other was a girl. But sadly, their happiness and excitement wouldn’t last long.
But if having a single baby can put a strain on a marriage, imagine the power three babies would have on Chloe and Rohan’s marriage. Not only would Chloe have to take it really easy for the sake of her three babies, but they’d also have to start saving every penny, as having three more kids was three times as expensive! Sadly, the couple was about to find out that things aren’t always easy and clear-cut.
“We had our first scan at six weeks and got the shock of our lives when they told us that what was supposed to be our ‘fourth and final’ baby is actually our fourth, fifth and sixth,” Chloe cleverly wrote next to a photo of her six-week scan that she posted for her 356,000 plus Instagram followers to see.“I’m still so completely shocked to be honest. I’m scared, excited, overwhelmed, overjoyed and every other emotion known to man.” Oh, but that was just the start.
For Chloe, having another baby was sort of like the cherry on top. She was already head over heels in love with her boys, but she felt like this “fourth and final” baby would make her feel complete. She just wasn’t expecting she’d end up juggling being a wife and a mother of more kids than she could count!
Before getting pregnant with triplets, Chloe could still manage her daily routine on her own. Sure, she could’ve carried a baby in her arms if she’d fallen pregnant with just one. But what was she supposed to do now with two other crying babies, a toddler, and two kids? Chloe couldn’t even to grasp just how complicated it would be to raise three babies simultaneously while also parenting her older kids who still needed her as much as the new babies did.
The couple started to renovate their home in order to prepare for the three new additions to their proverbial nest. Chloe had shared with her followers that her due date was in September, but since most women with triplets give birth a month or two early, she was expecting that to happen. Meanwhile, the couple had clothes to purchase, and cribs to build, and can you even calculate how many diapers they’d wind up needing?
Chloe may have felt uncomfortable during her pregnancy, but everything was going great until her 28-week checkup. That’s when the couple’s excitement and happiness turned to worry and terrible stress. Sadly, not all of the babies had developed at the same rate while in the womb, and doctors informed the couple that their daughter was in danger. We can only imagine how horrible that news must have hit them. But that wasn’t the worst part.
Chloe knew that having twins or triplets, (or more!) put her pregnancy into a whole different category due to the many risk factors that could put the babies’ lives at risk. But she was about to find out that despite trying her best, there wasn’t anything she could’ve done to make sure her babies developed at the same rate.
Chloe knew she had made sure to follow doctor’s orders to a T. This pregnancy wasn’t a walk in the park, and despite doing everything in her power to ensure her babies would be healthy, there she was at the doctor’s office, learning the horrible news. But that wasn’t even the worst thing she’d hear that day.
Doctors studied the scans and knew that the boys were okay. However, the girl fetus was underdeveloped given how far along into the pregnancy Chloe was. The prognosis continued to go from bad to worse as time went on. Their daughter was considered below the tenth percentile for fetal size and she was behind in development by a few weeks. She was not growing and was nutrient and oxygen deprived too. That’s when the doctors asked Chloe and Rohan to make a decision that no parent would ever want to make.
Chloe couldn’t seem to focus on a single word the doctor was saying. She’d wanted this baby girl ever since the day she realized she wanted to be a mom. She wanted her baby girl to have a fighting chance and live a healthy life, and she would do anything to save her. But what the doctors were suggesting was too risky. So much so, that it made Chloe and Rohan stop dead in their tracks. What where they supposed to do now?
What would you do in their place? Chloe’s doctors told the couple that if the fetus didn’t undergo surgery, it would most likely die. But the surgery would have put their boys at unnecessary risk. So, they had to choose. They could either go through with the surgery to give their daughter a fighting chance but risk the lives of their two boys, who were developing normally. She could also terminate her daughter’s life and give the other fetuses better odds of survival.
Any parent is bound to feel anxious and scared if their premature baby needed surgery, but when that means they’ll be putting the lives of their two other babies at risk, it’s a whole different ball game. Chloe never expected she’d be faced with such a horrific decision when she went in for her regular checkup. She knew she wasn’t about to give up on her, that much was clear. But was there any way out of this nightmare?
On her Facebook, Chloe wrote: “I could barely listen to any of that… My mind was on a one-way track of ‘I want ALL of my babies,’ I did briefly consider the alternative, I did a lot of research and tried to get a feel for what they were in for. I knew it would be tough but I just couldn’t give up on her. I knew she was strong because she made it all the way to 28 weeks, when she was barely getting any nutrients in the womb.” She ultimately decided against her doctor’s orders and carried her triplets to full term. Then they were placed in ICU right away.
Her baby was a real fighter. She clung to life every step of the way. No matter what life threw at her, that baby managed to pull through, despite being nutrient-deprived and underdeveloped. It was a risk, but Chloe knew she couldn’t go through with the surgery. Still, she wanted to see that beautiful baby grow up by her side. Chloe was now in ICU, and pretty soon, she’d finally get to meet her babies. But would they be alright?
Henry weighed over three pounds and was the largest, followed by Rufus, who weighed 2.6 pounds. But Peal was at 1.5 pounds, which was half of Henry’s weight. All three babies received blood transfusions, but doctors focused on Pearl even more. Chloe told Daily Mail Australia: “Pearl had a PDA in her heart that closed on its own.” But there was more…
Chloe shared: “She had a pulmonary hemorrhage, a minor brain bleed, she fought a horrible infection and there were days we weren’t sure if she would make it, especially the early weeks when she was on a ventilator. She had something called metabolic bone disease which resolved with medication. The main ongoing issue was her liver, as she was very jaundice for the whole time she was in hospital, but the latest scan showed that everything looked fine.”
Babies and children who suffer from Metabolic Bone disease, (MBD) may have brittle, thin, soft skin, and irregular bones. But MBD is also an umbrella term that is used for a myriad of disorders related to abnormal bone cell function. Thankfully, little Pearl’s issues cleared up with treatment, and since the scans were positive, Chloe finally felt like everything was working out. But was she off the hook?
Chloe couldn’t believe her baby had been through so much. Pearl was a real trooper! After undergoing so many issues with her health, and even fighting Metabolic Bone disease, it looked like baby Pearl was ready to go home. But Chloe couldn’t help but worry about what the future had in store.
After everything they’d gone through, it looked like the babies were starting to get healthier and healthier with each passing day. Chloe and Rohan’s dreams came true when the doctor finally cleared Henry and Rufus to go home. But what about Pearl?
Pearl and her brothers continued to fight for their lives and had grown stronger with each passing day. Then, after weeks of not knowing which way things would go for the triplets, things were finally taking a turn for the better. Henry and Rufus were able to go home after being in the hospital for nine weeks. Two weeks later, their sister, Pearl went home too. And there’s no doubt that the tiny princess would rule their home. But regarding that difficult choice…
As parents, you know you’ll have to go through a few hardships in life. But when your childrens’ health, (and even their lives) are at risk, it’s a whole different ball game. Sooner or later, no matter how hard you try, your baby will get sick. We all know that. But no one wants to imagine their kids going through something like what little Pearl, Henry, and Rufus had to endure at such an early age.
It can be pretty devastating for everyone involved, particularly the child. But Pearl rose above the occasion. Chloe and Rohan were faced with an awful decision. But what would’ve happened if they would’ve opted to have surgery instead?
They knew they were risking the babies’ lives and even Chloe’s, but allowing doctors to perform surgery to save one of their babies, while putting the two other ones at risk wasn’t something Chloe and Rohan were ready to do. Choosing which one of your babies gets to live is beyond awful.
They wouldn’t have been able to live with themselves if things would’ve taken a turn for the worse. In a way, Chloe and Rohan’s decision was sort of like playing Russian roulette with their babies’ health. Do you feel they made the right choice by having an early delivery?
“I feel guilty for having the boys delivered when they were growing so well in the womb,” said Chloe. “But Pearl would have died if we didn’t deliver early, so I will never regret that. I do remember briefly considering the alternative of letting her go so her brothers could continue to grow strong and healthy and have the best start in life, but now that she’s here, my heart hurts at the thought of not having her in our lives.”
Chloe couldn’t begin to imagine letting her baby girl go. She knew that would’ve allowed her baby brothers to continue developing normally, but Chloe and Rohan would’ve forever wondered if Pearl would’ve made it in the end …and as it turns out, she did.
Like any responsible parent, Chloe weighed every option. She listened to the doctors, and perhaps, she and Rohan took a chance and got lucky. But ultimately, when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, it’s up to you to choose what’s best for you. And sometimes, you have to rely on your instincts.
Thankfully, this ended up working for her, and now, Chloe can go on living life and watching her beautiful babies grow. If she wouldn’t have listened to get gut feeling that Pearl and her baby brothers would be alright, she would’ve never witnessed her first laugh or watch her take the first step. But when they took the babies home, the real work begun!
The real work started when the couple and the babies got home. As if taking care of three boys wasn’t tough enough, imagine how difficult it must have been to care for three babies who were so fragile? Rohan took a couple of months off from work to look after the newborns. Chloe pointed out that they were busy, and in the process, they also had to go through diaper after diaper after diaper.
As you can imagine, taking care of 5 kids was pretty tough. The demands of parenthood is so stressful, it can lead mom and dad to feel mentally exhausted. To make matters worse, newborns need round-the-clock care, so whenever Chloe was done feeding a baby, Rohan had to change another one.
Days quickly turned into nights for Chloe and Rohan who were now pretty much either feeding one of their older children, cooking a meal, running errands, changing a diaper, or cleaning the house. And in between feeding, cleaning, and all that hoopla, they had to try to get some sleep in between, which was nearly impossible.
It was pretty difficult for Chloe and Rohan to adapt at first. They were juggling quite a lot of balls at the beginning. They were exhausted but they couldn’t afford to take a break. Their children needed them every waking minute of the day. It took a few months to get on a routine and organize their new chaotic household. But the bright side to having such a big family is that eventually, you get used to it and you find your rhythm.
Having a family and a personal life was possible, even though they were now a family of eight. They started off the days by basically feeding the babies, and trying to shuffle through a million things all at once, trying to get everyone on a schedule. Eventually, it became second nature. But did it take a toll on them?
At the time, Chloe said, “So far we’ve gotten pretty lucky in the way that the babies sleep well and only wake every 4-5 hours to eat. It still takes over an hour to get them all fed and changed and settled back to sleep though, so it does feel like a never ending cycle sometimes.” All eight members of the entire family are healthy, despite the scare, and are now focusing on the future.
But if there’s one thing Chloe and Rohan learned about becoming parents to six children is that the pressure allows them to keep themselves focused on the bigger picture. They don’t have time to worry about the little things in life. But one thing’s for sure: having a good marriage is the glue that holds everything together.
Despite the many items on their to-do list, Chloe and Rohan seem to take the time to support one another. Your spouse is more than just a partner, and that bond needs to be nourished as much as your children need to get fed. Now they’re focusing on the future, so what’s in store for them?
Having a strong and healthy marriage is what makes it all worthwhile, and neither Chloe nor Rohan would’ve been able to do this on their own. They relied on each other to find some sort of sanity among the chaos. And if you ask them, it was all worth it. But how is the Dunstan family doing now?
Chloe explained: “I guess I just wanted to say that I’m so very happy and grateful for how everything has worked out. I couldn’t imagine life without her and I’m so proud of all three of them. I can’t wait to watch them grow.” Chloe continues to share how her six children are doing on YouTube and Instagram to satiate her followers’ curiosity. Given how healthy the triplets look, it’s important to remember that they went through a difficult time, and a decision, that only a mother can make because she listened to what her heart was telling her.
Chloe couldn’t be more grateful and happier than she is now. Her kids are as bright and cheery as can be, and they’ve gotten used to the mess and the noise that comes with having so many little ones running around the house.
Chloe might still ponder what would’ve happened if she’d chosen to go against her maternal gut instinct. Something told her that little Pearl would make it to the end, and now her life is complete and she loves every single one of her beautiful healthy kids.
Chloe went through a pretty magical journey, full of twists and turns. Her daily schedule barely allows her to take some time for herself, but like any busy mom, she finds a few minutes every now and then to enjoy her own company and appreciate her many accomplishments.
You don’t have to take an expensive trip abroad or go to Disneyland to keep your kids happy, and Chloe and Rohan know this. Being the parents to six children means that you’ll never have a dull moment in your life! The fun is never-ending, and there are tons of ways to have a blast with the little ones.
Being a parent is one of the most fulfilling things in life, at least for those who’ve always dreamed of having kids. But just because you’re now busy taking the kids to school or changing diapers does not mean your life is over. There are many things you need to be doing when the kids are asleep.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married, or even if you are married at all! The goal in every relationship is pretty much the same: keep your partner happy. Going on fun dates with your partner will keep the flame alive. At times, this could feel like a burden or another thing to put on our daily “to-do” list. But a happy marriage like Chloe and Rohan’s takes work, and they know it. They don’t want to wake up one day and feel like they’d made everything else a priority except each other, and that’s a beautiful lesson to keep in mind.