Being pregnant is a momentous and wonderful experience for all couples. However, the expectation is usually to have one child at a time. Imagine the surprise when the couple from Cheshire in England found out at their 13-week scan that they were expecting not one, not two, but three – triplets!
While having a triplet itself is rather uncommon, the British couple were then left bemused when they were told of a very rare occurrence where the triplets shared the same placenta. As such, it makes Gina and Craig Dewdney’s triplets, Jimmy, Jensen, and Jaxson, quite literally 1 in 200 million.
Up until their 13-week scan, 34-year-old Gina confessed that she’d suspected she was carrying twins.
“Although there are triplets in my family, generations back, I didn’t consider it would happen to me,” Gina told The Epoch Times. “I was so shocked. We both couldn’t believe it when three heads suddenly appeared on the scan!”
After discovering she was in fact carrying triplets, Gina and her husband Craig, were even more shocked when the doctor explained that their three babies were sharing a single placenta – a rarity with a just 1 in 200 million chance of occurring.
However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Since her babies were sharing a placenta, they were fighting for the same nutrients and food, thus making Gina’s pregnancy a high-risk one.
“My journey was a complete rollercoaster,” she said. “I went from having lots of early pregnancy symptoms, such as migraines, insomnia, and extreme exhaustion, to very quickly becoming very big. It got to the point where I found it very difficult to walk.”
However, it was all worth the hassle when Gina learned that she was carrying two baby girls and a boy at her 16-week scan.
“I was like ‘oh good get a bit of both,” she told the ECHO.
Gina was so excited that she bought clothes for the two girls and the boy, had their names on her mind, and even envisioned what life would be like with them.
She was crushed when that dream came crashing down as her 24-week scan heralded a mix-up. The couple was having three boys, instead.
“I was so upset,” Gina admitted. “I had bonded with the two girls I thought I was having. I had envisioned them and then I was told they were gone! I had to mourn the loss.”
“But now, of course, I love having identical boys and wouldn’t have it any other way,” she added.
The doctors had planned for Gina to have a c-section, but since her waters broke at 31 weeks, Gina started to have contractions and thus was rushed for an emergency c-section at Liverpool Women’s Hospital on April 26.
At 3.52 at night, Jimmy, Jensen, and Jaxson were all safely delivered in one minute 52 seconds. Incredibly, Jaxson was born encased in the amniotic sac. Since only 1 in 80,000 babies is born that way, this incredible rarity signifies good luck and led Jaxson to be hailed as a water baby.
Since the triplets were born premature, Gina and Craig had only a few first tender interactions in the delivery room before the babies were brought to the neonatal intensive care unit, where they were placed in an incubator. They spent six weeks there but have since come home and are going for frequent checkups.
Now six months old, the boys are doing well. Jensen and Jaxson have had successful hernia operations, and Jimmy is still on the waiting list.
Gina admitted it was not easy leaving her babies in the hospital and going home to an empty crib but she braved through the phase knowing it was necessary for the well-being of her babies at that point in time.
Once she brought them home, Gina discovered the challenges of being a new mom with many sleepless nights, breastfeeding, and having to share herself between the three babies.
Despite the troubles, Gina wouldn’t change it for the world as she enjoys watching her baby boys grow and develop individual personalities.
“What is interesting is they are all identical and DNA is the same, but they’ve got such different personalities already,” she said. “Jimmy is the joker, he is always laughing,” she described. “Jensen is the dramatic one! He is also very chatty. And Jaxson is the chilled one; I call him my ‘yogi baby.’”
Not in a million years would Gina and Craig have thought they’d be having triplets, but triplets are what they have been blessed with and they couldn’t be happier.
“I have seen them come so far,” said Gina, “from being in the NICU in incubators and tube-fed to now smiling and laughing. It’s an incredibly rewarding journey.”
After coming out of the hospital, Gina created an Instagram page to document the triplets’ daily life @the_cheshire_triplets. So, give it a follow if you’re keen on following their beautiful journey.