17-year-old becomes mother of four 27th September 2006 Carlie Roberts with her unexpected bundles of joy A gymslip mum has told of her astonishment yesterday after giving birth to triplets - making her a mother-of-four at the age of just 17. Carlie Roberts now faces the daunting task of bringing up a quartet of tiny toddlers at an age when most girls are still attending school. But last night she insisted she was relishing the challenge and was simply looking forward to getting her new brood home from hospital. She said: "I love being a mum - it's hard work, but I enjoy it. I just want to get them back to the house so I can be with them all the time." Devoted Carlie, of Mackworth, Derby, currently visits her three latest arrivals - all boys - every day after they were born six weeks prematurely. Two of them - Bradley, weighing 3lb 2oz, and Scott Junior, weighing 3lb 8oz - are identical, with Alfie, at 3lb 7.5oz, the odd man out. Scott Junior is named after Carlie's partner Scott Handford, who became a father-of-six when the triplets were delivered on September 4. The 24-year-old, who works as a cleaner, already had two sons, seven-year-old Ryan and three-year-old Lewis, from a previous relationship. The couple found out Carlie was expecting triplets at her nine-week scan - although at one stage the challenge appeared even bigger. Carlie said: "It was Scott who spotted them first. I couldn't see the screen, but he said to the midwife that he could make out three heads. "The midwife went to fetch somebody else who came to have a look. Then they started to look for a fourth, which was a bit of a shock. "Eventually they said there were 'just' three - but it was still a surprise, to say the least. At the time I actually couldn't stop laughing about it. "It wasn't until we both got home later that day that we just sat down, looked at each other and said: 'What are we going to do?'" The couple hadn't planned their first son, Harley, but after his birth they set out to give him a sister - only for him to end up with three brothers. Carlie said: "I always wanted two children and didn't want them too far apart. We had hoped for a daughter - I hadn't bargained on triplets." Carlie met Scott while she was still at school - and found herself in the early stages of delivery while she was sitting her GCSE science exam. She said: "I managed to do the exam with loads of painkillers on my desk, and as soon as it was over Scott whisked me to hospital to have the baby. "I passed the exam and came out with seven GCSEs in all. I want to be a lawyer in the future and have tried to carry on with my education. "After Harley I tried to do my A-levels, but it got too much. Now things will still be delayed, but when the boys are older I'll go back to my studies." Carlie said looking after Harley - now aged 15 months - had given her some idea of the non-stop dedication she will now have to show. With her mother living in Cyprus and Scott working full-time, the teenager - who receives no benefits - knows she will be virtually housebound. She said: "I'll have to stay at home in the day, but I very rarely went out when I was looking after Harley, so it won't bother me too much. "I think I'll have to get a pushchair for twins and then another one for one child - maybe with a board on the back for Harley to stand on." Carlie and Scott, who earns 200 pounds a week, live in a three-bedroom council house, for which they pay 64 pounds a week in rent. They plan to apply for family tax credits once the triplets are home, and Carlie said: "It might be a struggle, but I'm sure we'll manage. "We know we have enough room - we plan to put the triplets in the big bedroom, Harley in the second bedroom and ourselves in the box room. "Also, I had so many things for Harley when he was born that I have more than you would expect. All I really need at the moment is three cots." Although they are still being looked after at Derby City Hospital's special baby care unit, all of the newborns are said to be doing well. Scott - whose other sons visit him at weekends - is now paying for Carlie to have driving lessons with a view to buying the family a seven-seater car. Carlie added: "I've always wanted children. I did want a career first, but it wasn't to be - that will have to wait. For now my boys are my life."