an Oh Myyy Property

A proud mother who, having weathered failed IVF and a miscarriage is now believed to be the UK's first cystic fibrosis patient to become a mum to triplets, says her remarkable story has been made possible by the power of love.

While other children were still dreaming of marrying their popstar idols, aged just 14 and 15 and attending neighbouring schools, Amy and Craig Sargeant, of Carmarthen, South Wales, had already fallen for each other so deeply that she had told him she was living with cystic fibrosis (CF) – an incurable, life-limiting lung disease.

Showing remarkable maturity, already head-over-heels, Craig, 29, vowed to stay with her, even though, back then, doctors had predicted her life expectancy to be just 30.

Craig and Amy as teenagersPA Real Life/Collect

When Amy, now 28, turned 16, the couple went for genetic testing and were delighted to discover Craig did not have the CF gene, meaning they could start a family together, safe in the knowledge that their future babies would be carriers, but would not have the condition themselves.

Smiling proudly at their adorable triplets, Ronnie, Lottie and Tommie, born on January 27 2018 at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, North Wales, Amy said: “We still feel like we're in a whirlwind with it all. We had waited so long to have a family that it is almost surreal seeing the triplets. They really are miracles."

Craig now cares full-time for Amy, who is classed as disabled, having been diagnosed with CF – a genetic condition, which sees the lungs become clogged with a sticky mucus – at five months old after doctors noticed she had salty sweat, which is a tell-tale sign.

The family all togetherPA Real Life/Collect

Speaking of their battle to have a family, Craig said: “You do try to hold on to hope, but there were times during the seven years when we were trying for a baby when it began to fade.

“When we found out that, not only was Amy pregnant, but it was triplets, we jumped for joy.

“Of course we were nervous too, but when they were born after years of infertility, two failed cycles of IVF and a miscarriage, our dreams were finally a reality. We were Mummy and Daddy. If Carslberg did best moments, that would be one of them."

The tripletsPA Real Life/Collect

But Amy and Craig are a couple with a love so strong, they never stop smiling for long.

And Amy knew he was the one the moment she told him her first big secret at the tender age of 14.

She said: “I was so young back then that I almost tried to hide my CF. I didn't want to be different from everybody else."

Amy going down to theatre to deliver the babiesPA Real Life/Collect

“It's a really big thing to tell somebody else, not least because of the life expectancy. It took me a few months to find the courage to tell Craig and I thought he would up and leave, but he didn't."

In his mind, Craig had already decided they would be together until death parted them.

He added: “I didn't know what CF really was, but it didn't matter to me. I fell in love with Amy for her. I had found my soulmate and felt like the luckiest guy in the world."


Buoyed by the good news after his genetic testing, as their relationship went from strength to strength, Craig popped the question on Christmas Day 2011.

Once engaged, they decided to try for children with the approval of Amy's CF consultant.

“We knew that with Amy's health, things could take time, so we wanted to try as soon as we could," he said.

Craig running Cardiff Half Marathon for the CF TrustPA Real Life/Collect

But, when they tied the knot two years later, in August 2013 at a church in Carmarthen, they were still childless.

Craig added: “We were surrounded by our family and friends, but without the child we longed for. Still, Amy looked stunning in her strapless white gown. I promised to love her in sickness and health, and I stand by that."

While the Cystic Fibrosis Trust says many women with the disease have babies without needing fertility treatment, it can also mean they are more likely to experience irregular or absent periods if they are ill or very underweight.

Amy and Craig the day they found out the babies genderPA Real Life/Collect

The condition can also thicken the vaginal mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach the egg.

But doctors said neither was the case with Amy, and nobody could seem to find a cause for the couple's difficulties.

Finally, in 2015, after four years of trying, they were approved for two cycles of IVF on the NHS.

A 20 week scan of the tripletsPA Real Life/Collect

Amy, who worked hard at physiotherapy to keep herself healthy as she tried to fall pregnant, said: “We were over the moon to find out we had been approved, as we know it can be a real postcode lottery.

“It was a relief to know we were getting help, and being naive, we thought we would have a baby soon."

Excited, the pair bought baby clothes, bottles and looking at prams in anticipation – but still nothing happened.

Amy at her baby showerPA Real Life/Collect

Craig said: “Looking back, I wish we hadn't, but we really thought we were pretty much guaranteed a baby with IVF."

In around September 2015, after their second cycle of IVF, they were ecstatic to discover Amy was pregnant.

But, tragically, it was not meant to be and she miscarried at about five weeks.

“We walked away from that hospital broken. To have something you had wanted for so long taken away in a heartbeat – it was so hard," said Amy.

Their confidence was knocked, but they soldiered on together, taking some time out to focus on each other, knowing their love would see them through every adversity.

Then, in 2017, unable to afford private IVF, which can cost around £5,000 per cycle, they started investigating alternatives.

The tripletsPA Real Life/Collect

On a Facebook CF support group, Amy kept reading about intrauterine insemination (IUI), which involves directly inserting sperm into the woman's womb.

Less invasive and significantly cheaper than IVF, at around £800 a time, IUI also has a much lower success rate, with only 18 per cent of women under 35 going on to have a healthy baby after a cycle, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Fortunately, Amy was one of the lucky ones and around two weeks later in July 2017, her pregnancy test was positive.

The couple with Amy's positive pregnancy test when she found out she was expecting the tripletsPA Real Life/Collect

More amazing news came at her six-week scan, when midwives announced that she was having triplets.

“We'd wanted a baby for so long, and now we were having three. Going from a two to a five was scary, but so exciting," said Craig. “Amy was so strong, and from the very moment I knew they were coming, I loved my three babies more than anything in the world."

Happily, Amy, who was closely monitored by doctors, had a smooth pregnancy, aside from complications in the last trimester, when the pressure on her body saw her cough up blood.

Amy whilst pregnantPA Real Life/Collect

At 30 weeks, she was admitted to hospital.

“I stayed in for a few days before being allowed home – but then, before long, my waters broke and I went back," she explained.

“So, towards the end, I was in and out of hospital a lot, but aside from that, the pregnancy was brilliant."

Amy with Ronnie just after he was bornPA Real Life/Collect

On 27 January 2018, at Glan Clwyd Hospital – the nearest place that had specialist cots available – the triplets arrived by caesarean section.

First came Ronnie at 17:27, weighing 3lb 10, then his sister Lottie at 5:30 weighing 3lb 13oz, followed by Tommie at 5:32, weighing 3lb 1oz.

As they were premature, they remained in hospital and were tube fed as they grew stronger.

But one by one they came home – Lottie after 35 days, Tommie after 46 and Ronnie after 53.

Ronnie, who had been the most poorly, did suffer a terrifying setback when he stopped breathing one night as the family watched TV.

Fortunately, Craig remembered watching a DVD about CPR at the hospital, and, quick-thinking, performed it on his son, not stopping until the ambulance arrived.

Ronnie moving hospitals in the helicopterPA Real Life/Collect

“That was a really horrible time, but thankfully, Ronnie pulled through," he said.

Now, the babies are all happy and healthy, and Craig and Amy are enjoying life as the parents they were born to be.

While the tots carry the CF gene, they do not have the condition, and Amy is thought to be the first mum with the condition in the country to have triplets.

Craig and Amy with the triplets on their first ChristmasPA Real Life/Collect

Currently doing well, with a lung function of around 63 per cent, she said: “Nothing is guaranteed with my health. I can be fine one minute, then pick up a bug and be really poorly.

“It can make things like planning family days out difficult, but we do our best.

“No two days are the same with CF, that's the difficult thing."

Determined to raise awareness, the pair have shared the ups and downs of their life together through candid Instagram blogs called @daddy2triplets and @mummy2triplets.

The triplets on their half birthdayPA Real Life/Collect

Clearly their story has touched lives, as after being nominated by one of their followers, Craig has won the Partner's Voice Award from respected baby charity Tommy's – a brand new category this year, which celebrates a partner who has spoken out about their own difficult pregnancy experience.

Now, the couple hope to raise awareness of CF and kickstart vital research that could one day find a cure.

Craig concluded: “I am so honoured to have won the award from Tommy's. It blew my mind to even be nominated."

Amy and Craig at the Tommy's AwardsPA Real Life/Collect

He added: “All I want to do through the Instagram is raise awareness of CF. It's a horrid disease but Amy fights it every single day with dignity, pride and hope.

“If I could ask for one thing, it would be for a cure, so my babies don't lose their mum. She's even started making videos for when they reach their milestones in case she isn't around or her health deteriorates rapidly.

“But we are a family, and we will continue the daily fight together."

Craig with Giovanna Fletcher at the Tommy's AwardsPA Real Life/This Is Dodd/Tommy's

One in four women will lose a baby during pregnancy or birth. Tommy's believes that every baby lost is one too many and works tirelessly to reduce the UK's unacceptable rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth – pioneering medical research to discover the causes of baby loss.

They help women at every stage of their pregnancy journeys, supporting them and their partners with expert information and care. Together, with your support, Tommy's will make pregnancy safer for all and ensure that excellent maternity care is available for every woman, every baby, everywhere.

The Tommy's Awards are for families who have been touched by pregnancy complications or the loss of a baby and faced their circumstances with courage, bravery and solidarity. The awards celebrate the incredible supporters, families, researchers, brands and healthcare professionals who have come #TogetherForChange.

For information visit www.tommys.org

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When you know your kids backwards and forwards, this is the best tool in your arsenal.

Getting our kids to listen to us is not always the easiest of tasks. They're willful and stubborn, but we've got a mighty weapon they are rarely prepared for: reverse psychology. Getting them to convince themselves to want to do something against their own initial intentions takes some work and a whole lot of creativity, but a little sneaky manipulation goes a long way. Here are some clever parents' tricks that are definitely worth taking notes on.

Redditor u/LeanderD Asks:

Parents of reddit, what's your best example of reversed psychology on your kids that actually worked?

He Floated His Idea Through A Back Channel

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Wanted to name my boat. Anything I would think of was dismissed as stupid by my 13 year old son. After deciding on a name, I confided to a male friend my son liked. Made my friend suggest the name as though it was his idea. My son thought the name was perfect. Done.

calypsodweller

We Always Want What We Can't Have

One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it's hilarious that they'd be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn't reach hahaha.

cookiearthquake

A Deceit That's A Cut Above The Rest

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Don't know if this counts, but, at my high school (private, boys only) in the 1960's, they made a big deal about how long your hair was, and would occasionally order a boy to go home and "get a haircut".

I thought it was stupid, until years later, a master confided to me at a reunion that the policy was deliberate. The school figured we'd spend so much energy rebelling about hair length, that we would ignore other aspects of teenage rebellion. (Not?) Surprisingly, they were mostly right.

FrankDrakman

Damn! That's smart. Wow.

fangxx456

Oh they don't like long hair?

I'll show them. I'll grow my hair out as lon- what?! No I don't want to go "party"? I gotta try out this horse shampoo.

DankeyKang11

The Forbidden Book

Hi I was a victim,

There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself.

It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history.

Safe to say I was bamboozled.

oddstodd

Flowers Of The Queen

My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldn't eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, of course, ate the whole broccoli in a few seconds.

Subwoofy

I'm telling the queen and she's gonna be pissed

draculacletus

Sleeping Beauty

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I taught my kids when they were toddlers that no amount of yelling, shaking or hitting can wake a sleeping adult. The only thing that works is a gentle hug and/or a nice kiss on the cheek.

Edit: Probably needed some more details for the reverse psychology aspect to be clear. It went something like this - Step one, tell the kids I'm going to sleep and nothing they do will wake me (head buried face down is the safest position). Step two, after the initial onslaught dies down pretend to awaken on your own. Tell them you got a bit of nap left in you and nothing can wake you, especially not hugs and kisses.

DrMethusael

Holy sh*t...if my daughter woke me up like this I would buy her a pony.

All-Seeing_Elon

I am saving this comment because this will save lives if I ever have kids, stg.

smerter

A Walk In Someone Else's Shoes.

Split custody with my ex. When my son was around 10, he visited two weekends a month. I was waiting tables and didn't have a huge amount to spend, but he was so needy from divorce (and I'm not blaming him, it was ugly), he begged constantly for MORE when he was with me. Whatever more was, it didn't matter... he'd be eating ice cream cone and begging for teriyaki.

I finally realized that he just felt empty, and getting MORE whatever from me wasn't filling him up. His next visit I handed him $100 in cash and told him it was our food/fun budget for 3 days and two nights, and he was in charge of it. I bought him his own wallet to carry. We figured out how many times we were going to eat and what we were going to do, and he paid. He got to keep whatever money he had left...thought he was rich...then realized just how much everything cost. Well. Shoe on other foot then. If we had no money for food, we ate leftovers - and I didn't contribute more to pot. After a few weekends of running short or not getting something he actually wanted because he was foolish with funds, he started to really think about how to spend that money. He budgeted and kept to his budget. And a few times he actually went home with a little cash for his private stash.

Many years later, he thanked me for this. It really changed the way he thought about money and love.

Augumenti

This Is Worth Giving A Shot

Took my 3 year old son to one of those doctor's visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor's office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for 1 shot, but 5 of them in the same visit.

I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, "Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these 5 little tiny shots so it won't hurt nearly as much!"

You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said "It's true! The small ones don't hurt!"

We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still... I counted it as a victory.

blackbird77

Put This To The Taste

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My mom would tell me she only lets me eat soup after candy and she'd only buy me candy that i didn't like. After a few times, i stopped trying and begged her to let me eat soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me go ahead. This doesn't sound as evil as it was. But trust me i suffered.

turkeypr0

So what was the candy?

Poster_Main

Mint chocolate, raisins, stuff like that. I still hate them to this day. Who the f--- thought while eating chocolate "hmm id like some tooth paste with this."

turkeypr0

This is Truckin' Awesome

Mum had sworn a bit around the house.

When 4, while out at the supermarket, I said F word really loudly.

Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said "Truck" and said that was a bad word and not to ever say Truck like that again.

I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.

GodOfTheThunder

The "Silly Mom" Routine

The "Silly Mom" routine.

My kid, and a few other kids I've known, would balk at getting ready to go. I'd grab their clothes and say, "Well, if you won't put on your clothes, I guess I'll put on your clothes. Cute shirt, by the way! Does it go on my foot?"

NO!

"Does it go on my head?"

NO! IT GOES ON ME!

"Oh, that's right, thanks! So, it must go on your legs, right?"

NO!

"I just can't figure this out! Where does this adorable shirt go?"

[kid grabs shirt and puts it on] ON MY TUMMY! SILLY MOM!

"Oh, thank you so much! Now what about these pants? Shirts go on tummies, so...the pants go on the tummy, too, right?"

NO!

[continue until kids have dressed themselves]

I would also do things like hand the kid my keys and say, "Alright, you're driving, I'll sit in the booster seat in back," attempt to feed the kid by putting a spoon up to his ear or his belly button, and attempt to put away his toys in the refrigerator.

insertcaffeine

Some Foot For Thought.

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My mum would always yell at us "if you don't do X, you have to go to bed without socks!"

I never wore socks anyway, and I'm ashamed to admit that this worked.

Splittsky

That would work really well on my son, or make him cry for a really long time... He's 3 and over the last few weeks has decided that he is fully unable to sleep without socks on.

PJQueen

Toddlers man. Completely unpredictable.

SheaRVA

I'm Greens With Envy

My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.

When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share, "that's grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little."

Her kids grew up loving vegetables.

I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.

laik72

This reminds me of an instance when my child convinced my wife and myself to change our plans for dinner. We were in a grocery store to pick up something quick and easy to eat that we wouldn't have to prepare. Our daughter, wanted none of that, she demanded that she wanted a salad from the salad bar. We started to argue back, but then realized: "Our child demands that we feed her vegetables for dinner instead of a microwaved meal, why are we saying 'No?'"

We had salad for dinner that night.

Galaxy_Ranger_Bob

The Power Of Choice

I don't so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn't realize it until my dad told me this.

When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I'd pick one and just get it done.

Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I'm coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.

AppealToReason16

The Boy Who Cried 'Ouch'

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I've done this one with tens of kids. Any time a kid gets "hurt" (falls down on grass, gets gently hit in the face with a ball, etc.) instead of stopping the activity to pick the kid up and see if they're ok you just scoot them off to the side and resume. Within 10 seconds of not getting all the attention and seeing the fun is resuming they pop right back up and are magically healed.

This of course is only for the "injuries" that aren't actually injuries.

pedanticProgramer

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