Thirteen may be an unlucky number for some - but not for this happy couple who waited 13 years for one baby - and then three came along at once.
Kelly and Colin Hoyles were ‘on top of the world’ to discover they were expecting - having tried without avail for 13 years to conceive.
However, it wasn’t until the 36-year-old went for her ultrascan that they discovered just how big their family was to become - with the scan revealing a trio of tots.
“I just couldn’t believe it and thought my mind was playing tricks when I saw them on the screen,” said Kelly.
“Especially as my husband has joked about us having triplets just before.
“I was in shock - but also quite scared.”
Freddie, Jack and Bella arrived seven-and-a-half weeks early, on February 26, weighing 4lb 3oz, 4lb 4oz and 3lb 6oz respectively. They are believed to be the first set of Boston-area triplets born for 18 years.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Kelly. “I went to the hospital as I wasn’t ovulating so they put me on a course of Clomid tablets which stimulate your ovaries. And two months later I fell pregnant. I didn’t have any IVF treatment.”
The three now keep the couple busy at their home in Snaith Avenue, Fosdyke - with the family getting through 140 nappies a week and up to 24 bottles each per day, amounting to a whopping 168 bottles a week.
But the unexpected births meant Kelly had to wait before she could properly meet her babies.
With husband Colin at her side, Kelly gave birth at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham.
Speaking about the birth, she said: “It was quite traumatic for the first night. I was taken into intensive care and lost two litres of blood. I had to have an emergency caesarian as I got an infection.
“As they arrived early, there were not enough cots spare at the neo-natal unit to take them, so they were shipped off.
“I had one baby whisked off to Sheffield and two sent to Derby while I was still recovering at Nottingham.”
“I met Bella and Jack for a matter on minutes before they were rushed away. I didn’t get to meet Freddie for five days.”
Colin spent time visiting them while Kelly was recovering in Nottingham.
The mum had much of her pre-natal and neo-natal care at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, and it was here that she was reunited with her babies when they were five-days-old.
“The Pilgrim neo-natal unit has been absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t fault them,” she said. “The babies were home at just 19-days-old because they were doing so well.”
The Fosdyke couple had tried for 13 years to conceive. But the significance of the number doesn’t end there.The babies were born in 2013 in part because Kelly managed to lose a staggering 13 stones in weight to boost her chances of conceiving.
“It’s so weird, with the number 13 cropping up three times,” she said.
Speaking of their new family life, she added: “Sometimes it feels like a mad house but they are a lot of fun.