ST. LOUIS -- It's an event so rare doctors don't even keep statistics. Identical triplets are hard to find, but a St. Louis-area family says they are expecting a tiny trio of their own later this year.
Jessica and Ben Kennedy of Fenton, Mo., already have two children, but wanted to add one more. The Kennedys said they tried to conceive for a while without success. They were ready to forget about it and close out the family of four, when Jessica learned she was pregnant again.
But this time, something was different.
“I was feeling pretty bad, a lot worse than my other two pregnancies,” she remembers. “So I had to go in early for a doctor appointment.”
Both parents were there when they learned the news.
“I just remember laying there, and she got quiet while she was doing the ultrasound,” Jessica remembers. “And then she said, ‘Were you taking fertility drugs that I wasn’t aware of?’”
Jessica paused, then replied to her physician:
“I said, ‘Oh my gosh, is it twins?’ And she said, ‘No, there’s three!'"
The Kennedys learned they had three babies inside one placenta: identical triplets
It’s a pregnancy so rare, the Washington University maternal fetal medicine team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (which is not involved in the Kennedy’s case at this time) said they don’t even keep statistics, and can't recall a similar case at the hospital in recent memory.
Just this week, a woman in Oregon made headlines when she delivered identical triplet girls.
“I remember the car ride home, we didn't talk much,” Jessica said. “Both of us were very quiet.”
“We were just scared, really,” added Ben. “The uncertainty of everything. We’ve done a lot of research.”
The Kennedy’s older children, son Cohen and daughter Laine, helped them announce the triplets’ arrival. The pair, wearing “#1" and "#2” t-shirts, posed next to onesies bearing numbers three, four, and five.
All three triplets are boys, the Kennedy’s said. Jessica is 21 weeks into her pregnancy, and, like most pregnancies with “multiples” she expects to deliver early.
The couple, who are both local high school teachers, said they’ve received many congratulations as well as shocked faces from family and friends.
“We’ve actually had a couple of friends tell us they were thinking about having another baby, and because of us they decided not to — just in case,” Jessica joked.
“Yeah, this can actually happen to people!” Ben added, with a laugh.
“I mean, we, obviously were thinking about having one more,” he said. “So, the more, the merrier!”