PORTLAND, Ore. — Each identical triplet is so tiny she can fit in her father's hand — and soon these rare medical wonders in Oregon will have painted toenails so the new parents can tell them apart.
Logan Brown-Fletcher and Amber Hills, 19-year-old high school sweethearts and first-time parents from Newberg, Ore., welcomed identical girl triplets Raelyn, Avery and Elaina on Monday.
Their neonatologist, Dr. Craig Novack, told the Oregonian that identical triplets are so rare he has only seen one other set in his 22-year career.
The triplets' birth came earlier than planned after doctors had trouble hearing a heartbeat for one. Hills was about 33 weeks along when she had Caesarean section.
The infants — who respectively weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces; 3 pounds, 11 ounces; and 2 pounds, 15 ounces — are in the neonatal intensive care unit at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland. The girls are expected to survive and could go home next month.
Hills' pregnancy was made even more difficult because the ultrasound that revealed she was carrying triplets also showed a large mass in her ovary.
"I was so scared I could lose the babies," she said. "I bawled the whole way home."
The mass turned out to be a cyst the size of a basketball and Hills had surgery to remove the ovary and the cyst while she was pregnant.
The new parents, who are engaged, hope to have their daughters be a part of the wedding ceremony.
"It melts my heart knowing that they survived," Brown-Fletcher said, as one of his daughters wrapped her tiny arm around his finger inside her incubator.