Flushing woman delivers triplets at QHC in Jamaica

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When Flushing resident Paola Silva-Chambilla went to get a checkup early in her pregnancy, she and her husband, Roberto Chambilla, were more than a little surprised by a question posed to them by the sonogramist.

“She asked us if we knew how many babies we were having,” Silva-Chambilla, 37, said. “And we said, ‘Babies? What do you mean “babies”?’ Then we found out we were going to have triplets.”

Silva-Chambilla, 37, had those three babies June 6 at Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica: daughters Fernanda and Alexandra and son Alberto. The infants went home from the hospital last week.

“We were crying when we heard we were going to have triplets,” said Chambilla, a dietary aide at a nursing home in Jamaica. “They’re amazing.”

The Queens Hospital Center staff who has worked with the Chambilla family, Flushing residents originally from Peru, during the pregnancy were also ecstatic when the two girls and one boy were born. Fernanda, Alexandra and Alberto are their first children — and, chuckled Silva-Chambilla, their last. Both parents have twins in their families.

“She’s such a great mom,” said Soraya Rankin, a QHC social worker. “She’s so gung-ho about breast-feeding, which we really promote at the hospital. And she has great family support.”

Silva-Chambilla’s parents, Luisa and Augusto Silva, traveled from their hometown of Lima, Peru to help their daughter take care of the infants who were born about six weeks premature. The rest of Silva-Chambilla’s family, including her sister and two brothers, celebrated in Lima, where her sister set out balloons in front of her parents’ house to announce the infants’ arrival.

Although the three babies were born early, the Chambilla family’s nurses and doctors said the infants were healthy and their weight was good for being triplets and premature. Fernanda weighed 4 pounds, 4.8 ounces; Alexandra was 4 pounds, 13.6 ounces; and Alberto was the largest at 5 pounds, 1 ounce.

“We were so thrilled and happy they chose our hospital to deliver here,” said Zenaida Magnaye-Banzoni, the assistant director of nursing. “They’re a very special family and the grandparents are so helpful.”

Luisa Silva, a nutritionist in Peru, immediately warmed to the hospital staff and crocheted them little bibs that said the names of her new grandchildren.

“I was very surprised about the attention we got in this hospital,” Luisa Silva said. “Everyone was so caring.”

Silva-Chambilla also said she was “eternally grateful” to the doctors, nurses and staff at Queens Hospital Center.

The mother, a former journalist who moved from Peru to Flushing three years ago to be with her husband, said while the idea of having three children can be daunting, she and her husband spent months preparing for the triplets’ arrival. They, of course, bought the necessities — car seats, cribs — and Silva-Chambilla was extremely careful about her diet.

“My mom’s a nutritionist, so she really helped out,” Silva-Chambilla said. “She sent a lot of things from Peru, like grains from the Andes. I was very healthy; that was very important to me.”

Now the Chambilla family are focusing on getting to know the newest additions to their family.

“We already see their personalit­ies,” Silva-Chambilla said. “Fernanda, she’s very strong. Alexandra is the loudest, a diva, and my baby boy, he’s noble.”

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 5:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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