Katie Craw, a British mother beats 200-million-to-one odds to give birth to naturally conceived rare identical triplets, according to media reports. The 26 year old who hails from Pentre Maelor, Wales, and her partner, Rob Ellis, were very surprised when they found out that they had not one but three on the way; the family is one of the few in Britain to have identical triplets.
Katie, who had given birth to a son in 2015, noticed that something was different about her second pregnancy even before she had the ultrasound.
“I’d started to fit into my old maternity clothes and was getting a bit of a podge so we thought I was a lot further along,” the mom of four said.
The expecting parents were told by the hospital staff about how rare the pregnancy was but they didn’t know exactly how rare at that point. “They thought it was two eggs where one had split,” Katie said.
However, the doctors later found that Katie and Rob’s triplets were monozygotic, all three coming from the same egg, making the odds of such a birth even rarer.
When Katie had the first ultrasound at 12 weeks, the couple could see the tech was quite surprised, and she thought the medic was going to tell her “some bad news.” But the tech instead revealed the big surprise, saying, “‘I can see three heartbeats,’” Katie said.
At first, the parents were worried about the risks that often come with higher-order births. The doctors had told them about the complications associated with multiple births, but the experts also reassured them that they could “still have three healthy babies.” The best sign at this point was that all three were protected by amniotic fluid.
During an ultrasound at 26 weeks, a multiple-births expert at Liverpool Womens’ Hospital crosschecked Katie’s pregnancy report thinking if her boys were really identical, but after realizing that the triplets had indeed all come from the same egg, the doctor, too, was surprised.
“He said he’d eat his words as it was something he’d never seen before,” Katie said. “He said it was textbook stuff that he was seeing.”
On Feb. 9, at 30 weeks, Katie had an emergency C-section, and her three boys were born healthy.
“I was so scared but it was like a bubble of excitement, people were making jokes, making me smile, the whole team were amazing,” Katie said of her local hospital. “Tommy came out and took a big breath and screamed and the whole of the theater cheered. And it was the same with Joshua and Eddie. I was full of adrenaline.”
As Katie gave birth just as the global pandemic of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, was beginning to hit the United Kingdom, her premature triplets had to spend extra time at the hospital, and it wasn’t until April 10 that the family was reunited at home.
While the combination of both parents working, taking care of their 4-year-old son Jacob, and looking after the newborn triplets has been intense, the one-in-200-million family is glad to be together.
“It was difficult not having us all together,” Katie said. “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 moms do so I feel really lucky.”