A mum who gave her triplets away revealed how she met them 20 years later.

Brooke Martin, 56, from the US, always wanted a family of her own.

But after trying to conceive naturally with her husband Chris, the mental health worker ran into a number of issues.

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After going through surgery to get her fallopian tubes unblocked, Brooke managed to get pregnant.

However, she sadly experienced a tubal pregnancy – a common type of ectopic pregnancy.

In fear for her health, Brooke and Chris opted to find alternative methods to start the family they so desperately wanted.

That's when they sought IVF (in vitro fertilisation) in an attempt to have a baby.

Luckily the two implanted fertilised embryos worked – and she gave birth to twin boys, Christopher and Matthew, 22.

While she was getting to grips with being a mum, she got a phone call from the IVF clinic regarding what she would like to do with the other eight fertilised embryos.

Brooke donated them as she wanted to give them a chance at life – but she was not legally allowed to know what happened with them.

19 years, nine months and seven days went past and Brooke received an email that would change her life forever.

"The fertility clinic kept calling saying if we wanted to keep freezing them and we really felt like are family was complete with the two," she exclusively told Daily Star.

"I was 34 when I had them so I didn't want eight more babies.

"When you go through IVF you don't just put one in, you put at least two [embryos] in.

"So the thought of having twins or even triplets – there was no way.

"We knew before we went through with it [IVF] that we would only do it once – it's a lot."

Brooke and Chris were faced with the decision on whether to use them, donate to science, let them thaw out – or you donate them back to the fertility clinic.

They chose to do the latter which Brooke described as an "easy" decision – a decision that would later grow her brood from two to five.

"When you go through these kinds of a thing you have a whole new vision on embryos," she shared.

"I couldn't imagine – as a mum – not letting them have a chance at life.

"If they would have chosen two different embryos to be my boys and destroy the other ones – that's my kids. And if I destroyed the other ones that would be the triplets.

"We did wonder [if we had any kids] all those years."

But the wondering stopped after her cousin Tod received a message on 23andme.

The stranger claimed to be related to him and mentioned about a donated embryo.

When Tod told Brooke this, her interest was piqued and she provided her email address.

She would later come to learn this was her son, Thomas Monroe.

"Of course what you do nowadays is that you find them on Facebook and found his picture – I said 'that's our kid'," Brooke explained.

"He looked like a combination of the boys and he looks just like my brother.

"So we started talking on email and on about the third email he told us he has two siblings and the three of them are triplets.

"I said 'does that mean your biological triplets' and he said 'yes' – they're all ours.

"That was the biggest moment."

Brooke and Chris did initially have their concerns about the bombshell dropped on their lives nearly 20 years on.

"We were worried about the relationship between their parents and us at first as we didn't want to cross any boundaries," Brooke said.

"Even if we found it we never expected to have a relationship with them.

"We wanted to make sure not to expect anything and put ourselves out there as we didn't want to get in the way of a family.

"That was our first reaction and then on the inside you are like 'what are they like and what do they look like'."

The parents then made contact with Trey, the 20-year-old triplets' dad.

But they soon sadly realised that mum Becky passed away a year before, which Brooke describes as the only "regret" is not meeting her.

From there, Brooke and Chris didn't have to wait long to meet Thomas, Peter and Lauren.

After Thomas started to speak to the mum-of-five in January 2021, the triplets were invited to Christopher's wedding in the summer.

While Peter stayed at home for the wedding, Lauren and Thomas attended and instantly hit it off with the family.

Last year, the blended family all got together for the very first time in summer 2022 at a reunion with extended relatives.

Since then, Brooke and Chris try to see the triplets as much as possible as well as keeping in touch virtually.

But it can prove difficult as the children are scattered across different states in the US.

The relationship between the twins and the triplets is strong also, with the siblings keeping in touch on social media.

"My boys [the twins] have been great, they just accepted it and they've been wonderful," Brooke beamed.

"Lauren calls them her big brothers.

"The definition of family is all new now, for sure.

"There's no rule book, I think we are writing it."

As the family are learning to navigate the working of the relationship, Brooke is currently writing a book about the extraordinary story.

You can follow Brooke and her unique family on Instagram here.


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