Triplets born at just 22 weeks and five days have been awarded two Guinness World Records.
Rubi-Rose, Payton Jane and Porscha-Mae Hopkins were born on 14 February 2021 with a total weight of 1,284g (2lbs and 13oz).
One of their world records is for the lightest total weight for triplets, while the other is for being the most premature triplets ever recorded.
Rubi-Rose was born first at 10.21am at just 467g (1lb), while Payton Jane and Porscha-Mae were born nearly two hours later at 12.01pm and 12.02pm respectively by caesarean section. They weighed only 402g (0.89lbs) and 415g (0.91lbs).
Their 32-year-old mother, Michaela White from Bristol, said the two years since their birth has been “stressful” for her and her partner Jason Hopkins, 36.
“It was very, very stressful in the first year that [the triplets] were here,” Ms White said in a video by Guinness World Records.
Mr Hopkins said the journey has been “mental”.
“The whole journey between finding out that there were triplets and then triplets actually being here was, I think, the quickest pregnancy I’ve ever known. It was mad,” he said.
Image: Michaela White and Jason Hopkins with Porscha-Mae (left), Payton Jane and Rubi-Rose (right) Hopkins
‘Quite traumatic’ birth
Ms White said “the day of the birth was quite traumatic” after being moved from St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol to Southmead, where she went into labour.
“I didn’t see any of [the triplets] when they were born.”
All three babies were rushed into incubators and swaddled in polythene wrapping to act as their mother’s womb and regulate their body temperature.
The first 72 hours of the babies’ lives were the most critical, with each required to breathe independently for 10 seconds before the doctors could intervene with oxygen.
Each child was taken into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and remained there for 216 days.
“The NICU journey on its own, any parent who has been through it, whether it’s been two days or, as we were 216 days, it’s one of the hardest journeys you’ll go through,” Mr Hopkins said.
Caring for disabled children ‘very, very hard’
The triplets were born with cerebral palsy.
Rubi-Rose has a mild form of the disorder while Payton Jane and Porscha-Mae have mobility issues and are tube-fed.
Ms White said the process of caring for disabled children is “very, very hard”.
“It can be quite challenging at times with all the appointments, the people coming in your house and doing physio with the girls on a day-to-day basis,” she said.
“It can be really challenging for anyone with disabled children, but me and my partner, Jay, just crack on and do what we need to for them.”
The couple have used social media to document their journey, earning them more than 10,000 followers on TikTok as @hopkinstribe.