At home with

One in a million girls in Wake Forest

Three girls made their appearance in North Carolina this past May and got national attention. Why? Because as identical triplets conceived without the use of fertility treatments, they were, statistically, one-in-a-million. Grace, Stella, and Emily were all born within a few minutes of each other at UNC Hospitals at 33 ½ weeks gestation. After spending two weeks in the NICU, they are all home now in Wake Forest with their parents, Gavin Sr. and Kimberly Fradel, and big brother, Gavin Liam, who just turned 3.

Born on May 6, the girls are just over two months old now, which means their days are spent figuring out what life is about—whether that’s finding a routine as a family or considering their future.

Like many newborns, their schedule revolves around eating, with playtime and constant sleeping in between. With three babies all the same age, keeping everyone on the same schedule is crucial. They all eat at the same time with the help of bottles propped up on Boppy pillows. After feeding comes tummy time or something energetic before they fall asleep and then repeat the process all over again. A natural, non-toxic toenail polish helps distinguish each of the identical daughters quickly, with Grace in yellow, Stella in purple, and Emily in blue.

Nights are taken in shifts, so dad is on duty from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. while mom sleeps and then they switch from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Between that and a spare bed in the girls’ room, they hope to average about five to six hours of sleep a night before starting the day and taking care of all four children together.

“My husband is very hands-on. He is one of those dads that is truly a fifty-fifty partner,” said Kimberly.

Without many extended family members nearby, they have been thankful for all of the support they have received locally. After they found out they were expecting triplets, pack ‘n plays, car seats, clothes, and a tower of diapers were given to them by friends and people throughout their community.

Big brother Gavin Liam plays a big part in the lives of the girls as well. While he has Down syndrome, he is all toddler and loves his sisters. Great at adapting to different situations, laughing fully, and loving freely, Kimberly says he is an amazing older brother and will be a great role model for them.

As a family, they love being together and emphasize kindness and serving others. Gavin Sr. is a teacher and Kimberly is an oncology social worker, so they want their children to each find their own ways of giving back.

Gavin Sr. says his wife is very attentive in making sure everyone’s needs are taken care of both as a social worker and at home, adding, “With the girls and also my son, she’s going to make sure that we are all open and accepting of one another and being able to communicate.”

Although their children are still young, the future is never far off. What big things do they hope for their children?

“Number one—to be happy in whatever they do, find joy in everything that they do,” said Gavin Sr. “Don’t be afraid to try new things...I’d encourage that because that’s the only way we can build confidence. I want them to be good people and be accepting of others and just to be happy and confident in life.”

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