As the saying goes, all good things come in threes, and that is most certainly the case for a Ferryhill couple for whom the number three has found a whole new meaning.
Stephanie Latcham and Michael Gough are, to the best of the Chapter’s knowledge, the very first couple in the town to welcome naturally conceived identical triplets – an extremely rare phenomenon.
Most commonly, triplet births – which account for around 1 in 4,400 births in the UK – are identical twins and a non-identical sibling. However, the odds on one egg splitting twice naturally to form three identical siblings has been calculated by some doctors, according to a Reuters article, as occurring only once in every 200 million births.
The couple had been together for three years when they found out they were expecting their trio; Ollie-Anna, Isabella and Brianna. The girls were all born on the 30th day of the third month within three minutes of each other, all weighing a little over three pounds. After their birth they were even admitted onto Ward 33 at the RVI!
Twenty-seven year-old Stephanie and thirty-year-old Michael (a three year age gap) were told at their first scan that they were expecting just one baby. This number rose to two at their second scan and it wasn’t until their third scan that the nurse performing the ultrasound found a third heartbeat.
The couple were shocked and delighted at the news and Stephanie enjoyed a relatively smooth pregnancy. They made plans to move to a bigger home on Lime Road before the triplets’ arrival and received the keys to their new house on 29th March. Twelve hours later Steph’s water broke and she was rushed to the RVI, with the removal van still parked outside!
After a ten week stay at the hospital, the family were ready to come home, and have quickly adapted to their new routine of four-hourly staggered feeds, nap times and play, as well as caring for their older son, Zach, who is six years old.
Steph said she couldn’t have managed without their family, who have been a massive help.
The girls are now 9lb and thriving. You can follow the family on Instagram at goughtriplets19.