Tiny Triplets Born at Darnall

Story by Sgt. Ann Woletz
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

The birth of a baby is always a blessing, but a birth of three babies means that there are three precious bundles of joy to love.

For Manuela and Staff Sgt. Tiell Sunderman, the arrival of their newborn triplets at 11:30 a.m. on September 18 at Darnall Army Community Hospital was an answer to their prayers for the safe delivery of their triplets.

Benjamin Tiell at 4 pounds, 6 ounces; Zachary Kyle at 3 pounds, 14 ounces; and Jacob Tyberius at 4 pounds, 6 ounces were delivered by caesarian section with three teams of doctors and nurses standing by to assist in the delivery of the triplets. Each baby had his own team of doctors and nurses.

After a quick look by the proud parents, the triplets were taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for observation. All three babies are in good health with only Jacob requiring a breathing tube to assist in breathing.

"We are just happy that they are all here and that they are all healthy," said Tiell.

The Sunderman family can't wait to take their new arrivals home and celebrate the triplet's homecoming with a Texas style barbecue in a couple of weeks.

The proud father, Tiell, is a soldier with the 4th CMMC, 13th COSCOM, who works to manage the ammunition for the 13th COSCOM at the Corps Ammunitions Office (CAMO).

The couple has been married for about five years and has three older children. The children are Steven, age 13; Kimberly, age 11; and Julia, age 9. The older children are all excited with the arrival of their new siblings. Julia, who has formed a special bond with little Jacob, was also preemie with breathing problems.

After the birth of her daughter Julia, Manuela had her tubes tied. Manuela and Tiell wanted to have a child that was part of both of them. Manuela underwent surgery to reverse the tubal ligation.

"We wanted on baby between us, and ended up with three babies," said Tiell with a huge smile.

Manuela conceived the triplets on the first try with fertility drugs and invitro fertilization. The fertility doctor inserted the three fertilized eggs on February 14, but we didn't know that we had three babies for sure until around the middle of March, said Manuela.

"I had morning sickness up to two weeks before I delivered," said Manuela. Along with the morning sickness, Manuela had to deal with the torn muscles of her stomach and abdomen as the triplets grew inside her. For part of her pregnancy, Manuela was on bed rest to prevent the early delivery of the triplets.

The triplets were delivered at 33 weeks gestation.

"I just came in for a routine appointment and since the biggest baby Jacob wasn't moving so much and since his breathing had slowed down they (the doctors) decided to do a caesarian section. I wasn't scheduled for a caesarian section until next week," said Manuela.

"I received a call saying that I needed to have someone from my unit drive me to the hospital. We 're doing the caesarian section on your wife now. You need to come here ASAP," said Tiell.

Now that triplets have been born, the Sunderman's can plan for the triplet's homecoming and getting the babies' nursery complete. The couple has bought some items like two strollers for the infants and has some clothes and other items for the triplets.

The 4th CMMC has set up a donation box to help out the couple with the arrival of their triplets. If you are interested in donating any items for the couple and their triplets, please contact Sgt. Maj. Samuel Barfield at 287-3118.

"We appreciate anything people can give," said Tiell, "whether it be clothes, toys, blankets, diapers or any other baby items."

The couple has received great support throughout the pregnancy.

"We want to thank all the doctors and nurses at Darnall OBGYN clinic for all their support in the delivery of our triplets. They gave us the support we needed during the difficult pregnancy," said Manuela and Tiell.

The triplets were the third set of triplets born at Darnall in the past 14 months according to the doctors at the OBGYN clinic, said Tiell.