A Southern California woman has given birth to identical triplets, an occurrence so rare doctors have trouble determining its likelihood.
April Dooley, 42, and her husband, Brad, 43, welcomed three healthy baby boys, Patrick, Owen and Liam at roughly four-minute intervals on the evening of January 13.
Dooley delivered her sons at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach six weeks before their due date, although early delivery is expected with multiples.
The boys weighed a combined 14 pounds, 9 ounces, and were healthy, although Liam needed surgery for intestinal malrotation.
Dooley said she and her husband were simply hoping to give their 5-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, a companion.
“There was nothing out of the normal,” she said. “We were trying for one more time. I had had two miscarriages. We were just trying one more time to get pregnant.”
But when they went in for their first ultrasound, Dooley said she was shocked.
“My husband said, ‘Is that three?'" she recalled. "I go, ‘Three what?' My husband said, ‘three babies.' I burst into tears.”
“Multiples don't run in our families,” she said. “This blew our minds.”
While incidence of multiples has been on the rise with the popularity of fertility treatments, the Dooleys didn't use any medical assistance. And while babies conceived through treatment are fraternal siblings -- coming from different eggs -- the Dooley's boys came from the same egg, split in utero.
Doctors estimate the odds of having identical triplets at between one in a million and one in 100 million (fraternal triplets are as common as one in every 8,000), but for the Dooleys, they're focused on three: Patrick, Owen and Liam.
“I would say it's a gift from God," April Dooley said.
[Orange County Register]