At 19 years old, Logan Brown-Fletcher may be young, but he already has a way with the ladies. Which is good, because he’s now the proud father of three identical triplet daughters.
While speaking to Babble over the phone, where Fletcher was holding daughter Elaina in the NICU of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, he told me that he had noticed early on in the pregnancy that his fiancé, Amber Hill, 19, appeared to have a bigger “bump” than they had expected. Wisely, however, he said nothing — chalking her bump up to the fact that his mother explained to him that she had carried bigger too during her pregnancy with him.
“I just thought, ‘Oh, cool, maybe it’s a boy then,'” he says.
But that bigger bump was definitely not due to a boy. Nine weeks into the pregnancy, the couple found out that they were expecting spontaneous identical triplets, an occurrence so rare that the odds of it happening are a million to one. Although both Fletcher and Hill have multiples in their family, spontaneous triplets are not hereditary.
“I was very, very shocked,” remembers Fletcher of finding out he was going to be a dad three times over. “A little scared at first, but more shocked. I was expecting there to be just one.”
While Fletcher recovered from his shock, his girlfriend of just over 15 months says she took the news more in stride.
“I was pretty calm,” she says. “It’s hard to really know what it’s going to be like, because it’s not just my first baby, [these are] my first babies. People would be nervous with just one.”
And her calmness seems to have paid off. After a rather uneventful pregnancy, Hill was placed on bedrest at 32 weeks and at 34 weeks the triplets were born on August 1, 2016 via C-section when one of the babies’ heart rate dropped. In birth order, Raelyn came in at 2 pounds, 12 ounces, Avery at 3 pounds, 11 ounces, and Elaina at 2 pounds, 15 ounces.
Leaving Hill in the recovery room at her request (a point he would like to stress that he checked and triple checked with the new mom was what she really wanted, proving this guy really knows what’s he’s doing already) while he showed off the babies to family, Fletcher says that all the emotions of the experience finally hit him.
“I just started crying,” he describes, his voice catching. “It was a stressful few months.”
The babies remain in the NICU of the hospital, where they are all doing well. Now 11 days old, the girls are “growing” says Fletcher, with Raeyln back up to her birth weight and Avery graduating from an incubator to her very own crib. All three babies are breastfeeding from their mom and have been supplemented with donor milk supplied by a partnership the hospital has. Hill plans to continue to breastfeed the babies for as long as possible.
“All three of the girls like to eat, they are going to be chunky babies,” Hill laughs. She explains that it takes about an hour and half to feed all three of the babies, followed by half-hour pumping sessions while her milk is still flowing. “It takes two hours, then an hour to just hang out,” she says with a chuckle. “The long term [plan] for breastfeeding is [to] see how long I can go until I get too exhausted. I’m making more milk than they need right now, so hopefully that continues.”
So far, the couple is adjusting well to being the instant parents of three identical daughters.
“It’s pretty much what I expected,” notes Hill. “It’s better than I expected so far, they already ever cry. They are very calm babies.”
The proud mom says she can instinctively tell the babies apart, but that there are slight differences in each of them as well.
“They are the same physically, but their personalities are so different,” she says. Physically, “It’s their hair, because Avery has the most hair. Raeyln and Elaina, their hair color is slightly different.”
As for the future, the couple is taking life day by day. Fletcher, who worked “really, really hard” to graduate on time by taking extra credits, walked in his high school graduation ceremony on June 10th, an event that Hill was able to be present for. “It was very nice,” Fletcher says. The new dad plans on working two jobs and attending college in the winter, although he is undecided on what his major will be. “I don’t really know what I’m going to do,” he explains. “There’s a lot to do before I know what I’m doing. I have to find the right school to fit my schedule.”
Hill, who graduated from high school last year at the age of 17, plans on staying home with their daughters but hopes to return to work someday when they are older. “I really like working,” she says simply.
The new parents also have an extensive network of support in place. They are currently living with Hill’s parents, where the babies will have a new room. And they have received support from their close-knit community as well. “I got stopped all the time during my pregnancy,” says Hill with a laugh. “I know at least one person everywhere I shop.” That closeness led several people in the community to request that the couple start a GoFundMe page, so that they could offer financial support. “We weren’t going to,” says Fletcher. “[But] we’ve had a lot of positive outcomes.”
Along with the support they have received both in the hospital and within their community, Fletcher and Hill are most looking forward to taking their girls home from the hospital at the end of August and feel grateful to have had the opportunity to become young parents.
“It’s affected me positively,” explains Fletcher. “I’ve definitely matured a lot since I found out I was becoming a dad, but the negative reactions I’ve seen make me really upset. It makes me want to show them they’re wrong, [that they] don’t know what they’re talking about. I think it’s pretty amazing to know that I have three little children that one day are going to look up at me. These girls really wanted to be here and it is pretty awesome.”