Human Interest

North Dakota couple adds ‘happy, healthy’ identical triplet girls to family

When a family in Mandan, North Dakota, learned in early 2022 that they were expecting again, they hoped for a girl to add to their two sons. They were surprised to find they were awaiting not one little girl… but three

Madison, Penelope, and Anastasia Muscha were born early, as is common in pregnancies with multiples, on December 2, 2022, at 34 weeks gestation. But the girls defied the odds and medical expectations both in terms of weight and overall health. Each baby weighed over four-and-a-half-pounds at birth, the same as would be expected of a singleton pregnancy at that gestational age. The girls even “graduated” from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and went home after just a two week stay, even though a rule of thumb about preterm babies requiring hospitalization until roughly their due date would have anticipated them staying an additional four weeks. 

To this day, the girls continue to show normal patterns of healthy growth and development and keep the rest of the family on their toes. Mom Heather Muscha Metcalf commented, “They’re just really happy, healthy, growing little girls.” Proud big brothers Teddy and Henry dote endlessly on their sisters, and mom Heather observed that the girls love it when the boys get home from school.

Wondering how the family tells the girls apart? Heather shared, “Madeline… has kind of a little ‘stork bite’ [birth mark]. Penelope has a little different earlobe. Anastasia doesn’t have anything that’s different or unique that we look for!” 

Identical triplet Metcalf baby girls (screenshot)

Triplet pregnancies are rare, but identical triplets are even more so. Identical twins or triplets are always the same sex because shortly after fertilization the newly created blastocyst (whose sex is already determined), splits into three. Pregnancy with multiple babies occurs slightly more frequently in those conceived through artificial reproductive technologies (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF), though the Metcalf girls were conceived naturally.

Interestingly, Cleveland Clinic notes that moms who “ are taller than average or have a higher body weight” may be more likely to have a multiple pregnancy. 

Moms pregnant with multiple babies face increased risks of developing gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and placental abruption. The babies themselves are more likely to be born early and to experience growth restrictions leading to low or very low birth weight. But the Metcalf girls beat the statistical odds in more ways than one. 

Heather, along with dad Tyler, understand well just how fortunate they are, both in having three identical daughters and in their babies’ great health. Heather observed that “[Life is] very busy, all the time!… Someone’s usually needing to be held or wanting attention.” But the Metcalfs wouldn’t have it any other way.  Heather said, “Having triplets has made us have to slow down-such a huge blessing.”

Tyler summarized, “Life can be a challenge, but a blessing at the same time.”

Editor’s Note 5/23/23: This article was updated to reflect the girls’ correct surname. 

Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 people with the truth about abortion that no one else is telling them? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top