A nurse who found out she was expecting triplets after years of “fertility battles” said she wanted to share her story on Instagram to give others hope.
Shannon Steele, from Ipswich, said her anxiety levels went “through the roof” when she discovered she was pregnant just as the lockdown in the UK started.
The 29-year-old has started regular social media posts while still working from home as an NHS nurse.
She said: “When we were trying, reading those success stories kept us going.”
She posted a photo of her baby scan, telling followers: “Never thought we’d get to this point”.
At the age of 15, she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and a thyroid condition about three years ago.
Together with her husband Matthew, 35, they were “one step” away from going down the IVF route.
Then in March they discovered they were due to have not only one baby, but three.
Little did they expect they would be going through their pregnancy during a global pandemic.
“First we found out we were pregnant, then that we were having triplets and then the lockdown started – they came in threes,” she said.
The nurse of seven years said the response to her Instragram posts had been “surprising”, with a lot of support from parents of triplets and questions from couples going through their own fertility journey.
Meanwhile, Mrs Steele, a nurse at Orchard Medical Practice, in Ipswich, said she has been able to continue working from home, something which gave her “mixed emotions”.
“Part of me felt very guilty about being a nurse and not being able to be on the frontline.
“But my mothering instincts kicked in and the other part of me felt the need to protect my babies,” she said.
Since the initial lockdown measures came into effect, Mrs Steele said she has only left home to go to her appointments at Ipswich and Addenbrooke’s hospitals.
She said the “most challenging thing” has been that her husband has not been able to join her for her scans.
“He’s missed out on that entire experience which has been heartbreaking,” she said.
The first-time mum is hoping more of the lockdown measures are eased by the time she gives birth.
“You see photos of people holding their newborn babies up at windows to show family members and you wonder if that’s going to be us.
“I’m hoping things will settle down – I’m going to need the support being a first time mother to three children, I’m not going to have a clue,” she said.
According to the NHS website, about one in 65 births in the UK are twins, triplets or more.