Besotted mum and dad Ali O’Leary and Chris Deasy cradle their tots after fate – and a very special date – brought them three bundles of joy.
The premature triplets, just home from hospital, were born eight weeks ago.
Their arrival lifted the pain of losing a child when Ali suffered a miscarriage at the end of last November. The child would have been due on August 2.
The triplets were originally due this week, on October 3. But they were born early – on August 2.
And the GAA-mad family were delighted to welcome super-cute Lenny, Ted and Bruce home from the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street in time for today’s homecoming for the All Ireland football champions.
The tots are brothers for delighted four-year-old Georgia, who is pictured cuddling them.
And thrilled Ali, 32, from Tallaght, tells the Irish Sunday Mirror: "When I realized they had been born on the same day that the baby I lost was due, it was so emotional for us.
"I was initially upset that the triplets had been born early, because they were so tiny and I blamed my body for not being able to hold on to them for longer.
"But then I realized that it was meant to be. We see them as a gift from heaven – and they are our three little miracles.
"It feels as though our previous baby was looking after them."
Ali’s amazing journey of hope, despair and finally unfettered joy began late last year when she becamepregnant.
She and partner Chris, a 31-year-old car salesman, could not wait to welcome a brother or sister for Georgia.
But sadly, she lost the baby when at five weeks.
Her dreams of a growing family were shattered … but not for long, as she was pregnant again by January.
Ali admits she never imagined she would conceive so soon afterwards. "It was a total surprise," she says.
“We never expected it at all. I just did a pregnancy test because I felt unwell and I was getting pregnancy-like symptoms.
"I never imagined that I could have been pregnant so quickly afterwards but when I saw that it was positive it was such a shock.
“We went for an early scan at about seven weeks, I was so worried after the miscarriage.
“I wanted some reassurance to check that the baby had a heartbeat. It was such a shock at the time because doctors said they could see two heartbeats and told us we were having twins. My sister has twins, so I just laughed and said it ran in the family. "
But then came the next twist to this remarkable story. When Ali went back for her 12-week scan on March 15 she discovered, to her amazement, that there were three heartbeats.
She explains: '' I just couldn’t believe it. The sonographer ran the scanner over my stomach and kept staring at the screen.
"Then they showed me that it was triplets and, sure enough, there were three heartbeats flickering on the screen. Chris was absolutely speechless. I was just worried about how big my bump was going to get!
"The doctors said that two of the triplets were sharing one amniotic sac and they hadn’t been able to see that when I had had the early scan at seven weeks.
"They had been able to see one of the heartbeats, but the other one was behind it, so they thought I was only pregnant with twins. But at the 12-week scan, the babies were bigger, so they could see all three of them.
"It was a shock to go from thinking I was pregnant with twins, to being pregnant with triplets.
"But I think because I'd suffered the heartbreak of the miscarriage, I just took it all in my stride and was calm about everything. The fact I was pregnant with three babies instead of just one, or even two, didn't faze me at all.
"I just wanted them to be born healthy – that was the most important thing after suffering the previous loss. I wanted them to survive. "
Proud dad Chris said: "It was such a shock when we found out Ali was expecting triplets – but we were overjoyed.
"For them all to have been born on that same due date as the previous baby was due, is really remarkable."
Ali was scanned every fortnight because the pregnancy was deemed high risk. Thankfully, everything went smoothly until she was 31 weeks pregnant, when her waters broke.
She said: "It all happened so fast. My waters broke and I was taken into hospital where I was monitored. The doctors wanted me to try to hang on to them as long as possible because they were premature.
"But I went into labor two days later so the doctors had to deliver the babies by Caes-arean, on August 2."
Ali was upset that they were nine weeks premature and so verytiny at 3lb 9oz, 4lb and 3lb 4oz.
She desperately wanted to carry them for longer. Then she realized the significance of the date. Her little fellas really had been born on the same due date as the baby shehad lost.
Ali says: "It was such a coincidence. We couldn't believe it.
"The first baby had been due on August 2 and now the triplets had arrived on that date instead. I had felt so upset when I went into labor early.
"I felt as though I'd let the babies down and that my body hadn't been able to cope with staying pregnant.
“But when I looked at the date and saw it was August 2 it made me feel much better.
“I knew that now there was a reason they had been born so early. It really was a gift sent down from heaven – and a triple one too! We lost one baby, but we gained three little miracles. "The triplets had several weeks in hospital before finally being allowed home last week.
They are now going from strength to strength.
Ali adds: “They are all doing really well and it's great to have them home. It's very hectic and life is just one massive round of feeding and changing nappies.
"But I wouldn't change a thing.
"It's great to have all three of them home and Georgia loves being a big sister to them all too.
"When they are older we will tell them the significance of their birthday and how extra special it is."
You can like our main Facebook page here.
Our Irish Mirror Sports page – which brings you all your Irish and UK sports news – can be found here.
You can also check out our Irish Mirror GAA sports page.
Our Instagram account can be found here.