Single mother Becki-Jo Allen stumbled across the shock of a lifetime during her second pregnancy. Not only was the 23-year-old blown away by having triplets, but the surprise to come gave her an experience that most people never encounter in their lifetime. Already the mother of a young daughter, Becki-Jo had to brave the momentous challenge of raising three newborns, all under the prying eyes of thousands of spectators. When you learn the stunning tale of these three triplets, you’ll want to follow the family too.
Eager To Expand
Becki-Jo Allen and her boyfriend Liam Tierney lived with their daughter Indiana in Liverpool, England. The couple was eager to expand their family, and celebrated when Becki-Jo announced that she was pregnant. Immediately, though, Becki-Jo felt off.
From the beginning, Becki-Jo experienced extreme headaches and nausea, stronger than she had during her pregnancy with Indiana. Becki-Jo and Liam visited the doctor for an early checkup and waited nervously for the ultrasound results. They could never have predicted the surprise that lay in store for them.
Baby One, Baby Two, Baby Three
Becki-Jo carried not one child, but three! She and Liam felt both stunned and relieved at the same time. “It was the biggest shock of my life!” Becki-Jo recalled in an interview. “We haven’t got any triplets in the family, so it came completely out of the blue.”
Statistics state that the chance of carrying triplets is one in 9,000. The odds decrease if the mother is young (Becki-Jo was 23) and does not use fertility assistance (which Becki-Jo did not). Her triplets were conceived at random with incredibly low odds. This made them all the more unexpected.
The Birth Scare
Although the pregnancy grew easier for a little while, another scare alarmed the couple at week 31. Becki-Jo began experiencing contractions. Though the babies were healthy, they were tiny and not ready for birth.
Thirty-one weeks is just over seven months, whereas most pregnancies last around 38 weeks. Liam rushed Becki-Jo to their local hospital, where doctors rushed to save all three babies by performing an emergency C-section.
Fortunately, all three boys — Roman, Rocco, and Rohan — survived the Caesarean section. However, they couldn’t remain with Becki-Jo as they were immediately rushed off to intensive care.
The boys’ weight were all under what doctors consider a normal baby boy’s weight (around five pounds). Rocco weighed three pounds and five ounces, Roman weighed three pounds and six ounces, and Rohan was the heaviest at three pounds and ten ounces.
Significant Health Risks For The Triplets
Twins and triplets have higher health risks early after birth. They can suffer from birth complications and congenital disabilities that result in life-threatening situations.
The triplets remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for six weeks, where doctors consistently monitored their heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and blood pressure. Premature babies require extra help while their bodies catch up on the development they missed in the womb. The family often visited the three boys in Intensive Care, though wires and monitors obscured the babies’ faces.
A Long-Awaited Arrival And A Harrowing Surprise
Fortunately, none of those crises arose for Becki-Jo’s triplets. The triplets went home safely with their parents after six weeks in intensive care. Becki-Jo and Liam had busied themselves setting up the triplets’ room and stocking up on baby products to welcome their new children.
The couple falsely assumed that the surprises were over. The first night back from intensive care, Becki-Jo panicked when Roman momentarily stopped breathing. However, this was a one-time ordeal, and the triplets have stayed healthy ever since.
Something Is Off
Once the couple started taking care of the boys, they kept getting stopped on the street by people noticing how similar they looked. Becki-Jo swabbed the inside of the babies’ cheeks and sent it to a lab for a DNA test. Were two of the triplets identical, or were all three fraternal?
Appearing similar is typical for triplets. Most triplets are fraternal, meaning they stem from three separate eggs. Sometimes, one of the two eggs will split, making two of the triplets look more alike than the third. Even so, the parents and family struggled to tell the three boys apart.
Becki-Jo’s triplets are a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. Multiple births, where the mother gives birth to more than one baby, occurs one in 67 times. Even then, most multiple births are dizygotic, meaning the babies form from two separate eggs.
In the case of Becki-Jo’s triplets, one egg split into two, and then the second part broke again. The chance of one egg separating into two is one in 250, and this happened twice with Becki-Jo’s babies. This birth is so incredibly rare that most of us likely won’t see it happen again.
How Does Anyone Tell Them Apart?
Despite the triplet’s identical appearance, Becki-Jo and Liam gradually learned to tell them apart. Becki-Jo remarked, “They’ve 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.”
“But they all have completely different personalities,” included Becki-Jo. According to the parents, Rohan often shouts, Rocco goes with the flow, and Roman refuses to share his toys! Unsurprisingly, the parents learned to quickly distinguish their sons.
The Challenge Of Motherhood
On her Instagram page, Becki-Jo shared that mothering these identical triplets has been one of the biggest challenges she’s ever had to face. Fortunately, the brothers have had no major health issues since that first night after intensive care, but they still pose a challenge.
As a mother of four, Becki-Jo also struggles to run errands around town. She reports that people would often stop her to discuss the triplets, learning to their shock that they were identical. Even so, Becki-Jo seems to be a wonderful mother!
Goals As A Single Mom
Before having her first daughter Indiana, Becki-Jo desired to train as a neo-natal nurse. Her passion has only increased after having the identical triplets, as they spent six weeks in Neonatal Intensive Care, where Becki-Jo would potentially work after training.
The father, Liam Tierney, does not live with Becki-Jo. He spends most of his time helping his sister Laura, although he does come over to visit and offer support. For the most part, Becki-Jo raises all four children as a single mother.
How Much Do The Triplets Cost?
On top of her first child, Becki-Jo faced the tremendous task of caring for three babies at once. The triplets went through an average of five packs of wet wipes per week and 130 diapers during the same time period. That’s 20 wet wipes per month and 520 diapers per month!
Becki-Jo also goes through about four packs of baby formula and runs the washing machine about three times a day. Even with four children, Becki-Jo did have some downtime. The triplets would take about 130 naps a week.
How The Sister Reacted
Fortunately, Becki-Jo’s daughter Indiana has not shown a drop of jealousy since the triplets came home. Indiana fell in love with her brothers as soon as she met them. Even at six years old, Indiana helped whenever she could.
Despite the cost and the chaotic life, Becki-Jo loves each of her children just as they are. She views each child as a blessing and has learned much about herself through the adventure of raising these triplets.
Insta-Famous Mom And Babies
The story of these identical triplets appears time and time again all over the internet. Becki-Jo’s Instagram currently has over 64,000 followers watching her babies grow. Yet, the mother seems to embrace the attention rather than avoid it.
Recently, Becki-Jo has hosted “ask me a question” events on her Instagram stories, responding with parenting advice and snapshots of her daily life. From how she handles tantrums, to how she cares for triplets, Becki-Jo happily answers any questions thrown her way.
Not The Only Unique Family
Although the rate of triplet births has decreased over time, four pairs of identical triplets were born worldwide in 2015. So even though Becki-Jo faces a unique challenge, she’s not the only one. She can reference other parents and families for help.
In 2014, the Daily Mail told how one mother, Karen Gilbert, pained her triplet’s toenails different colors so she could tell them apart. Kerry Lyons, who had three sons, has written articles on how to care for identical triplets. Now, Becki-Jo contributes to the collection of advice with her Instagram page.
Birthday parties ended up being unique in Becki-Jo’s household since three of her four children all celebrate together. Roman, Rocco, and Rohan all shared their own presents, balloons, cake, and party celebrations.
Luckily for the parents, big sister Indiana helped her mom with decorations and gifts. The whole family communed to make the triplet’s birthdays as heartfelt as possible, even if they did have to share the cake. As tumultuous as the birthdays were, they ended up being rewarding for all.
Still Getting A Fulfilling Life
The triplets still live a normal life, however. From sibling quarrels to receiving report cards to visiting sandy beaches, Roman, Rocco, and Rohan live the lives any young boys would dream of. And Becki-Jo experiences the privilege of watching these identical triplet’s “firsts.”
Becki-Jo does report some fears of parenting, such as her kids crossing the main road by themselves. But the triplets’ health scares have ended, and all that remains are the natural fears and joys of parenting young boys!
Two Years Later, Still Getting Attention
It’s been two years since Becki-Jo discovered her pregnancy, and onlookers are no less intrigued. The mother says she continually gets stopped on the street by people remarking on their identical appearance. When Becki-Jo tells them her sons identical, their jaws always hit the floor.
The future remains bright for these identical triplets. People will likely continue to follow their progression, inspiring some potential social influencers in the future. Only time will tell how these miracle boys will develop.
They Were Having Trouble Getting Pregnant
Kevin and Nicole had been married for a few years, during which they had tried to get pregnant to start a family. They kept trying, but with no success. They never gave up, and were willing to try anything.
They couldn’t have known how things would turn out, and the road to starting a family ended up being rougher than they could have ever imagined. Still, they knew in their hearts that this is what they wanted to do.
Lianna and Shaun Have Five Kids
The couple were friends with Lianna and Shaun, who lived in East Moriches, New York. Just as Kevin and Nicole were trying to get pregnant after their wedding day, Lianna and Shaun wanted to start their family right away. Together they have five children and love having a big family.
After five pregnancies, Lianna considered having more children with her husband. Little did she know that she would end up being pregnant sooner than originally planned. And this time the child wouldn’t biologically be hers.
Lianna Wanted To Help Her Friend
Having no luck getting pregnant, Nicole and Kevin considered finding a surrogate to carry their child. Although they were unsure of what that relationship would be like, they knew that if they wanted to start a family, they would have to trust the woman to keep them in the loop.
Lianna shocked everyone when she announced that she would be willing to help the couple have a child by becoming their surrogate. For Nicole and Kevin, this was the best case scenario, since they were already close-knit friends with her.
Lots Of Love & Support
Surrogacy is a unique experience. Dr. Richard Klein was the obstetrician who planted the embryos in the procedure and said that it was “so much fun” having both couples appear at the doctor’s appointments, contributing so much love in hoping for a baby.
It was July 2016 at this point, and the embryos had been planted. Both couples arrived at the doctor to hear whether the embryo had taken, and whether Lianna was pregnant with their child.
Waiting For Good News
In the days leading up to the appointment, both couples were nervous, but especially Nicole and Kevin. They had prayed for a baby for so long, they wondered how much longer they could hold on to hope. Lianna had done everything correctly, going through the procedure of having the embryo planted. Now all they had to do was wait.
Finally, the big day arrived when they would find out, and everyone’s emotions were running high.
Hoping To Start A Family
The Barattini’s were hoping for a baby ever since their wedding day in 2010. The happy couple looked forward to their future together, and wanted to raise their children in Smithton, New York, where they lived.
But time after time, Nicole still wasn’t pregnant. She went to the doctor’s to find some answers that would help her conceive. But the news that she received was not what she was hoping to hear. It seems that the Barattini’s plans were not going to happen.
Health Issues From a Young Age
Back when she was 16-years-old, Nicole began noticing small bumps appearing on her skin. A few small bumps turned into bumps covering her entire body. When she went to the doctor, suffering from a fever and fatigue, they discovered that her eyes had also turned jaundice.
The doctor took blood samples and found that her level of platelets was dangerously low. While the average adult has between 140,000 and 150,000 platelets in their blood, Nicole only had 8,000.
Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease
After seeing the doctor, Nicole was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, or TTP. Still just a teenager, Nicole was shocked at the diagnosis, which could be fatal. TTP causes blood clots to form around the body and Nicole was in immediate danger.
After her diagnosis, she stayed in the hospital recovering. She was lucky to have made it tot he doctor in time to be treated, as things could have ended up being a lot worse.
TTP Is A Rare Blood Disorder
So just how much at risk was Nicole? Blood clots caused by TTP have a 95% mortality rate if they aren’t treated immediately. The rare blood disorder increases blood glycoprotein in hemostasis, which causes different parts of the body to experience blood clots.
Nicole’s symptoms of fatigue, fever, and bruises all match up with TTP, which affects 1 out of every 100,000 people. Most of whom are adult women. Nicole was part of the 10% of this population whose case begins before adulthood.
It Affected Her Later On
Thankfully, the doctors were able to find suitable medication to manage Nicole’s TTP. Because of it, she was able to live a normal life and not worry about waking up with a fatal blood clot. Because of this, her condition wasn’t on her mind often.
But when she went to the doctor to find out why she wasn’t getting pregnant, Nicole learned that if she were to get pregnant, her TTP medication would most likely harm the baby. Due to Nicole’s condition, it would be unsafe to go off the medication as well.
Nicole Shares The Bad News With Her Husband
After learning that pregnancy would be too risky for her, Nicole went home, devastated by the news. A while later, her husband Kevin came home, and instantly knew something was off.
He recalls, “I got home from work and Nicole had that look on her face like something was wrong and I’m never going to forget it. I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and she said, ‘The doctor doesn’t think we can have children.’ And you know, nobody wants to hear that.” She explained the risks and he knew it was true.
Pregnancy Would Be A Huge Risk
The difficult part for Nicole was knowing that she could in fact conceive, but the pregnancy would be very high risk, both for her and the baby. She explained, “I was able to conceive, but I wouldn’t be able to have a healthy pregnancy. And it would result in death of myself or the baby.”
It was clear that it would be too dangerous for Nicole to fall pregnant, and she would need to find another way to achieve her dream of having a family with her husband.
Nicole Thought About Taking The Risk
Nicole was absolutely heartbroken that she wouldn’t be able to carry her own baby, and it took her a while for the news to sink in. She was incredibly frustrated that she was able to get pregnant, but that the doctors told her not to.
She even told Kevin that she was willing to risk everything, but he said no. Nicole was grieving a loss and the couple took time to cope with it all.
Searching For A Safer Option
Through it all, they were still trying, emotions running high. Eventually they decided to stop trying to conceive, and face the facts they were presented. They needed to calm their hearts and listen to their heads, because this was a very serious decision.
Then, Nicole decided to freeze her eggs and think about searching for a surrogate, since it would be a safe method of starting their family. They also considered adoption.
Adoption Is Expensive
One of the first options the couple was considering was adoption. For Nicole and Kevin, the most important thing to them was that they had a family, and whether or not the children were biologically theirs, wasn’t the most important aspect.
They quickly found out that adoption is incredibly expensive, and that they didn’t have the funds to make adoption a viable option for them, especially since they would need to save money to raise the children, too.
Legal Fees Through The Roof
There’s no question that there are lots of children out there who need a loving home. But the way the system works, makes adoption an extremely expensive option for couples. Part of what makes adoption so pricey is the legal fees involved, going through the process.
According to Adoptive Families, international adoptions finalized in 2015 and 2016 cost an average of $42,000. Domestic adoptions for newborns averages at $37,000. While their hearts said ‘yes,’ the couple’s bank account wasn’t ready for this cost.
Thinking About Surrogacy
Adoption appeared to be too expensive for the couple, so they turned to their next option: surrogacy. They switched gears and started researching the process. Right away, they were devastated by the price tag – more than $75,000. As it turns out, surrogacy is even more expensive than adoption.
Still hoping to make it work, Nicole contemplated who would be willing to carry the couple’s child for free. She said, “We had heard stories that sisters carried and mothers carried, but I don’t have a sister, and my mother is over the age.”
NYC Was An Expensive Place For Surrogacy
New York state’s laws on surrogacy came as a surprise for Nicole and Kevin. They had no idea that it was illegal to pay someone to act as a surrogate in the state. To work around the law, they would need to pay someone who lived out of state to carry the baby.
But this was also a problematic option, as it would be expensive to travel to and from doctor’s appointments, and they really wanted a surrogate who they could be close with.
Surrogacy Is The Best Option For Nicole
Still, the couple decided that they wanted to go with a surrogate. The medical process includes creating an embryo by IVF, and implanting it into the surrogate. The embryo includes the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm, so although another woman is carrying the child, biologically, it would be related to the couple.
Like many other couples, this is what Nicole and Kevin saw as their best option. They still needed to find a way to do it, however.
Her Friends Show Interest In Helping
No longer a secret that it wasn’t safe for Nicole to get pregnant, the couple shared their dream of finding a surrogate to carry their firstborn. They were amazed at the supportive response from their friends and family. Many of them even offered to become their surrogate!
It seemed that things were looking up for the couple, once they put it out in the universe that this was what they wanted. However, they were just as quickly disappointed when they found out through initial testing that the women who offered weren’t fit to carry.
Not This Time
After passing the medical exams, Lianna went to the doctor’s to have the embryo planted. It would only take one week to find out if the embryo took, but it felt like an eternity for everyone involved. Although they felt like everything was falling into place, the couple had been disappointed before.
They knew that nothing was guaranteed, and all they could do is wait and pray. The two couples went back for the follow up appointment, only to learn that Lianna wasn’t pregnant.
Although it didn’t happen the first time, neither couple was ready to call it quits. The doctor was optimistic and told them that this time around they would plant more embryo, increasing their chances of Lianna getting pregnant.
They had to wait yet another week to find out if Lianna was pregnant with the second round of embryo. Again, everyone was on the edge of their chairs, praying and hoping that this round would take.
Once again, both couples arrived at the doctor’s office to find out if Lianna was pregnant with Kevin and Nicole’s child. This time, the doctor had good news to deliver. He told them that the embryo had taken, and that Lianna was pregnant!
He had even better news on top of that… they were pregnant with twins! Everyone was overjoyed and emotional as they heard the good news. Kevin and Nicole would be welcoming not one, but two babies into their family that year.