New addition almost doubles size of family Identical triplets Alexander, Nicholas and Timothy Whiteley (AP photos)
New addition almost doubles size of family

A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming parents to identical triplets a multiple birth that's rare.

The Whiteley family of St. Clair Shores, Mich., celebrated the one-month birthdays for Alexander, Nicholas and Timothy, who were born Jan. 25 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and spent nearly a month in the newborn intensive care unit.

The boys are healthy, their mother, Lauren Whiteley, said. Their older brothers are ages 3 and 2.

"I always wanted a big family, and I guess this is the way to do it, get them all at once," Whiteley joked.

Many triplets are the result of fertility treatments, but Lauren Whiteley, 32, said she didn't take fertility drugs. She had an ultrasound at about eight or nine weeks to confirm the pregnancy, but didn't know what she was seeing.

"It was the ultrasound tech that kind of left the room, came back and I thought something was wrong," Whiteley 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."

Michael Whiteley, 31, said he asked his wife several times: "'Triplets? Are you sure?' It was very overwhelming."

Multiple births don't run in either of their families, "Not even twins," Lauren Whiteley said.

Identical triplets were also born Dec. 5 to a woman in Billings, Montana. 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.

Four sets of triplets were born at the hospital last year, but they weren't identical, she added.

"This is the very first set of identical triplets I have ever seen," she said.

For the Whiteleys, it will help that both sets of grandparents live within a mile, while aunts and uncles also are in the area. The grandparents "will do what they need done on a day-to-day basis as far as feeding, getting the kids to and from where they have to go," said Bob Whiteley, Michael Whiteley's father.

Critical thinking challenge: What do the two older brothers need to adjust to?

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  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    3/03/2015 - 09:22 a.m.

    After already having a pretty lengthy family, I can't begin to understand how this couple is managing five children now. My sister recently had twins and she seems to have her hands full with only two!

  • AStephanie-Cas
    3/03/2015 - 10:14 a.m.

    When you are a single child you kind of get use to that life. I remember before my sister was born I had to get use to having a sister. Of course I was two at the time so it wasn't that difficult. But after ten years my parents decided they wanted another kid. I was now old enough to help with my younger sister but I did have to adjust. Somethings I had to get use to were the crying, less attention, and a lot more baby stuff. These boys will have to do the same. Although they are younger and will grow up with their new siblings they will have to adjust to a lot of things. Sometimes they may even feel left out because their parents will be spending so much time with the new babies. Other times they will want everything to do with the baby and want to help. They may get jealous, but these are all things that they will have to get use to. At the end of the day they will love their new siblings just as much as they love each other.

  • kaylonnem-DiB
    3/03/2015 - 10:31 a.m.

    This article was interesting to me because it was about a couple that wanted a big family and they ended up getting three at the same time they said that it was very rare for that to happen they already had two other kids and they were 2 and 3 years old i thought that was really cool to have your kids all at the same time instead of having to go though so many births.

  • brandonjaclin
    3/03/2015 - 10:33 a.m.

    The two older brothers need to adjust to not being to center of attention anymore because there are 3 more children in the family

  • Haley Patterson
    3/03/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    I think that this is so neat that they got to have triplets. I know that twins run in my family and it would be very overwhelming to have three kids at once.

  • stephanieg-Che
    3/03/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    i think its a miracle since the triplets are identical and they haven't seen identical triplets before. I feel bad for the mom since her other two sons are still young and close in age. It must be hard for her since she has to take care of the babies and her two sons but I guess its not that hard since she has family with her to help her.

  • apalacio-Che
    3/03/2015 - 01:50 p.m.

    I think that is pretty neat how they have triplets and they don't have any triplets or even twins in either of there families. Also that it was the first set of identical triplets she has ever see.

  • Ashleypatt
    3/03/2015 - 01:55 p.m.

    The two older brothers need to adjust to that they wont get as much attention then the babies. The parents will so more attention to the babies because they are three of them and they arnt able to do anything they rely on their parents. So the boys will notice they will kinda feel left out because they arnt the only ones any more now there are more kids.

  • faithd-Che
    3/04/2015 - 11:47 a.m.

    What do the two older brothers need to adjust to?

    The two older brothers will have to adjust to not being the only children any more and having to take the responsibility of big brothers

  • kizariah-Che
    3/04/2015 - 11:50 a.m.

    the 2 older boys have to adjust the complications that the babies bring because the babies will need a lot of attention from the parents and the parents wont be able to give much attention to the younger boys

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