Tennessee triplets set new record for size - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee triplets set new record for size

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(WBIR) - Just five months ago, the Tipton family got three "little" bundles of joy.

"There's a lot more cuteness. A lot more diapers too now," said the triplet's sister, Sophia, 9, "And there's probably more fun!"

But Stella, Jack, and Luke Tipton are technically not tiny at all.

"They were almost 20 pounds together," said the triplet's mother, Kate, "It was like I had a toddler in my tummy."

Triplets are typically around 3 pounds each at birth. Doctors told the Tiptons their babies were going to be bigger than average, but it was difficult to get a proper reading.

"{The doctor} said to expect between 4 and 5 pound babies. They were born and Jack was 7 pounds 4 ounces," said father Caleb Tipton, "They weighed him twice because they were like no, that can't be right."

Stella weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces. Luke came into the world 5 pounds 9 ounces.

"We were surprised that they were that large at that gestational age," said Kate's doctor, Dr. Mark Hennessy of High Risk Obstetrical Consultants.

That was the second time the Tiptons were shocked. The first came when they got the news nine months earlier.

"At first, she said you're having twins. And I thought, well that will be fun. Caleb is a twin. Two's not bad. So I was excited," said Kate, "Then she moved the ultrasound probe and said actually you're having triplets. From that point on I couldn't tell you what she said. It was like the lady from "Peanuts," the teacher, like 'wonk, wonk, wonk!"

The pregnancy proved to be complicated. Triplet pregnancies are always considered high risk. At just 21 weeks, Kate started going into labor.

"We had doctors telling us to prepare for the worst. If they made it, they would be so small," Kate said.

The babies lives were saved by a procedure that stopped the labor and three months of bed rest. It also guaranteed Caleb was never allowed to complain about anything to Kate ever again.

"I would stand up and you could literally hear my hips crack. They would make this noise. The sound of so much pressure on top and so much weight. It was difficult," Kate said.

"I would have cried every day if it was my body going through that," Caleb said.

Kate made it 34 weeks, giving UT Medical center the largest triplets ever recorded at the hospital. They were just two pounds shy of breaking the world record.

The largest triplets ever recorded were born in 2004 in California at a combined 22 pounds.

"I've never seen triplets this big," said Dr. Hennessy, a high-risk OBGYN for 25 years.

Now that the Tiptons are settling into their new normal, the triplets' size is the least of their concerns. They have three times the diapers, the bottles, and 18 years from now.... college tuition.

Read more at WBIR's website.

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