Meet the inspirational triplets from Bristol born three weeks after mum discovered she was pregnant
and live on Freeview channel 276
A gorgeous set of triplets from Bristol set two Guinness World Records - most premature birth and lightest ever birth-weight. Rubi-Rose, Payton Jane and Porscha-Mae Hopkins were born at just 22 weeks and five days with a combined weight of 1.284kg (2.83lb).
The record-breaking triplets were born on the February 14, 2021 and have just celebrated their 2nd birthday. Their parents Michaela White and Jay Hopkins from Bristol, have two older siblings Jaime-Leigh, 8, and Isaac, 6.
Rubi-Rose was born first, at 10:33 am, weighing 467 g (1 lb) and immediately swaddled in a polythene wrapping which acted as a makeshift womb, reducing heat loss and risk of hypothermia.
Payton-Jane was delivered at 12:01 weighing 402 g (0.89 lb) and Porscha-Mae at 12:02 pm weighing 415 g (0.91 oz) by emergency caesarean section.
Michaela discovered she was not only pregnant at 19 weeks but expecting triplets too it was a ‘’shock’’. She gave birth just three weeks later at 22 weeks and 5 days with Jay by her side and an expert army of 21 doctors and nurses.
Each baby was required to breathe independently for 10 seconds before the medical staff would intervene to provide oxygen. Amazingly, they did and continued to do well for the next critical 72 hours.
The triplets remained in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for several months Rubi-Rose and Payton-Jane were cleared to leave in July, while Porscha-Mae stayed until October.
The year that followed was a stressful whirlwind of hospital appointments, home visits, regular physio, round the clock care and of course maintaining ‘normal’ school and home life for the triplets’ two older siblings.
The triplets all have their own cheeky personalities that bring the whole family joy. Rubi-Rose is a cheeky, happy go-lucky and bouncy toddler, causing mayhem and fun while Porscha is smiley, cuddly and very loving.
Payton knows her mind and what she wants and will not be swayed. Together with their older siblings, Jaime-Leigh and Isaac who dote on the triplets, it is a busy, chaotic but very happy house.
The three girls have differing degrees of cerebral palsy, Rubi-Rose, the firstborn can eat, crawl, and walk independently while Porscha-Mae and Payton-Jane both have mobility difficulties and need to be fed via a tube.
Michaela their mum said: “It can be really challenging for anyone with disabled children but me and my partner Jay – we just crack on and do what we need for them.”
Jason has had a particularly tough time, suffering from post-natal depression and PTSD following a traumatic medical emergency with Payton.
The family have a dedicated TikTok channel @hopkinstribe with over 10K followers and which charts the triplets’ journey and highlight the challenges and raise awareness of cerebral palsy, male post-natal depression, and PTSD.
Jason said: “Postnatal depression isn’t really recognized in dads and the whole experience for a dad can be very alienating.”
Jason, the father, is in awe of his incredible partner and the strength she has had throughout the past two years.
He said “If it was not for Michaela and how incredibly strong she is. She was my support and was there for me throughout. Michaela is a wonder mum, she is amazing. I love her to bits.”
In the months before the triplets were born Jason and Michaela lost their jobs in the pub they worked in due to Covid and were then evicted from their home in the flat above the pub.
Michalea believes that the stress of those months contributed to her early labour.
A spokesperson for Guinness World Records said: “We are so happy to award the triplets Rubi-Rose, Payton Jane and Porscha-Mae with their Guinness World Records titles.
‘’The girls and their family’s strength, determination and positivity is awe-inspiring. A truly amazing family.’’