By Anthony Carroll
Friday, January 17, 2014
Good things come in threes, according to the old proverb.
And anyone who doubts that should just ask Jo and Kate Copestake-Cox.
The Oulton Broad couple are the proud parents of cute triplets who arrived into the world seven weeks prematurely on Christmas Day and had to spend nearly two weeks in hospital.
Amie, Harley and Lily were delivered by Caesarean section at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in the space of four minutes. Because of their premature delivery, the newborn sisters had to go straight into the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit where they were looked after for 11 days.
The triplets were put on feeding tubes but did not need to be placed in incubators.
All that is behind them now and the youngsters are being fussed over at their home in Beccles Road and doted on by their parents, who face some unusual challenges – not least telling them apart.
That task is made even more difficult because Harley and Lily are also identical twins, which means Jo and Kate are currently having to identify them by the shape of their ears.
Jo, 29, who gave birth to her daughters after private IVF treatment, said: “I’d gone into the hospital for a scan. But because I had pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure they said they would start delivering them.
“I had a Caeserean section. Amie was delivered at 8.28pm, then Harley at 8.29pm and then Lily at 8.32pm.
“They were born seven weeks early so it was a bit of shock. But it is exciting to be a mother to triplets.
“We could be with them at the hospital and the staff were brilliant.
“But it was nice and a huge relief to get them home.”
Amie weighed 4lb 9oz when she was delivered and her younger sisters Harley and Lily weighed 4lb 5oz and 4lb 1oz respectively.
Jo and Kate have another daughter, Emily, who is now aged 17 months.
Kate, 32, said: “Obviously, for the first 11 days I did not see as much of the triplets as I would have liked to as I had to look after Emily.
“But it is fantastic to see them all together back home. Emily just loves them and keeps kissing them.”
The couple are now facing up to a busy life living with triplets – and they admit that having three young children the same age will bring its own challenges.
Kate said: “We got a bigger car and when we go shopping we need two trolleys – one for the babies and one for shopping. It takes three quarters of an hour to feed them and they need feeding every hour-and-a-half so it is bit like a military operation sometimes.”
Kate, who is leisure manager at Kessingland Beach Holiday Park, and Jo, who is the manager of the gym at St Felix School in Reydon, are in a civil partnership and have been together for seven years.
The triplets were conceived by IVF through a donor at the London Women’s Clinic in Harley Street.
The couple named their middle daughter Harley as a way of thanking the staff at the clinic.