Xeno's strange news awards blog.
Bouncing baby girls Ffion, Maddison and Paige are now home for the first time after spending six weeks in intensive care.
And the girls are only here thanks to proud parents Karen and Ian Gilbert who claim they rejected doctors’ calls to terminate the pregnancy TWICE.
Medical professionals feared the rare birth – caused by a single egg splitting into three – could see the babies take each other’s fluid and space potentially killing one another. But amazingly Ffion, Maddison and Paige – born weighing just 3.8lbs, 3.5lbs and 3.4lbs – have defied the odds and are now doing well aged eight weeks.
Mum Karen, 32, from Pontypool, Monmouthshire, gave birth two months early by c-section on August 2. …
She said: “It’s been crazy. I still feel like someone’s going to tell me I’ve had my time with them now and take them away. We got married, went on honeymoon to New York, and came back to find out we were expecting. At first we thought it was one, but at eight weeks I got some really bad pains. We thought it was a miscarriage but it turns out it was three babies fighting for space. The pregnancy has taken its toll but now I’m taking my time to recover and get to know my three beautiful girls. …
How do they get 200 million to one as the odds?
Research varies on the instances of monozygotic triplets. Estimates range between one in 60,000 and one in 200 million. When a British woman gave birth to identical girls in Austria in August 2007 without fertility interventions, the event was termed as something that only happens “in about one in 200,000 pregnancies”, or in one out of every six triplet pregnancies. … In 2013, a set of identical triplet girls were born in California. Dr. William Gilbert, director of Women’s Services for Sutter Health in Sacramento, explained that the occurrence is so rare that it was difficult to accurately measure statistically. He placed the odds at one in 1 million to one in 100 million. Another study suggested that identical triplets occur only 20 to 30 times for every one million births. There doesn’t seem to be a clear definition of what exactly the odds are, perhaps because it is so rare.