Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Three's a Charm Triplet Boys Leave Family Weary but Grateful

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Three's a Charm Triplet Boys Leave Family Weary but Grateful

Article excerpt

When Renee Frost of St. Charles first learned that she was to have triplets, she was so inconsolable that her mother had to be called to the hospital to comfort her.

Frost's consternation was understandable. She and her husband, John Frost, were already parents to Anthony, 11, Christopher, 8, and Desiree, 1. Unlike many mothers of multiple births, Renee Frost had not been involved in fertility drug therapy. The couple had hoped for a fourth child, but not for several more years, and certainly not in triplicate.

Ready or not, on May 29, 1994, the Frosts became parents in a one in 250 million instance of naturally conceived, identical triplet boys. Jacob, the oldest by two minutes, weighed in at 3 pounds. James, born one minute later, weighed 3 pounds, 7 ounces, and John, the youngest and the largest, 3 pounds, 9 ounces.

The boys were born at St John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur two months prematurely. Despite their low weights, all three babies were healthy and required only a short hospital stay before they reached the 4-pound minimum to go home.

Other than a shower put on by the Frosts' church, St. Cletus, the babies received little of the attention and offers of assistance that often are the case in multiple births brought about by scientific intervention. Renee's mother came to help out the first week. From then, Renee and John were on their own.

"I was a basket case for the first three months," Renee Frost said. "I would feed one, then the second and then the third. My head would barely touch the pillow before it was time to start again," she said.

To add to their dilemma, not even John and Renee could tell the boys apart. They marked the infants' feet A, B and C with an indelible marker. Then, two of the boys were switched during a bathing session. Their fingerprints proved to be so similar that even the pathology department at St. John's could not verify their identity. When it was discovered that baby James suffered from chronic asthma, his ear was pierced so that there would never be any confusion as to which boy should get the medicine. James' tiny earring, along with the raspberry birthmark behind baby John's ear, eliminated any further confusion. …

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