A mum who was persuaded to try for ‘one last child’ by her husband was stunned when she beat odds of two million to one.
Miraculously, Melanie naturally conceived identical TRIPLETS.
Melanie Thornton, 33, thought her family was complete with daughter Tia, 13, when husband Martin, 27, talked her into trying for another child.
A scan at five weeks confirmed one little ‘sack’ but she was astonished when medics later revealed she was expecting three identical triplet girls.
Boe, Mika and Hope were born healthy and mum Melanie has had to make some serious changes to cope with her new super-sized family.
The sales manager said her living room ‘resembles Mothercare’ with the couple bulk buying in almost 100 litres of baby formula a month for the growing babies.
She has even arranged special rubbish collections to deal with more than 250 dirty nappies a WEEK, as well as ordering a special bumper pram for three.
But the proud mum insists the mountains of dirty babygrows and endless feeds are all worth it for the adorable trio, who are happiest snuggled up together holding hands.
The proud mum-of-four said: “Before the scan I had been saying something felt really different this time round.
“I said a few times ‘I’m sure there’s more than one’ but I never said anything about triplets.
“I just burst out laughing and asked ‘where are the cameras?’ I thought it must have been a joke, a set up.
“When they were finally born it was so nice to finally see them – I didn’t know who to go to first, who to touch or who to talk to first.
“Now we’ve got them home everyone keeps offering to come round to help me because I have three, but they are great – they all slept through the night last night.
“If I split them up though they do start to cry – the closer together they are the better.”
The couple, from Paignton, Devon, started trying for a baby early this year and found out on Valentine’s Day that Melanie was expecting.
Melanie said: “I really disliked being pregnant the first time so I thought that was that, but a couple of years ago my husband said he wanted to have another baby.
“He managed to talk me into it and I had my implant removed and we were pregnant after about four months.”
Mother’s instinct told Melanie she might be carrying more than one baby, but a private scan at five weeks reassured her, after it appeared to show a single embryo.
But when they went for the 12 week scan at Torbay Hospital, medics – who thought the couple must have had IVF – told the shocked pair they were expecting three.
Melanie said: “I kept having a recurring dream where the sonographer said to me ‘Have you had IVF? Have you got a history of twins in your family?’
“So when we went for the 12 week scan and he said we were having triplets I thought it was a joke.”
Doctors warned the family of the dangers of multiple births and for the whole pregnancy they said the smallest baby – named Hope – was unlikely to survive.
“It was stressful,” recalled Melanie. “We’d have to go for scans every two weeks, and they would constantly warn us of the death and mortality rates for triplets.
“They said Hope wasn’t going to make it to birth. Every day onwards from then I was almost waiting for her to die.
“I was depressed for about a week and then I realised that while I was doing that she was just kicking harder and harder. I could tell where each one was.
“I thought, you know what, if she’s not going to give up, then I wasn’t either.
The adorable trio were born at 32 weeks and four days on August 25, via caesarean section at Torbay Hospital.
Bo? arrived first at 2.37am weighing 3lbs and 3oz, Mika was a minute later weighing 3lbs and 1oz and Hope arrived last at 2.39am weighing just 2lbs and 13oz.
After five weeks, everyone except Hope was allowed to go home, and she joined the gang on October 16 – her due date – after an operation to remove fluid around her brain.
“I’d looked up pictures of premature babies before so I expected them to look a bit weird, but they weren’t they were perfectly formed tiny little babies,” admitted Melanie.
“It was amazing. My babies took up the whole room.
“It was so reassuring to see how perfect they were and they didn’t need any help or anything with breathing – just a little tube for food.”
Now aged 20 weeks, the siblings have already formed a close bond.
“They are such content and happy little babies,” said Melanie.
“They love to cuddle. They put their arms around each other and love to hold hands. Their favourite way to be is with Mika in the middle, and she holds both hands.
“My living room does look like Mothercare and the washing machine is constantly on.
“When I’m feeding and burping them it is a lot of balancing, and juggling and holding bottles, but of course it is worth it.
“I can’t really remember life when my family was half the size.”