It may be extremely rare for a mother to give birth to identical triplets, but 32-year-old U.K. woman Karen Gilbert knows first-hand that it’s not impossible, ABC News reports.
Eight weeks into the pregnancy, Karen, who already has daughter Faye at home, had terrible pains and worried that she might be miscarrying. Instead, she says she found out “it was three babies fighting for space.”
While the three girls — Ffion, Maddison, and Paige — are all healthy, Karen’s husband Ian said the pregnancy was far from easy for his wife. “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,” Ian said.
Karen ran the risk of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a condition that causes blood from one fetus to transfer to another. Despite this risk, Karen and Ian opted out of selective reduction, which is a procedure that would have aborted one or more fetuses in order to lower the risk. “We were scanned every week to make sure they were growing fine,” Ian said.
Although the babies are doing well now, the shock of how little they were after being born prematurely wasn’t lost on the new parents. “At first they didn’t look real and you could pick them up with one hand,” said Ian of the triplets, who weighed less than 11 pounds combined when born.
“The pregnancy has taken its toll, but now I’m taking my time to recover and get to know my three beautiful girls,” Karen said.
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Source: ABC News