Triple treat as brother of triplets becomes dad of triplets
When Jessica Brown and William Mabo arrived for a routine pregnancy scan on April 1 this year, they thought they were the butt of an April Fools Day prank when the sonographer told them she could see not one but three babies on the screen.
"She initially said 'great news, there are two' and then she paused and said she needed to get her supervisor," Ms Brown said.
"She came back with her supervisor, they both looked at the screen and that's when she said 'yes, there's a third one'."
The naturally conceived triplets - Thinley (to be known as Theo), Henrietta and Abigail - were born on September 26 at 32 weeks and three days' gestation.
Henrietta and Abigail are identical twins who were born in the same minute weighing 1.57kg
Big bother Thinley was born two minutes earlier weighing in at 1.7kg.
Cradling Theo in the crook of his arm, Mr Mabo said he wasn't completely shocked when told there were three.
"My mum had triplets when I was nine and we went from four kids in the family to seven," he said.
"I wasn't too surprised."
Ms Brown said the couple had joked about the possibility of triplets.
"We'd joked that having triplets would really be quite an efficient way of having children," Ms Brown said.
She said, despite her initial shock, she and Mr Mabo had quickly embraced the idea of an instant family.
"We were just saying the other night, we couldn't imagine having just one," she said. "This is our normal."
Ms Brown said she was smitten with her three tiny bundles of love and was looking forward to taking them home.
"Admittedly it was hard going home after the birth without them but having them in the special care nursery has given us time to get a handle on things like how to pick them up and what to do with them," she said.
"I haven't had anything to do with babies before these but knowing they've been so well cared for here has made a big difference."
Foetal maternal specialist Dr Cecelia O'Brien delivered the babies describing their safe arrival as a "complete joy".
"Looking after a triplet pregnancy is always special and Jess and Will were a delight to care for, so calm and relaxed," she said.
Dr O'Brien said the odds of spontaneous triplets that included identical twins was around one in 10,000.
Neonatologist Dr Yoga Kandasamy said the babies were doing beautifully.
"They are growing stronger every day and we are delighted that they will be going home with Jess and Will very soon to start their lives together as a family."
The babies are the second set of triplets born at The Townsville Hospital this year along with 30 sets of twins.
In 2018, 35 sets of twins and three sets of triplets were born at the hospital.
"All our babies are special, and triplets are always a special thrill for us," Dr Kandasamy said.