A baker’s son and his wife from Yapton had a happy shock when they discovered they had three buns in the oven.
And on October 12, Chris Pegrum and Cheryl Carter from Blenheim Road, Yapton, became proud parents to Violet, Frank and William.
The couple believed their naturally conceived triplets only happened in one in 9,000 to 10,000 births. On Friday, Cheryl, 34, said: “They are all doing amazingly well, all breathing on their own from the moment they arrived. Their weights were brilliant for their gestation and they are continuing to thrive, putting on weight, maintaining their temperatures and feeding well. We have just been discharged home from St Richard’s neonatal unit where we we transferred after 12 days in Portsmouth, as they turn four weeks old tomorrow. Big sister Betty is so excited to have her brothers and sister home and we are delighted to start our new life as a family of six.”
After having Elizabeth in February, 2017, the couple decided to try for another and by April Cheryl was pregnant.
They went to their first scan at St Richard’s on June 3, where ‘they had the shock of their lives’. Cheryl said: “Chris always wanted a large family, like the one he grew up in, so was thrilled. I didn’t take the news quite so well and it took a long while to get our heads around it.”
They were sent to the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton for tests, where they discovered their triplets were triamniotic and trichoronic: three separate sacs and placentas – ‘the best sitution we could be in’, Cheryl said. She added: “We were asked if we wanted to reduce the amount of fetuses and told about the likelihood of premature labour.
“We prepared ourselves for neonatal intensive care from the start. It was a really scary time but took each day at a time trying to cope with this life-changing news.”
Luckily, Cheryl had a relatively complication-free pregancy and, at 5pm on October 12, 32 weeks and two days into the pregnancy, Cheryl’s waters broke and she was eventually taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, where she had an emergency C-section.
Violet was born at 10.42pm, weighing 4lb 2oz, followed by Frank at 10.45pm, weighing 4lb. At 10.47pm, William was born, weighing 3lb 7oz, still inside his amniotic sac – thought to occur in one in 80,000 births.
Family and friends have supported the couple, cooking meals and giving hand-me-downs. The new parents also set up a fundraising page in the wake of Cheryl giving up her job to look after the children: search ‘Three times a baby’ on gofundme.com.
Chris, 33, is the son of Paul Pegrum, who owned the Rustington-founded R.J Pegrum & Sons Bakery which had shops across Arun.