A mum with two wombs has given birth to triplets – having twins in one and their sibling in the second.
Melanie Bassett, 32, who had two other kids, was stunned when doctors discovered the foetuses in different wombs.
The mum had known she had two wombs when she had her first child, Phoebe, three years ago.
A year ago Melanie and husband Ben, 33, from Hampshire, welcomed their son Blake, now one.
But nothing could have prepared her for the triple pregnancy.
The occurrence of twins from uterus didelphys – two wombs – is estimated at one in a million.
There have only been four known cases of the condition leading to triplets – and this is believed to be the first in the UK.
Mum-of-five Melanie said: ‘When we were told it was quite crazy!
‘But I wouldn’t change it for anything. I noticed a difference being pregnant with the triplets.
‘I would often find myself having to deal with them kicking on both sides. One would kick and it would set all of them off!’
Rather than looking like a regular womb, Melanie’s is heart-shaped, with two chambers.
It makes it no harder for a woman to conceive, but slightly increases the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
Due to her anatomy, Melanie was booked in for an early eight-week scan where she was told there were two heartbeats.
But it was not until the 12-week scan that the sonographer told the couple they were expecting triplets – miraculously growing in separate wombs.
They were advised to go to fortnightly scans so doctors could keep an eye on the pregnancy.
It was feared the triplets could develop twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) – a rare pregnancy condition which occurs when multiple foetus share the same placenta.
Melanie said: ‘It wasn’t until I was pregnant with the triplets and had been seen up at St. George’s in London where the consultant carried out more testing involving internal scan to see how thick the septum was splitting the two uterus.
‘A gynaecologist then carried out a speculum test and discovered I had two cervixes side by side. It’s never been picked up on any of my smears.
‘Weirdly, I had the same cravings as I did with the other two. I just craved jelly sweets, particularly Haribo. I was pretty big and felt enormous.’
The triplets were born via c-section, at 32 weeks, on January 26 this year.
Since then, Melanie has had her hands full raising five children under three, during a global pandemic.
But says she is looking forward to spending time this Christmas as a big family.
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