Two sets of triplets born within 24 hours in same hospital

Only four sets of triplets were born in Northern Ireland between 2017 and 2018, according to the province’s Public Health Agency — and yet in one hospital last week, two healthy sets were born within 24 hours.

At the Ulster Hospital in County Down, Zoey, Cameron and Brody arrived on July 16 to parents Brendan and Kirsty McMenamin, followed swiftly by Annie, Libby and Evie to Claire and Johnny Stewart the following day

Alison Bartlett, manager of the hospital’s neonatal ward, told the Press Association (PA) news agency that no triplets had been born there for several years — before, of course, this bumper week of babies.

Claire Stewart told PA that one thought sprang to mind when she learned she was carrying triplets: “I’m so glad my mum is retired.”

The babies were expected to arrive on Friday, she said. “They decided on Wednesday morning it was their time to arrive so it was all a big rush,” she said.

According to father Johnny Stewart, there were more than 20 members of staff in the room during Claire’s labor, but the birth was “very calm” all the same.

Zoey, Cameron and Brody McMenamin weighed between 4.7 and 5 pounds, while Annie, Libby and Evie Stewart weighed between 4.4 and 5.1 pounds, the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, which includes the Ulster Hospital, said on Facebook.

“We haven’t really got used to the idea there is five of us yet,” Johnny Stewart told PA, explaining that the triplets have remained in the hospital as two received special care. “We’ll get a whole other wave of emotions whenever we have to get to grips with the highs and lows of all the feeds and changes and washes and doing all the laundry but we’ll get there, take each day at a time.”