Plainfield woman to deliver naturally conceived identical triplets following IVF-assisted identical twins. Learn more in this ABC 7 story.
ABC 7 Healthbeat
Miracle multiples due for suburban woman
By Sylvia Perez and Christine Tressel
November 12, 2009 (WLS) -- It's the story of a suburban woman with a pregnancy so rare, no one can pinpoint the odds.
In some cases, couples needing help to conceive for the first time can end up getting pregnant again all on their own. That's what happened to the Kaempf family. But their surprise pregnancy turned out to be three times more unusual then they ever imagined.
Nathan and Alex keep their parents busy. At 19 months, they're all boy. And that's probably a good thing because the Kaempf twins are about to become outnumbered by girls.
Their mom, Elaine Jolie Kaempf, 34, is pregnant with triplets. She plans to name them Emma, Ainsley and Samantha. And while that may not sound so unusual, it is because doctors say they were conceived naturally without fertility drugs. The other wow - they're also believed to be identical.
It was just a couple of years ago when the Kaemps were having trouble getting pregnant. So they turned to in vitro fertilization and were successful with the birth of their boys. They wanted another child without the help of fertility treatments.
"The docs had pretty much told us we don't know that it will be possible for you to get pregnant naturally," said Kaempf.
And then, about eight months ago, an ultrasound revealed the triple surprise.
"OK, how many is it?'" said David Kaempf, father, recalling how his wife told him about the multiples. "'You may want to pull over or wait till you get home.' I said, 'It's two isn't it?' And she said, 'No it's not two; it's three.' Oh of course, it's three."
"All of a sudden, she naturally conceived these triplets, and it turns out these triplets are also identical, which is quite rare," said Lee Yang, perinatologist, Edward Hospital.
Edward Hospital in Naperville is one of the area's busiest hospitals for the delivery and care of multiple births. But no one can recall a case of spontaneous identical triplets. Doctors believe one embryo split into two and then split again. All three girls now share one placenta.
"There are complications from sharing a placenta, so far we have not seen anything. So things are going well," said Thomas Chen, OB/GYN, Edward Hospital.
The odds of naturally having identical triplets are tough to nail down but range anywhere from one in 160,000 to as high as one in 200 million births. University of Illinois-Chicago reproductive endocrinologist Bert Scoccia says five to 10 percent of women who have in vitro fertilization do go on to have more children on their own but not necessarily multiples.
"There is data indicating that women may be a little bit more fertile after they have their first pregnancy almost as if the system now understands what it is supposed to do," Scoccia said.
Elaine Kaempf is expected to deliver in just a few weeks. She's keeping a blog on her experience and sharing thoughts with other moms of multiples.
"It's amazing and it's a blessing," she said. "It just happened. We didn't even think we could conceive naturally and here there are three."
Elaine Kaempf is in her 32nd week and expected to deliver the girls thorough C-section at Edward Hospital December 3, if she lasts that long.
Humberto Scoccia, MD
1801 West Taylor Street
Outpatient Care Center - Suite 4 A
Chicago, IL 60612
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services