Parents of Rare Identical Triplets Tell Them Apart by Toenail Color

"They are just beautiful little girls," dad Gavin Fradel told ABC News.

ByNicole Pelletiere
June 20, 2016, 1:09 PM
PHOTO: Grace and Stella were born a few seconds apart at 11:37 a.m., followed by Stella at 11:38 a.m.
Grace and Stella were born a few seconds apart at 11:37 a.m., followed by Stella at 11:38 a.m.
Courtesy of the Fradel Family

— -- In a rare, one-in-a-million occurrence, one North Carolina couple welcomed a set of identical triplets last month.

The Fradel girls, Grace, Stella and Emily, were born on May 6 and while they're as cute as can be, even proud parents Gavin and Kimberly Fradel have trouble telling them apart.

"We paint their toenails all different colors," Gavin Fradel told ABC News of how he and his wife distinguish their daughters. "Emily has blue, Grace has yellow and Stella has purple."

Back in November, Fradel, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, received a surprising phone call from his pregnant wife Kimberly, who was visiting the doctor to check up on their baby.

"She started crying and she was like, 'Do you know how many kids were having?'" Fradel recalled. "I said, 'Twins.' and she said, 'No, we're having triplets.'" A cloud went over my face and I said, 'Are you serious?'"

He added: "This all happened naturally. We were trying to get pregnant for about a month and it happened pretty quickly. We got three out of the deal."

PHOTO: Proud parents Gavin and Kimberly Fradel of Wake Forest, North Carolina welcomed rare identical triplets Grace, Stella, and Emily on May 6.
Proud parents Gavin and Kimberly Fradel of Wake Forest, North Carolina welcomed rare identical triplets Grace, Stella, and Emily on May 6.
Courtesy of the Fradel Family

Fradel said that as far as he's aware, multiples do not run in either his or his wife's families. Kimberly did not use any fertility drugs during her pregnancy, he said.

Grace and Stella were born a few seconds apart at 11:37 a.m., followed by Stella at 11:38 a.m.

They join their big brother, Gavin Jr., 2, who visited the girls while they were in the NICU.

PHOTO: Gavin and Kimberly Fradel seen in an undated photo with their son, Gavin Jr., 2.
Gavin and Kimberly Fradel seen in an undated photo with their son, Gavin Jr., 2.
Courtesy of the Fradel Family

"He turns around and said, 'Daddy, take them back'" Fradel said, laughing. "I hugged him and said, 'Son, I can't take them back. They're your sisters.' Today, Gavin kisses them on their heads, gives the bottles to my wife and he's such a good big brother to them."

With three small babies in the house, the Fradels now go through 30 diapers and one whole can of formula per day. Fradel and mom Kimberly operate in shifts so she's able to pump for breastfeeding as well, Fredal explained.

PHOTO: The Fradels tell their girls apart by painting their toe nails a different color.
The Fradels tell their girls apart by painting their toe nails a different color.
Courtesy of the Fradel Family

In addition to their painted toe nails, the girls all have the same birthmark in a different spots, which makes it easier for their parents to identify them, Fradal said.

"Our family has been very supportive," Fradel said. "There's a lot of work, but we're getting it done. I love them. They are just beautiful little girls. They're all genetic miracles -- all four of them."

Kimberly Fradel said she thanks the UNC Maternal Fetal Medicine, their NICU and the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill for caring for her triplets.

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