Triple joy for new parents
FOR six long years, Sharon Graham longed for a third child to complete her happy family. All she had to do was convince her reluctant husband, Adam, that it was a good idea.
FOR six long years, Sharon Graham longed for a third child to complete her happy family.
All she had to do was convince her reluctant husband, Adam, that it was a good idea.
So she persevered, until one day he gave in, agreeing to grant his wife's wish of becoming a mother once more.
But 12 weeks into the pregnancy, the couple were given the news that neither of them could have prepared for - they were to become parents to not only one more child, but three.
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And on Hallowe'en, Mr and Mrs Graham, from Bury St Edmunds, said waved goodbye to a good night's sleep and said hello to three healthy baby girls - Aeryn, Nicole and Rhianna.
“When we were told we were having triplets, it came as a complete shock - Adam nearly fell off his chair, and I just burst out crying with happiness,” said Mrs Graham, 36.
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But despite their joy, the couple were told there was a chance not all of the triplets would survive, and were even given the opportunity to have one or more of their unborn babies terminated.
“That wasn't even an option for us, but it was really awful living with the knowledge there was a chance one of the triplets might die,” said Mrs Graham, who gave birth via caesarean section 33 weeks into her pregnancy.
“Until the birth, we couldn't bring ourselves to prepare for them properly or buy things for them, just in case the worst happened. But now we know they are all okay, it has been a mad rush getting things ready.”
Because they were born prematurely - with the youngest weighing just 31b 11oz - the sisters had to be kept at the Special Baby Care Unit at West Suffolk Hospital, until they could feed properly.
As well as having to buy three of everything, Mr and Mrs Graham - who have an eight-year-old daughter, Shola, and a seven-year-old son, Callum - now need a new car big enough for the whole family, and are even in the process of buying a bigger house.
But for now, one of their biggest challenges is trying to tell their daughters - who have also been named after three witches from the television show Charmed in honour of their birthday - apart.
“We have been told that two of them are identical, but we have no idea which one is which yet and are relying on name tags on their feet,” said Mr Graham, 34, who runs his own television aerial firm.
“I always said I didn't want anymore children, and now we have three more mouths to feed. It has been an emotional roller-coaster for us, but I am a very proud father and we just feel so lucky that all three babies are healthy.”
Paediatrician Ian Evans said women had a one in 6450 chance of giving birth to triplets. “The staff at the Special Care Baby Unit think these could be the first triplets we have had here for 15 years,” he said.
“Most triplets are born as the result of fertility treatment, and it is quite rare for a set to be born naturally.”