Rare identical triplets were born at Texas’ Corpus Christi Medical Center Bay Area Hospital on Saturday. Although identical triplets are already uncommon, two of the infants were born conjoined.
Silvia Hernandez and Raul Torres Jr. were pleasantly surprised to learn they were expecting identical triplets. However, three months into the pregnancy, doctors confirmed two of the triplets were conjoined at the pelvis.
On her Facebook page, Hernandez said she and Raul were terribly concerned as it was unclear whether all three babies would survive.
Although she spent the last two months of her pregnancy in the hospital, Hernandez carried the triplets for 34 weeks.
Catalina, Scarlett, and Ximena were delivered via c-section on May 16. As reported by ABC News, each of the identical triplets weighed approximately four pounds 11 ounces. Despite the associated risks, the triplets are in stable condition and are breathing without respirators.
Following their birth, the conjoined infants underwent surgery for minor complications. However, they will not undergo a separation procedure until they are at least 6-months-old.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 18, 2015
CBS News reports that one of the infants remains at Texas’ Corpus Christi Medical Center Bay Area Hospital, but her conjoined sisters were transferred to Driscoll Children’s Hospital.
According to Huggies, “non identical triplets occur around once in every 4000 naturally conceived pregnancies.” Identical triplets occur in one in a million naturally conceived pregnancies.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) May 18, 2015
According to Hernandez, Catalina, Scarlett, and Ximena shared one placenta and one umbilical chord, but the conjoined infants developed inside a separate amniotic sac.
Silvia Hernandez and Raul Torres Jr. have faced financial hardship, as Raul was forced to quit his job to care for his wife. However, they are thankful their three daughters beat the odds.
In April, Australia’s oldest surviving identical triplets turned 74 years old. As reported by ABC News, the sisters’ DNA is “99.9 percent identical.”
Betsy, Dorothy, and Florence said they have remained close their entire lives and often “think, talk, and dress the same.” Betsy explained that she and her sisters actually identify “as one [person].”
Catalina, Scarlett, and Ximena will certainly lead an interesting life, and have similar stories to tell. However, for now, the identical triplets’ parents are simply thankful their daughters are expected to survive.
[Image via Shutterstock]