A woman told she’d never have children is celebrating after giving birth to identical TRIPLETS – beating odds of 200 MILLION-TO-ONE.
Mary Cheung, 37, now has so much trouble telling them apart that she’s still not taken their hospital IDs off, despite them being six weeks old.
Mary was told her chances of conceiving naturally were next to zero and that if she and her husband Simon Cheung, 38, hoped to have children, they’d need help.
Incredibly, Mary fell pregnant after her first round of IVF treatment on the NHS, and had a daughter, Celina, three, in 2013.
Two years later they wanted to try again and, after scrimping and saving and calling on friends and family for help, paid £7K for private treatment.
And in January 2016 after another successful round of IVF the couple was astonished when doctors told them they were expecting triplets.
On both occasions, only one egg was implanted into Mary’s womb, but this second egg split three ways resulting in identical triplets.
Lewis, Leon and Lloyd were born two minutes apart on 19th July at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital – six weeks early.
After a brief seven-night stay they were allowed home to the couple’s home in Swindon in Wilts where they are now thriving.
Mum-of-four, Mary was told she would never had kids because she has Polycystic ovary syndrome.
She said: ‘I always wanted to give Simon a boy. I never expected I’d be able to give him three.
“When I was told I’d never be able to have children it took me over six months to come round. But I was determined I was going to be a mum, one way or another.
“Celina is my little miracle. I waited so long for her to come.
“But Simon and I are both from big families so it was always on the cards to have another.
“I knew something was different the moment I found out I was expecting.
“I had such bad morning sickness I couldn’t keep anything down.
“When we went for the six-week scan and the sonographer said: ‘there’s a nice healthy heartbeat’ we were overjoyed.
“Then she pointed at a different part of the screen and said: ‘there’s another one down here. And up here there’s one more’.
“I burst into tears and just kept saying ‘oh my gosh’. I couldn’t take it in.
“Telling them apart is the tricky thing. They’ve each got their own personalities, but we’ve had to keep their ID bracelets on so we know who’s who.”
Mary said she and her husband Simon, a project manager for an IT software company, went through a range of emotions after finding out they were to become parents to triplets.
She says: “We were told straight away it was the 2nd highest risk pregnancy there is and that it was very common to lose one, if not all three.
“It was terrifying, and until we had our 12-week scan we were a bag of nerves.
“Especially as they shared a placenta. There was a risk of twin-to-twin transfusion, where one baby starves another of nutrients.”
Mary, who developed gestational diabetes during the pregnancy, was referred to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford for fortnightly scans.
The triplets were monitored closely, and were booked in for a scheduled c-section at Great Western Hospital, Swindon.
But according to Mary, GWH had been inundated with early labours and no resus machines were available, so they were transferred to Exeter.
Lewis was born weighing 4lbs 6oz, followed two minutes later by Leon and Lloyd, both 3lbs 15oz.
Observing Chinese tradition, Mary didn’t leave the house for a month after the birth of the triplets, or allow any new baby stuff to pass the threshold until they were born.
That included the enormous triplet pushchair, shipped in from Germany, which set the couple back £1300, the price of a second hand car.
She says: “It’s certainly a talking point. It took me three hours to get round the shopping centre which usually takes just 15 minutes.
“People were stopping me outside every shop. It’s got a steering wheel on the front it’s that big! I need L plates and wing mirrors.”
Mary had to trade in her beloved Audi A6 for a seven-seater Mazda Shiraz with four car seats and multiple internal mirrors.
“It’s still not big enough,” Mary says. “Our life has been turned upside down, but we couldn’t be happier.”
Amazingly, the couple haven’t ruled out having more children, after their last round of IVF produced a whopping 21 eggs, seven of which they put in the freezer.
“Never say never,” she says.