A Detroit family is celebrating the one-month birthdays of Alexander, Nicholas and Timothy, extremely rare identical triplets who spent nearly a month in the newborn intensive care unit.
The three brothers are now healthy and doing well.
"I always wanted a big family, and I guess this is the way to do it, get them all at once," joked Lauren Whiteley, their mother.
According to WZZM13, triplets tend to be the result of fertility treatments, though Lauren explained that she did not do anything except for her ultrasound in order to confirm the pregnancy just eight weeks prior. For Lauren, that was one ultrasound she will never forget.
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"It was the ultrasound tech that kind of left the room, came back and I thought something was wrong," Lauren said. "She said 'No it's good news.' I said "Oh my gosh! It's twins, isn't it?' She said, 'No, I see three.' This was the shock of a lifetime."
Dr. Savitri Kumar, a neonatologist at Henry Ford Hospital, said data on identical triplet births by natural conception varies from one in 60,000 to one in 2 million. Most doctors call the chances "one-in-a-million," Kumar said.
Michael Whiteley, 31, said he asked his wife several times: "Triplets? Are you sure?' It was very overwhelming."
The couple has two other children, ages 2 and 3.
Multiple births don't run in either of their families. "Not even twins," Lauren said.
The family is a very tightknit group and will receive help from both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles who also live in the area.
It has definitely been a blessing for the family thus far, but Michael did tell the media of one concern.
"We are going through the diapers pretty quickly, but that's all right," he said. "We're making it work.”