As they snuggle up together, triplets Oliver, Aurelia and Oscar are too young to know that one or two of them might not be here if it hadn’t been for their mother’s instinct.
The babies had life-threatening growth problems in the womb and worried doctors suggested terminating one or two to help the other survive.
But their mother Katie Johnson was determined to give all three a chance of survival, and let nature take its course.
It was a decision that paid off. The three were born safely – although Oliver weighed only 2lb 15oz, while his identical twin Oscar was 4lb. Non-identical Aurelia was 3lb 15oz.
After a month in hospital they were all allowed to go home and have just spent their first Christmas together.
Mrs Johnson, 32, who works in commercial real estate and lives in London with husband Patrick, 35, was told at her 12-week scan that the placenta was being shared unequally and the triplets were suffering from growth restriction.
‘There was a risk to all of them,’ she said. ‘Oliver was 25 per cent smaller than his brother and the blood flow wasn’t getting to him properly. If Oliver died, Oscar could have died too.
‘But there was no way that we could terminate one or two babies. We had to give them all a chance of survival.’
After Mrs Johnson and her husband, who works in finance, refused to consider termination, doctors at King’s College Hospital carefully monitored the triplets throughout the pregnancy. Mrs Johnson said: ‘It was nerve-racking as they were scanned each week, and it wasn’t getting any better with Oliver.
‘At 28 weeks we were told he had stopped growing completely. But doctors said that as long as the blood flow carried on getting to him, then they would leave him in the womb.’
Three weeks later, however, doctors discovered that the blood flow to Oliver had stopped and they had to get him out immediately to save his life. The triplets were delivered by caesarean section. Mrs Johnson said: ‘It was a relief when they were all born safely. Oliver was incredibly tiny.’
The triplets gained in strength day by day and after four weeks were allowed home. They are now 11 weeks old and Mrs Johnson said: ‘They have done incredibly well; we are so proud of them. Oliver has put on some weight, so he’s catching up with his brother now. The doctors expect the difference to even out at some point.
‘The staff at King’s College Hospital were fantastic. We couldn’t have got through it without them.
‘We feel incredibly lucky that the triplets have all survived, and are here with us to celebrate their first Christmas. It’s an incredible gift.’
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.