NEW ORLEANS – A local couple got the surprise of a lifetime when they found out they were pregnant for a second time, with a second set of triplets.
Philip and Courtney Garrett know what it's like to face tremendous odds.
The couple wanted children from the moment they got married, but after trying for years, it didn't appear to be in the cards.
“It's just very hard to hear that you may not be able to get to have children,” Courtney said.
Just as they faced overwhelming odds, they beat them and then some. Thanks to in vitro fertilization (IFV) and a bizarre twist of fate that shocked even the doctor.
“I said, ‘How did this happen?’” Courtney remembered as she learned she had conceived not one baby, but three.
Philip remembers the doctor turned white as she explained that during the very same month Courtney had tried IVF, she had conceived naturally, too. Then, one of the eggs split revealing a set of identical twins and a fraternal sister, all in the same pregnancy.
It was an ultrasound that left the parents speechless.
Philip remembered the fertility doctor joking, “'I will never see you again after this is over,” and agreeing with her.
Eight months later, identical sisters, Wells and Vivienne, arrived along with their fraternal sister, Georgie.
WWL-TV could only find one other time triplets were conceived naturally and artificially in the same month. That was four years ago when it made news in Britain leaving doctors "completely baffled."
This isn't the first time the Garretts have had surprise triplets. Oliver, Jack and Ellie arrived first seven years ago--again, after years of trying to conceive.
“We were just ecstatic. Ecstatic!” Courtney recalled when they first got the news they were pregnant the first time. They were also shocked because of yet another biological bombshell; the Garretts had transferred two eggs via IVF and one split---yielding their first set of identical twins and a fraternal sister.
“I didn't think that was possible and I was like, ok,” Courtney said. Philip agreed, recalling the shock of the moment.
However, it was the happiest of surprises and the triplets grew up in home in which year after year, their smiles grew only wider. They were unaware of their parents’ desire to give them one more sibling, that turned into triplets, instead.
The Garretts surprised the kids on their seventh birthday and captured the moment on home video.
“Does anyone have any idea what the surprise is?” Courtney asked the triplets. One guessed a dog, another an X-box game.
“Mommy's pregnant!” Courtney explained to which the kids yelled, “Oh no!!!” and lamented that this was a very bad present.
When they heard there was even more, that Mommy was going to have triplet girls, the announcement was met with a chorus of “Noooooo!”
The reaction was priceless but didn't last long at all. It was love at first sight when the older triplets met their younger ones. Each one has been assigned a little sister to especially watch over and they do. It's one big happy family that's grown so much it's outgrown their home.
The couple who couldn't have kids now has a half dozen.