New addition almost doubles size of family Identical triplets Alexander, Nicholas and Timothy Whiteley (AP photos)
New addition almost doubles size of family
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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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COMMENTS (21)
  • pp2000boa
    3/04/2015 - 01:08 p.m.

    I wonder how they got triplets if there wasn't artificial contribution, genetic history, and I wonder why can triplets not be identical, it's like twins with one more, so why no?

  • treyb-Che
    3/04/2015 - 01:58 p.m.

    I think that have triplets are cool but it can be happy at first it be all corm but than they will be all herd to keep them form cry and you have to Wake up with them at night

  • austinrg-DiB
    3/04/2015 - 07:09 p.m.

    they have to adjust to having twelve more siblings as well as possibly get taken care of their grandparents or uncles and aunts rather than their parents, also they have to share a lot of space due to how big the family is.

  • christinab-Lam
    3/05/2015 - 05:26 p.m.

    Having triplets would be a handful-- literally. One in 60,000 to one in 2 million is a very rare chance to get identical triplets by natural conception. I would honestly hate to have triplets, but who knows-- maybe it would be great. I just don't want to find out for myself.

  • JacobM-5
    3/05/2015 - 08:30 p.m.

    This article is about a very rare case of a family who has a pair of triplets. Most pairs of triplets are born with the mother using fertilizers, but the mother claims she did not use it. But what made this group of triplets so rare is they were identical. Identical triplets are extremely rare and most doctors say they have never seen anything like this. They say this is more uncommon then a one and a million chance.

  • JemaR-Ver
    3/06/2015 - 09:21 a.m.

    Having three identical twins is very rare, but this family has to adjust at many things. You could actually realize how hard would this be for this parents.

  • zariahW-5
    3/09/2015 - 12:14 a.m.

    This article is about a very rare case of a family who has a pair of triplets. Most pairs of triplets are born with the mother using fertilizer drugs, but the mother claims she did not use it. But what made this group of triplets so rare is they were identical.. A one in a million chance

  • 8MaddieK
    3/11/2015 - 09:33 p.m.

    This can go either way when considering the pros and cons of this situation. It definitely is a good thing that she has a bog family like she wanted. They are also very lucky that they got such a rare birth. Yet, since these kids are all born at once, it might be hard for the parents to provide for them since babies are a lot of money. Raising one kid is hard enough, but 5 will be much harder and might take a toll on the parents. But, I am sure they will pull through and raise the kids very well.

  • 1GavinMa
    3/12/2015 - 10:48 p.m.

    CTC: I believe that the two older brothers will have a hard time telling who is who as the triplets when they get older could do some very funny pranks to them such as changing names for a day or blaming another brother. 3 baby triplets were born in Henry Ford Hospital which was really rare. The hospital said that only 4 sets of triplets were born but only that one set of triplets were identical. Scientists said it is very rare such as a one in a million chance that this could happen.

  • ShawnaWeiser-Ste
    3/13/2015 - 10:26 a.m.

    The two older brothers must adjust to many things. One thing they have to adjust to is not being able to have much attention because the babies are so young and there are three of them. Another adjustment they must make is adjusting to so many more children in the house all at once and not gradually.

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