To say it has been a whirlwind couple of years for Michaela White and her partner, Jason Hopkins, would be a major understatement.
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Back in 2021, the Bristol, England couple was struggling financially after losing their jobs and apartment due to COVID-19. Already parents of a 6-year-old and 8-yr-old, they were shocked to find out that Michaela was pregnant with not one, not two, but three babies!
They discovered they were expecting triplets when Michaela was already 19 weeks along. Stressed out and overwhelmed, things went from bad to worse when she spontaneously went into labor just three weeks later, at 22 weeks gestation.
“The whole journey between finding out that they were triplets and them actually being here was I think the quickest pregnancy I’ve ever known,” Jason said.
On Valentine’s Day 2021, after a birth Michaela and Jason described as “traumatic,” they welcomed Rubi-Rose, Payton-Jane, and Porscha-Mae Hopkins. The babies were severely premature and required a lot of emergency care. Together, the three babies weighed just 2 pounds, 13 ounces!
At 1 pound, Rubi-Rose was the first born and largest infant. Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae weighed 0.89 pounds and 0.91 pounds respectively.
The sisters are dizygotic triplets, which means Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae are identical twins, and Rubi-Rose has unique genes. All three have cerebral palsy, with the identical twins suffering the most severe symptoms.
Even at their shockingly low birth weights, the girls turned out to be fighters! After 216 long days and nights at the Southmead Hospital NICU, they were finally strong enough to go home. Jason and Michaela now spend all of their time caring for their new daughters’ special needs.
While they were in the hospital, a doctor mentioned that the sisters could be the earliest surviving triplets in the United Kingdom. The family reached out to Guinness World Records, and it turns out they were correct, but there was more to the story.
They later learned they’re not only the earliest surviving triplets in the U.K. — they’re the earliest in the entire world! But why stop at just one record? They’re also the lightest triplets ever born.
Since winning their records, the family has been focused on adjusting to their new normal. The girls’ health has improved, but they require around-the-clock care. Rubi-Rose can walk and eat normally, but her sisters need to be fed through a tube and can’t walk or talk.
“They don’t physically move,” said Michaela. “We have to do literally everything for them.”
Jason and Michaela are recovering from their traumatic experience as well. Jason suffers from PTSD from watching one of his daughters receive CPR in the hospital. The couple uses TikTok to share their children’s health journey and raise awareness about PTSD and postnatal depression in fathers. They hope to support other parents with premature children.
Jason continues to praise Michaela as a “wonder mum,” and the two have grown closer as she supports his mental health struggles. They’re making the best of their new lives, and they couldn’t be prouder to be parents of world-record-holding triplets!
Share this story with anyone who has ever been touched by a premature birth.
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