Caitlin Hammerton, 22, and husband Jake, 23, were told at a 22-week scan they were expecting three baby boys and to consider painting the nursery blue. They had even decided on names - Theo, Luca and Jude. But when the tiny triplets arrived the couple had to have a rethink - and settled on Thea, Lily and Esmae, who were born on August 25, 2022.
The trio just celebrated their first birthday - and to mark the occasion Caitlin added up the hard work which has gone into keeping them happy and healthy. The couple fed the trio 30,924oz of milk - around 3,436 9oz bottles - and changed around 6,240 dirty nappies.
They have to do eight rounds of laundry a week - to keep up with the constant rotation of romper suits and vests. And they spend £110 a month on nappies, milk and wipes.
After throwing a first birthday bash for Thea, Lily and Esmae on Saturday (Aug 26), Jake and Caitlin say it "still hasn't settled in" they are parents to identical triplets.
Reports suggest the chances of having identical triplets naturally can be as miniscule as one in 200 million - meaning it was quite a high-risk pregnancy.
Caitlin, from Deepcar, Sheffield, said: "I was not expecting the nappies and bottles to be that high - I had to double check multiple times. We've gone through 30,924oz of milk which is roughly 3,436 bottles and the nappies are roughly 6,240. It doesn't feel like I've done that many nappies and bottles.
"I expected the last year to be very stressful but because they are so good and have each other to play with, it's been really nice to see them grow up and crawl. I was really excited for their party and I thought it was really nice to celebrate that they're actually here and they're healthy and developing as they should.
"They've just started pulling themselves up so we got them an activity table to play with, so hopefully they'll share. My mum loves them and I'd say she loves being a grandma more than a mum to be honest, she really spoils them."
Jake, an electrical engineer, added: "I don't think it's still settled in that we had girls instead of boys, let alone having three kids in general. It's been very busy and it's different because every time you go to the shop you get stopped, on holiday you get stopped and you can't do anything with someone asking a question.
"It does get a bit stressful to be honest, which I expected but not as much as that, for example we'll be out eating food and people will come and approach us about the girls. It was a little bit harder to plan birthday presents for three babies but they do play with the same things and they're not the best at sharing.”
Jake said: "It's difficult but we are only ever used to having triplets so it's hard to compare what it would be like to parent a single child. They are becoming more wriggly so it's progressively becoming harder."
Jake and Caitlin, then 21 and 19, had never planned to get pregnant and had used contraception. But on February 14 2022 - Valentine's Day - they were excited to learn they were expecting. Two months later, on Jake's birthday on April 5, he got the best present - the news that they were having THREE babies.
Jake explained when they went into Jessop Hospital, Sheffield, even the doctors were shocked when they spotted identical triplets because they're so rare. Caitlin began getting back pains on August 24, and they began fearing something was wrong with the babies - until Caitlin's waters broke.
She was rushed into hospital for an emergency caesarean section and the triplets were born early in the morning of August 25. The couple married in March of this year, with Thea, Lily and Esmae in attendance.
Caitlin said: "It was lovely to have the triplets there - they were still quite young so it was a little more stressful but it was still a lovely day to celebrate all together so that was really nice."
The parents-of-three say the best thing about their three girls are their smiles, with Caitlin adding: "When you go in in the morning and they're smiling and they're babbling with each other and trying to get into each others cots, that's the best thing about being a parent."