What miracle triplets look like today
AFTER years of trying for a baby and 23 attempts at in vitro fertilisation, Oriana Haddy despaired she would never become a mum.
But today the children she and husband Brett never thought they would have - triplets Aleeah, Amiel and Asher - will turn 10.
The trio, nicknamed the "Haddlets", were born by caesarean section in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital at 24 weeks gestation, weighing just 576, 588 and 626g.
So worried about whether her babies would survive, Mrs Haddy opted to have a general anaesthetic for the delivery, rather than an epidural which would have allowed her to be conscious for the birth.
"I was so distressed and I didn't want to see if anything bad happened," she explained.
At the time, the Haddys were told only about 50 per cent of the babies born at 24 weeks gestation survived.
The triplets' neonatologist Donna Bostock said the odds had improved to about 70 per cent at the RBWH in the past decade with severely premature babies having access to donated breast milk and the addition of probiotics to reduce the risk of gut problems and infections.
The Haddlets celebrated their 10th birthday a few days early at the RBWH with Dr Bostock and the obstetrician who brought them into the world, Dr Lee Minuzzo.
"I'm so grateful," Mrs Haddy told the medical specialists. "My heart is warm each time I see both of you. You're two amazing women and totally smashing it at your profession.
"To be sitting here 10 years later, I feel very emotional. I so badly wanted to be a Mum and I have three beautiful children now. Every tear we shed, every heartbreak we went through was totally worth it."
Dr Minuzzo said just seeing the Haddys with their children was the only thanks she needed for her role in the triplets' birth.
"Oriana and Brett worked so hard to be parents," she said.
"Watching them with the kids is lovely and really highlights the joy
our work brings."
Mrs Haddy said the triplets had distinct personalities, describing firstborn Amiel as the leader.
"He is definitely the instigator of all trouble and he's got a follower. Asher is his instant audience and Aleeah, well, if you can't beat them, join them," she said with a laugh.