A Perth mum has told of the devastating decision she faced while she was pregnant with triplets.
Chloe Dunstan, 22 and her husband Rohan, 26, were faced with a decision no parent wants to make – continue their pregnancy and lose their baby girl or deliver dangerously early at 28 weeks and put all three babies lives at risk.
Ms Dunstan’s daughter was deprived of oxygen and nutrients essential to survive in the womb.
“Henry and Rufus were thriving in the womb and they would have benefited greatly by staying in a few months... just not at the cost of their sister's life,” Mrs Dunstan told Daily Mail Australia.
“This was the easiest and yet the hardest decision I've ever made”.
At 28 weeks, the couple welcomed their triplets – Henry, Rufus and Pearl into the world.
Henry weighed 1370 grams, Rufus 1200 grams and Pearl just 690 grams.
“I will live with guilt for the rest of my life for being responsible for giving them a disadvantaged start at life - but I feel the guilt and sadness of letting her go would have been much greater,” Ms Dunstan said.
“I just feel like she deserved a chance”.
The couple always wanted a big family and they now have six children after being surprised with news of triplets.
“I really can't even describe how I felt that day. Shocked, scared, overwhelmed,” Mrs Dunstan said of the day she found out she was pregnant with triplets.
“Because we knew there were so many risks associated with triplet pregnancies, we never felt like we could get completely excited about all three babies until they were born.
“Now they're born and we still don't feel like they're all ours until we take them home”.
For the triplets, life is taken one day at a time.
They remain in hospital and while Henry and Rufus have experienced ‘smooth sailing’, their sister hasn’t been as fortunate.
“Pearl has suffered from a pulmonary haemorrhage,” Mrs Dunstan told Daily Mail Australia.
“Problems with her liver that stopped her from urinating and caused her to retain a lot of fluid”.
“She has been ventilated twice. She has had trouble digesting her milk and has been taken off feeds a few times.
“She may now be facing an infection and is on antibiotics and I've been told she will need a blood transfusion soon”.
The couple hoped Henry and Rufus would be home by their due date – September 22- but felt Pearl’s stay would be a bit longer.
Since sharing the news of their decision the family has received plenty of support.
Their Facebook page, Six Little Dunstans: Our Triplet Journey, has more than 6,000 likes and their fundraising page, Chloe And Ro’s Journey To A Whole Lotta Love, has raised just over $4,500.
Juggling time at home between their hospital visits has been tough for the family.
Splitting their time between their home and the hospital has been a struggle for the family.
“I think emotionally being pulled between home and the hospital is what's hardest of all,” Mrs Dunstan said.
“I feel like we aren't with the babies enough but I feel like we aren't with our boys enough.
“I just can't wait until they're all together with us at home”.