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Identical triplets: Rare identical triplets born, conceived spontaneously

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Identical triplets born at Sutter Memorial in Sacramento were conceived spontaneously, without the help of fertility treatments. The parents of the rare identical triplets are Hannah and Tom Hepner and the names of their three babies are Abby, Brin (short for Brindabella), and Laurel. The rare identical triplets will remain in the neonatal intensive care unit at Sutter Memorial in Sacramento for about another week before they can go home, reported KCRA on Dec. 4, 2013.

“This is a one-in-a-million to a one-in-200-million possibility -- or, about the same chances as winning the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, according to experts.”

According to a hospital’s news release, “Abby weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces; Brin was 3 pounds, 11 ounces; and Laurel was 4 pounds” when the rare identical triplets were born on Nov. 22.

Adding the identical triplet’s weight all together, almost 11 pounds are considered to be a good weight for the babies. While the three girls are healthy, they are scheduled to remain in the neonatal intensive care unit at Sutter Memorial in Sacramento for another week. They will then be able to go home to Quincy in Plumas County, about 100 miles north of Sacramento, with their happy parents.

The proud parents of the rare identical triplets are saying that the three girls are named after family members or special places in their lives. Brindabella is named after a mountain range in Australia located near where Tom Hepner grew up.

In October, about a month before the identical triplets were born, Hannah Hepner was airlifted by helicopter to the hospital to begin receiving treatment from a team of specialists since everyone feared that the girls would arrive early. Sutter Memorial offers a program for so-called "moms of multiples" to help them through their pregnancy.

When Hannah and Tom conceived what they thought to be one baby, little did they expect that they would end up with three. But in a rare act of nature, Hannah’s single fertilized egg split into three producing three babies that looked almost exactly like – identical triplets.

“When we first found out, we just sort of laughed in that nervous way,” said Hannah. “It's overwhelming to think of everything that's to come.”

And when asked if there are any plans to add another brother or sister to the identical triplets in the future, the proud mom respectfully declined the idea for now. “This is more than we bargained for. I think we're good.”

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