St. Elizabeth Health Center organized a reunion for twins, triplets and quadruplets born there.
By SEAN BARRON
YOUNGSTOWN -- Anyone who has seen the Watson Elementary School baseball team play has probably seen Jacob, Michael and Scott Miller on the field.
The three brothers -- two are outfielders and one an infielder -- share a passion for the sport.
The three boys cited other examples of what they say are advantages to being 9-year-old triplets.
& quot;I always have someone to play with, & quot; said Scott, nonchalantly.
& quot;We have the same neighborhood friends, but different friends at school, & quot; added Michael.
The Miller triplets, along with their mother, Phyllis, were among those who attended Sunday's & quot;A Celebration of Multiples: The More the Merrier & quot; event at the D.D. and Velma Davis Education and Visitor's Center in Mill Creek Park. The program, sponsored by St. Elizabeth Health Center, was designed to recognize and honor twins, triplets and quadruplets born at that hospital after 1985, as well as their parents.
Dr. Elena Rossi, St. Elizabeth's director of neonatology and the event's coordinator, said the family oriented program was like a reunion for many parents who share the challenges and triumphs of raising two or more children born at the same time.
& quot;The event is to bring families together and renew friendships made in the hospital, and to see the doctors who took care of them, & quot; Dr. Rossi explained.
Dr. Rossi said that about 50 sets of twins are born at St. Elizabeth Health Center each year, and three to four sets of triplets are delivered there yearly. Two sets of quadruplets were born at St. Elizabeth Hospital in the past 10 years, she said.
Several people dressed as clowns blew up balloons and entertained the crowd, and someone dressed in a Tigger costume mingled among the adults and children. Numerous teenagers, parents and hospital workers volunteered their time, Dr. Rossi added.
Brigitt Beck, a Howland mother of 3-year-old triplets, said she's trying to start a support group for mothers expecting triplets.
Many women expecting two or more children at once often face various complications and risks, including a premature labor, that require prolonged bed rest, Beck said, adding that she was on 10 weeks of bed rest after having her triplet girls.
Beck, a seventh-grade Liberty Middle School reading teacher, said parents of triplets often face unique difficulties, like toilet training several children at one time and having to decide whether to keep the kids together or separate them at school.
Beck said she has two other children -- one older and one younger than her triplets.
& quot;People ask how I do it, and they say 'God bless you.' It's one day at a time. I have a large family that's local and that supports me. We're blessed, & quot; she said.