July 18th, 2012
06:09 PM ET

Three birthdays, one day of conception

For Joyce Mallon, the births of her three children are "a miracle." Conceived on October, 26, 2007, in a lab by in vitro fertilization, the embryos were implanted into her uterus at two-year intervals, giving her and her husband three children conceived on the same day but born years apart.

"They are my Tripblings!! Triplets via conception, siblings by actual birth," she wrote in an e-mail sent to CNN.  "I believe our story to be an exciting and intriguing one, that NO ONE in the U.S. (to my knowledge), has any claim to."

Fertility experts say while the Mallon births are exciting, they're not a first. With better freezing techniques, many babies have been born by doing what the Mallons did: creating a group of embryos, using some to start one pregnancy, and then freezing the rest for future pregnancies.  Three babies born this way aren't triplets, but rather three genetically unique siblings conceived on the same day and born years apart.

"I can think off the top of my head of several couples who've done this,'" said Dr. Daniel Shapiro, medical director of Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta. "This isn't new."

Shapiro added that it is, however, exciting.  He says more and more couples are using frozen embryos. Using embryos from the freezer is less expensive than harvesting a woman's eggs anew each time a couple wants another baby, and it's also less invasive for the mother, since harvesting eggs from a woman's ovaries requires a medical procedure and sedation or anesthesia.

In 2007, after the Mallons discovered they were unable to conceive a child on their own, they went to the Advanced Reproductive Care Center in Irving, Texas, which helped them create eight viable embryos.  When the embryos were five days old, doctors implanted two of them into Joyce Mallon's uterus and froze the rest.  About nine months later, Julianna Grace was born.

The Mallons then had six frozen embryos left.  Less than a year after Juliana's birth, doctors implanted two of them, but Mallon miscarried.

Less than two months later, doctors implanted two of the remaining four frozen embryos. This time it worked, and AnnaSophia Grace was born May 28, 2010.

A year and a half later, doctors thawed and implanted the final two embryos, resulting in baby Andrew Gracin last month.

The Mallons gave the three babies similar names since they were conceived at the same time, each with an “Ann” sound.

"Becoming a mother, is the most important thing I will ever do in my lifetime, and I am PROUD of the way in which my Tripblings were conceived," Mallon wrote.

Shapiro estimates that about 25% of babies are conceived through frozen embryos, and the rest through fresh.

Dr. Jamie Grifo, program director of the New York University Fertility Center, said it is unusual to have enough viable frozen embryos to have three babies, but it's still not unheard of.

"There are plenty of babies born this way," he said.

Mallon said she considers the frozen embryos to be human beings, and mourns the loss of the five embryos that did not result in a baby.

"I grieve for them every single day," she told CNN.

When Andrew was born, she said she cried for two hours, relieved that the siblings created at the same time had been reunited.

"All I could say was, 'We waited so long for you,' " she said. "We were back together as a family."

CNN Medical Producers Caitlin Hagan and Miriam Falco contributed to this report.

soundoff (520 Responses)
  1. online executive coach


    May 5, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. penske truck repair


    May 5, 2021 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. kitchen supplies near me

    Good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!


    May 5, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. anxiety coach


    May 6, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. winnebago camper van

    I blog often and I seriously thank you for your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.


    May 6, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. mack granite

    Hello there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


    May 6, 2021 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. u-haul near me


    May 6, 2021 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. us post office near me

    That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!


    May 6, 2021 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. rv ac repair near me

    I blog quite often and I truly thank you for your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Forklift Service Shop Los Angeles


    May 6, 2021 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. New Forklift Service Shop California


    May 7, 2021 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Forklift Service Los Angeles


    May 7, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. chicken wings near me


    May 7, 2021 at 04:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Forklift Repair Shop Orange County

    This website definitely has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 7, 2021 at 04:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. recreational vehicle repair service


    May 7, 2021 at 06:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Forklift Repair Orange County


    May 7, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mini Kegs For Sale

    Very nice article. I certainly appreciate this website. Continue the good work!


    May 7, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Forklift Repair Orange County


    May 7, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Forklift Parts Los Angeles


    May 7, 2021 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. oc collision

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you need to publish more about this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don't discuss such issues. To the next! Cheers!!


    May 7, 2021 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Google Marketing Quotes

    Hi there! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you've got right here on this post. I am coming back to your blog for more soon.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. how to repair a slide out on a travel trailer

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody having the same RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 7, 2021 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Social Media Marketing Agency Anaheim

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I am going to forward this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 8, 2021 at 02:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Social Media Marketing Near Me

    There is certainly a lot to know about this subject. I really like all the points you've made.


    May 8, 2021 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. geico near me

    You made some good points there. I checked on the net for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 8, 2021 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Internet Marketing Contractors

    Your style is unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page.


    May 8, 2021 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Internet Marketing Businesses

    I used to be able to find good information from your articles.


    May 8, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Seats Los Angeles

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…


    May 8, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Internet Marketing Job


    May 8, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Internet Marketing Services Near Me

    Right here is the perfect web site for anybody who would like to understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for years. Great stuff, just great!


    May 8, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Internet Marketing Service


    May 9, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Social Media Marketing Jobs


    May 9, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Local Marketing Services


    May 9, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Social Media Marketing Agency


    May 9, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Seo Marketing Quotes


    May 9, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Consultants

    After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    May 9, 2021 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Collision Repair California


    May 9, 2021 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me


    May 9, 2021 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Internet Marketing Studio

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the website is also really good.


    May 9, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Thresa Siefferman

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs


    May 10, 2021 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Social Media Marketing Agency Near Me


    May 10, 2021 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Social Media Marketing Jobs

    This page definitely has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 11, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Social Media Marketing Job


    May 11, 2021 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Video Marketing Ideas


    May 11, 2021 at 07:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Internet Marketing Orange County


    May 11, 2021 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Content Marketing Services


    May 11, 2021 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Social Media Marketing Videos

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the website is also really good.


    May 11, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rv collision and restoration

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this info.


    May 11, 2021 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Interior Remodeling Orange County


    May 11, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Blaine Labean

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    May 11, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.