CANTON, Mo. -- Three skulls appeared on the sonogram during Sadie Sharp's 20-week ultrasound at Hannibal Regional Hospital. When the nurse turned to tell Sharp she was pregnant with triplets, Sharp wasn't surprised.
"My great-grandmother had triplets, and others in my family had twins. I got really big really fast, and I felt movement on both of my sides during my pregnancy, so I initially just thought I had twins," Sharp said. "We weren't really that shocked, but the nurse was."
Sharp and her husband, Nicholas, of Canton, Mo., welcomed sons Hunter Richard, Patrick Liam and Nicholas Oscar, whom parents will just call "Oscar," on Jan. 22 at Hannibal Regional. They're the first set of triplets born at the hospital in 16 years.
The couple believe Patrick and Oscar are identical twins because Hunter looks distinctly different. The babies are the couple's first children.
Although it's rare for Hannibal Regional to deliver triplets, Dr. Julie Viehmann, the Sharps' OB/GYN, said Sharp's pregnancy and the way the triplets were conceived make them exceedingly rare.
"They were spontaneously conceived, making that a 1 in 8,000 chance, and they were all one sex, making that even rarer," she said. Spontaneous conception is when pregnancy is achieved without the use of medical intervention.
"Also, women carrying triplets tend to deliver early, and Sadie made it pretty close to 36 weeks," Viehmann said. "She did a great job taking care of herself and the babies during her pregnancy, and the Women's Care Center here did a great job taking care of both mother and sons."
The delivery went smoothly, both Sharp and Viehmann said, and the babies were born healthy. Extra staff were called in if complications arose.
"Since we've gotten home, we've definitely had our hands full, but everything is going well," Sharp said. "We've all gotten into a routine, and the babies are starting to show their personalities. One will give a little side smirk if you say something, and another will open his eyes really wide if you pick him up."
Sharp, a stay-at-home mother, will care for Hunter, Patrick and Oscar while her husband works as a metallurgical engineer at Keokuk Steel Castings Co.