UK couple welcomes rare identical triplets

Published On: Oct 01 2013 11:02:32 AM EDT
Updated On: Oct 01 2013 11:06:59 AM EDT

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A British couple beats the odds and welcomes rare identical triplets into the world.

Identical twins aren't all that uncommon, but it's extremely unusual for a single fertilized egg to divide into three separate embryos, according to ABC News.

In fact, the odds are about 1 in 160,000.

The triplet girls were born two months premature to Ian and Karen Gilbert on Aug. 2 at Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, spending six weeks in intensive care before they were deemed healthy enough to go home.

Ffion weighed in at 3 lbs., 8 oz. at birth; Maddison weighed 3 lbs., 5 oz.; and Paige weighed 3 lbs., 4oz. -- less than 11 pounds combined.

"At first they didn’t look real and you could pick them up with one hand. It was a bit of a shock," Ian Gilbert told ABC News. "Now [that] we’ve got them home, we are coming to terms with it. They are starting to feel like our own."

The couple already has a 3-year-old daughter and, believe it or not, is contemplating trying for a son, according to the BBC.

"Ian would like to try for a boy as he's a bit outnumbered," Karen Gilbert said. "But I'm not persuaded. I'm happy with what I've got."

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