What’s better than a new baby? Three new babies. Especially if they are once-in-a-million naturally conceived identical triplets.
Abby, Brin, and Laurel Hepner were born November 22 to Hannah and Tom Hepner, who were not using any fertility treatments. Just one fertilized egg split into three, and voila! Three sisters with a matching set of DNA.
“Identical triplets are anywhere from one-in-a-million and one-in-a hundred million,” said Dr. William M. Gilbert, medical director of Sutter Women’s Services and founder of Moms of Multiples Center. “It is so rare that it is hard to calculate how frequently they occur.”
New dad Tom, 33, joked, “We are thinking of bottling the water in Quincy and offering it as a fertility treatment.” He also thinks his 29-year-old wife is pretty awesome. He said she’s “quite a remarkable woman. She cruised through the experience. Hats off to her.”
Everybody say awwwww!
At birth, Abby weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces; Brin was 3 pounds, 11 ounces; and Laurel tipped the scale at 4 pounds. Dr. Gilbert assured the couple that these are good weights for a threesome pregnancy.
“It is not unusual with identical triplets to have a difference in weight,” said Gilbert. “They usually don’t share equal amounts of the placenta so therefore one gets a little less nutrition than the other. When you have a difference in weight, the little one does better after they are born because the stress of being little matures your lungs faster.”
Babies are doing fine, and will be able to go home as soon as they can maintain their body temperature and eat properly.
As for the uniqueness of their situation, the Hepners aren’t deterred, and looking forward to getting to know their daughters as unique individuals.
Hannah said the “one-in-a-million” aspect of her babies’ birth “loses it relevance when you are holding them. It did happen and they are here.”
Congrats to the family!
Have you known any identical triplets?
Image via Raymond Bryson/Flickr