Their plan was to have one more baby, but a Fenton family came home from the hospital Tuesday night with three.
Jessica Kennedy gave birth to identical triplets earlier this month at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. Identical triplets are so rare, doctors don’t keep organized statistics on those cases.
Jessica and Ben, her husband, already have two older children. They conceived the triplets naturally and were stunned to learn during Jessica’s pregnancy that they were expecting not one child, but three. All three babies are boys: Reed, Knox, and Finn Kennedy.
Earlier this year, a woman in Oregon made headlines when she delivered identical triplet girls.
The Kennedy triplets were born on Nov. 2, and stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for nearly three weeks as they learned to eat on their own and gain size and strength. As they prepared to head home Tuesday night, Ben and Jessica noted the overwhelming responsibility in front of them.
“We’re hoping for the best, obviously, but were pretty terrified [of] what’s about to come our way,” she said with a laugh. “So I don’t know, we'll just have to play it by ear and see how it goes.”
“And the fact that we're blessed that they're as healthy as they are is obviously a Godsend,” Ben said.
Dr. Michael Paul delivered the triplets. He specializes in maternal-fetal medicine and high-risk pregnancies with multiples. He calls the Kennedy pregnancy very rare.
“I’ve actually seen this on one other occasion, about three years ago. It’s been thirty years of [my] career though and calculating back over about 10,000 babies, that’s a very unusual event.”
Dr. Paul said both the pregnancy and the delivery were uncommon. The boys arrived very healthy, and have reached all major milestones without complications. Based on their current health, he expects the triplets to continue growing and developing successfully.
He credits the Kennedy family for supporting Jessica through a difficult pregnancy, and her dedication to prenatal care and nutrition.
“This is the best pregnancy outcome you could expect in this situation,” he said.
Between feedings every few hours and non-stop diaper changes, the Kennedys are prepared for many sleepless nights ahead. They joke about the challenges of telling the identical babies apart, and how the older children will react to so much activity in their home.
Family members set up a GoFundMe account for the Kennedys, in an effort to buy the family a vehicle big enough for their family of seven.
When asked if they were done having babies now, the response was immediate.
“Yes!” Jessica laughed. “Yes. We’re finished!”