The Finlen family of Salinas is feeling pretty lucky today. Their newborn triplets, born at Packard Children’s in June, were spontaneously conceived, meaning that no fertility drugs were used. The odds of that are about 1 in 8,100. Making them even rarer, two of the boys are identical monoamniotic twins, which occur in less than 1 percent of pregnancies. The best news is that the three little boys are healthy and gaining weight.
“When I look at them, it is so amazing,” says mom Melissa Finlen. “I feel like it is a miracle.”
Melissa and Mike Finlen first thought they were having twins, but found out in late February that the 29 year-old first-time mom was pregnant with three boys. Her due date was in early August. As is often the case with multiples, the babies were born early. Melissa was admitted to Packard Children’s in late April and gave birth to their three sons on June 8, more than two months early. Mason was the tiniest, weighing in at 2 lbs,13 ounces; his identical twin brother Carson weighed 3 lbs, 7 ounces at birth; Riley weighed 3 lbs, 1 ounce.
Before going home, the triplets received several weeks of care in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. The Level III NICU at Salinas Valley Memorial operates in partnership with Packard Children’s Hospital, which made the transfer of the triplets to expert care in Salinas seamless. Twelve days after they were born, Mason, Carson and Riley arrived at Salinas Valley Memorial’s Level III NICU, where they could be closer to the Finlen family’s home. “We are so grateful for the care and the staff here at Salinas Valley Memorial,” says Melissa. “They are a part of this incredible journey and we are happy to be home in Salinas.”
Salinas Valley Memorial’s Level III NICU Medical Director and Neonatologist Robert Castro, MD, recognized right away the hospital was caring for a unique trio of brothers. “Mason and Carson are what we call monoamniotic twins, which means they shared the same amniotic sac within their mother’s uterus,” says Dr. Castro. “To have identical twins like that in a set of naturally conceived triplets is extremely rare.”
Dr. Castro and the Level III NICU staff at Salinas Valley Memorial are monitoring the triplets closely and are hopeful the boys will gain enough weight to go home next week.
Finlen triplet boys“My emotions have been all over the place; excited, stressed and overwhelmed but mostly grateful,” says Mike Finlen. “We couldn’t be happier.”
- Robert Dicks
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