When Jenny Marr went to her first ultrasound exam to get a peek at her first child with husband Chris Marr.
She asked Dr. Lauren Murray if there was a problem.
She goes, ‘Oh, there’s three babies in there.’ And we were just absolutely floored.”
So when they later discovered their three babies would actually be four — a set of identical quadruplets — the couple was shocked.
In one short week they went from having triplets to quadruplets.
“I made the joke that I am not coming back because there are going to be five babies next time,” Chris said.
“We were just shocked. Jumping from three to four was easier to swallow. Just after that we heard they were healthy.”
The Marrs, from Dallas, Texas, had both been raised as only children, and neither had a family history of multiple births. Jenny wasn’t on fertility treatments either.
Experts say a naturally occurring pregnancy of quadruplets is exceedingly rare, happening about once in every 11 million births.
“This situation is so incredibly rare that there are only about 72 documented cases of spontaneous, identical quadruplets ever,” Dr. Brian Rinehart of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said.
The Marrs’ shock continued when they learned that all four babies shared one placenta, which made the pregnancy more complicated.
They all relied on that placenta for their nourishment, which meant if they didn’t share well, one (or more) could be in trouble.
“The risk was that one of the babies can develop stronger and basically take away from the other babies,” Chris explained.
The doctor said that might require surgery and the couple worried again. But their doctors reassured them that they would address issues if they arose.
“The babies shared incredibly well. There were no incidents on the sonogram even leading up to that where we were worried that one of them, or two or three of them, would be significantly smaller,” Murray said.
When Marr was 28.5 weeks pregnant, labor started. On top of delivering early, hospitals across the country were changing their policies because of COVID-19.
But her cesarean section delivery went well and Marr, her husband and mother watched as the doctors at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas pulled baby after baby out on March 15. Harrison was first, he weighed 2 pounds 6 ounces. Hardy was next he was 2 pounds 10 ounces, then Henry who was 2 pounds 6.7 ounces and Hudson was last at 1 pound 15 ounces.
“They were all born in three minutes. It’s incredible,” Marr said. “We called them our baby birds because they really looked like baby birds.”
Three of the babies needed oxygen and all four stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit for about 10 weeks. The babies came home in early May. So far, the Marrs have been juggling the feedings, which happen every three hours and take at least an hour to feed all of them. Telling the boys apart is tough.
“They each have little bitty characteristics,” Chris said.
“When we sit down and look at them we can figure out who they are but if you just look at them from a distance, they all look the same.
Thank God, Hudson’s a little smaller than everybody else and quieter.”
While the couple is working on helping the babies gain weight, they’re enjoying that social distancing and quarantine has allowed their family to grow closer.
It was a very surreal time and it’s one of those things that we will probably look back on in a couple of years, hopefully, when everything’s back to normal like.
‘Wow that was crazy,” Chris said.
“We just hope that this little story and our boys bring as much joy to everybody as they bring to us,” Marr said.