And discovering you’re expecting triplets is a whole new level of surprise.
But that’s exactly what happened to Nicola Stead.
The 30-year-old assistant producer at CBeebies and her partner Chris, 29, weren’t planning on having children any time soon, and Nicola had been on the contraceptive pill for more than 10 years.
But when she started experiencing morning sickness symptoms in June last year, Nicola wondered if she might be pregnant.
A pregnancy test confirmed her suspicions, but it wasn’t until an early scan five weeks later that the enormity of what was about to happen was revealed.
“The sonographer couldn’t see anything at first,” Nicola said.
“But after an internal scan they revealed we were expecting triplets and they were non identical.”
“We couldn’t believe it, we were was scared, excited, anxious all in one.”
According to the NHS when taken correctly, the pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
After discovering she was pregnant with the triplets, Nicola tried to work out what might have happened in her case and looking back realised the triplets were likely conceived when she stopped taking the pill for two days in order to prepare for having the coil fitted.
“I’d always thought I would struggle to conceive for some reason so when I found out it was a complete shock,” she says.
She goes on to explain that because she had released three separate eggs, none of the triplets are identical.
At their 20 week scan, Nicola and Chris found out they were expecting two boys and a girl, and 13 weeks later, 33 weeks and four days into her pregnancy, Nicola gave birth to three healthy babies. Joshua James, Oliver George, and Mila Rose all weighing over four pounds each.
Having been born prematurely, the triplets were kept in hospital for two weeks before being allowed to go home.
And life is pretty different for Nicola and Chris these days. The couple now get through 150 nappies per week and a whopping three loads of washing every single day.
“Looking after the triplets is a full time job but Joshua, Oliver and Mila all tend to wake up and feed at the same time,” Nicola added.
“I’ve swapped my small car for a seven seater for the triplets and I’m constantly changing nappies, sorting feeds or washing clothes.
“Our lives have changed dramatically since we found out we were expecting triplets but we wouldn’t change it for the world,” Nicola adds.
“Now that they’re here, we couldn’t image our lives without them, it was definitely the best surprise we’ve ever had.”
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