Because the three were conceived at the same time they are by definition triplets, despite the age gap. Picture: Daily Mail website screenshot

London - Holding his two baby siblings, seven-year-old Hugo is clearly the proud brother. What’s surprising, however, is that the youngsters are triplets.

Their mother Helen Baker gave birth to twins Coco and Monty in August using the same fertilised eggs that brought Hugo into the world in 2011.

The 40-year-old former model told how it had been an "emotional rollercoaster" after ten rounds of IVF at a cost of £17 500 (about R328 000) over the past decade.

She endured a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, and surgery – while also having to sell the family home to afford the treatment – before she gave birth to Hugo.

Last year she and her electrician husband Oliver, 38, decided to try just once more for another child using the frozen embryos they had left over when Hugo was conceived. And, to their delight, there were not one but two new additions to the family.

Because the three were conceived at the same time they are by definition triplets, despite the age gap.

Baker, from Fareham, Hampshire, said: "It’s been a long journey but I now have a happy family. I feel like I have defied all the odds possible."

Hugo was born in February 2011, with Monty and Coco arriving this August.

"When Monty was born, he was a spitting image of Hugo," said Baker. "I love having two boys but I never thought I would have a little girl to indulge in pink things."