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. It's a multiple birth that's rare.

The Whiteley family of St. Clair Shores, Mich., celebrated the one-month birthdays for Alexander, Nicholas and Timothy. The brothers were born Jan. 25 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. They 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 so I guess this is the way to do it, get them all at once," Whiteley joked.

Lauren Whiteley, 32, had an ultrasound at about eight or nine weeks to confirm the pregnancy. But she 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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  • JJ01blue
    3/03/2015 - 09:11 a.m.

    this article was about a family that gave birth to triplets and has 2 older babies in top of that. It should be overwhelming to think you have to take care of 5 kids all at once and they are all still babies too.

  • elizabethl-Eic
    3/03/2015 - 11:21 a.m.

    These twins are so cute. I'm a twin too, but I'm not a triplet. I like little babies. I was in a intensive care unit too because i was right under 3 pounds and my sister was almost 5. I love these kids!!

  • raegand-Eic
    3/03/2015 - 11:22 a.m.

    This is absolutely incredible. Triplets are very rare, to me it seems as if this has happened many times but now that I think about it... I've never heard of any couple that has had triplets. Amazing!

  • chasec-Eic
    3/03/2015 - 11:25 a.m.

    I love the names to the three boys! They are so darn cute. My favorite name is probably Alexander. It give me thoughts for my kids name someday.

  • krism-And
    3/03/2015 - 11:26 a.m.

    I think that this is absolutely amazing! I never thought that triplets could be born identical. Usually there are like boy and a girl twins but this is awesome! Triplets are even more rare then twins so that's what stands out the most to me right now. This is just WOW! All I can say is good luck.

  • abbyy-Eic
    3/03/2015 - 11:28 a.m.

    Who: Alexander, Nicholas and Timothy Whiteley
    What: They are identical triplets
    When: They were born on January 25
    Where: They were born at Henry Ford Hospital
    Why: The mother thought she was just having one baby but they was actually having triplets

  • kyrap-boo
    3/03/2015 - 11:33 a.m.

    I think that the two older brothers of the triplets definitely have to adjust to not being the center of attention. That is often the hard thing when it comes to adding a new sibling to the family. Once a new baby is here, it's all about the baby, less about the child. If you think being replaced with one is bad, try being replaced with 3. Get some attention now.

  • dasaniarnold-boo
    3/03/2015 - 11:50 a.m.

    the two older brothers have to adjust to being older brothers to 3 identical younger brother . Timothy , Alexander , And Nicholas they will get them confused and mixed up

  • tameiraollie-boo
    3/03/2015 - 11:52 a.m.

    The two older brothers need to learn how to change diaper and also really important multitask when there is many kids around,lastly they should be role model.

  • samm-Pen
    3/03/2015 - 11:57 a.m.

    The gist: That have 3 baby that look the same at once is 1 in a million chances.

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

    2.identical triplet births by natural conception varies from one in 60,000 to one in 2 million.

    3.Most doctors call the chances "one-in-a-million," Kumar said.

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