1 in 200 million odds
A couple from Worcestershire have defied odds of “between one in 200 million to one in two million” and welcomed one of the most premature sets of identical triplets into the world.
Lauren, 28, was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital on 16 January this year where she gave birth by emergency cesarean section to her identical sons River, Beau, and Leo all within six minutes of each other.
Lauren and her husband, Jack, were shocked to learn that she was carrying triplets at her 12- week scan but were soon overjoyed at the news.
Lauren said: “They were sharing a placenta so we were told it would be a high-risk pregnancy. We were a bit scared and a bit nervous”.
Three identical is very rare
The first-time parents were referred to a specialist following their scan due to a high risk of TTTS (twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome) because of the shared placenta.
Lauren added: “Thankfully there were no problems like that and it was a healthy birth”.
“When my waters suddenly broke Jack rushed me into hospital and I had to go under general anaesthetic”.
“It was very intense because they were born within eight hours”.
“The birth actually went really well, it was a healthy birth”.
“There were only six minutes between them. River was at 6.59 am, Beau at 7.04 am and Leo at 7.06 am”.
“It was a hectic few minutes to say the least”.
“Three identical is very rare. There are a lot of numbers going round but have heard everything between one in 200 million to one in two million”.
Born ten weeks early and weighing only 3lbs
The boys were born 10 weeks early with River and Beau weighing 3lbs 1oz while Leo weighed in at only 3lbs. Because they were born so prematurely, they had to be kept in hospital for several months. Beau and Leo have now returned home with their parents while River remains in hospital as he still requires breathing assistance.
Lauren said: “It is bittersweet being able to take the two home and leaving River in the hospital when he is otherwise so strong and healthy”.
“We are just waiting for him to grow a little bit more and build up his lung strength so he can come home”.
More premature babies are being born and going on to survive
Babies like River, Beau and Leo, although born at 30 weeks, could have been aborted if any of them were disabled. Babies are continuing to be born before or shortly after the abortion limit of 24 weeks’ gestation in Great Britain and going on to survive and thrive at greater rates than before. Studies suggest that the majority of premature babies grow up to be healthy adults without any major health problems.
A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October 2019, followed 2.56 million babies born in Sweden between 1973 and 1997, around six percent of whom were born prematurely.
Researchers compared the health data of the premature babies to those that had been born at full term. They found that 55% of premature babies had no serious chronic, physical, or mental health issues by early adulthood. This is compared to 63% for babies born at full term.
Additionally, with each passing decade, the odds of survival for a premature baby to adulthood have improved from about 91% of babies born in the 1970s to about 96% of those born in the 1990s.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “This extremely rare and heart-warming event must be a source of great joy for their parents. Inside or outside of the womb, these boys’ lives are precious. Sadly, in 2019, there were 126 selective reduction abortions performed on women pregnant with twins or triplets where the number of babies in the womb is “reduced” by abortion. While there was nothing like that here, it is a source of national shame that such a procedure is legal in the first place”.