Identical triplets at Albany Medical Center make history

August 10, 2017 06:39 PM

Three newborns at Albany Medical Center are history-making. They're identical triplets born without the help of fertility drugs. It's so rare, the odds are better for winning lotto. NewsChannel 13 got to meet the family as part of an exclusive story.

"He had thought it was twins the whole time for some reason and the tech goes, 'Well, it's twins," and then she looks around a little more, she's like, 'Wait, nope. I see a third.' Then, at that point I kind of just kind of stared at the ceiling in shock. I think he had to sit down," recalled Morgan Van Aikin, gesturing towards her husband.

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At their first ultrasound at nine weeks, Morgan and Ross Van Aikin learned they were having triplets. At 16 weeks, doctors told them the babies were identical.

"You give me the chance of winning the lotto or this, I'll take this all the time," beamed Ross.

WEB EXTRA: Parents of identical triplets

Ross, Silas and Jacen - all born healthy and weighing more than three pounds each.

Triplets in general are so rare, Albany Medical Center doesn't have a room for three babies in their neonatal intensive care unit.

As for identical triplets conceived without fertility drugs:

"I mean there's only 20 cases in the literature. Probably one in 100,000 pregnancies are identical triplets and most of those pregnancies have complications like birth defects," noted Dr. Scott Dexter, who works in maternal and fetal medicine and Albany Medical Center.

WEB EXTRA: Dr. Scott Dexter

The healthy babies were born by C-section about two months ahead of schedule, when Morgan's otherwise smooth pregnancy hit a little bump as her blood pressure began to rise.

"I can't describe the feeling. It was a huge relief to hear everybody crying and seeing them nice and pink looking," recalled the couple together.

The babies are breathing on their own but it will take some time for them to feed and maintain their body temperature.

"We're getting to do a little bit more of their care now and we got to change diapers and change their outfits today and that was very, very exciting," acknowledged Morgan.

"Earlier today was the very first time I ever changed a diaper on a live baby," chuckled Ross.

NewsChannel 13 asked the parents what their biggest worry is.

"Mixing them up when we get them home and then having them be like 12 and I'm going to be like, 'I'm sorry you are not actually Ross,'" replied Morgan.

To prevent mix-ups, they're trying color coding: Ross gets blue, Silas gets red and Jacen gets green.

While it's never too early to look down the road and think about them growing up, there are more immediate issues.

"I think once we get them home and we're looking at three babies sitting in front of us like, 'Okay, there's two of us and three of them.' Then it's going to get very real," admitted Morgan.

Morgan's mom, who lives in Tribes Hill says she will be help out.

Ross is a petty officer first class in the Navy awaiting new orders in October, so the family may have to leave their Saratoga home.

The triplets will join their older brothers, 5 and 7, from Morgan's previous marriage.

Morgan's sister set up a GoFundMe page for the family.

More information:

GoFundMe: Van Aikin triplets


Benita Zahn

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