Courtesy Pazdernik family
January 10, 2015 09:00 AM

When Terri and Peter Pazdernik found out they were having triplets back in July, they were thrilled – and terrified.

“It was hard to believe,” Terri, 32, a social worker in Twin Valley, Minnesota, tells PEOPLE.

But then came the true shocker: The triplets-to-be were identical.

Studies have shown the chances of identical triplets range from one in 70,000 to one in two million, according to Terri’s doctor, Dr. Peter Van Eerden at Sanford Health.

The couple, who already have a 6-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, did not use fertility treatments, which can increase the chances of multiple births.

The trio of newborns arrived, auspiciously, on New Year’s Eve. The three girls are named Hannah, Natalie and Elise.

“We are just two regular people who are blessed with three babies who all look the same,” Terri tells PEOPLE.

Last March, the couple moved back to Terri’s hometown, which has only about 800 residents. Now, three of them will look exactly alike.

“It’s like having one big family,” Terri says. “Our community will even be coming together to host a pancake benefit and silent auction to help us raise money for baby-related expenses.”

The hardest thing for the couple right now is living an hour away from their babies. Born at just 32 weeks, they are growing stronger with each day but can’t leave the hospital just yet.

“It’s heartbreaking not being able to see them every second of the day,” Terri says. “But they will soon be able to come home and we can truly start our life together.”

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