Now this is cool — Instant family!
Parents Lauren and Jack Mountain, from Bewdley, Worcs, were shocked to learn during their 12-week scan that they were not expecting their first child, but their first three.
“When we found out we were having triplets it was a complete shock, we couldn’t believe it,” Lauren, 28, said. “It was pretty hard to process and get our heads around it as there are no twins or multiples in the family.”
Lauren, who works as a sustainability adviser, shared that the couple were worried about how they would manage to look after three kids at the same time because her husband has been the only child and they had always envisioned having a small family themselves.
“It took a few weeks to process, then we became really excited,” Lauren said.
The first-time parents were referred to a specialist following their 12-week scan, due to a high risk of TTTS (twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome) because of the shared placenta. As it was a high-risk pregnancy, Lauren said they were “a bit scared and a bit nervous.”
“We FaceTimed family and friends to break the news and see the reaction on their faces,” Lauren said. “A lot of people couldn’t believe it and thought we were having them on. We had to show them the scan pictures to prove there really were three of them.”
At their 16-week scan, the then-expectant parents were told by doctors that the triplets would be boys. The excited parents then began choosing names.
“Because there were three there was less pressure than having to choose one name,” Lauren said. “We went for unusual names because they are so unusual themselves.”
Although Jack, 29, a plumber and heating engineer, was nervous initially, he was excited once he knew that the pregnancy was going well.
Due to the pandemic, Jack was unable to be with his wife during her hospital scans, which he admits was hard.
Lauren’s waters broke 10 weeks early and Jack rushed her to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
“I had to go under general anesthetic,” Lauren said. “It was very intense because they were born within eight hours.”
On Jan. 16, the triplets, River, Beau, and Leo, were born via emergency C-section within six minutes of each other. River and Beau weighed 3lb 1oz (1. 39 kg) while Leo weighed in at 3lb (1.36 kg) after being born at 6.59 a.m., 7.04 a.m., and 7:06 a.m. respectively.
“I woke up 12 hours later when they were already in the neonatal unit so I didn’t meet them until later that night,” Lauren said. “I saw them first on Jack’s phone because he’d been allowed to meet them earlier on.”
The couple had been worried about not being able to be together because of restrictions due to the pandemic, but because it was an emergency delivery, Jack was able to be by Lauren’s side.
After the healthy birth, the couple were told that the odds of having naturally conceived identical triplets is one in 200 million.
“Three identical is very rare,” Lauren said. “With triplets most of the time you get twins and one singleton.
“I’m in a Facebook group for triplet moms and there are a few that have been born more premature but none that are identical and naturally conceived.”
Beau and Leo have now returned home with their mom and dad while River remains in hospital as he still requires breathing assistance.
“It’s been a very tiring few weeks, months actually—but we are doing good now,” Lauren said. “It’s madness with Beau and Leo at home and we are going back and forth to hospital to see River every day.
“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.”
The couple believe the situation is very hard, but they have been able to be hopeful and believe that River would be able to join the family in weeks, rather than months, although Lauren said “everything depends on the baby.”
However, the new parents are grateful to have some support from the boys’ grandparents who have been able to look after Leo and Beau while they visit River in the hospital, or even when they take a shower.
As for telling the triplets apart, Lauren said currently only she, Jack, and a few family members are able to tell them apart. The new mom said even the nurses at the hospital found it hard to tell the triplets apart.
“There are differences in their head shape we use to distinguish them but they might grow out of those,” Lauren said.