A couple who nearly gave birth to triplets by the side of the road have been able to hold two of them for the first time.
Rachel Ballard and Kris Moyse are the proud new parents to William, Polly and Penny, who were born at 32 weeks on Thursday morning.
And despite being born premature on the day the Queen turned 90, only one has a royal name.
Proud dad Kris said: “It’s a complete coincidence as William is my granddad’s name.
“They were due to arrive on May 11, but Mother Nature decided otherwise, and they came on the Queen’s birthday so it’s like it was meant to be.”
The trio were due to be born three weeks later, but Rachel went into early labour, and was rushed to hospital.
William was nearly born by the side of the road as the ambulance took them to St Richards Hospital in Chichester, West Sussex.
Kris said: “William was so eager the ambulance nearly had to pull over at the side of the A27 so he could be born.
“They rushed to get theatre ready but he popped out within minutes of getting to hospital so if there was any delay it would have been by the side of the road – it was rush hour as well.
“Both Penny and Polly were trying to come out at the same time so the nurses tried to manipulate them to get one to go first but neither wanted to relinquish the lead and they had to be born by C-Section.”
After William was born naturally just after 9am, the two girls were delivered by emergency C-Section 45 minutes later.
Mum Rachel was discharged on Sunday, with Penny, the last of the three to be born, was on a ventilator, but is now doing better and has been taken off the machine.
She was transferred to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth for specialist treatment, but is expected to be back at St Richard’s Hospital this week.
Kris, 28, said today: “Both of us are feeling very mixed emotions. Proud, amazed, scared, anxious and optimistic about all their recovery.”
The couple, who have been together for two years, found out in November they were expecting triplets.
Personal trainer Kris said: “We went for a check up at eight weeks and they asked us if we used IVF and we said ‘no’.
“They then turned round the monitor and said ‘well there’s three in there’. We were stunned, I didn’t think it was possible to laugh and cry at the same time.
“But these are the cards nature has dealt us and after everything we’ve been through we just want to get them home.
“All the nappy changing and sleepless nights will be a breeze after this. It really puts everything into perspective.”
The chances of naturally conceiving triplets are said to be around 1-in-8,000, and they are believed to be one of the first sets of natural triplets to be born at the neonatal ward at St Richard’s.
Their birth means their family has grown from four to seven as Rachel, 30, has two children by a previous partner, seven-year-old Jacob and Harrison, nine.
Kris of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, added: “Supermummy Rachel is doing well with a very sore belly and not a lot of sleep.
“We’re both very proud parents and right by their sides since their first breath.”