Shocked Katie Craw, 26, from Pentre Maelor, Wales, said she and partner Rob Ellis almost fainted when they were told their second child was actually three at their 12-week scan.
Usually triplets are non identical and are created when two eggs are fertilised and one goes on to grow into twins.
But Katie is one of just a handful of women in Britain to have identical triplets – known as monozygotic – where the fertilised egg splits into three after conception.
It makes miracle tots Tommy, Joshua and Eddie – born by emergency cesarean on February 9 – genetically identical.
Katie and Rob initially had to leave the tots’ hospital tags on in order to tell them apart.
The couple already had a four-year-old son Jacob, born in 2015, and wanted him to be at school when they started trying for their second.
Luckily Katie got pregnant the second month of trying and they excitedly prepared to welcome a new baby brother or sister.
But going in for their 12-week scan at their local hospital, the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, they were about to get the shock of their lives.
Katie wasn’t as far along as she thought and was only actually at eight weeks’ gestation with not one but three babies.
‘I thought she was going to tell me some bad news but she just came out with ‘I can see three heartbeats.’
‘I just knew she wasn’t joking. They kept saying to me you are taking this really well and I thought ‘I am not taking this really well!’
‘They said how rare it was but they didn’t know how rare at that point. They thought it was two eggs where one had split.
‘They told us about all the complications but they said you can still have three healthy babies.’
Two weeks later the couple returned for another scan where it was discovered that the babies each had their own sac of fluid.
The babies carried on growing at brilliant rates and Katie was booked in for a cesarean at 32 weeks – normal practice with multiple births.
But at 28 weeks, Katie began suffering contractions.
She spent five days back in Liverpool as they tried to stop them and was then sent home for bed rest.
However at 30 weeks and one day, they started up again and she was rushed by ambulance to hospital in Wrexham.
The plan was for her to undergo surgery in Liverpool, but there wasn’t enough time to get her there.
Welder Rob, 29, was at her bedside as she had an emergency cesarean on February 9, with Tommy born at 17.50 weighing 2lbs 11.5oz, Joshua at 17.51 weighing 3lbs 4.5oz and Eddie at 17.52 at 3lbs 3.5oz.
‘The whole team at the Maelor dealt with it so unbelievably well, I can’t thank them enough,’ Katie said.
Tommy and Joshua were transferred that night to Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan, while Eddie followed a day later.
Thankfully Josh and Eddie only spent almost seven weeks in hospital and Tommy came home ten days after them on April 10 – with the family together for the first time.
Overjoyed Katie added: ‘It was difficult not having us all together. There were times when I felt really lonely and I could never see this day.
‘None of them have really had any issues and a lot of other mums do so I feel really lucky.