Welsh Mum Defies Odds Of 200 Million To One Giving Birth To Naturally Conceived Identical Triplets

Welsh Mum Defies Odds Of 200 Million To One Giving Birth To Naturally Conceived Identical TripletsTriangle News

A 26-year-old mum beat odds of 200 million to one after giving birth to naturally conceived identical triplets. 

Katie Craw and her partner Rob Ellis, from Pentre Maelor, Wales, decided to start trying for a second child when their son, Jacob, started school.

The pair couldn’t wait to give Jacob a little brother or sister, and thankfully their wishes soon started to become a reality as Katie became pregnant during their second month of trying.

Ultrasound of identical tripletsTriangle News

Katie and Rob went to their local hospital for a scan at what they thought would be 12 weeks, though the pair wondered if the mum was actually further along than anticipated as she’d already ‘started to fit into [her] old maternity clothes and was getting a bit of a podge’.

As it turned out, however, Katie was only eight weeks pregnant, and her fast-growing belly was down to the number of babies she was carrying.

Mum showing off baby bump with tripletsTriangle News

Recalling the moment she found out about the triplets, Katie said:

Within five seconds of the sonographer having the scanner on my tummy she asked me to take a deep breath in. 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!’

We were taken to a side room. I was crying and Rob was as white as a sheet.

Couple's son holding ultrasound of babiesTriangle News

Triplets usually occur when two eggs are fertilised at once, and one of the eggs goes on to grow into twins. However, Katie’s situation beat staggering odds of 200 million to one as her triplets were formed from one egg, which split into three after conception. As a result, the babies are genetically identical, known as monozygotic.

Katie continued:

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.

When I found out I was pregnant with three I thought, ‘We can’t afford a big car or a bigger house.’ It was a lot to take in. But my nanna said to me things happen for a reason and these are the cards life has dealt you.

Mum in hospital with tripletsTriangle News

The next few weeks of pregnancy went well, but at 26 weeks consultants began to worry as baby Tommy, the triplet closest to the birth canal, looked like he wasn’t gaining weight.

Katie was given a steroid injection and booked in to see an expert in multiple births. There, doctors told her that it was unlikely the triplets really would be identical, but they soon came to ‘eat their words’.

Three identical tripletsTriangle News

The mum explained:

Before the doctor scanned me he had a look at my notes and he said, ‘I don’t want to rain on your parade but the chances of you being pregnant with identical triplets is miniscule – I’ve never seen it myself – so the team in Wrexham have probably got it wrong.’

He was convinced he’d find two separate placentas that had fused together. We were resigned to the fact we were having triplets by this point so I wasn’t really bothered about how they got there – we’d already got over the shock.

When he realised they were identical, even he was amazed. He said he’d eat his words as it was something he’d never seen before. He said it was textbook stuff that he was seeing.

Mum smiles with childrenTriangle News

After the appointment with the specialist the babies continued growing at a good rate, and Katie was booked in for a cesarean at 32 weeks, as is normal practice with multiple births.

Katie was put on bed rest when she started experiencing contractions at 28 weeks, but at 30 weeks they started up again and Katie was rushed to hospital in Wrexham.

The plan was for her to undergo surgery in Liverpool but there wasn’t enough time to get her there, and so she underwent an emergency cesarean on February 9.

Identical tripletsTriangle News

The family welcomed Tommy, weighing 2lbs 11.5oz, Joshua, weighing 3lbs 4.5oz, and Eddie, weighing at 3lbs 3.5oz.

Katie recalled:

The whole team at the Maelor dealt with it so unbelievably well, I can’t thank them enough.

Tommy came out and took a big breath and screamed and the whole of the theatre cheered. And it was the same with Joshua and Eddie. I was full of adrenaline.

Triplets in hospital after birthTriangle News

The babies were transferred to Glan Clwyd Hospital where they remained for the next few weeks, while Katie and Rob juggled work and childcare for Jacob while visiting the babies amid lockdown and social distancing procedures.

Josh and Eddie were able to go home after seven weeks, and Tommy followed 10 days later on April 10, when the family were finally all together for the first time. At first, Katie and Rob had to leave the babies’ hospital tags on in order to tell them apart.

Family all together after welcoming tripletsTriangle News

Katie commented:

Now they’re here, I just feel like I’m in a bubble of happiness. They’re absolutely smashing.

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.

I keep thinking I’m going to crash or have an emotional day but I’m just so happy we’re all home and cracking on.

Identical tripletsTriangle News

The big family have been overwhelmed by the kindness they’ve experienced from members of their community, who have left packs of nappies and other supplies on their doorstep to help the young couple financially.

Katie added:

We really do feel so lucky. They say it takes a village to raise a child and it’s so true.

The parents described their new arrivals as a ‘ray of sunshine’ amid the uncertainty of the world at the moment, and I’m sure the babies will only continue to bring them joy.


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