Stormont Sees Double With Rare Triplets

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Triplets come along less than twice in every 1,000 births.

Stormont-Vail's NICU is currently seeing triple - times two - and with a twist that makes the little ones even more rare.

How the couples found out they'd be welcoming three bundles of joy is a story in itself.

Terra and Louie Constantino of Topeka went for their 20-week checkup to find out that their unplanned fourth baby was actually three. Terra laughs that the nurses got an ice pack, water and throw-up tray for Louie just in case since he seemed to get a little pale at the news.

Danielle and Randy Rickert went for a 31-week checkup with what they thought were twins when they got the news. Randy says the nurses started calling all the others to look at the surprise on the sonogram. Two days later, three boys, Maddox, Liam and Kennedy, came into the world.

Nearly five week later, Danielle says she's still getting over the shock.

They can share that feeling with the Constantinos. While triplets are rare enough, the Rickert's boys and the Constantino's sons, one-week-old Louie, Giovanni and Rocky, share another rare trait. Both sets of triplets are identical and were conceived naturally.

Natural triplets happen once every 62,500 births, so having two sets at once in the NICU is drawing quite a crowd.

The couples both joke that they fear mixing up the boys and swapped stories of how they might tell them apart, from a birthmark on one of the Rickert babies to color-coded socks for the Constantino trio.

The families have a sense of humor about what lies ahead, especially the Constantinos, who have three more boys at home, ages 14, 11 and 3. Louie jokes they were starting to run out of names. They did get creative with Rocky - since he was the last one born, his middle name is the Italian word for "six."

The couples are grateful for their growing families and especially grateful their special trios also share what's most important - all six children are healthy and should be headed home soon.