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Conceived Together, Born 11 Years Apart
It's hardly surprising that Ryleigh Shepherd is the image of her 11-year-old twin sisters when they were babies. For despite being born in different centuries, the three were all conceived on the same day.
While the embryos of twins Megan and Bethany were implanted in their mother in 1998, Ryleigh’s was frozen for more than 11 years.
Experts say they know of no other case where three siblings from the same round of fertility treatment have been born with such an age gap.
‘When Ryleigh arrived she looked like both the girls did when they were born 11 years before,’ said their mother Lisa, 37. ‘It was uncanny.’
Mrs Shepherd and husband Adrian, 45, married in 1994. They were keen to start a family but she had been diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovaries so they knew their chances of her becoming pregnant naturally were slim.
‘I was given drug treatments to help me conceive, but nothing worked,’ she said at the family home in Walsall. ‘It was devastating.’
In September 1998, the couple underwent treatment at Midland Fertility Clinic. Doctors collected 24 eggs, 14 of which were successfully fertilised with Mr Shepherd’s sperm.
Two embryos were implanted and the remaining 12 placed into freezer storage.