Gina Dewdney, 34, and her husband Craig, 35, from Frodsham in Cheshire, tried for a baby during the pandemic – and ended up with extremely rare identical triplets. Here the mum of three tells her story…
“As soon as the triplets have been put to bed at 7pm, I spring into action. Although I’ve been on the go all day, I know if I’m not organised for the next morning I’ll be chasing my tail and there’ll be chaos.
So I’ll put all the babygrows and bedding in the wash, tidy up a bit then make up the bottles of formula the boys will need, prepare cereal for their breakfast and some pureed vegetables for lunch. I’ll line it all up in the fridge ready for the morning when I know they’ll all be hungry at once.
I don’t sit down for dinner until at least 9.30pm and I’m lucky if I manage to finish eating before one of the triplets wakes up.
It’s hard work and it’s relentless, but it’s so worth it. When I see Jensen, Jaxson and Jimmy – who turned one last week – babbling away or reaching for each other’s hands, I couldn’t feel happier or more fulfilled. It’s incredible that they’re here at all.
They’re identical, meaning they came from the same egg and share the exact same genes. They also shared the same placenta in the womb. It’s such a rare occurrence that doctors say their birth is a one in 200 million chance.
Believe it or not, I never planned to have a big family – and especially not all at once.
When Craig and I went for the 13-week scan in December 2020, my suspicions were confirmed. It was a shock even though I’d joked about it. But as I tried to process the news, there was a much bigger shock. The sonographer changed the angle of the screen and Craig said, “Is that another head?”
There was a long silence during which you could have heard a pin drop, then we were told, “Yes, it’s triplets.”
The sonographer said she’d never seen naturally-conceived triplets in 25 years of scanning. As the babies were sharing a placenta, we were told that as well as being extremely rare there were also plenty of things that could go wrong.
I was told I was having two girls and a boy, so I went out and spent £500 on clothes for girls. But a couple of weeks later it was established that I was having three boys – another surprise.
I grew enormous and uncomfortable really quickly and was more than ready when the babies were born by caesarean at 33 weeks on April 26 last year. All three were born within just over a minute. Jimmy weighed 3lbs, Jensen 2.8lbs and Jaxson 2lbs.
The first time I saw them properly was in the ICU where they were receiving oxygen to build up their lungs. They looked like three little aliens lying there, connected to wires and machines, their skin paper thin.
Luckily all three developed well and six weeks later we were thrilled to be able to bring them home. We’d bought three little cots, three prams – including a single, a double and a triple – car seats and clothes.
Because they were still so small I had to feed them every two hours, which could take 45 minutes for each triplet. The other two would be crying which was so stressful, especially when I was on my own.
There was always one baby awake throughout the night so I got used to surviving on very little sleep.
The boys get through a tub of formula every day, along with a pack of 24 nappies. I take them for a walk most days but when I’m on my own, that’s as adventurous as it gets. When Craig’s around we’ve gone on occasional family day trips, which of course entails a lot of careful planning, but we’re not brave enough to go on holiday yet.