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SVMHS Level III NICU Staff Cares for Rare Triplets

SALINAS, CA, July 11, 2013A Salinas family is feeling pretty lucky and for good reason. The triplets resting comfortably in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System are spontaneously conceived triplets-meaning there were no fertility drugs involved.  The odds of that are about 1 in 8,100. In addition, two of the boys are identical monoamniotic twins, which doctors say adds up to winning a statistical baby lottery. It is an extremely rare event. The best news is that the three are healthy and gaining weight. “When I look at them, it is so amazing,” says mom Melissa Finlen. “I feel like it is a miracle.” 

Melissa and Mike Finlen first thought they were having twins but found out in late February, the 29 year old first time mom was pregnant with three boys. The original due date was in early August. As is often the case with multiples, the babies were born early. Melissa was admitted to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center in late April and gave birth to their three sons more than two months early on June 8th.  Mason was the tiniest weighing in at 2 lbs,13 ounces; his identical twin brother Carson weighed 3 lbs, 7 ounces at birth and Riley weighed 3 lbs, 1 ounce. 

The Level III NICU at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System operates in partnership with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, which made the transfer of the triplets to expert care in Salinas seamless. Twelve days after they were delivered in the Bay Area, Mason, Carson and Riley arrived at Salinas Valley Memorial’s Level III NICU. “We are so grateful for the care and the staff here at Salinas Valley Memorial,” says Melissa. “They are a part of this incredible journey and we are happy to be home in Salinas.” 

Salinas Valley Memorial’s Level III NICU Medical Director and Neonatologist Robert Castro, MD recognized right away the hospital was caring for a unique trio of brothers. “Mason and Carson are what we call monoamniotic twins which means they shared the same amniotic sac within their mother’s uterus,” says Dr. Castro. “To have identical twins like that in a set of naturally conceived triplets is extremely rare.”  

Dr. Castro and the Level III NICU staff at Salinas Valley Memorial are monitoring the triplets closely and are hopeful the boys will gain enough weight to go home next week.“We couldn’t be happier,” says Mike Finlen. “My emotions have been all over the place; excited, stressed and overwhelmed but mostly grateful."  


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