The likelihood of having identical triplets is less than 1%.

Jeff Phillips and Rebeca Manjon were surprised to learn, after three years of trying to have a second child, that Manjon was pregnant with twins.

Then, When Manjon began experiencing a lot of pain in her pelvic area during her pregnancy, the doctor gave the couple yet another shock.

“He said, ‘I think there’s another baby in there,’” Phillips said.

Several months later, Anna, Leah and Hailey Phillips were born on Tuesday, at about 2:50 p.m., by planned C-section at UF Health Shands Hospital.

Manjon, who is originally from Spain where it is traditional to keep one's last name after marriage, carried the babies for 35 weeks, which is slightly shorter than the average time of 38-40 weeks. During this time she endured a lot of pain and difficulties moving around, Phillips said.

“My wife is a strong woman,” he said.

Phillips and Manjon met about eight years ago while Phillips, who is now an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Shands, was in residency at a hospital in Louisiana and Manjon lived in Houston.

Right away, Phillips said, he knew Manjon, who teaches Spanish, was the person he wanted to marry.

“It’s just one of those things you know,” he said. They both had a love for the piano, traveling and a lighthearted sense of humor.

They both also wanted to start a family. Three and a half years ago, their daughter, Chloe Phillips, was born.

Now Phillips plans to use his knowledge raising her to do the same thing over again, times three.

“We never expected to have triplets,” Phillips said. “But we are so blessed to have these three beautiful, healthy girls in our lives.”

Manjon and Phillips used in vitro fertilization, but were told to expect only a single egg plantation in the process. Even using IVF, the chance of a triplet pregnancy is less than 1%.

Manjon is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday or Friday, but the babies may have to stay for another week in the neonatal intensive care unit, Phillips said.

“I just can’t wait to welcome them to our family and show them the beautiful world,” he said.

Although their dad has only known them for about a day, Phillips said some early personality traits seem to be emerging.

“I think that Anna’s going to be the alpha,” he said.

Leah, on the other hand, is calm and more quiet.

“Hailey is the kicker,” Phillips said with a laugh. “Maybe she’ll be a soccer player or the athlete.”