Triplet besties Mia, Chloe and Harley ready to start school

Triplet besties Mia, Chloe and Harley ready to start school

Identical triplet sisters Mia, Chloe and Harley Garratt-Richardson can’t wipe the smiles from their faces as they prepare for their first day at school.

The strawberry blonde trio are looking forward to being in the same class at Greenbank State School on Monday (22 January) – and it will be a big day for mum Jessica Garratt, 34, and partner Adam Richardson, 39, too.

“It’s going to be emotional in every sense of the word, but I know they have each other,” Ms Garratt said.

The odds of having triplets naturally, as the Greenbank couple did, is around one in 10,000.

Ms Garratt, who has changed her fair share of nappies over the years, said: “We tried for one and got three! We’re definitely not having anymore – can confirm!”

“We actually had Monochorionic-triamniotic triplets, we had babies sharing the one placenta, meaning they are all identical,” Ms Garratt said.

Monochorionic-triamniotic triplet pregnancies are exceedingly rare, occurring in about one in 100,000 births.

Mia, Chloe and Harley were born via an emergency section almost nine weeks early at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane on November 23 2018.

Mia is the eldest of the siblings and was born at 3.17pm weighing 1.6kg. Chloe arrived just two minutes later at 3.19pm weighing 1.03kg, followed by Harley one minute later weighing 1.6kg.

Ms Garratt described the relationship between her little girls as “very close”.

“They are the best of friends, most days,” she laughed.

“They each have their own little personalities but the same interests. I am eager to see whether they form individual friendships or stick together at school.

“They don’t all wear the same clothes; we want them to have their own identities.”

Ms Garratt said her daughters were born premature after she was diagnosed with preeclampsia during her pregnancy.

Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition that can occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

It typically causes high blood pressure and can affect several body organs, including the liver, kidney and brain.

“I remember having to leave work at 2pm for an obstetric appointment and ended up being admitted to Mater and giving birth to the girls the next day,” Ms Garratt said.

“I remember feeling so scared about losing my babies.

“In the short amount of time that I could sleep, Chloe had wedged herself between the other two girls.

“It wasn’t long before I was taken to theatre to save their lives and mine.”

Ms Garratt said she was grateful for the care provided by the multidisciplinary team at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, where her daughters spent six weeks in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit.

“Those weeks were the longest weeks of my life,” she said.

While the triplets were born with no major complications, they did require some assistance with their breathing.

Ms Garratt thanked her partner of more than 10 years, Adam, who also has a teenage son, for helping her to cope with bringing three tiny babies home from hospital.

“I couldn’t have done this without my partner. Adam works full-time, comes home and cooks dinner, and helps with the house work,” she said.

“There’s nothing that’s too much for him.”

Across the state, an estimated 12,000 Mater babies are expected to start school on Monday.

Ms Garratt said her daughters had their backpacks ready and were eager to learn how to read and write.

Each year nearly 2,000 very sick and premature babies receive round-the-clock specialist care from the multidisciplinary team in Mater Mothers’ NCCU.

 

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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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