Could there be something in the water in California? This week a couple defied odds of a million-to-one by giving birth to three identical sons, only months after another local couple gave birth to three identical girls.
April and Brad Dooley from Long Beach have named their three sons Patrick, Owen and Liam. April gave birth on 13 January at Miller Children's Hospital, Long Beach. The Orange County Register reported the boys' birth as in roughly 4 minute intervals at a combined weight of 14 pounds, 9 ounce.
All three were said to be healthy following delivery, except for Liam who is now recovering from minor surgery for a problem with his intestine.
Despite the rarity of identical triplets, this is the second reported set to be born in California in several months. Abby, Brin and Laurel Hepner were born in November 2013 at Sutter Memorial Hospital to Quincy couple Hannah and Tom Hepner.
Identical triplets have become less unusual in recent years due to the increase in fertility treatments. However, what is truly remarkable is that these boys and the Hepner girls were conceived naturally.
Mum April told her local paper:
"We were trying for one more time... "I had two miscarriages. We were just trying one more time to get pregnant."Patrick, Owen and Liam were born six weeks early, which is common with multiple births. Any new baby has a huge impact on the household, but the arrival of these recent identical triplets has instantly doubled the size of the Dooley family. April and Brad will need to adjust to being outnumbered as parents by their new arrivals and learn how to tell the identical boys apart. The couple's five year old daughter, Kaitlyn also now has a trio of siblings to get to know.
The conception of twins occurs when a single egg divides into two and fraternal twins occur by the conception of different eggs. In the case of identical triplets, a single egg splits in to three separate eggs.
The Daily Mail reported that the doctor of last year's identical triplets said that the chance "of producing identical triplets without fertility drugs range from 1-in-1-million to 1-in-100-millions."
Clearly, these odds seem to be much stronger if you live in California!
Photo taken on Jan. 17, 2014 and shows April and Brad Dooley holding their newly born identical triplets, from left to right, Patrick, Owen and Liam (AP Photo/ Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach)