Press Centre

The Triplets Are Coming!

  • Episode: 

    1 of 2

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 19 Mar 2015
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 12 2015 : Sat 14 Mar - Fri 20 Mar
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press, online and social media use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 10 March 2015.
“People say that you can’t believe how much emotion you have but it’s beyond that.  It’s like every fibre in your body is just so in love with them.  It’s unbelievable.”
Steph Webb, pregnant with triplets
The number of multiple births has almost doubled in the last 30 years.  Doctors attribute this rise, in part, to changing lifestyles and the rising use of assisted reproduction techniques, including in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
With around 200 sets of triplets born every year in Britain, this brand new, two part,  intimate, sensitive and joyous documentary series, allows viewers a unique insight into the journey faced by couples expecting three babies at once.  With exclusive access to the multiple birth clinic at University College Hospital in London, the programme captures the highs and lows experienced during a multiple pregnancy and the medical challenges facing the couples. 
Women carrying more than one baby face a higher risk and more unpredictable pregnancy.  They are scanned every week or two for their entire term, to monitor any potential complications and doctors are poised to intervene if problems develop.  Expectant couples sometimes face agonizing decisions to protect the health of their babies.  
Sophisticated medical expertise means that, despite the risks, most triplets are delivered safely. The programme then follows the families, after their babies are born, as they deal with the next challenge of looking after them.  Sleep becomes a distant memory and mothers-in-law are forced to come riding to the rescue.
Tracy and Paul Kirby, conceived naturally and were astonished when a scan revealed they were expecting three babies.  At their 23 week scan, they are shocked to discover that one of the triplets has stopped growing properly.  Their doctor believes two of the babies may be suffering from ‘twin-to-twin transfusion’ where an uneven blood supply means one is getting too big, while the other remains too small.  
The couple are left with an agonising decision between two treatments.  They can opt for a laser operation to correct the bloody supply, which carries risks to all the babies.  Or the medical team can perform a selective reduction, which means terminating the weakest baby.   They decide on the laser operation, to try and save their smallest triplet.
Tracy explains why they decided against a selective reduction: “I don’t think I could do it. I remember a friend telling me that he believes in nature and nature will tell you what to do.  And while they are all fighting, it doesn’t seem right.”
In Liverpool, Miraz and Selma Yolcu are about to meet their babies.  The lack of space in the womb means that triplets are always born prematurely and Selma is about to have her babies delivered by caesarean section, at 34 weeks.  
After the successful operation, the couple are relieved that their babies have arrived safely.  However, all three are about half the weight of a normal newborn and are taken a neonatal ward, where they will be kept separately in a warm chamber and monitored around the clock.  They are also tube fed until they are big enough to begin breast or bottle feeding, in a few weeks time.  
Once home, the hard work really begins.  Selma’s mother comes over from Turkey to help the couple take care of their newborns.
Miraz admits: “We couldn’t cope with them, just the two of us.  So we had to invite my mother-in-law to come over here to look after them. If she wasn’t here we wouldn’t be coping with them at all.”
Steph and Chris Webb have been desperately trying to have a family for nearly 7 years.  After 2 years of failing to conceive naturally, it has taken a further 5 years of IVF treatment for them to finally fall pregnant.  At 26 weeks pregnant, they visit the hospital for their next scan but the news is not good.  One of the babies is not growing at the rate the medical team would hope for and their blood supply is looking abnormal. Steph will be closely monitored and their doctor hopes the situation remains stable until the babies reach a size where they have a very good chance of surviving outside the womb. 
Talking about their hopes for the rest of the pregnancy, Chris says: “I’m shocked.  Every week is a bonus.”