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Oregon parents welcome 'one in a million' identical triplets

by Eun Kyung Kim / / Source: TODAY

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Call it maternal instincts, but Amber Hills said that even during her pregnancy she rarely got rattled over the idea of becoming a first-time mom to identical triplets.

“I was totally calm and collected. It must be the mom hormones or something,” she told TODAY, a week after delivering three daughters via cesarean section.

Amber Hills gave birth to rare identical triplets
Amber Hills, with her three bundles of joy, who were born Aug. 1.Providence Health & Services

Her boyfriend and the triplets’ father admitted he felt a little differently at the beginning.

“I started out a little bit scared and freaked out a little bit,” said Logan Brown-Fletcher. “But by the time they got here, I was ready. I was very much ready for them to be here.”

The 19-year-old high school sweethearts from Newberg, Oregon, welcomed three daughters on Aug. 1. In order of birth, they are: Raelyn (2 pounds, 12 ounces), Avery (3 pounds, 11 ounces) and Elaina (2 pounds, 15 ounces).

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The girls are identical triplets, conceived without any fertility treatments, making a rare occurrence even more unusual, according to doctors.

Dr. Craig Novack, a neonatologist with Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, which is caring for the infants, placed the odds for such triplets at “somewhere around one in a million.”

Rare identical triplets born in Oregon
Elaina, one of the three rare identical triplets born last week in Oregon, is doing "really well."Providence Health & Services

The infants were delivered four days ahead of a scheduled C-section after doctors had concerns over the low heartbeat for one of the babies. The babies were born just shy of 34 weeks.

“The triples are doing remarkably well,” Novack said, adding that multiples often are born prematurely, with 34 weeks being the average gestational age for triplets.

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The babies are breathing on their own, although they are using feeding tubes since they are not strong enough to eat sufficiently and independently yet.

“At this point all indications are that they will continue to remain healthy and be discharged within two to four weeks,” Novack said.

Rare identical triplets born in Oregon
Hills and her boyfriend, Logan Brown-Fletcher, also 19, both said they look forward to the challenge of parenting multiples.Providence Health & Services

Dr. Mark Tomlinson, the obstetrician who worked with the couple, said these triplets are “the rarest type” and something new even for him.

“I have never seen this type of triplets before,” he said, explaining: “I have seen many where there is an identical twin in a triplet pregnancy.”

Brown-Fletcher stressed he and his girlfriend did not use any fertility assistance.

"This was just a natural occurrence," he said. Acknowledging the odds for having identical triplets, he said his sister purchased him a lottery ticket hoping he'd continue his streak of luck.

"I didn’t win, sadly, but I didn’t spend any money on it so I wasn’t too bummed out," he said.

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