Health & Wellness

Newlyweds startled to find out they're expecting identical quadruplets

Without the help of fertility drugs or any intervention from reproductive technology, Bethani and Tim Webb are about to become the parents of identical quadruplets, all girls.

“It was completely and totally natural. It was very spontaneous,” Bethani, 22, told TODAY. She's expected to deliver in the next few weeks.

The Webbs, who live in a village in rural Alberta, got married last June and found out Bethani was pregnant in September.

In December, the unsuspecting couple went in for an ultrasound to find out when she was due. That’s when the ultrasound tech broke the news.

“She turned the screen and she started counting babies and she counted baby one, baby two, baby three and baby four,” Bethani said.

“I’m definitely glad I was laying down because I could not believe that there were four there. I thought there had to be some kind of mistake… (my husband) almost fainted. He had to sit down for a moment.”

The chance of having quadruplets without fertility drugs is one in 729,000, Dr. James Bofill, a professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi, told TODAY when he treated a Mississippi woman who gave birth to quadruplets in 2014.

But the odds of having identical quadruplets are about one in 15 million pregnancies, according to RaisingMultiples.org.

The Webbs, who are first-time parents, have no history of multiples in their families. They found out the babies were all girls in February, leaving Tim, 23, excited about an all-female household for now, but already apprehensive about what it might be like when his daughters are teenagers, Bethani said.

The mom-to-be is 29 weeks along and doctors are hoping she will get to at least 32 weeks before she gives birth via C-section. Bethani is being monitored at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, until the babies arrive.

The pregnancy, her first, has been going well, with no complications and no signs of early labor. The girls have been “very, very active,” she noted.

“Feeling movement is really strange… I’ll feel movement in one part and then I’ll feel movement in another part. Sometimes two or three will kick at the same time,” Bethani said.

At last check, the quadruplets ranged in weight from 2 pounds, 6 ounces to 2 pounds, 8 ounces. The Webbs have already picked out their names: Abigail, McKayla, Grace and Emily.

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Ultrasound images show the four girls.

Once the babies arrive, they’ll go through about 48 diapers a day, Bethani estimated — just one of the high costs of raising quadruplets.

To help the couple with finances, their hometown of Hythe, Alberta, whose population will jump from 820 to 824 when the girls arrive, held a fundraiser. Friends have also started a GoFundMe page.

Meanwhile, Bethani is counting the days until she sees her four daughters. The couple plans to use bracelets or headbands to tell them apart. Painting their toes different colors might work, too, she said.

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