Madison Collier, a reading teacher in Georgia, went in to confirm her pregnancy with an early ultrasound at about eight weeks. It was all routine until the doctor informed Collier that he didn’t see one baby in her uterus. He saw four.
Collier told Insider that she started hyperventilating, but she still wasn’t sure the doctor was telling the truth. “I honestly couldn’t believe it until he showed me on the screen,” she said.
Sharing the surprise
Convinced that she was carrying four babies, Collier called Justin.
“It’s literally the shock of a lifetime,” Collier said. He added that “no one expects quads,” especially “not natural ones.”
The Colliers’ older daughter, Isla, was 3 at the time and curious about what was going on, with her dad lying on the floor and her mom crying on the phone. Justin told her she was going to have four younger siblings instead of one.
“She said, ‘Do we have a plan for four babies?'” Collier said. “And Justin told her that we did not.”
One in 1 million
Collier’s quads are two boys and two girls. But since the babies all had their own placenta, it’s unclear whether any of them are identical twins. A simple genetic test could confirm whether they’re identical.
Carrying four babies increases the risk for complications to both mother and babies. One of the most common complications is preterm birth. Collier experienced that when the quads were delivered at about 28 weeks of gestation. The babies’ weight ranged from 2 pounds and 5 ounces to 2 pounds and 10 ounces, and they needed to stay in the neonatal intensive-care unit.
Life with 5 kids
Today the quads — Calloway, Eliza, Iris, and Wilder — are 4 months old. A typical day involves changing about 30 diapers and feeding the babies every three hours.
“It’s a lot of work, but they’re very sweet,” Collier said. “Sometimes they support each other in crying, so it gets really loud occasionally.”
“They’re actually really good babies,” she said. “They’ve started to smile and make sweet cooing noises. It’s the best!”