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Three's A Charm - First triplets born at Southern Regional this year

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The first set of triplets delivered at Southern Regional Medical Center this year are bouncing baby boys and are doing well, according to Alisa Dent, clinical manager for the hospital's Special Care Nursery.

"They're doing fabulous; none of them are on any oxygen," said Dent.

Kenzo (4 pounds, 14 ounces), Kaito (4 pounds, 15 ounces), and Anji (5 pounds, eight ounces) were born just after 8 a.m., Tuesday morning to first-time parents, Maki Relova, 37, and Jeremy Relova, 36, of Peachtree City.

"I knew there was a possibility of multiple babies, because we went through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), but I just didn't think it was going to happen to us," Maki Relova said. "So, I was pretty shocked, in a good way."

Typically, only one or two sets of triplets are born at Southern Regional per year, according to Dent. Twins are a lot more common.

"We get several sets of twins monthly. Sometimes, we do up to 10 to 15 sets of twins a month," including a set of twins born this week, on Tuesday, said Dent.

"On a score of one to 10, where 10 is the best, this was a 10.5," said Dr. Ade Aderibigbe, describing the delivery by cesarean section.

"When it comes to triplets ... most of the time, multiple births, especially triplets, are born by cesarean section," said Aderibigbe, who assisted with the delivery, and is the hospital's chief of pediatrics.

Maki Relova was originally scheduled to deliver at Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayetteville, but doctors decided to admit the mother-to-be to Southern Regional on Feb. 26, "mainly for bedrest and so we could keep a closer eye on those triplets," according to Aderibigbe.

The move to Southern Regional was made as a precaution, according to Dent. "We have a level-three NIC unit (neonatal intensive care). That means, we take care of sick, tiny babies," she said.

Relova, a native of Japan, has lived in the united states 14 years. The freelance Japanese language translator said she and her husband chose the babies' names carefully. She said Kenzo means three swords, referring to the three brothers. Kaito means "a person who opens his own path." And Anji means "a person who leads other people," said Maki.

Jeremy Relova, a mechanical engineer for a local company, said it will be a challenge raising three baby boys, but joked that it will be, "a lot better than raising three girls."

"My parents will be here to help out for about two months," said Maki, who added that her parents will travel from Japan. "The babies will be their first grandkids, so they're excited," she said.