A CWMBRAN couple are counting down the days until they can take their baby triplets home from hospital after they were born three weeks prematurely.

Charlotte Cousins and Gareth Vincent, from Oakfield, are now proud parents to Sofia, Tilly and Poppy Vincent.

But they only got to hold their newborn daughters properly the day after they were born The triplets were all placed in incubators when they were born by Caesarean section at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport on September 27, with their parents only able to hold them for a few brief seconds.

Ms Cousins, 39, said: “I went in and 30 people were in the room because everyone wanted to see triplets being born.”

The birth was quite traumatic for Ms Cousins, who had to undergo a blood transfusion after losing three pints of blood during the labour, and having oxygen for five hours.

Ms Cousins said: “It was awful not being able to see them but the staff did it for my own good. They wouldn’t let me get out of bed.”

Poppy, who was the last of the triplets to be born, at 3lb 8oz, was taken straight to the high-dependency unit and given a breathing aid after suffering jaundice.

Ms Cousins said: “It’s only the last couple of days that we’ve been able to see her face properly.”

Poppy’s identical twin, Sofia, is the oldest and smallest of the triplets, weighing just 2lb 9oz when she was born, and was sent down to a maternity ward.

Tilly weighed 3lb 4oz and was the first of the triplets to be moved to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny.

Last Thursday was the first time Ms Cousins and Mr Vincent had seen their three daughters all together.

“It was awful that they weren’t together but we knewit was for the right reasons,”

Ms Cousins said.

The couple said they are now beginning to know which baby is which.

Ms Cousins said: “Sofia is the feisty one, she’s got a bit of an attitude.”

They said Tilly tries to take her clothes off, whereas Poppy is the quieter one who does not make a fuss.

Ms Cousins said: “They’ve all got the same sort of mouth as Gareth and everyone says Tilly is the image of him.”

A major shock and constant scanning

THE triplets were naturally conceived but the news came as a massive shock for the couple, with no history of twins or triplets on either side of the family.

Ms Cousins said: “We were just laughing. It was a total shock.”

The chance of having triplets in the UK currently stands at 1 in 4,400.

Mr Vincent, 35, who also has a four-year-old son, added: “I just had to sit down, it was just unbelievable.”

From then on Ms Cousins had to be scanned once a week, sometimes every other day. The couple said their employers were very understanding and Ms Cousins, who works for Bron Afon Community Housing, has agreed to have four years off work and may then go back part-time.

They are now hoping to take Tilly and Poppy home in the next two weeks, and Sofia at some point later.

Ms Cousins said: “Then it’s panic situation. We need to establish a routine. We’re very scared but we just can’t wait to bring them home.”