Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 11:12 UK

UK couple 'miracle' triplets joy

Olivia, Gabriella and Alessia with parents Carmella Testa and Richard Rees
The triplets were born early but are now at home and doing well

A midwife has beaten the odds by giving birth to three identical bouncing baby girls.

It is thought the odds of naturally conceiving identical triplets could be as high as one in 200 million.

After being born seven weeks early, Olivia, Gabriella and Alessia, have gained weight and are thriving at home.

Carmella Testa, aged 23, from Peterborough and her fiancÚ Richard Rees found out they were expecting triplets at the 12-week scan.

The blue-eyed girls were born by emergency caesarean in January after Miss Testa developed high blood pressure.

It was three weeks before the couple were able to bring them home because weighing between 3lb 4oz (1.47kg) and 3lb 10oz (1.64kg) they had to be cared for in incubators.


"I knew they would be identical because there was just one placenta, so they were from the same egg.

I'm so overwhelmed when I see them. I can't believe they are mine and that they are perfect
Carmella Testa

"I was very shocked. They weren't planned. They were born on 9 January, two days after my birthday so they were a lovely present," said Miss Testa.

Both parents have a history of twins in their families but not triplets.

Her colleagues in Peterborough Maternity Unit gave her extra special treatment.

"I'm quite small - only 5ft - so at the unit, they joked that out of all the midwives, it would have to be me that gave birth to triplets.

"Everyone was great there. My three close friends delivered each of the babies."

The girls have each now gained 7lbs (3.2kg) and are doing really well, although the couple admit life is now pretty hectic.

"It's a miracle. I'm so overwhelmed when I see them. I can't believe they are mine and that they are perfect," she said.

Identical triplets occur when one fertilised egg splits to create three separate embryos.

Non-identical triplets occur when three separate eggs are fertilised.

This is more common in women who have undergone fertility treatment.


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