A couple have welcomed the most premature triplets – defying odds of “200 million to one”.
Lauren and Jack Mountain’s babies River, Beau and Leo arrived 10 weeks early becoming the most premature identical triplets ever to be born in the UK.
The tiny trio were born within just six minutes of one another moths after Lauren and Jack were left stunned at finding out they were expecting triplets.
Now the new parents say they are learning to tell their identical boys apart – by the shape of their heads.
Lauren, 28, and Jack, 29, from Bewdley, Worcestershire, were overjoyed when their incredibly rare triplets arrived safely into the world after being delivered by emergency C-section at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on January 16.
River and Beau weighed 3lbs 1oz while Leo weighed in slightly lighter at 3lbs after being born at 6.59am, 7.04am and 7.06am respectively.
She said: “When we found out we were having triplets it was a complete shock, we couldn’t believe it.
“It was pretty hard to process and get our heads around it as there are no twins or multiples in the family.
“We FaceTimed family and friends to break the news and see the reaction on their faces.
“A lot of people couldn’t believe it and thought we were having them on. We had to show them the scan pictures to prove there really were three of them.
“They were sharing a placenta so we were told it would be a high-risk pregnancy. We were a bit scared and a bit nervous.
“We were worried about how we would manage having three at the same time because Jack is an only child and we had always envisaged having a small family ourselves.
“It took a few weeks to process then we became really excited.
She described the birth as “a hectic few minutes to say the least.”
Beau and Leo have now returned home with their mum and dad while River remains in hospital as he still requires breathing assistance.
“It’s been a very tiring few weeks, months actually – but we are doing good now.
“It’s madness with Beau and Leo at home and we are going back and forth to hospital to see River every day.
“Thankfully we have got a lot of support because it is chaos already
Speaking about how they recognise which triplet is which, Lauren said: “It is probably only Jack and I and a few family members who can tell them apart. I think even the nurses in the hospital struggled.
“There are differences in their head shape we use to distinguish them but they might grow out of those.”
During the pregnancy the first time parents were referred to a specialist following their 12 weeks scan due to a high risk of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) because of the shared placenta.
Jack, 29, a plumber and heating engineer, said: “I was really shocked to find out we were having triplets and it took a while to sink in. “I was nervous about how we’d deal with having three at home at once.
“As an only child I had hoped to have a small family. It is a real handful but we are managing with help from our family.
“I was so excited once we knew the pregnancy was going well and I’m delighted to be their dad.”