When Jenny Marr went to her first ultrasound exam to get a glimpse of her first child with husband Chris Marr, she noticed the strange expression on her doctor’s face. The soon-to-be mom worried that there was something wrong with her unborn baby.
As she was expecting to hear the worst, Dr. Lauren Murray assured her that everything was fine. But the OB-GYN had some big news: Jenny was having three babies.
The 35-year-old feared that her baby had no heartbeat when, in fact, there were three! Jenny and Chris, 35, were “floored” at this revelation. They’re both only children, and their families had no history of multiples as far as they know.
A week later, on November 19, 2019, the couple visited a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for a follow-up appointment. The tech was performing the scan when she suddenly shot them an odd look.
“The tech — who was doing the initial (scan) — she gave me a funny look. We were like, ‘Oh what’s going on now?’ We got worried again,'” Chris told TODAY. “She was really cute. She said, ‘I’m not supposed to say this, but y’all got four babies.'”
In a week, the first-time parents went from having triplets to quadruplets! Chris even joked that he would not be going to appointments anymore because there will be five babies the next time.
“We were just shocked. Jumping from three to four was easier to swallow. Just after that we heard they were healthy,” he said.
Jenny and Chris were expecting identical, spontaneous quadruplets – a phenomenon so rare it’s even difficult for medical professionals themselves to know how often it has occurred. Murray and her fellow doctors estimate that these types of births happen in 1 in 11 million or 1 in 15 million births. Only 72 cases of it have been recorded in published literature.
Dr. Murray, an OB-GYN at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, told TODAY that Jenny’s birth is such a miracle and that it will never happen again in her career.
“Girl, go buy a few lottery tickets because those are the kind of odds we’re dealing with,'” she jokingly added.
As if having four babies on the way wasn’t enough of a surprise, they also learned that the quadruplets shared one placenta. This means they only have a single source of nourishment, making Jenny’s pregnancy more complicated. They should share well, and if they don’t, one or more of the babies could be undernourished.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Based on the sonograms, all four babies were doing well. On week 28.5 of her pregnancy, Jenny began going into labor.
She’s delivering early, which is typical for women having multiples. But what worried her more was giving birth amid a pandemic. Because of the current situation, she couldn’t help but think negative thoughts.
“For the first time (during my pregnancy) I anticipated the worst,” Jenny said. “Maybe we were going to have sick babies and they were going to be in the NICU.”
Jenny delivered via c-section, and it went well. Her boys, Harrison, Hardy, Henry, and Hudson, were all born in three minutes. They all weighed 1 to 3 pounds, and the couple called them their “baby birds” because of how they looked.
Three of them needed oxygen, so they stayed in the NICU for six weeks and almost two weeks in special care before they were discharged one by one. Henry, the last baby to be released, went home on May 12.
“It is so fantastic to have them home,” the new mom said. “It feels good to have a pattern and feel a little bit more normal.”
The Marrs have been juggling the feedings which happen every three hours. They say telling the boys apart is challenging, but with their “little bitty characteristics,” it becomes easier.
“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,” Chris said.
Together, the couple is working on helping the newborns gain weight. Although they started a family amid a pandemic, one good thing that came out of it was that it allowed them to grow closer together. They’re sharing their incredible experience with the public, hoping that it will make others smile.
Congratulations to the whole family!