Identical Odds

Identical Triplets And Quadruplets — These Families Beat The Odds

To most of us, the birth of identical twins seems to be a rare occurrence, but the idea of identical triplets is so rare some wonder if it is even possible. Though the odds are stacked against most parents, it is actually possible for one to have identical triplets.

According to Science Alert, identical twins are made when a single fertilized egg splits in half, creating two fetuses that share the same DNA, as opposed to fraternal twins, who are created from two separate fertilized eggs. The odds for exact duplicate twins is around three in every 1,000 births.

The odds for identical triplets, however, skyrockets astronomically, as one single egg must split into three separate beings. It is so rare that there is not enough data to determine specific odds. Theories range from 60,000-to-one odds on up to the outrageous number of 200 million-to-one, but most just use the general phrase of “one in a million.”

CBS News reports that this week, a young couple from Oregon welcomed a set of three baby girls who sport different colored toenail polish, as they look too similar to tell apart. The happy parents, Amber Hills and Logan Brown-Fletcher, are only 19-years-old, and have been together throughout high school. Mom Amber says when she saw Avery, Raelyn, and Elaina, it was love at first sight.

“I was so happy, my heart was full and I was totally in love.”

According to Memphis Magazine, identical triplet boys were born to Jennifer and Ashton Hall in 2014 after going into labor at only 30 weeks gestation. Jennifer recalls the irony.

“We were dating for seven months, we were married for seven months, we were pregnant for seven months.”

Despite the complications and early delivery, Leo, Wylder, and Colton are now thriving toddlers.

Identical quadruplets are also possible, but, as we can imagine, occur even less commonly than identical triplets. Earlier this year, the Huffington Post reported the extremely rare birth of identical quadruplet girls in Canada. Tim and Bethani Webb welcomed their four bundles of joy, Emily, Grace, McKayla, and Abigail, one month before their very first wedding anniversary. Bethani said the girls were so alike she could not even tell them apart herself.

“Right now I’m glad they’re separated so we can tell them apart. But even just holding two side by side, I can’t tell them apart at all.”

According to CNN, in 2014, one couple who were expecting only three baby girls, actually gave birth to four girls, each an exact replica of the other. Dr. James Bofill, physician and a professor of maternal fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi, says the odds of Kenleigh, Kelsey, Kristen, and Kayleigh being identical quads, with no fertility assistance, was “incalculable.”

Kimberly Fugate recalls the moment she realized a fourth baby had been hiding behind her sisters.

“[The doctors] had gotten the three out and they said, ‘More feet.’ I said, ‘No!’ It was an instant shock.”

These families beat the odds, giving birth to identical triplets and quadruplets, all without the aid of fertility treatment. Such a rare occurrence makes these boys and girls even more precious to their surprised, and surely overwhelmed, yet happy parents. And they beat the odds to do it.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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