Lauren, 28, and Jack Mountain, 29, were overjoyed when the pregnancy test was positive. The pregnancy was desired, and the couple looked forward to becoming parents. But when they went for the first ultrasound, they got a sʜᴏᴄᴋ. There was not one little baby lying inside Lauren’s stomach. There were three!
“It was absolutely incredible. We had to call family and friends on FaceTime to tell them the news – and see their reaction,” says Lauren.
Many thought she was just joking with them – because there are neither twins nor triplets in any of the families. And dad Jack is an only child.
The triplets shared a ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇɴᴛᴀ, so the young parents were told it was a high-ʀɪsᴋ pregnancy. But amazingly, it went well for a long time.
Ten weeks before their due date, the tiny babies had to be taken by ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. It took seven minutes from the first to the last to be born.
River and Beau both weighed 1.39 kilos, while Leo weighed 1.36 kilos. Lauren did not wake up until 12 hours after the operation, and by then the triplets had long since been installed in their respective incubators.
In April, Leo and Beau were allowed to come home. River, on the other hand, was born with a ᴄʜʀᴏɴɪᴄ ʟᴜɴɢ ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ and had to stay.
“It was bittersweet to be able to go home with two of them while River had to stay in the hospital,” Lauren says.
The following month, the parents alternated between being at home with the two children and at the hospital with the third. But in May, River was finally strong enough to allow him to come home.
“We have worked together with the doctors to get him stable. And in the end it was decided that it would be better for him to come home,” the proud mother of triplets said.
River still needs extra oxygen, but the parents have been trained in everything needed.
The chance of having identical triplets is extremely small: it is one in 200 million. And the triplets are also the earliest-born triplets in the UK, where all have survived. Until then, parents are able to distinguish between them by looking at their children’s head shapes. “It is probably only Jack and me, and a few family members, who see the difference. I think even the nurses struggled,” says Laura.
The couple are not planning any more children – at least not anytime soon. “Jack is an only child, and we had always imagined that we would be a small family,” says Laura and laughs.