Katherine van der Veen (top) and her husband Ain Baird are back in Nelson after she gave birth to identical triplets (from left) Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail. Photo: Tyler Harper

Three times the love: B.C. woman gives birth to identical triplets

Nelson’s Katherine van der Veen gave birth to Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail last month

Nelson’s new identical triplets are healthy, happy and home at last.

Katherine van der Veen gave birth to Ainsley, Olivia and Abigail on May 8. The girls became mathematical marvels the moment they were born — a study by researchers at Cambridge University in England found the odds of having identical triplets are 10 in one million.

“It’s just a random fluke of the universe or nature or god depending on how you look at it,” said Van der Veen. “We think it’s a miracle and just [the universe saying] ‘here you go, have fun!’”

The family is the first to have identical triplets in Canada since 2016 when a Kelowna mother gave birth to a trio of girls. Interior B.C. has a recent history of identical triplets: a family in Salmon Arm also had the unlikely birth in 2015.

Van der Veen and her husband Ain Baird previously endured both a miscarriage and a preterm birth, so she was relieved the triplets were healthy after being born via caesarean section.

The family spent two weeks at the B.C. Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit in Vancouver after the babies were born over a month ahead of the original June 14 due date.

Their birth weights ranged from just 4.4 to 5.4 pounds. Of course, that was still nearly 15 pounds of babies Van der Veen was carrying around.

“I walk around [now and] I’m like, ‘how did I do that?’”

Related: Nelson couple expecting identical girl triplets

Van der Veen praised the hospital’s medical staff — the family had two nurses assigned to them — but said the new parents are relieved to be back in their home.

Of course, now the real work begins. Breast feeding triplets, for example, is a process.

“Sometimes you have to put down the first one, half feed the second one then put that one down and half feed the third one,” she said. “So it’s a juggle, but for the most part they’re awesome. They really zen right now, but that will change soon enough I’m sure.”

The new parents are also looking ahead to life with their unique brood. Baird, who owns a construction company, has already made business cards that include a picture of his new daughters.

Van der Veen said she hopes, in time, her daughters become known for more than just their unique birth.

“[I want to] be present for them and encourage them to be individuals because they are identical so they are going to be lumped together, but also recognizing they’re each little people and will be grown up people.”

Donations can be made online at gofundme.com/babyBairdthree.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated the last set of identical triplets were born in 2015. In fact it was to a Kelowna family in 2016.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Anti-racism rally in Chilliwack goes ahead, despite rumours of cancellation

Saturday’s rally of about 150 people was small compared to Friday’s march where hundreds showed up

PHOTOS: Chilliwack commemorates 76th anniversary of D-Day with small but significant ceremony

Two wreaths were laid at the quiet ceremony attended by about 25 people in Sardis

PHOTOS w/ VIDEO: Peaceful Black Lives Matter march and rally in Chilliwack

Youth-led march down Yale Road followed by passionate speeches at Central Community Park

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Most Read