Three is the magic number for proud parents of IDENTICAL triplets

Bouncing baby girls Ffion, Maddison and Paige are now home for the first time after spending six weeks in intensive care.
But the girls are only here thanks to the determination of proud parents Karen and Ian Gilbert who say they twice defied doctors’ calls to terminate the pregnancy.
Medical professionals feared the rare pregnancy – caused by a single egg splitting into three – could have ended in tragedy.
Thankfully Ffion, Maddison and Paige – born weighing just 3.8lbs, 3.5lbs and 3.4lbs – and are now doing well aged eight weeks.

Mum Karen, 32, from Pontypool, Monmouthshire, gave birth two months early by cesarean section on August 2.
She said: “It’s been crazy. I still feel like someone’s going to tell me I’ve had my time with them now and take them away.
“We got married, went on honeymoon to New York, and came back to find out we were expecting.
“At first we thought it was one, but at eight weeks I got some really bad pains. We thought it was a miscarriage but it turns out it was three babies fighting for space.
“The pregnancy has taken its toll but now I’m taking my time to recover and get to know my three beautiful girls.

“Their personalities are already starting to shine through and I can’t wait to get to know them better.”

Despite now being eight weeks old, the three girls are still tiny, weighing just six pounds, not even the size of an average newborn.
Proud father Ian, 34, a business manager, said: “At first they didn’t look real and you could pick them up with one hand. It was a bit of a shock.

“Now we’ve got them home we are coming to terms with it. They are starting to feel like our own.
“We had a few scares during the pregnancy, especially when Karen fell top to bottom down the stairs.
“Our three-year-old daughter Faye was in bed and I was at work. I came home to find Karen unconscious on the floor.

“I was petrified. I still can’t believe we made it through.”
Identical triplets occur when one egg splits into three. It means they share the same placenta and fluid.
Due to the dangers associated with triplets, the couple were offered terminations by two different hospitals.
Ian said: “They were concerned about twin to twin syndrome, when the babies take each other’s fluid or space and starve or cramp each other.
“It has really taken its toll on Karen. Because they are identical, they all share the same placenta and the same fluid. They all grew and fought so quickly it was practically ripping Karen’s muscles apart.

“But we couldn’t consider termination – they were our babies. We were scanned every week to make sure they were growing fine.
“At the last scan at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny Karen was in very serious pain. The doctors gave her pain killers but she started having contractions.
“Karen gave birth at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, but we got transferred back for the ante natal care.”

Admin assistant Karen said: “We were worried the hospital wouldn’t have enough beds and we’d have to split them up. It would have been horrible.
“There was also the worry that one would be ready to come home before the others.

“Luckily, we managed to keep them together.
“The doctors thought it could be up to three months before we could bring them home so we feel privileged to have got them here with us so soon.”
Julian Hayman, press office for Nevill Hall Hospital, said: “The midwives were all thrilled to have a triplet birth at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

“Everyone involved has taken great care of the girls to ensure their speedy return home.”


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