A couple have welcomed a third child in a set of IVF triplets – and remarkably each child has been born two years apart.
Karen Marks, 35, and husband James, 37, from Taunton, had their first child, Cameron, four years ago, followed by their second child, Isabella, two years ago. and welcomed their most recent child, Gabriella, last month.
But amazingly, the three youngsters are considered triplets, because they were conceived on the same day – and at the same time – through IVF, from the same batch of embryos.
Karen said: ‘Some people go through IVF and sadly don’t ever have a baby, but we’ve managed to have three, so we just feel so lucky.
Gabi was our last embryo, so she’s our last baby now.
‘I feel complete now, I’m so happy. My heart is very full.’
When Karen gave birth to Cameron on September 1, 2018, the couple kept their viable embryos frozen so they could add to their family later on. Isabella was then born on September 15, 2020, and Gabriella was born on July 3, 2022.
With three children under five they now have their hands full but feel like the luckiest couple in the world after their long journey to becoming parents.
The couple married in 2014, and soon began to fear they might never have a child of their own after Karen failed to get pregnant and was diagnosed with fertility issues.
Karen explained: ‘We tried for a year to conceive naturally and nothing happened, so we went to the GP and they ran some tests.
There’s no specific reason. She doesn’t ovulate regularly so that’s the main thing, but other than that, there’s no reason – they don’t have any conditions.
‘We had five embryos made up. We’ve lost two – I miscarried one in 2019, and then one in September last year, a month before we fell pregnant with Gabi.’
Throughout her IVF journey, Karen sadly miscarried twice – once in 2019 and a second time in 2021 – and feared losing baby Gabi after experiencing bleeding early on and then falling ill with Covid late last year.
Despite Karen losing half a stone during a difficult week of battling Covid, baby Gabi stayed strong and finally joined her family last month, weighing 7lbs 5.5oz
After a long journey to motherhood, Karen said she never hesitates to tell people her children are IVF babies and hopes her experience will encourage others to try IVF if struggling to fall pregnant.
She added: ‘Infertility never leaves you. Pregnancy announcements can still be painful, especially when someone has seemingly conceived easily.
‘It’s a battle and a journey, and while part of me believes there’s a reason we had to go through it, we’ve met so many wonderful people along the way.
‘If you’ve exhausted all other options, then crack on and go for it. IVF is fine. Don’t put it off or avoid it. It’s the most likely fertility treatment to work, and it did for us.’
Karen had once dreamt of four children, but feels incredibly lucky to have had three children and believes her family is ‘complete’ following Gabi’s arrival.