Little Roman, Rocco and Rohan Tierney are 10-month-old babies who were born completely identical triplets, beating the odds of 200 million-to-one.
Their 23-year old mum Mum Becki-Jo Allen, from Gateacre, Liverpool, was about nine weeks pregnant when she found out she was expecting not one but three bundles of joy.
When she found out she was expecting triplets, their mum said it was the biggest shock of her life, since she hasn’t got any triplets in the family so it came completely out of the blue.
The three boys, who have a big sister, three-year-old Indiana, were born when Becki-Jo was just 31 weeks pregnant and spent their first six weeks in intensive care at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
Mum, Becki-Jo has no trouble telling them apart. Though she says when they were newborns it was quite hard to tell which one was which, but she never got them mixed up.
The triplets who are completely thriving have all got dark birthmarks between their eyebrows, but Roman’s is slightly darker than the others’, and Rohan has got a birthmark on his leg as well.
Their father, Liam Tierney, 28, does not live with them, much of the day to day help comes from Becki’s 17 year old sister Lauren.
The odds of having naturally-conceived identical triplets is estimated to be somewhere between one in 60,000 and one in 200 million.
According to the Multiple Births Foundation, the only way to establish for certain whether twins or triplets are identical – known as zygosity determination – is usually DNA testing.
After consulting them, Miss Allen took cheek swabs from Roman, Rocco and Rohan and sent them off to a laboratory to be analysed – and earlier this month received the news that they are genetically identical.
Identical triplets are conceived when the fertilised egg splits twice. The odds against them occurring without fertility treatment have been put at between one in 60,000 and one in 200million.
If twins or triplets shared one membrane in the womb, they must be identical (monozygotic). If not, the placentas are indistinguishable from those of non-identical (dizygotic) siblings, and only DNA testing can confirm for certain.