You can only imagine the look on Lauren Whiteley’s face when the ultrasound technician had a stunned reaction to her routine ultrasound. The expecting mother from Detroit, Michigan, assumed the worst.
“It was the ultrasound tech that kind of left the room, came back and I thought something was wrong,” Lauren said in 2015. “She said, ‘No it’s good news.’ I said, ‘Oh my gosh! It’s twins, isn’t it?’ She said, ‘No, I see three.’ This was the shock of a lifetime.”
But there was even more of a shock that day. The doctor told Lauren and her husband, Michael Whiteley, that there was only one placenta. That means Lauren had naturally conceived identical triplets — boys, in fact.
Multiple births don’t run on either side of the family, so the couple was unquestionably in shock.
“‘Triplets? Are you sure?’” Michael recalls asking his wife. “It was very overwhelming.”
The odds of having identical triplets are around one in 2 million.
“The fact that they’re identical is incredible. It’s the first set of identical triplets I’ve ever seen. I’ve been in neonatology for 40 years,” Dr. Savitri Kumar of Detroit’s Henry Ford hospital said.
Though it was certainly a surprise, the parents (who already have two children) are embracing their expanding family.
“We always wanted a big family and we got it all at once, I guess,” Lauren said.