Giving birth to triplets is a pretty rare thing—especially when multiples don't run in your family and no fertility treatments are used. But giving birth to identical triplets? Apparently those are one-in-200-million kind of odds. And it looks like Karen Gilbert of Wales just beat them.
On August 2, Gilbert gave birth to Ffion, Madison, and Paige—identical triplets who arrived two months early to a lot of fanfare.
"The pregnancy has taken its toll but now I’m taking my time to recover and get to know my three beautiful girls," Karen told the Daily Mail, who said she was both stunned and excited to learn she was having triplets.
But as thrilled as she was to welcome her three girls, the news of Gilbert's pregnancy didn't exactly have her doctors jumping for joy as well. In fact, they twice gave her the option to end the pregnancy altogether, fearing the babies wouldn't have enough space.
If that sounds a little crazy at first read (considering Kate Gosselin somehow managed to fit six babies in there), it's actually a very real worry with identical babies.
"They were concerned about twin-to-twin syndrome," explained Karen's husband, Ian. "When the babies take each other’s fluid or space and starve or cramp each other." Since identical babies occur when one egg splits multiple ways, they all share the same sacs, with the same fluid and the same placenta. (Quite different from the way fraternal babies hang out in the womb, which allows for a tad more breathing room.)
Doctors later asked if she would like to choose to keep only one, or maybe even two of them alive. But the Gilberts weren't budging. They were having all three girls.
"We couldn’t consider termination – they were our babies," said Ian. "They were scanned every week to make sure they were growing fine."
And while the pregnancy may have been a gamble, the Gilberts sure played their cards right. Ffion, Madison, and Paige didn't just make it through seven months together in the womb; they even made it home from the hospital a month earlier than expected. (And as you can see, all three are as cute as a button!)