Mom Would sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ To Have One Baby, She Was Shocked To Became A Mom Of Triplets
A woman has revealed her ᴏᴠᴇʀᴡʜᴇʟᴍɪɴɢ ᴊᴏʏ ᴀFᴛᴇʀ ᴅɪsᴄᴏᴠᴇʀɪɴɢ she was pregnant with triplets – despite suffering from a ʀᴀʀᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs that meant her ᴡᴏᴍʙ was split in two. Jemma Sheppard, 33, from Newport, believed the ʀᴀʀᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs, which meant her ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs was divided into two cavities, would make it difficult for her to carry one child. So she and husband, Anton, 32, were sᴛᴜɴɴᴇᴅ when doctors told them they were having triplets – with all three babies squashing up into one side.
The couple, from Newport, wed in September 2015 but had already started trying for a baby. When they didn’t conceive after a year their GP referred them for tests.
‘Hᴏʀᴍᴏɴᴇ ᴛᴇsᴛs ʀᴇᴠᴇᴀʟᴇᴅ I ʜᴀᴅ ᴘᴏʟʏᴄʏsᴛɪᴄ ᴏᴠᴀʀɪᴇs so I wasn’t ovulating properly,’ she says, ‘and also that my rather than being the usual pear shape, my ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs was heart shaped.’
A heart-shaped ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs, also known as an ᴀʀᴄʜᴇᴅ ᴡᴏᴍʙ, ᴄᴀɴ ʀᴀɴɢᴇ from mild where there is just a small dimple at the top to a full double ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs. Women with the ʀᴀʀᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs – also known as a bicornuate ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs or arched ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs – are more likely to ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀʏ ᴏʀ ɢɪᴠᴇ ʙɪʀᴛʜ ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇʟʏ.
Jemma said: ‘While I could take ᴅʀᴜɢs to help me ovulate, my ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs shape was very pronounced and there was no ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ. Iᴛ Fᴇʟᴛ ᴅᴇᴠᴀsᴛᴀᴛɪɴɢ ɴᴇᴡs.’
Two months later – and having been prescribed ᴅʀᴜɢs to help her ovulate, she got pregnant but sadly at seven weeks the baby ᴅɪᴇᴅ.
Five months later she had another ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ at six weeks, followed by another early ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ. When a further six months ᴘᴀssᴇᴅ without a pregnancy the couple decided to seek ᴘʀɪᴠᴀᴛᴇ Fᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, ᴜsɪɴɢ Iᴛʀᴀᴜᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ ɪɴsᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ (IUI).
Jemma explained: ‘My ᴏᴠᴜʟᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ᴡᴀs ᴛʀᴀᴄᴋᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ and just before I was due to produce ᴇɢɢs, Anton’s sᴘᴇʀᴍ was injected into my ᴡᴏᴍʙ.
‘Although doctors said there were three follicles – so potentially three ᴇɢɢs – we were told there was only around fifteen per cent chance of a pregnancy with one baby. So we didn’t get our hopes up.’However, they were thrilled when two weeks later a pregnancy test proved ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴍᴀᴢᴇᴅ ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴀ sᴄᴀɴ revealed three babies.
‘I could hardly believe it when the sonographer said there were two heads – and then Anton said he could see three,’ says Jemma, ‘we were also told it would be quite likely one baby might not sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ.
Then is common for women with a heart shaped ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs to have a premature birth, so Anton and I prepared ourselves for the ᴡᴏʀsᴛ.’ Despite all the odds her triplets thrived.
Jemma explained: ‘I got so large and uncomfortable that while the babies were healthy, towards the end I was in a wheelchair.’
They were finally born at Cardiff’s university Hospital wales on 20th December at 35 weeks by ᴄ-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Elevyn was born first weighing 5Ib 7oz, followed by Rome 4Ib 11oz and Areya, 3Ib 5oz. Jemma said: ‘We were all sᴛᴜɴɴᴇᴅ by how heavy and healthy they were with only Areya needing a couple of days in the neonatal unit as she was quite tiny.’
Three weeks later the Sheppards took their family home. Anton, a carpenter, said: ‘They are adorable. Elevyn loves having cuddles, Areya is really smiley and Rome is a proper little character.’
And Jemma added: ‘We can’t wait to tell them about their amazing start in my heart- shaped ᴡᴏᴍʙ. They truly were born with love.’