Three sisters from the United Kingdom now hold two Guinness World Records at the age of two. This global authority on records has this week confirm the triplets are the most prematurely born triplets, and also the ones that weighed the least at birth, that still survived.
The pregnancy lasted just 22 weeks and five days and the three babies, all three girls, were born 121 days premature. Rubi-Rose, Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae Hopkins together weighed just 1.28 kg at birth.
They were born on February 14, 2021 and had to spend 216 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
The trio is dizygotic (non-identical) triplets, which means that Rubi-Rose has a unique genetic makeup, while Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae are identical twins.
Michaela White, the mother of the triplets, says that she found out with her first ultrasound scan that she was 19 weeks pregnant with three babies.
Only three weeks later she gave birth.
Jason Hopkins, the triplets’ father, describes his children’s birth as “the fastest pregnancy he has ever heard of”.
“We just found out we were expecting triplets and when we saw them again, they were here,” he told Guinness World Records.
For White, however, the day of her children’s birth was “very traumatic”.
“I started having contractions, but the babies didn’t want to come out.”
Rubi-Rose was born first with a weight of 467 g. She was placed in a polythene sheath which served as a temporary womb to reduce heat loss or the risk of hypothermia.
After Rubi-Rose’s birth, White had to be rushed to the operating theater for an emergency caesarean section. Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae were born approximately an hour and a half after their sister at 12:01 and 12:02. Payton-Jane weighed only 402 g, while Porscha-Mae weighed 415 g.
The triplets were placed in separate incubators after birth. Each baby had to breathe on her own for ten seconds before the medical staff would step in to provide oxygen.
The triplets survived the first ten critical seconds, but the next 72 hours were still terrifying and crucial. Medical staff could not give any assurance that the triplets would survive this period.
“The first few days I was with them all the time, I didn’t want to go anywhere, I was so worried that one of them wouldn’t make it,” says White.
Miraculously, all three babies survived the three days and are now happy two-year-olds.
The Hopkins family is using TikTok to raise awareness about premature babies and mental health issues.
“Depression after birth in fathers is not real [as ŉ probleem] don’t recognize,” Hopkins said. “The whole experience for a father can cause a lot of alienation and more people should be aware of this.”
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