While some say two’s company, and three’s a crowd, you can be sure that California couple Hannah and Tom Hepner are more than happy to welcome their identical triplet girls into the world. It’s an especially important occasion, as identical triplets are rarely conceived without the help of fertility drugs.
The three gorgeous girls, named Abby, Brindabella (or Brin for short) and Laurel, were born at the Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento on November 22.
According to parents, Hannah and Tom, all three girls are named for family members or special places experienced by their parents in their lives. For example, Brindabella has been named after an Australian mountain range located close to where Tom Hepner grew up.
Living in Quincy, Ca., approximately 100 miles from Sacramento, it was necessary to airlift Hannah Hepner to the hospital a month before the births. Reportedly Sutter Memorial Hospital offers a special program for “moms of multiples”, to help them during their pregnancy, under the guidance of a team of specialists.
Dr. William Gilbert, the director of the hospital’s women’s services explained that the odds of giving birth to identical triplets without using fertility drugs ranges from 1-in-1-million to a massive 1-in-100-million. He added that this rarity makes it difficult to calculate the frequency of this kind of birth.
However, according to Hannah Hepner, that “one-in-a-million” statement about the babies somehow “loses its relevance when you are holding them.”
Reportedly triplets are produced when a single, fertilized egg splits into three, and in this case the split produced three lovely girls, as California sees the birth of the rare identical triplets.
As to the babies’ weight, apparently Abby came in at 3 pounds, 2 ounces. Brindabella weighed in at a slightly heavier 3 pounds, 11 ounces and little Laurel was the biggest of all at 4 pounds, so not identical in weight.
However, Dr. Gilbert did explain that the difference in weight with identical triplets is not unusual. Reportedly they don’t always share equal amounts of the mother’s placenta, so sometimes one baby gets less nutrition than another.
He did say that the littlest one usually does better following birth as the stress of being little apparently matures the baby’s lungs faster.
The three sisters will remain in hospital until they can all maintain their body temperature correctly and eat correctly.
While some people might be overwhelmed by having to do everything times three, Hannah and Tom are apparently really looking forward to enjoying their girls.
Tom compared it to a friend who pointed out that he had to go through so many teenage years with his different-aged youngsters, whereas in the case of the Hepners, the teenage terrors will be minimized by getting it all over in one go.
Thinking ahead, the family is definitely going to have its hands full at the end of each year.
Tom told KTXL-TV in California: “The end of the year is going to be big in our families I guess.”
Hannah added that they understand that the girls, while identical in looks, are going to be individuals. She said they are looking forward to meeting these individuals and “helping them along the way.”
The birth of these rare identical triplets is sure to bring them plenty of moral support in California.
By Anne Sewell