Identical triplets are a one-in-a-million phenomenon. But one Nebraska couple recently beat the odds. Lindsey and Derek Teten, who conceived their babies without any medical intervention, welcomed their three daughters Juliet, Adeline and Marian on June 23.
The infants, respectively weighed 4 pounds; 3 pounds, 15 ounces; and 3 pounds, 4 ounces, and were delivered by caesarean section when Lindsey was nearly 32 weeks.
Neither Lindsey or Derek have multiples in their families. So the couple got the surprise of their lives in January when they learned at their eight-week scan in that they were expecting identical triplets. “When the technician said she saw three heartbeats we were in total shock,” Derek, 43, tells Us Weekly exclusively. Adds Lindsey: “I was happy, but also terrified because the pregnancy was so high-risk.”
Indeed, the Tetens were cautious about sharing their exciting news with friends and family. “We had had to be realistic. Carrying multiples increases the risk of miscarriage,” Lindsey, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, tells Us. “When we made it to 12 weeks that was a big deal. Sixteen weeks was huge. Our goal was always 24 weeks. That was viability. That meant the babies could survive.”
Prior to becoming pregnant, the Tetens struggled for eight months to conceive. “Our journey was fairly short compared to others’, but it got to be exhausting. I thought as soon as I went off birth control, it would just happen,” Lindsey tells Us. “We were days away from meeting with a fertility specialist when I found out I was pregnant.”
When Lindsey finally met her little girls, she was overcome with love — and a newfound appreciation for her body. “It was surreal to look down at my daughters and think all three were inside my belly,” she says. “I also couldn’t believe how healthy they looked despite the fact that they were premature. They hardly even needed oxygen.”
Dr. David Minderman, a neonatologist at Methodist Women’s Hospital, told the World-Herald that the triplets are now progressing ahead of schedule and meeting important milestones such as eating and breathing on their own and regulating their own temperature.
Juliet was discharged from the hospital on July 23 and Marian on July 25. “Adeline has a little more growing to do,” says Derek.
To tell the infants apart, the Tetens will use crochet bracelets or nail polish. ““With Adeline it’s easy. She’s the smallest," says Derek. "There’s never a question there.”
When you put the girls’ names together it spells JAM (Juliet, Adeline, Marian). “When we take their picture they’re always in that order,” Derek tells Us. “JAM order. JAM formation!”
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