THREE is company!
Once, twice, three times a mummy.
Blackpool mum Claire Tolley will soon be joining an exclusive club.
The 31-year-old, from Norbreck, is just seven weeks away from becoming a mum again – this time to a set of triplets.
The babies were naturally conceived, something that only had a one in 8,000 chance of happening.
And for kitchen assistant Claire and husband Ian, who already have a four-year-old son Blake, it was a big shock, but exciting news.
Ian, 36, said: “We had wondered about twins as Claire was a bit bigger, but we thought maybe we had got the dates wrong.
“But when we had the first scan - Claire was lying level with the monitor and couldn’t see it, but I could – I could see two heads.
“She thought I was winding her up when I said there were two.
“But then the midwife said: ‘He’s right, but there aren’t just two, there are three!’
“It was a huge shock, we hadn’t been expecting that.
“It doesn’t run in either of our families and they were conceived naturally, which we were told is quite rare – only about one in 8,000.”
Claire said: “It does turn everything upside down.
“Initially I was really worried about carrying three babies at once. But once it had time to sink in, we became excited.
“I had bought all the baby stuff thinking we were just having one. We had obviously planned for one, so have had to buy a whole load more stuff now.
“I’m just on a countdown now for their arrival.”
The couple have already picked out the names for the triplets – two identical girls and a boy.
The first girl will be called Sophia-Rose (after Ian’s mum Rose who passed away a couple of years ago), the second will be called Sienna-Mae and the boy Jake.
The babies are due to be born in May and Claire has been told by medics she will have to have a Caesarean to make sure all three are delivered safely.
Ian and Clare have had to buy a new seven-seater car and are renovating their home to make way for the new arrivals.
Proud Ian said: “We are lucky as we have all our family and friends around us to provide great support and help, which I am sure we will need!
“The staff at the hospital have been great looking after us and keeping an eye on things, as triplets are classed as a high-risk pregnancy. “The staff are all really excited about it as it’s such a rarity. The last triplets the sonographer said were five years ago and they weren’t conceived naturally.
“The main thing is all three babies are healthy and doing well and so is Claire.
“It was a big shock at first and it will completely change our lives, but it’s really one of life’s treasures.”