Chicago mom has quadruplets; no fertility drugs involved

November 19, 2012 3:03:14 PM PST
A newborn can be overwhelming enough. Now imagine four tiny babies all at once. That's the new reality for a Chicago mom who has given birth to quadruplets.

And, if that isn't unusual enough, these babies are natural, meaning no fertility drugs were involved.

Specialists at University of Illinois Hospital were preparing for months to bring these high-risk babies into the world, and they are now here, but this was no easy journey.

Nashondra Henderson knew she had defied the odds, and she was hoping do it again by giving birth to four healthy little girls.

Henderson, 25, is already a mother to three boys, 7-year-old Alex and 5-year-old twins Kylyn and Gavin. She thought her family was complete. She says doctors told her a cyst on her uterus probably meant no more babies.

But Henderson's her body had other plans.

"This is very shocking to all of us I believe, the doctors, me, everybody," Henderson said.

It is estimated natural quads occur in about 1 out of 500,000 pregnancies. But doctors suspect one of the eggs split, creating identical twins.

Henderson was sent to the University of Illinois Hospital high-risk maternity program. Multiples are risky enough, but the identical twins were sharing the same sac, a potentially dangerous situation.

"What can happen is, the cords can entangle and cut off oxygen supply to the babies at any time," said Dr. Dalia Wenckus, OB-GYN, University of Illinois Hospital.

And then, last Thursday, there were signs the babies were in distress. A little more than 31 weeks into the pregnancy, it was time for the quads to make their debut.

"I will never forget this delivery," said Wenckus. "It was one of the coolest deliveries I could ever hope to be involved in."

With a team of at least two dozen doctors and nurses, the babies were delivered by C-section. And they came out fast: Within three minutes all four were born.

"I was so overwhelmed I couldn't even cry," said Henderson, "I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, there are four people in this world I am going to have to take care of.' "

Meet Micha, Maryissa, and the identical twins M'Kiyla and M'Kayla. They weighed in between 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds each and were remarkably healthy with all their fingers and toes.

"Survival is good at 31 weeks, more than 95 percent, so we are confident they will do well," said Dr. Sachin Amin, Neonatologist, Univ. of Illinois Hospital.

It had been about 10 years since UIC last delivered quads. They were the result of fertility medicine.


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