When Jessica and Ben Kennedy started planning to expand their family to welcome a third child, they never expected they’d end up with three more in the form of identical triplet boys.
The Kennedys welcomed Reed, Knox and Finn on Nov. 2, younger brothers to Cohen, 6, and Laine, 4. The siblings are finally all under one roof after the triplets spent three weeks in the NICU at the Missouri Baptist Medical Center.
Dr. Michael Paul, who delivered the naturally conceived babies and specializes in high-risk pregnancies, said the pregnancy was very rare due to how healthy it was and how well the boys have reached their major milestones without complications.
“The fact that we’re blessed and that they’re as healthy as they are is obviously a God-send,” Ben told NBC-affiliate KSDK.
But the couple admit they are nervous and feeling overwhelmed.
“We’re hoping for the best, obviously, but we’re pretty terrified of what’s about to come our way,” Jessica said with a laugh. “We’ll just have to play it by ear and see how it goes.”
Only three weeks in, they’re learning how to manage the 24 feedings and double the amount of diaper changes per day.
The toughest part, though, could be telling the trio apart.
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“They look so much alike now,” said Jessica. “It makes me nervous!”
The occurrence of naturally conceived identical triplets is so rare that the odds are unclear.
According to a study published in Journal of Biosocial Science in 2003, identical triplets occurred around 20 to 30 times per 1 million births. Doctors quoted in a Canadian Press story about a B.C. woman who gave birth to identical triplet girls pegged the number at around 1 in 50 million. Reuters quoted another doctor who said that rate was closer to 1 in 200 million.