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Calif. couple conceives rare identical triplets

Thursday - 12/5/2013, 2:20pm  ET

tripletsAP.jpg
Hannah and Tom Hepner of Quincy, parents of identical triplets, hold, from left, Abby, Laurel and Brindabella in a self care room at Sutter Memorial on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif. The triplets were born at Sutter Memorial Hospital on Nov. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Randy Pench)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Doctors at a Northern California hospital say a couple has given birth to a rare set of naturally conceived identical triplets.

The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1hyPwlB ) Abby, Brin and Laurel Hepner were born Nov. 22 at Sutter Memorial Hospital to Hannah and Tom Hepner, of Quincy.

The triplets were produced when a single, fertilized egg split into three.

Dr. William Gilbert, director of Sutter Women's Services, says the odds of producing identical triplets without fertility drugs range from 1-in-1-million to 1-in-100-million.

He said the rarity makes it difficult to more accurately calculate the frequency of such births.

Abby weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces; Brin 3 pounds, 11 ounces; and Laurel 4 pounds.

The triplets are still in the hospital until they can maintain body temperature and eat properly.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com


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