Haylee Ladner, the Mississippi woman who welcomed quintuplets last month, is sharing photos of her baby bump.
Haylee and Shawn Ladner’s five babies — daughters, Adalyn, Everleigh, Malley, Magnolia, and son Jake — were delivered at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on Feb. 16. The four girls are identical quadruplets.
Though the couple isn’t ready to introduce their five infants to the world — they are still very small — Haylee is more than happy to give TODAY.com readers a glimpse of what she looked like while pregnant.
“There was constant movement, all the time. But I absolutely loved it,” Haylee, 26, tells TODAY.com. “Doctors would ask me, ‘Are you sleeping at all?’ And I was like, ‘Yes. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.”
Haylee notes that she experienced two devastating miscarriages prior to conceiving the quintuplets, and was comforted by all the kicks.
“I knew they were OK if I could feel them,” she says.
Haylee, a middle school teacher, carried the quints until 28 weeks gestation, which is common for higher-order multiples. Her technical due date was May 10.
“It got pretty crowded in there at the end, and it got pretty hard to walk around. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she says.
Quintuplets occur in roughly one in 60 million births, according to Dr. Rachael Morris, an associate professor of maternal fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
The odds of having identical quadruplets are about one in 15 million.
Adalyn, Everleigh, Malley, Magnolia, and Jake are receiving care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), but all are off of ventilators and breathing on their own.
“These babies are our miracles. They have defied so many odds,” Haylee says. “They’re doing better than anyone could have hoped for.”
Jake is the biggest of the bunch, weighing in at 2 pounds, 5 ounces at birth. But Haylee says his sisters are quickly catching up with him.
Haylee and Shawn conceived the quintuplets via intrauterine insemination (IUI) in 2022. An IUI is when healthy sperm is placed in the uterus as close to the time of ovulation as possible.
Shawn, 26, recalls nearly passing out when five heartbeats appeared on the screen at Haylee’s first ultrasound. He was worried about the safety of his wife and their babies.
“I was petrified,” he tells TODAY.com. “The nurse said I turned completely pale. I actually had to sit on the bed with Haylee because I felt like I couldn’t stay standing up.”
After the babies were born, "He just cried and thanked God because he was so happy we were all OK," Haylee says.
The babies are now 2 weeks old, and each has their own distinct personality. Haylee and Shawn predict Everleigh will be the leader of the pack. The day after she was born, Everleigh removed her breathing apparatus.
“Everleigh did not like her bubble CPAP, so she grabbed it with both hands hunkered down with her legs, and pulled it out,” Haylee says. “And the whole time, she’s just looking up at us with her big blue eyes like, ‘You can’t stop me. I’m going to do what I want to do.’"