Three sisters from the UK have broken two Guinness World Records – for being the lightest and most premature triplets to survive. Rubi-Rose, Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae Hopkins weighed a total of 1.28kg when they were born. The trio were born on 14 February 2021 and are now happy two-year-olds.
The trio spent 216 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, according to a Guinness World Records press note. They are dizygotic triplets, meaning Rubi-Rose has a unique genetic makeup whilst Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae are identical twins.
Triplets’ father, Jason Hopkins said, “The whole journey between finding out that they were triplets and then actually being here was I think the quickest pregnancy I’ve ever known.”
For the triplets’ mother, Michaela, the day her triplets were born was “very traumatic.” She added, “I was contracting but the baby wasn’t coming out.”
Rubi-Rose was born first, at 10:33 a.m., weighing 467 g (1 lb). She was swaddled in a polythene wrapping which acted as a makeshift womb, reducing heat loss and the risk of hypothermia.
After Rubi-Rose’s birth, Michaela was rushed to the operating theatre for an emergency C-section. Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae were delivered at 12:01 and 12:02 p.m. respectively, one and a half hours after their sister. Payton-Jane weighed 402 g (0.89 lb); Porscha-Mae was 415 g (0.91 oz).
According to the Guinness World Records press note, the triplets were placed into separate incubators after they were born. Each baby was required to breathe independently for 10 seconds before the medical staff would intervene to provide oxygen.
The triplets survived those 10 critical seconds, however, the next 72 hours were equally critical. The doctors could make no assurances that the babies would survive this period.
“The first couple of days, I was up there all the time with them because I was worried that one of them wouldn’t make it,” Michaela said.
Miraculously, all three babies survived all three days. Porscha-Mae suffered a brain bleed, however, she stayed strong and was successfully treated.
The Hopkins family use TikTok to raise awareness about premature babies and mental health issues, particularly for new fathers.
“Postnatal depression isn’t really recognized in dads,” Jason said. “And the whole experience for a dad can be very alienating.”
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