From twins to triplets, celebrating CNY with their triple bundles of pleasure


A Singaporean couple are celebrating Chinese New Year with a miracle of life they didn’t anticipate as soon as they launched into assisted copy in 2019 – triplets born from one frozen embryo, giving them the large family that that they had dreamt of getting.

Mr Edwin Chua, 35, and his partner, Dr Claire Low, 33, welcomed Gareth, Kenneth and Seth on Jan 3. They also have a two-year-old son, Keith.

The triplets have been born one minute apart at 34 weeks by means of caesarean provide at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), weighing between 2.1kg and a pair of.3kg.

Dr Low, a physiotherapist, instructed The Straits Times: “We have always wanted a big family and we are very glad the triplets are here with us safely.”

While triplets are already very unusual, what’s further astonishing is that only one embryo had been implanted in Dr Low’s womb by means of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

The potentialities of an embryo splitting into triplets are “extremely rare”, said her doctor, Dr Sim Wen Shan, a advisor at KKH’s Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine. A landmark Japanese analysis found that solely 0.04 per cent of pregnancies from a single embryo change produced triplets.

Dr Sim said that in IVF procedures, implanting one embryo is now actually useful to reduce the probabilities of having twins or triplets, which could enhance the hazards in being pregnant.

Mr Chua, an officer inside the Singapore Armed Forces, recalled that after they’ve been instructed they’ve been anticipating triplets, “it was a big shock for the both of us”.

The couple, who married in 2014, began to try quite a few fertility procedures, reminiscent of intrauterine insemination and IVF, after just some years of marriage failed to provide a toddler.

Then they conceived Keith naturally. In May 2022, they decided to make use of one in every of their frozen embryos to try for a second child.

In her sixth week of being pregnant, Dr Low learnt she was carrying twins.

Dr Low, who’s 168cm tall and weighs 52kg, said: “I was really very scared as I am small-sized. I was not sure if I could carry twins.”

But Mr Chua was over the moon, as he had on a regular basis wanted an enormous family.

At a follow-up scan two weeks later, their doctor on the time, who practises at one different hospital, went silent within the midst of it.

The couple checked out his extreme expression and feared the worst – that Dr Low had suffered a miscarriage.  

Dr Low said: “My doctor turned the monitor to Edwin and asked him: ‘You can count, right?’”

The couple seen three beating hearts.

“I asked: ‘Is it triplets?’ The doctor said yes,” Mr Chua said. “With triplets, it is a whole magnitude of difference in terms of challenges.”

Dr Low said her doctor couldn’t make clear how the twins have been now triplets, nonetheless he said his solely completely different affected particular person with triplets had had three embryos implanted.


Dr Low added: “I asked my doctor that if I go back the next week, there wouldn’t be four babies, right? He said, ‘Claire, don’t worry. You are not an amoeba.’”

After the knowledge had sunk in, her important concern was to keep herself and her triplets protected and healthful, given that it was now a very high-risk being pregnant.

Two of the triplets have been monochorionic twins, an an identical twins who share a placenta, an organ that delivers nutritional vitamins and oxygen to the foetus. Dr Sim said one of many points of that’s that one of many twins or every would possibly experience suboptimal progress.

Another complication was twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, by which one twin would possibly get an extreme quantity of blood, overworking the middle, whereas the other would possibly get hold of too little for thoughts enchancment and proper progress inside the womb. In extreme cases, every infants won’t survive.

After learning she was anticipating triplets, Dr Low switched from private care at one different hospital to subsidised care at KKH due to worth points, as well as to the hospital’s expertise in managing sophisticated pregnancies.

Dr Sim said mothers anticipating a a quantity of being pregnant are moreover at elevated menace of points, reminiscent of diabetes or hypertension all through being pregnant.


Fortunately for the couple, points went properly.

Her solely complaints have been of unhealthy morning sickness in her first trimester and a very giant abdomen.

She said: “I used to joke that I looked like a sotong ball on a satay stick.”

Mr Chua said in jest about his 4 sons: “Now I can form my own basketball team.”

Triplets are terribly unusual in Singapore.

There have been 5 models of triplets born in 2021, in line with the Report on Registration of Births and Deaths revealed by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

Since the triplets have been born, the couple have employed two confinement nannies and one dwelling helper, and their mom and father are ready to help babysit.

Aside from taking points sooner or later at a time, the couple are moreover nonetheless attempting to decide how one can inform the triplets apart. Dr Low apparel each in a definite shade to distinguish them.

While there might be no new-year visiting for the model new mother and her three infants, the family hope to welcome company to their residence after the one-month confinement interval.

And this yr’s Chinese New Year is further explicit for them as there isn’t a cap on the range of company, in distinction to up to now two years.

Dr Low said: “We want to give couples who have difficulties getting pregnant hope. And to tell them not to give up, as sometimes miracles can happen.”

Rare incidence

In a landmark analysis revealed inside the journal Human Reproduction in 2018, Japanese researchers investigated the causes and prevalence of a quantity of pregnancies after a single embryo was implanted in a woman’s womb.

They investigated close to a million cycles of a single embryo change and positioned that 29.5 per cent of the procedures resulted in being pregnant. Of these, 1.56 per cent produced twins and 0.04 per cent led to triplets.

The analysis found {that a} quantity of pregnancies occur by means of a course of referred to as zygotic splitting. 

A zygote is the fertilised egg cell that outcomes from a sperm fertilising an egg, and contains all of the genetic information from every mom and father to sort a toddler. The zygote shortly begins to divide and subdivide into many further cells referred to as blastomeres, which lastly sort the embryo.

When a zygote splits into two and each zygote goes on to flip into an embryo, this leads to an an identical twins. If it divides into three, triplets are original, Science Daily reported.

This article was first revealed in The Straits Times. Permission required for duplicate.

ALSO READ: Chinese girl who used IVF criticised by males for giving youngsters ‘incomplete household’

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