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Allegheny Township couple's identical triplets '1 in a million'

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Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009

Three is a lucky number for Amanda and Matthew Faher.

On Wednesday, the third wedding anniversary for the Westmoreland County couple, Amanda gave birth to identical triplets: Matthew Aaron, Nathan Brady and Michael Christopher.

The boys were born at 33 weeks gestation at Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side.

"She needs to play the lottery," said Dr. Jennifer Celebrezze, a high-risk obstetrician who helped deliver the triplets.

Celebrezze said the chances of having identical triplets are slim: "About one in a million."

Those are somewhat better odds than winning the Powerball jackpot -- estimated at one in 195 million -- but rare nonetheless.

Amanda Faher said she learned she was expecting triplets during a routine ultrasound scan 18 weeks into the pregnancy. What initially appeared as abnormal results soon were explained as multiple babies.

"We were thrilled," she said. "But it was a shock."

Celebrezze said the Allegheny Township woman was put on bed rest about six months into the pregnancy and was hospitalized almost two weeks before the birth.

She said mothers of multiple babies run a higher risk of going into early labor or suffering from pre-eclampsia, a condition that can occur later in pregnancy and result in high blood pressure and toxemia.

In addition to pre-eclampsia, Celebrezze said Faher developed gestational diabetes.

As the pre-eclampsia worsened, Celebrezze said doctors opted to deliver the babies on Wednesday, a day shy of the 34-week milestone. At the latest, the delivery would have been induced at 36 weeks.

Matthew Aaron came first at 5 pounds, 4 ounces. Seconds later came Nathan Brady, the largest at 5 pounds, 5 ounces. Michael Christopher was born a minute later at 5 pounds, 1 ounce.

Their middle names were derived from the A-B-C order in which they were born, Faher said.

The babies likely will remain in the hospital another one to two weeks until their feeding habits improve.

"They haven't quite figured all that out yet," Celebrezze said.

Amanda Faher was released from the hospital on Sunday.

"They were so hard to leave," she said. "It's good to be home, but it was hard being without the boys."

Amanda and Matthew Faher are both 30 and attorneys at the Vandergrift law firm Geary Loperfito and Faher.

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