It’s an incredibly rare occurrence, but a set of naturally conceived identical triplets has been born in Long Beach California. What makes the case even rarer is that the adorable triplets were born when their mom was age 42. Experts disagree about the specific odds of having identical triplets, but the odds of three identical babies being conceived naturally range somewhere from one in a million to one in two hundred million, and compounding that in this most recent case is the lower rate of fertility in women over age 40. The babies were delivered with no long lasting health issues although they were born six weeks early which is to be expected with triplets. One of the babies had to have surgery for an issue with his intestines, but it was successful and no other complications are expected.
Mom April Dooley says she had suffered two miscarriages before becoming pregnant with the babies and never expected to have three additional children. She was surprised when her husband told her he could see three babies on the monitor when she went in for an ultrasound. She explained her shock while looking at the screen: “My husband said, ‘Is that three?’ I go, ‘Three what?’ My husband said, ‘three babies.’” The couple has one other child, a daughter named Kaitlyn who is five years old.
This is the second set of identical triplets to be born in California within the last few months. Another couple in California welcomed three identical girls in November 2013. Those babies were also naturally conceived.
Last year, a couple from Indianapolis got the shock of their lives when father Chadd Doss had his vasectomy reversed because his new wife wanted to have more children. Amanda Doss said she would “never in a million years” have thought she would have identical triplets.
The occurrence of three identical babies being conceived naturally and born healthy is so rare that when it occurs it is often covered by newspapers all over the world. Multiple births have always generated a lot of media and public interest. Even rarer than identical triplets are identical quintuplets. In the 1930s, the media was set abuzz with the arrival of the Dionne quintuplets. They were the first set of identical quints to survive through infancy. The story of the Dionne quints and the ensuing controversies have been the subject of numerous books and films over the years.
Lucky for the Dooleys, though, while the birth of their sons has sparked much genuine curiosity and interest due to the rarity of identical triplets being conceived naturally, the family will not suffer the same fate as the Dionnes. Mom April Dooley was surprised to find herself pregnant at age 42 and even more surprised to find that her family would be doubled with the birth of her sons, but she won’t have to worry about her children being made wards of the government as were the Dionne quintuplets. Since multiple births have become more common with the use of fertility drugs, triplets and quintuplets are not as much of an oddity as they once were. At the time the Dionne quints were born, the occurrence was so unusual that people immediately began fighting over who would be able to profit from the babies. Times have certainly changed and modern medicine makes the successful and healthy birth of multiple babies more possible than ever before.
These adorable identical triplets are healthy and have a big sister who is excited about getting to know them better. Additionally, their mom successfully conceiving and giving birth to healthy, adorable identical triplets at age 42 may very well serve as a source of inspiration for women struggling with fertility issues or late-in-life pregnancy.
By: Rebecca Savastio