A set of two-year-old triplets are so ɪᴅᴇɴᴛɪᴄᴀʟ their parents have to ᴘᴜᴛ them in ᴄᴏʟᴏᴜʀ-ᴄᴏᴅᴇᴅ ᴛʀᴀɪɴᴇʀs to tell them ᴀᴘᴀʀᴛ. Karen and Ian Gilbert, from Pontypool, South Wales, used to paint their baby girls’ toes so they knew which was which. But now the little girls have turned two they have ᴘᴜᴛ them in coloured shoes so they can ᴅɪFFᴇʀᴇɴᴛɪᴀᴛᴇ between them .
They trio was ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴀʟʟʏ from ᴏɴᴇ ᴇɢɢ ᴀɢᴀɪɴsᴛ the ᴏᴅᴅs ᴏF 160,000 ᴛᴏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴀᴄᴄᴏʀᴅɪɴɢ to the Mᴜʟᴛɪᴘʟᴇ Bɪʀᴛʜs Fᴏᴜɴᴅᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. While they were excited, ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs took a different view and twice gave her an option to ᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴇ the ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ. Mᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ᴘʀᴏFᴇssɪᴏɴᴀʟs Fᴇᴀʀᴇᴅ the ʀᴀʀᴇ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ – ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ by a sɪɴɢʟᴇ ᴇɢɢ sᴘʟɪᴛᴛɪɴɢ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴛʜʀᴇᴇ, could have ᴇɴᴅᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʀᴀɢᴇᴅʏ. Karen said :” We ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ ᴄᴏɴsɪᴅᴇʀ ᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, they were our babies. They were sᴄᴀɴɴᴇᴅ every week to make sure they were growing fine .” Thankfully Ffion, Maddison and Paige – born weighing ᴊᴜsᴛ 3.8lbs, 3.5lbs and 3.4lbs – and are now doing well aged eight weeks. Mum Karen, 32, from Pontypool, Monmouthshire, gave birth two months ᴇᴀʀʟʏ by ᴄᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ on August 2.
Now the parents are relieved to have their three girls home. Aaren said: “We were ᴡᴏʀʀɪᴇᴅ the ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ have enough beds and we’d have to sᴘʟɪᴛ them up. It would have been ʜᴏʀʀɪʙʟᴇ. There was also the ᴡᴏʀʀʏ that ᴏɴᴇ would be ready to come home before the others. Luckily, we managed to ᴋᴇᴇᴘ ᴛʜᴇᴍ together. The ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs thought it could be up to three months before we could bring them home so we feel privileged to have got them here with us so soon.” The parents went through 120 nappies and 84 bottles of formula milk a week following their birth. They had to buy a triple pushchair and a larger people carrier car to drive their family around town. Because they are so ɪᴅᴇɴᴛɪᴄᴀʟ Ffion, Maddison and Paige can play the same little girl on screen – they get rotated while scenes are being filmed to ᴋᴇᴇᴘ ᴛʜᴇᴍ from getting ᴛᴏᴏ ᴛɪʀᴇᴅ. Karen used to paint their baby girls’ toes so they knew which was which.
But now the little girls have turned two they have ᴘᴜᴛ them in coloured shoes so they can ᴅɪFFᴇʀᴇɴᴛɪᴀᴛᴇ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇᴍ. Each girl has their own pair of Nike trainers – Ffion in fuchsia, Madison in mint green and Paige in purple. She said: “It’s ɴᴏᴛ ᴀ Fᴀsʜɪᴏɴ sᴛᴀᴛᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ we really struggle to ᴛᴇʟʟ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴀᴘᴀʀᴛ. We do try and dress them the same – but we ᴜsᴇ ᴅɪFFᴇʀᴇɴᴛ sʜᴏᴇs ᴊᴜsᴛ to make ᴛᴇʟʟɪɴɢ them ᴀᴘᴀʀᴛ ᴇᴀsɪᴇʀ. They are lovely little girls who have already brought us so much joy – in triplicate. We have ᴛʀᴇʙʟᴇ ᴛʀᴏᴜʙʟᴇ – but we would not have it any other way.”