Oklahoma couple welcomes rare identical triplets
BLANCHARD, Okla. - T.J. and Stephanie Norman didn’t expect their family of three to become a family of six so suddenly, and they certainly didn’t think it would be newsworthy.
Stephanie gave birth three identical daughters — Aspen, Kensli and Layken — on June 2 at Norman Regional HealthPlex in Norman, Oklahoma. The triplets were born at 29 weeks and had to spend nearly two months in the NICU before coming home.
"I never thought this could happen to us," Stephanie told FOX Television Stations Monday. "My sister has twins, so I never thought we could have multiples."
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Stephanie said she was told she was going to have triplets during her eight-week ultrasound during her pregnancy. About a month later, she found out they were all girls, sharing the same placenta — a rarity in the medical profession.
"I just laughed," T.J. told FOX Television Stations. "I didn’t know what else to do."
Stephanie said the girls are healthy and have doubled in weight.
But the challenge is now telling the infants apart.
"I can actually tell them apart now," Stephanie said. "But we have little anklet bracelets on them right now. Aspen has a pink anklet and then Kensli has a blue one and then Layken has a purple anklet on."
The mother added that she will paint the girls’ toenails different colors when they get older.
The high school sweethearts already have a 2-year-old son named Wyatt.
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The family said they’re getting used to the publicity and appreciate all the support.
"Never thought we would have a laugh like this where everybody is reaching out to us," T.J. added. "Everybody has been really supportive throughout the whole thing."
According to babyMed, identical triplets occur when a single egg splits after conception. The triplets will share 100% of their DNA including sex, blood types, hair color and eye color. However, they could have different teeth marks and fingerprints.
According to Huggies, the odds of a woman giving birth to identical triplets can be a high as one in 200 million. Triplets generally are uncommon, and only about 10 percent of the time are they identical, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.