Hidden triplet syndrome is "not as uncommon as you would think," according to Dr. Sean Daneshmand.
When Genevieve Knox became pregnant at age 39, she was taken aback. The surprises, however, didn't stop there. The result of her singleton pregnancy was triplets. The first twist occurred during her ultrasound at 20 weeks of pregnancy, when the ultrasound technician abruptly became silent. “She’s like, ‘Wait, you’re having twins?’ And I said, ‘No, I’m not,’” Knox tells TODAY Parents. “Then I looked up and I could see clear as day that there were two babies.” She said that during the first trimester, she declined to get a nuchal translucency test, or NT scan. Knox had received thorough prenatal tests because of her advanced maternal age.
“All the blood work came back normal, so my doctor asked me if I wanted to wave the nuchal and I said, ‘Oh, sure.' I was working full-time and it was just one less appointment,’” Knox recalls.
She said that when she and her husband Kyle, discovered they were expecting multiples, who are already parents to 6-year-old Liam—felt like the "luckiest people in the world." And, perhaps a little alarmed about the logistics. "I remember telling Kyle 'I can’t even fit 3 car seats in my car!'" Knox said. “I started having kids later in life, and I didn’t know if I’d even be able to have one,” she says. “We were overjoyed." The Knoxes made the decision to have a non-medical four-dimensional ultrasound taken nine weeks later as a souvenir. They merely wanted some detailed photos to present their relatives; it wasn't for diagnostic purposes.
Knox remembers how the sonographer repeatedly swept the probe around her stomach. She began to feel worried since it continued for such a long time. The sonographer then revealed that Knox was expecting triplets. "I barely remember anything else about the moment. I was in total shock," she says. On March 21, 2019, Knox gave birth to three daughters: Kaylee, Lily, and Cecilia. The sisters were in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) for a few weeks, but they are now thriving in preschool. Hidden triplet syndrome is "not as uncommon as you would think," according to Dr. Sean Daneshmand, director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, in an interview with TODAY. “When the babies are very small, one baby can hide behind the other,” Daneshmand, who treated Knox, says.
“But it’s still unusual,” she added. “Especially since ultrasound technology is the best it’s ever been.” Cecilia, the “hidden triplet,” is the most challenging, Knox says. “She has a very big personality,” Knox shares. “She is hilarious and we love her to death, but she definitely marches to the beat of her own drum.”
Dr. Ashley Roman, head of Maternal Fetal Medicine at NYU Langone Health, says that between 8 and 10 weeks is the best time to determine how many babies a woman is carrying. Recall that Knox declined to have an NT scan during her first trimester. More than one million people watched Knox's story on TikTok after she posted it there. Knox is now 43.
Cover Image Source: Instagram | knoxedoutnumbered