In a surprising turn of events in the 1960s, a mother who didn’t know she wasn’t actually pregnant went on to give birth to triplets.
Bethany Smith gave birth to three girls, two of them girls and a boy, after experiencing a pregnancy scare during the previous month. The mother, who is from Burton, Staffordshire, gave birth to boys Rjan and Kiren on April 4 at 31 weeks gestation.
Bethany Smith, 26, from Burton, Staffordshire, and her partner Kay Singh, 38, welcomed daughters Kiren and Kirit and son Arjan on April 4. Student teacher and part-time hairdresser Bethany, already a mom to Reuben, seven, Pria, six, and Mari, four, hadn’t been trying for more children and had an intrauterine device (I.U.D) fitted. The I.U.D, also known as a coil, is a small T-shaped device inserted into the womb by a doctor or nurse. It releases copper, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg and survive and is designed to prevent pregnancy for between five and 10 years.
Neither Bethany nor Kay have multiple births in their family, so it was a big shock to discover they were expecting triplets. The three babies were delivered at just 31 weeks at the Royal Derby Hospital and put on ventilators immediately because their lungs were so weak. It meant the couple were separated from their brood at birth and were unable to see them for several days due to the risk posed by COVID-19.
Arjan weighed 3lb 5oz, Kiren was 3lb 4oz, and Kirit was 3lb 9oz, and the three babies remained in the hospital for three weeks. Bethany told The Derby Telegraph: “It was really horrendous. I couldn’t see the girls for two days as they were on breathing equipment. Only one parent could visit once a day, and we had to wear masks, gowns, and gloves. It was very surreal and not how you’d imagine. All the excitement of having a baby was taken away because of COVID-19. We couldn’t do what normal parents would.”
Bethany had a scare at 26 weeks when she went into labor and was rushed to a hospital in London where thankfully they managed to stop it. After they were born, the trio remained in the hospital for three weeks before they were allowed to go home. Kay said it was ‘heartbreaking’ when the triplets were whisked away to intensive care after the birth, and he and Bethany had to visit them separately.
He admitted: “We couldn’t kiss them, and that was very difficult. It’s been a really difficult few weeks and very stressful.” Kay said the triplets are ‘absolute miracles,’ adding: ‘It was touch and go that they would even survive the birth. Now they’ve been born in the middle of this pandemic,’ he said. The triplets are now said to be making great progress.