Fewer than 200 sets of triplets are born annually in Britain and the odds of bringing three of the sᴀᴍᴇⓢⓔⓧ into the world are 8,000 to one. But this occurrence was made even more remarkable because one of the sets was ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅnaturally. Two mums ʙᴇᴀᴛ ɪɴᴄᴀʟᴄᴜʟᴀʙʟᴇ odds to both give birth to healthy triplets – in the same ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ in the space of just 24 hours.
First-time parents Kevin and Farahnaz Field welcomed their three girls – all ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅnaturally – into the world at Croydon University Hᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ, south London. Just hours later proud dad Kevin, 43, was showing off pictures of his trio in the waiting room to stranger Manda Johnston, whose ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀs sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴʟʏ ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ. Manda, 36, was then rushed to a ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀʏ sᴜɪᴛᴇ, where she gave birth to three boys. Mɪᴅᴡɪғᴇ Gina Brockwell said: “This is a very ᴜɴᴜsᴜᴀʟ event in any Hᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ. Typically we see triplets approximately once a year – but not twice in 24 hours. The whole department is so proud to have played a big part in caring for them all. It was amazing.” Kevin and Farahnaz’s non-identical triplets Shanaya, Zahra and Katrina were born by sᴄʜᴇᴅᴜʟᴇᴅ ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ on 11am on Thursday June 5. Manda and husband Ken welcomed their three boys – Toby, Luke and Elliott – into the world at 10:30am on Friday, June 6, less than 24 hours after the Fields. Her triplets were delivered by ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ at just 32 weeks, and little Elliott weighed just 4lb.
Manda, who ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅthrough ⒾⓋⒻ, said: “I saw the pictures of Kevin’s babies, and laid down to read my book and my ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀs ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ. Elliott was ǫᴜɪᴛᴇ ɪʟʟ when he was born. He had a ᴄᴏʟʟᴀᴘsᴇᴅ ʟᴜɴɢ three times in the first couple of days and had to have three ᴄʜᴇsᴛ ᴅʀᴀɪɴs. He’s just needed a little bit of ᴏxʏɢᴇɴ to help since but now he’s doing well. It was quite hard because I wasn’t able to hold him until he was two weeks old, but now he screams even louder than his two brothers.” All six babies are now back at their homes in south Croydon. First-time father Ken, 39, said: “It’s tough when I go to work but when I get home I take over so Manda can have a good rest.” Stay-at-home mum Farahnaz, 37, said her daughters were keeping her busy at all hours of the day and night. She said: “Sometimes it’s difficult if they all wake up together – they make a bit of a racket when they’re all upset at the same time. It’s really quite hard work when they’re all hungry. It takes about two hours to feed them all. Zahra is quietest, but Katrina we nicknamed ‘patience’ because she hasn’t got any.”
Mɪᴅᴡɪғᴇ Gina added: “Having a baby is a life-changing event. It can be bewildering and exciting when you have just one baby, let alone three. Both families would have been cared for by every part of our ᴍᴀᴛᴇʀɴɪᴛʏ sᴇʀᴠɪᴄᴇ, throughout their ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ, the birth and by the neonatal team. We look forward to caring for both families in their new – if very busy lives.”