A 30-year-old woman who had been on the ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴇᴘᴛɪᴠᴇ ᴘɪʟʟ for 10 years was sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ to find out she was pregnant – but that was nothing compared to her surprise at discovering she was expecting triplets.
Nicola Stead, an assistant producer at CBeebies, wasn’t planning on having children quite yet with her partner Chris, 29, when she started experiencing extreme ᴍᴏʀɴɪɴɢ sɪᴄᴋɴᴇss in June last year. Wondering whether she was pregnant, Nicola took a pregnancy test which confirmed her suspicions, but a scan five weeks later revealed the enormity of what was about to happen.
“The sonographer couldn’t see anything at first and I thought I’d ʟᴏsᴛ them but after an internal scan they revealed we were expecting triplets and they were non identical,” Nicola said. “We couldn’t believe it, we were scared, excited, and anxious all in one.”
The ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴇᴘᴛɪᴠᴇ ᴘɪʟʟ is 99% effective when taken properly, and even if you accidentally miss one or take one a little later than usual, the efficacy rate is still 93%, so Nicola tried to work out what had happened. Upon reflection, she realized the triplets’ ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇᴘᴛɪᴏɴ had happened when she stopped taking the ᴘɪʟʟ for two days in preparation for having the ᴄᴏɪʟ ꜰɪᴛᴛᴇᴅ.
“I’d always thought I would struggle to ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇ for some reason so when I found out it was a complete sʜᴏᴄᴋ,” she said. Plus, the fact that the triplets are non-identical means she would have released three separate ᴇɢɢs which were all ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴇᴅ individually.
At their 20-week scan, Nicola and Chris discovered they were expecting two boys and a girl, and 13 weeks later – at 33 weeks and four days pregnant – Nicola gave birth to three healthy babies. Joshua James, Oliver George, and Mila Rose all weighed over four pounds each.
Having been born a month and a half earlier than usual, the triplets were kept in the hospital, but only for two weeks before they were allowed to go home. Now, life is very different for the couple. “Looking after the triplets is a full-time job but Joshua, Oliver, and Mila all tend to wake up and feed at the same time,” Nicola said.
Nicola explained how she’s had to swap her small car for a seven-seater, and how the family gets through a casual 150 nappies per week. “I’m constantly changing nappies, sorting feeds or washing clothes,” she said.
But they wouldn’t have it any other way. “Our lives have changed dramatically since we found out we were expecting triplets but we wouldn’t change it for the world.”