In 2016, already a mom of one Becki-Jo Allen in the UK had the surprise when she not only found out that she was pregnant a second time, but that she was going to have triplets. The surprises didn’t stop there, either: They weren’t just triplets, but identical triplets. The odds of this happening are one in 200 million.
At just 23-years old, Becki-Jo found out that she was pregnant with triplets. Already a mom to her little girl Indiana, this was, of course, a huge surprise. With no triplets in the family, it was a shock for the whole family. She then had the difficult task of preparing to welcome three little babies into the world and going from being a mom-of-one to a mom-of-four.
The boys came earlier than expected, and Becki-Jo went into labor at just 31-weeks. The three boys, Roman, Rocco, and Rohan Tierney, were each born weighing just over three pounds and with many health complications. They spent the next six weeks in the intensive care unit at the Liverpool Women’s hospital. Today, they are healthy, thriving, active little boys.
The boys all looked exactly the same, but it wasn’t until people began approaching her on the street asking if they were identical that she decided to get them tested. She took a swab from each boy, sent it into a company, and waited. Sure enough, the results came back that they are, in fact, identical: A likelihood of between one and 60 – 200 million.
“I don’t get them mixed up – it’s only when they’re asleep that they look the same to me,” the young mom said. “They all have completely different personalities.”
Not The Only Identical Triplets
While identical triplets are rare, the Tierney boys aren’t the only ones. In 2020, Katie Craw from the UK also gave birth to identical triplet boys Tommy, Joshua, and Eddie. With another four-year-old boy in the house, it was certainly overwhelming news to receive.
“When I found out I was pregnant with three I thought “We can’t afford a big car or a bigger house.” It was a lot to take in,” she said. “And now they’re here, I just feel like I’m in a bubble of happiness. They’re absolutely smashing.”
Last November, a woman in Italy gave birth to three identical little girls Marisol, Clarissa, and Ginevra. Another woman in Kansas gave birth to identical triplets, Ron, Elkanah, and Abishai, in 2018. So while it is very rare, it clearly isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
How Can Triplets Be Identical
With twins, there are two types: Fraternal and identical. Fraternal twins are when the mother releases two eggs that are both successfully fertilized by two separate sperm. Identical twins are one egg, fertilized by one sperm, that later divides into two, forming two separate babies. Fraternal twins’ genetics are as closely related as regular siblings, whereas identical twins’ DNA is the same.
Identical triplets work the same way; however, instead of the egg splitting twice, it splits three times. Research shows that identical twins tend to run in the family; however, regardless of family history, you are not guaranteed either way. Triplets are, of course, even less predictable. While triplets or twins are incredible, there are often complications. They are frequently born early and with low birth weights. This means a lot more time spent in the hospital after birth than most babies.
“The more babies you have [at once], the more dangerous it is,” says Dr. Jonathan Herman of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. “There’s a saying that twins are twice as much fun for the family, but three times as much trouble for doctors.”
Though certain cultures are more likely to have multiples than others, with modern fertility treatments twins, triplets, and more are becoming increasingly more common. (4) It’s hard to imagine having three babies at one time, but with love, support, and excellent medical care, each child can develop just as healthfully as any other baby.
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