Identical Triplets Born to California Couple Defy the Odds

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Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 12:44 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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April Dooley had as much chance winning the Powerball lottery as giving birth to identical triples with her husband Brad in January. So guess what happened?

According to the Orange County Register, the odds of having identical triples lie within one in a million to 100 million because the happening so rare that it is difficult finding a statistically significant number.

Yet, on Jan. 13, the Dooleys welcomed Patrick Scott Dooley, Owen Michael Dooley, and Liam Cooper Dooley into the world at Long Beach's Miller Children's Hospital.

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Fraternal siblings and those from artificial treatments come from different eggs, but identical siblings are produced when an egg is divided in utero, making those extremely rare, reported the Register.

"Multiples don't run in our families," said April Dooley, 42, who already had a daughter, Kaitlyn, 5, with her husband Brad, 43. "This blew our minds. There was nothing out of the normal. We were trying for one more time. I had had two miscarriages. We were just trying one more time to get pregnant."

The Register said Liam required surgery for intestinal malrotation, but beyond that all three babies were healthy and six weeks early.

April Dooley, who works as a second grade teacher, said adding three more children all at once to the family may seem daunting, but added, "I would say it's a gift from God."

Even though giving birth to identical triplets is a rarity, California had another set delivered last November, according to KOVR-TV in Sacramento.

Hannah and Tom Hepner gave birth to three girl, Abby, Laurel, and Brin. Like the Dooleys, the Hepners said that multiple births don't run in their families and fertility drugs were not used to conceive.

"When we first found out, we just sort of laughed in that nervous way," Hannah Hepner told the television station. "It's overwhelming to think of everything that’s to come."

Dr. William Gilbert at Sutter Memorial Hospital told KOVR-TV at the time that he could not imagine the odds of having identical triplets.

"First one I've seen in 30 years of doing this," Gilbert told the television station.

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