A couple have welcomed their third baby in a set of IVF triplets – but the siblings were each born two years apart.
Karen and James Marks had their first child, Cameron, four years ago, followed by Isabella in 2020, and they welcomed baby Gabriella last month.
However, the three kids are considered triplets as they were conceived on the same day, at the same time, through IVF – from the same batch of embryos.
The couple are now at home with their three kids and certainly have their hands full – but they are thrilled with their family after facing various fertility issues.
‘We tried for a year to conceive naturally and nothing happened, so we went to the GP and they ran some tests,’ explains 35-year-old Karen.
‘There’s no specific reason. I don’t ovulate regularly so that’s the main thing, but other than that, there’s no reason – we don’t have any conditions.’
Karen was given funding for one round of IVF on the NHS in 2017 at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine – which proved successful and she gave birth to Cameron, now aged four, on September 1, 2018. Then Isabella, now almost two, in 2020 and Gabriella just last month.
However, the couple’s journey has featured heartbreak, too – as Karen sadly miscarried twice, once in 2019 and a second time in 2021.
Karen adds: ‘It feels so great to have all three of our children now, we feel so incredibly lucky.
‘We had five embryos made up. We’ve lost two – I miscarried one in 2019, and then one in September last year, a month before we fell pregnant with Gabi.
‘Some people go through IVF and sadly don’t even get to have one baby, and we’ve managed to have three, so we just feel so lucky.
‘Gabi was our last embryo, so she’s our last baby now. I knew I wasn’t done before Gabi, so I told my husband if it didn’t work, then we better get saving so we could have another one.
‘I feel complete now, I’m so happy.’
Karen says she never hesitates to tell people that her children are IVF babies and hopes her story will encourage others to try IVF if they are struggling to fall pregnant.
She continues: ‘Infertility never leaves you. Pregnancy announcements can still be painful, especially when someone has seemingly conceived easily.
‘It’s a battle and a journey, and while part of me believes there’s a reason we had to go through it, we’ve met so many wonderful people along the way.
‘If you’ve exhausted all other options, then crack on and go for it. IVF is fine. Don’t put it off or avoid it. It’s the most likely fertility treatment to work, and it did for us.’
Karen and James are now home with baby Gabi and say her siblings are getting used to having a younger sister.
The mum-of-three adds: ‘Cameron and Isabella love her. They’re really cute, even fighting over who gets to hold her, it’s really sweet.
‘Cameron is the oldest so he’s doing great, but Isabella is missing her time with Mummy as I was at her beck and call before. There is a bit of mum guilt there, juggling equal time with each of my kids.
‘We’re so happy she’s here. It’s surreal, having three children after not thinking you’d have any, but we just feel so incredibly lucky.
‘I feel complete now, I’m so happy. It’s chaos, but we’re just so lucky. My heart is full.’
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.