When Jason and Brittany Deen of Sacramento discussed having a family, they decided to have one baby, maybe two.
"Three, we agreed, was too many," Jason Deen said, grinning Wednesday as he held two of his three triplet sons in the maternity ward at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento.
The fraternal triplets, born last Thursday, have not only shaken up the Deens' family plans but have tentatively smashed a world record for birth weight for triplets.
Sidney weighed in at a whopping 7 pounds, 8 ounces, while his brother Elliott tipped the scales at 7 pounds, 3 ounces, and Jenson squeaked by at 5 pounds, 5 ounces.
The boys' total weight of 20 pounds means they have a shot at landing a spot in Guinness World Records.
Brittany Deen, who conceived the boys naturally, was determined to carry her triplets to full term, and ate as much as 6,000 calories a day to keep the babies growing as normally as possible.
At 37 weeks, the boys were delivered by Caesarean section.
Under the direction of Sutter Memorial's Moms of Multiples Center, or MOMs, Deen learned how to eat for four, including consuming a dozen eggs a day, and eating high-calorie, high-protein meals about every two hours.
She attended weekly classes and appointments to learn about the physical, as well as the psychological, effects of having triplets.
"Being a mom of a multiple birth is really scary," said Deen, 32, an oncology nurse at UC Davis Medical Center. "You hear of complications and challenges. I hope that seeing me and hearing about my positive experience will inspire other mothers not to be scared, and will help others to realize they're not alone."
The hospital recorded the birth weights and the couple are submitting paperwork to Guinness. If their application is accepted, the new family would beat out a North Carolina couple who had triplets weighing a total of 18 pounds, 11 ounces, in 2011.
Brittany started a blog, JasonandBrittanyDeen@blogspot.com, to document her pregnancy and delivery.
"I feel pretty darn good," she said Wednesday afternoon. She gained 85 pounds during the pregnancy and already has shed 50 pounds since delivery.
"I feel justified, like all that weight gain and back pain was for a purpose," she said.
Two of the boys, Jenson and Elliott, are home with their parents and a support network of family and friends, while Sidney remains in the hospital because his appetite isn't as good as doctors would like.
"I want Sidney to come home," Brittany Deen said. "Then, I want them to be good brothers to each other, to be good people, to take care of others and love their family."
Dr. William Gilbert, medical director of the Sutter Women's Center, founded MOMs four years ago because of the jump in multiple births at Sutter Memorial. In one recent year, the hospital had eight sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.