5:42pm Monday 30th September 2013
By Hayley Mills
A PONTYPOOL couple have taken their rare identical triplets home after they were delivered by emergency C-section.
The pregnancy has been a rollercoaster ride for Karen Gilbert and her husband Ian who received the shock news of the triplets when she was eight weeks pregnant
The couple had rushed to Neville Hall Hospital fearing they had lost their planned unborn baby after Mrs Gilbert suffered severe pain, when they were delivered the news.
Their consultant told them that there were about 150 triplet births in the UK last year, including pregnancy via IVF, so natural conception of triplets is extremely rare.
However, with doctors fearing the three foetuses would not survive due to lack of space in the womb, she was offered a termination on two occasions.
But the couple were determined to go ahead with the pregnancy.
Mrs Gilbert, 32, said: “We had weekly scans to keep an eye on them, and we had a planned C-section date, but we never made it.
“During one of the scans I had severe pain so they kept me in overnight and at 2am on August 2 they were born via emergency Caesarean section, two months early.”
The three girls, Ffion, Madison and Paige, weighing 3lb 8oz, 3lb 5oz and 3lb 4oz respectively, were kept in incubators for just over a week.
They stayed in hospital for a further four weeks before being allowed home after impressing doctors with their weight gain.
She explained that they are coping at home by sticking to a strict pattern of how they do tasks, which they have called ‘operation triplets’.
Since we ran their plea for advice from other parents in March they received a number of emails.
She said: “The word we kept hearing was route so we have developed a strict one.
“They are fed every four hours with Paige being fed and changed first, then Madison and then Ffion. It’s the only way we can manage as you only have one pair of hands.”
Mr Gilbert, 34, takes over the night feeds to give his wife a full nights sleep.
The couple already have a three year old daughter, Faye, who is enjoying having her three sisters home.
As the triplets are identical, the couple are just learning how to tell them apart, but for now they are still wearing their name bracelets and the couple always sit them in the same order.
She added: “We have been supported by our family and friends and it’s wonderful to have the three of them at home doing well.
“It’s just about quantity and having to purchase three of everything and doing a task three times but we love having them in our lives.”
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