You might have thought Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Calif., was having some type of promotion this month: have two kids, get a third free.
“It’s time to buy a lottery ticket,” Dr. Steven Elliot told the Bee. Elliot has worked as a neonatologist for 30 years, and though he’s seen successive sets of twins before, he told the Bee that he can’t remember ever seeing this combination of deliveries before.
The first set came on June 7, followed by another June 18 and then a third on June 21, the Associated Press reported.
April Delgado, 38, and Christina Ramos, 27, were both surprised by their extra passengers, the Bee reported. Delgado said being an older mother likely contributed to her having multiple births, age being a common factor in these cases. The newborns, named Avery Madison, Leah Michelle and Jennie Kristine, are all healthy. The other six of the group are also doing well.
“I thought they were lying,” Delgado told NBC News. “I asked them, ‘Are you sure you’re looking at the right screen?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, that’s your name, April Delgado.'”
This makes 11 kids for Delgado, who has five other girls and three boys, but the triplets will be her last children, she told the Bee.
Ramos said her husband, Oscar Martinez, “turned pale” when doctors first told him Ramos was having triplets. Born this past Sunday, the kids are the first for Ramos and Martinez.
“We’ll do the best we can when we get them home, and thankfully we have help when we get there,” Ramos told the Bee.
The mother of the third set did not speak with the media.
The hospital may actually see another triple birth, with Stacie Trasoras, 37, also staying in the hospital expecting a set. Trasoras is actually not due until Aug. 27, but her babies could be born sooner. Sitting in her hospital bed, she told NBC News that when she first learned she was having triplets she laughed hysterically.
“I couldn’t process all the information,” Trasoras said. “I had just bought a nice little car and three — we had expected one.”
Triplets, like twins, can form from either multiple fertilized eggs or one fertilized egg that divides. In Delgado’s case, her triplets include a pair of identical twins, Avery and Leah, the Bee reported.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that in the United States triplets or higher-number births occur about 120 times per 100,000 births.