To be told she was expecting triplets was a big enough shock for any mother-to-be. Now thriving at home after spending six weeks in intensive care, little Roman, Rocco and Rohan had another surprise in store for Becki-Jo Allen, however.
After being told how similar they looked by other mums, she sent off samples of DNA to be tested – and she has now been told that against odds of up to an incredible 200 million to one, the naturally conceived trio are identical.
According to their 23-year-old mother, ‘When they were newborns it was quite hard to tell which one was which, but I never got them mixed up myself.’
‘They’ve all got dark birthmarks between their eyebrows, but Roman’s is slightly darker than the others’, and Rohan has got a birthmark on his leg as well.
‘When they were in the hospital, the doctors said they were non-identical, but since they came home lots of people have said they can’t tell them apart.’
According to the Multiple Births Foundation, the only way to establish for certain whether twins or triplets are identical – known as zygosity determination – is usually DNA testing.
After consulting them, Miss Allen took cheek swabs from Roman, Rocco and Rohan and sent them off to a laboratory to be analysed – and earlier this month received the news that they are genetically identical.
They are the youngest of what is thought to be only a handful of naturally conceived sets of identical triplets in the UK.