A UTTOXETER couple have been given three extra special reasons to smile — triplets born on Leap Year Day.
Town Crier Henry Clayton and his new wife, Helen, who only married last month, welcomed three bouncing baby boys into the world on February 29.
The triplets — identical twins Edward Francis Barnett Clayton and George Harry Barnett Clayton and their brother Arthur Richard Barnett Clayton — were born six weeks early by Caesarean section at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital.
Edward came out weighing 4lb 7oz, while George was 4lb 1oz.
However, Arthur, the biggest of the three at 4lb 15oz, spent his first few days in an incubator after having breathing problems.
“He had his brothers on top of him,” Mr Clayton, who became Uttoxeter Town Crier last year, told the Advertiser.
“He just needed to breathe a bit deeper but he has been improving every day.
“He is breathing for himself but needs a little bit of oxygen.” The couple, both 38 and of Wood Lane, married on February 10 after more than 15 years together and the triplets are their first children.
The three boys will officially only be able to celebrate their first birthday on February 29, 2016 — the next Leap Year Day.
Mrs Clayton said they didn’t yet know how they would deal with the triplets’ birthday dilemma.
She said: “There are various possibilities and we have had various suggestions from people.
“We have heard of other people born on Leap Year Day who would celebrate on February 28 or March 1, but when they get older and might want to be different, they could possibly have a day each.
“We will just have to see what happens next year and that might become habit.” Mr Clayton said his feet hadn’t touched the floor since the exciting arrivals but said it was just a coincidence that the boys were born on Leap Year Day on Wednesday.
He said: “The Caesarean was due to take place on March 2 but had to be brought forward to February 29.
“It did cross my mind when I heard.
“We had wanted to get beyond that really so they would have a better chance but they are all fine.
“Mum is doing well and has been allowed home, although the babies are still in hospital.
“I was in the delivery room and it was an amazing experience.
“I came home afterwards and was justbouncing all over the house for a while ringing everyone.
“I am just over the moon. We have had some family visits but most are hanging on until we have them all home and they are all strong enough.” The couple have known they were expecting triplets since September and found out they were all boys at Mrs Clayton’s 20-week scan.
Mr Clayton said: “Back at the original scan, I could see two kidney-shaped things which I thought were just that, but we were told that they were the babies and there were three of them.
“We couldn’t believe it but were delighted. I have to say everyone has been brilliant at Queen’s Hospital in Burton — they have been absolutely fantastic.
“We’ve been well informed at each stage and they didn’t pull any punches with us about the risks. They’ve been great.” Mrs Clayton added: “Everyone at the hospital has been incredible and we are just so grateful to them.”