Posted on: August 27, 2019 at 7:46 pm

They say no one is truly prepared for the life-changing experience of childbirth, but no person was as unprepared as this mother. Imagine rushing to the hospital for a kidney stone operation, but as you arrive, you are giving birth — to triplets.

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This is what happened to Dannette Giltz from South Dakota on August 10th, 2019. She was no stranger to kidney stones, so when she began experiencing severe pain in her back and sides, she assumed the condition had returned. Little did she know what was in store for her.

“I was in so much pain all I could do was lay in bed and cry. It hurt to move and even breathe,” she says, “so I went to urgent care thinking I’m going to have to have surgery to break the stones up.”

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However, after she was admitted and examined, the doctor returned with a urine sample and the diagnosis: “You’re pregnant.” [1]

From Twins to Triplets

The surprises did not end there. After overcoming the shock, the medical crew brought a portable heart monitor to Giltz’s room for an ultrasound. They found two heartbeats, which were confirmed a few hours later. Giltz’s, at that time, was thought to be pregnant with twins.

“They noticed the pains I was feeling were actually contractions, so the doctor checked [and] I was 4 cm dilated.”

Giltz was rushed to another hospital to give birth and the doctors there noticed one baby was in the dangerous breech position, which means it could be born feet first. At that point, she was 6 cm dilated and was wheeled into the operating room for a caesarian.

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All seemed calm for once before the final surprise. 

 Dannette’s husband, Austin, was by her side, rocking slightly as he began to ponder names. The obstetrician was in the middle of telling her “baby A is a boy, baby B is a girl” when he interrupted himself to shout at his assistants. “I need another blanket! There’s a third.”

“And Austin’s reaction is like, ‘Excuse me, put it back, no, I was told I have twins, I’m not doing triplets.’” Dannette recalls. “The doctor’s like, ‘No, there’s three babies in here.'”

“I ended up having triplets — one boy and two girls,” says Giltz. “I never felt movement, I never got morning sickness, nothing!”

The babies were all born four minutes apart and each weighed about four pounds. [2]

“Still in Shock”

“You don’t ever see triplets being conceived naturally, let alone going 34 weeks without knowing,” says Giltz. “So, everyone’s like I can’t believe it. We’re still in shock, trust me.”

She was especially baffled by the experience since she had given birth before on two separate occasions. Somehow, the pregnancy symptoms did not affect her the same way, despite carrying three new children. 

The father’s head was reeling the entire time, even when the mother was cleared to go home. “Once we left the hospital, she’s out of the hospital, I know she’s okay,” Austin Giltz says. “I’m overwhelmed honestly; it’s still exploding in my head.” [3]

Overwhelming Support for the Newborns

Dannette’s friend, Isabella Moelter, organized a fundraiser on Facebook to provide financial care for the new arrivals.

“One of my friends unexpectedly had triplets a couple days ago and her and her husband are in need of everything! Two girls and a boy,” the page says. It earned almost 7,000 pounds for the family by the following Saturday.

When the fundraiser ended, Moelter posted: “The mom and dad will be a little at ease now knowing they can get what the need for those precious babies and the other two siblings as well!” The comments are full of kind words and encouragement for the family and their new babies. [4]

The Giltz family is extremely grateful for the support from friends, family members, and complete strangers who have reached out to provide baby supplies. Their family went from four to seven overnight. They have named the newborns Nikki, Gypsy, and Blaze.

“It’s amazing in a small town how many people will come together for stuff that’s not expected,” Dannette says.

Wish Come True

Perhaps the only person who was not shocked by this event was Dannette’s 10-year-old son, Ronnie, who had always wanted a baby brother.

“One time I seen [sic] a shooting star and I wished for a baby brother, and I wished for like two sisters for my little sister because she always wanted a little sister. I knew this day was always going to come,” he says. [5]

The babies were born healthy and well, and the sisters came home on August 21, 10 days after their miraculous birth. Their arrival was greatly welcomed by their older siblings and extended family. Blaze is still at the hospital but is doing well, although the doctors are unsure when he will be released. 

  1. Austin Williams. Woman who thought she was having kidney stone pain unexpectedly gives birth to triplets http://www.fox5atlanta.com/health/woman-who-thought-she-was-having-kidney-stone-pain-unexpectedly-gives-birth-to-triplets Aug 16, 201 
  2. Justin Chan. South Dakota woman who thought she had kidney stones gives birth to triplets https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/08/17/south-dakota-woman-who-thought-she-had-kidney-stones-gives-birth-to-triplets/23795466/ Aug 17, 2019
  3. Debbie White. Woman in agony from ‘kidney stones’ was actually giving birth to TRIPLETS but she had no idea she was pregnant https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9744479/woman-agony-kidney-stones-actually-giving-birth-triplets-but-no-idea-pregnant/ Aug 17, 2019
  4. Baby Giltz https://www.facebook.com/donate/474044306729908/10156809702187029/
  5. Catherine Santino. This Mom Thought She Was Having Kidney Stones, Gave Birth to Triplets Instead https://www.fatherly.com/news/this-mom-thought-she-was-having-kidney-stones-gave-birth-to-triplets-instead/ Aug 20, 2019
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Sarah Schafer
Founder of The Creative Palate
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender. Her blog The Creative Palate shares the nutrition and imagination of her recipes for others embarking on their journey to wellbeing.

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