Meet the triplets who were born THREE YEARS apart – after more than a decade and ten rounds of IVF costing £17,500.
Helen Baker, 40, endured a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy and surgery to give birth to Hugo, now seven, in 2011, with husband Oliver.
They had to sell their home to fund IVF and after he was conceived on their 9th cycle, they had the unused embryos frozen.
Just last year they underwent a tenth round of IVF using the same fertilised eggs, and against all the odds babies Coco and Monty were born in August.
The three siblings were all conceived at the same time, using the same batch of eggs and sperm, so are triplets despite their age gap.
And of course, the smitten family say they are worth the wait and every penny.
Helen, a former model, from Fareham, Hampshire, said: “It’s quite freaky to think that these gorgeous babies were born from the same sample which Hugo was from, but they’re all little angels.
“It’s been a long journey but I now have a happy family.
“I feel like I have defied all of the odds possible.”
Helen and Oliver met in 2003, quickly got engaged and three years later decided to try for a baby.
After a year of trying to no avail they began to worry something was wrong, and underwent a series of tests.
Following inconclusive results, Helen started to research IVF treatment and in 2008 began IVF.
During the first eight round of IVF, Helen was in and out of surgery after she developed Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome twice, endured a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy and the removal of her fallopian tubes.
Helen said: “I never thought I wouldn’t be able to have kids so it was very upsetting when I found out.
“We are one of thousands of couples in the UK left devastated after being told conceiving naturally wasn’t an option so when they told us IVF was the only option I put my heart and soul into the process.
“But the drawback has not stopped us from building the family which we have always dreamed of for years.”
Finally, in May 2010 Helen fell pregnant and in February 2011 she gave birth to baby Hugo, 7st 1.5oz.
“I was delighted,” said Helen.
“It took five years after staying at home researching all the latest health fads and filling the fridge with fertility-boosting food like strawberries and spinach.”
The couple then froze the remaining twelve fertilised eggs from the ninth cycle, which were stored at the private clinic.
But last Christmas, Helen, and Oliver, an electrician decided to try for another child and began their tenth cycle for IVF.
“We felt last year that the time was right before I got too old,” Helen said.
“So we chanced it and unfroze our old sperm samples which we knew was a risk because of a 16 per cent success rate and paid £1,500 for the privilege.”
Helen was then given the perfect Christmas gift and fell pregnant on Christmas Eve last year after two embryos were planted into her womb.
“It was the best Christmas I could ever ask for, the gift of life,” Helen said.
“I couldn’t believe it, it was like that my life was on the up again as many couples aren’t even successful having one baby.
“Initially, it seemed like I was only having one baby as the doctor only recognised one heartbeat when it came to the six-week scan.”
But at the eight-week check-up, doctors noticed a second smaller heartbeat in Helen’s womb – too small to say conclusively whether it was a second baby.
She added: “I wasn’t sure what was going on, and if something strange was happening to my baby.
“But by 12 weeks, the delightful news came that it was actually a second embryo.
“I was having twins and it was like a dream come true.”
“Apart from a little bit of morning sickness, the rest of pregnancy went very smoothly compared to Hugo and I waited in vain for the arrival of my little ones’.”
“But, somehow the excitement of the arrival was just too much and I just went mad decorating the nursery across with all sorts of exotic baby stuff.”
Their final two triplets were both at 37 weeks and four days on August 16 at Southampton General Hospital, weighing 7lb 8oz and 7lb 1oz.
Helen said: “I pushed and pushed and even told to the midwives that ‘I thought I was having a dream’.”
“When Monty was born, he was a spitting image of Hugo and I even told the midwife whether it was possible that they could be identical”
“The whole process has been an emotional rollercoaster ride but I love having two boys but I never thought I would have a little girl to indulge in pink things.”