A 46-year-old woman gives birth to triplets after being told her eggs were too old: “A miracle”
A 46-year-old Utah woman recently gave birth to identical triplets despite being told she couldn’t have any more children.
Audrey Tiberius told NBC station KSL-TV that she thought she couldn’t conceive again after a doctor informed her her “eggs were too old” some years ago. Fertility doctors warned Audrey Tiberius, then 41, that her prospects of conceiving a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF) were about 10%. In an interview with TODAY, the Utah mom recalled, “They replied, ‘I’m sorry, your eggs are too old. We did three rounds of in vitro and they all failed.”
Woman, 46, Welcomes Identical Triplets Years After Being Told by Doctors Her 'Eggs Were Too Old' https://t.co/oAYTIDpxcY
— People (@people) September 7, 2022
After undergoing three rounds of fertility treatments in the hopes of having more children, each attempt failed. But she continued to dream on, and five years later, at 45, she got pregnant naturally. “I prayed and prayed for five years to have more children because I always wanted a really big family, and seven was kind of my number,” she said. “When I found out I was pregnant, finally at age 45, I was just over the moon.”
On March 30, she and her 41-year-old husband Tyler Tiberius had identical triplet boys, a welcome addition to their 6 member family. Sky, River, and Bay, as they’ve been named, joined their big brothers Marcus, 13, James, 11, Christian, 9, and Max, 7.
“Most experts put the odds of identical triplets at one in 200 million births,” she said. “I talked to a statistician and apparently the odds of a 45-year-old having identical triplets are one in 20 billion.” The odds of getting pregnant at 45 are 1 in 100. The odds of identical triplets are 1 in 10,000, and the odds of a 45-year-old conceiving identical triplets are 1 in 20 billion.
Tiberius is right, per TODAY’s interview with a maternity health specialist. Dr. Lisa Thiel, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at Spectrum Health West Michigan, says that getting pregnant at age 45 without medical assistance is extremely uncommon, and having triplets is further rare. “We have millions and millions of eggs when we’re born and then they die off over time. As we start to get into our mid-thirties we have less eggs that are appropriate for reproduction and getting pregnant is harder to achieve,” Thiel told TODAY. “By the time we’re 41, the risk of having chromosomal abnormalities is also much higher.”
Wrangling three identical infants can be a lot of work. “It’s a little crazy sometimes when we can’t tell who’s who because they’re across the room. They just look so much alike,” she said. She also pumps milk nine times a day. “I pump breast milk for my babies, I feed babies, I change babies, I burp babies, I hold babies, then I repeat that all day long,” she said.
But Tiberius is very grateful, as she was initially concerned about experiencing a miscarriage, at 45 the risk is roughly 80% according to the Mayo Clinic. Tiberius wasn’t wrong to fear, as Thiel shared that there is a very high risk of miscarriage in the first trimester because the uterine lining isn’t as healthy.
When it came to her fertility, Tiberius claimed she was ignorant. She believed she would’ve been able to have children in her 40s because her paternal grandmother did. “I didn’t realize that older celebrities often use frozen eggs or donor eggs,” she admitted. “Doctors need to talk to women about fertility and what their options are to save them heartache.”
The triplets, according to Tiberius, were miracles. “This was so statistically unlikely that there’s no way to explain it other than a miracle,” she told TODAY.