Daily Express

Three become one as triplets defy the doctors’ fears and celebrate birthday

- By

A MUM who was told twice she was likely to lose her triplets while pregnant is celebratin­g her beaming boys’ first birthday.

Tanya Hall, 31, had pioneering surgery after uneven blood flow between her unborn boys meant at least one of them was expected to die.

She also found out her cervix had shortened, making the risk of miscarriag­e more likely.

The last seven weeks of her pregnancy were spent in a hospital bed, with Tanya worrying if her babies would survive.

Thankfully, a year later, Rupert, Austin and Ethan are thriving.

Tanya said: “To know could have lost our boys leaves us over the moon to be celebratin­g their first birthday.

“We are so lucky as they are all happy, healthy babies.” Tanya, who is a research and developmen­t worker, and her husband Kris, 41, were overjoyed to discover they were expecting identical triplets.

But 19 weeks into the pregnancy, doctors at Hull Women’s and Children’s Hospital diagnosed stage three twin to twin transfusio­n syndrome (TTTS), where uneven blood flow causes one foetus to get most of the nutrients.

Tanya said: “To hear there was something so badly wrong with my we

Lucy Notaranton­io

babies was devastatin­g. There was a possibilit­y we would have to let one of the smaller babies go for the sake of the other two.

“It was the ultimate horror. “Doctors suggested I undergo laser ablation surgery, which involved finding every blood vessel connecting the babies and closing them.”

Tanya also learnt she was at high risk of an early labour because of the issue with her cervix. She recalled: “Doctors said if the boys were to be born at 19 weeks it would be disastrous. They were unlikely to survive and would be classed as a miscarriag­e. “After the surgery I had a long wait to see if I went into early labour.” “I was desperate to at least hit 23-24 weeks to give my boys a fighting chance.”

At 24 weeks, when more than half of early arrivals are viable, Tanya was put on bed rest in hospital.The average gestation for triplets is 32 weeks, compared to 39 weeks for single babies.Tanya said: “Doctors advised I should give birth at 28 weeks but I felt like they needed a bit longer and somehow, miraculous­ly, managed to hold off until 31 weeks.” Austin (weighing 4lb), Rupert (2lb, 11oz) and Ethan (2lb, 9oz) arrived at Lancashire Women and Newborn Hospital on April 26 last year. They had their first birthday at home in Hessle, East Yorks, with a zoo-themed party with their parents. Tanya, pictured above with newly born Austin, said: “Rupert was the first to crawl and stand, Austin was second and Ethan last.We didn’t think he would be the strongest as he was the main donor giving his nutrients to Austin.” She went on: “Kris and I are always busy with the boys, and the cleaning is relentless, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. “We cherish every second.”

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That’s my boys...from left, Rupert, Austin and Ethan with Tanya
Pictures: CATERS That’s my boys...from left, Rupert, Austin and Ethan with Tanya
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Kris and Tanya with, from left, Rupert, Ethan and Austin
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