When Karen Gilbert started experiencing pain eight weeks into her pregnancy, she feared the worst-but doctors soon determined it wasn't a miscarriage but three fetuses being carried in a single placenta, fighting for food and space, Medical Daily reports.
They predicted Gilbert and husband Ian would have to reduce the pregnancy, but the couple was determined not to give up on any of the babies. All three girls were delivered via Cesarean on Aug. 2-identical triplets, the odds of which are between 60,000- and 200-million-to-one, according to experts. Ffion, Madison, and Paige have now finally come home from the hospital, the Daily Mail reports.
The girls were conceived naturally, from a single egg, the BBC reports. "The lady doing the scan had to call somebody else into the room to check what she was seeing was right" when three heartbeats were detected, Karen says. The risks were high, she adds: "There was the chance of twin to twin syndrome, where one baby can starve the other two babies of food and other fluids."
But they all survived, and now the UK couple, who have a 3-year-old daughter as well, just need to figure out how to tell them apart. "We kept their hospital bands on for as long as they could but they grew out of them, so Ian had to buy more on eBay and we're still using them," Karen says. "They're that identical, it's scary. But their own personalities are starting to show."