Forum Health's Women and Infants Pavilion delivers its first set of triplets.
By AMBER HYLAND
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- After waiting for 10 years, Kim and Jeffrey Howe have received the perfect Father's Day gift -- times three.
The couple from Liberty beam just talking about their "miracle babies." Their triplets, Gabriella, Gianna and Jeffrey, were born Sunday, making them the first set of triplets born at Forum Health's Women and Infants Pavilion.
After four miscarriages, she was hesitant to prepare for the triplets, Kim said.
"We're pretty superstitious," she said.
"It's all that Italian blood," Jeffrey said, laughing.
When Kim first got pregnant she was already at "high risk," and she said she didn't want to buy or do anything until the babies actually came.
She was on bed rest for 24 weeks and had the triplets only 34 weeks into her pregnancy.
"At least you had a great nurse," said Jeffrey, who stayed at home to take care of Kim.
"Kim and Jeffrey were waiting for a long time," said Dr. Firas Saker, the director of the Neonatal Care Unit at the Women and Infants Pavilion. "Even at 33 to 34 weeks, you don't know what to expect," he said, adding that two rooms were opened to accommodate the triplets' births.
But now that two of the triplets might come home Monday (Gianna is still in an incubator), Kim realized that she and her husband have a lot of shopping to do.
Even the names of the babies reflect the miracle they are to their parents.
Gabriella is named after the angel Gabrielle. Gianna is named after St. Gianna, the saint of life.
"And of course Jeffrey is named after St. Jeffrey," the father joked.
Although little Jeffrey isn't named after a saint, Kim said he is named after a special angel -- her husband.
She added that her husband will call their son "Duce" so they can watch football together and chant, "Duce, duce, duce."
Gabriella was 4 pounds, 11 ounces, Gianna was 3 pounds, 7 ounces and Jeffrey was 4 pounds, 10 ounces at birth. All of them are starting to put on weight.
"All of them were between 18 and 20 inches long," Kim said. "I'm looking at them and wondering how they all fit in there."
Because Kim had a Caesarean section, the triplets were born in two minutes.
Since the girls were born one minute before Jeffrey, Kim said they will always tell their brother, "For the rest of your life, we're your big sisters, even though it's only a minute."
But "Duce" finds time to smile now before his big sisters have the chance to gang up on him.
"Look. He's always smiling," said Josephine Palazzo, Kim's mother and now proud grandmother.
"I'm her only daughter and her only chance for grandkids," Kim said.
"I'm going to chase them back to work so they can be all mine," Palazzo said.
"She's dreaming. She would like to. She would like to rule everything," Kim replied.
Since Kim was on bed rest in May, she missed one very important event -- her graduation from Case Western Reserve University.
She earned her doctorate and celebrated at home.
"Of course I didn't go," Kim said. "I don't even want to be called doctor. Mom is the only title I want."