Cormac, Kevin and Declan Lyons are miracle babies.
The trio, born to Desmond and Kerry Lyons on October 10, are identical triplets, a very rare phenomenon which is all the more astounding because they were conceived naturally. Identical triplets are as rare as in one in one hundred million births according to some experts.
Desmond, 41, whose father was born in Co. Cork, and Kerry, 37, whose Irish roots lie in Munster also, welcomed the Irish Voice into their home on Monday, 10 days after the birth of their bundle of joys and four days after they arrived home.
The triplets join three-year-old son Liam and one-year-old daughter Ciara, and their dog Finnegan, making it quite a growing family tree.
Desmond and Kerry both agree that their adorable babies have already brought tremendous joy into their now very busy lives.
"Aren't they just handsome!" smiled Kerry proudly.
Liam, who has been crowned "Chief of the Little People" by his mom and dad, returns from visiting friends to proudly introduce his brothers.
"This is Cormac," he said as he points to a beautiful baby dressed in green. "And this is," he pauses, turns to his mom and asks, "Who is this?"
"This is Kevin and that is Declan," she smiles back at him. "Oh ya," he nods in confirmation.
Little Ciara, who wakes from her nap with a smile and joins the rest of her family on the porch, tells her mother she wants to kiss her new brothers. Gently she reaches over each of the three babies - Kevin in Dad's arms and Cormac and Declan in Mom's - and plants a loving kiss on their foreheads.
"Again," she asks. Kerry, 37, obliges. "She is dad's little princess," whispers Kerry.
In the short space of feeding their sons on the porch, several neighbors popped by to bring dinner or offer a helping hand to the Lyonses. "Our neighbors have been just great. I really don't know what we will do when we have to start going back to cooking," laughed Kerry.
Desmond, who visited Ireland regularly as a child with his parents, is a partner in the Lyons/McGovern law firm in Sleepy Hollow with a second office in Manhattan. Lyons is also active in a variety of business and trade related organizations such as the Ireland-U.S. Council for Commerce and Industry, the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. and the Westchester County Association.
Being a busy man before the arrival of the triplets - Desmond is also the president of the Brehon Law Society in Westchester County and serves as village prosecutor for the Village of Irvington, the Village of Elmsford and the Village of Sleepy Hollow - he is now doing a great job dividing his time between work and family life.
When the kids all get a little older, and a routine has been firmly put in place, Lyons said it is his dream to bring the family to Ireland to show them the birthplace of their grandfather, Michael, who passed away a few years ago, months after being honored by Irish America magazine as a Top 100 Irish Americans honoree.
"We'll have to bring them there to kiss the Blarney Stone," jokes Desmond.
In the meantime, little Liam tells him he "must" go back to visit his friends across the street. Weeks away from his fourth birthday, Liam is never short for words.
Kerry, who works as a client service director with Mindset Media, an Internet ad network for brands located in Manhattan, is hoping to return to work in the New Year. "Well, that is the plan for now but we will have to see how we can work it out with these little boys," she said as she continues to feed one of the triplets.
It was at her 10-week ultrasound that Kerry discovered the "shocking yet wonderful" news that she was expecting a "multitude of babies."
Planning for just one more child to complete their family, Kerry and Desmond, who met when they were both volunteers for the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, said it was a total shock, but they were absolutely delighted.
While facing practical concerns like where were they going to fit all the children in their modest three bedroom home and how will they fit five car seats in their mid size vehicle (which, by the way they have done nicely, even though Ciara and Liam have to be put into the car through the trunk), the Lyonses, who have been married six years, began preparing for the arrival of the triplets months before they were born.
"Ciara and Liam used to have their own room but now they share and thankfully it is working out great so far," said Desmond.
Concerned about many things, including the possibility of the babies being born premature and underweight - a regular occurrence with twins and triplets - the Lyonses prayed that everything would work out fine, and it did.
The triplets arrived after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Most pregnancies last 40 weeks, but the average for triplets is 32, according to the couple.
Kevin was born weighing 6 pounds, Declan was 5 pounds, 8 ounces and Cormac was 5 pounds, 3 ounces.
Kerry, who is looking radiant after the births, admitted she was very scared while lying in the operating room at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan the day of their birth because of the risks involved with having triplets.
However, her worry was in vain. All three boys were delivered via a cesarean section and arrived as healthy as each other.
Kerry said that the staff at the hospital "were just phenomenal," creating a relaxing atmosphere for her before, during and after the birth.
On choosing their names, Cormac, Kevin and Declan, Lyons said it was important to them to keep their Irish heritage alive through giving all five of their children Irish names.
Having to be fed every three hours, Kerry said they are aiming to have all three boys fed within an hour so they can have two hours to spend time with Ciara and Liam and prepare for the next feeding.
A baby nurse is currently helping out with the triplets, but she will be finishing up in the next few days and then, they said, the fun will really begin.
Kerry, who is still recuperating after her operation, said her mother and father, Katie and Kevin O'Connor, are elated at the birth of their triplets and have been wonderful in lending a helping hand. "They are just delighted," she said.
Creating a system to identify each of the children, Kerry explains that for the moment color and order are the way they distinguish each child from the other. Cormac is always dressed in green, Declan in blue and Kevin is everything else.
Each baby is placed in the same order in their crib and car seats to avoid confusion. "We haven't yet had to paint their toenails to tell them apart," laughs Kerry.
They also keep them in the same order when taking photos so when the boys grow up they will know who is who.
Asked if there are any differences at all between the three boys, Kerry said apart from a v shape at the back of Kevin's neck on his hairline, they are identical. "We have to write everything down just to be on the safe side," said Kerry.
Kerry and Desmond credit their church, the Immaculate Conception in Irvington, for being an "absolute wonderful support." Said Kerry, "They put an announcement in the weekly bulletin about the pregnancy and there was an overflowing of diapers and lots of baby stuff from the congregation."
In fact, the Lyonses' dining room table is piled high with diapers and baby products all donated from fellow church members and neighbors in their quiet cul de sac street in the village of Irvington.
"People have been just wonderful," said Desmond.
Liam's pre-school, the Good Shepherd Early Childhood Center in Irvington, have also set up a dinner drive for the family to alleviate some of the pressures of daily life for them.
Looking forward to what the future has to offer, Kerry and Desmond and their five bundles of joys (and not forgetting Finnegan) will spend as much quality time together as a family.
There will be, however, "no more babies," smiles Kerry.
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