Newly wedded couple Tim and Bethani Webb from Alberta, Canada was excited to start their own family. So, when they learned that they were already expecting just shortly after tying the knot, their happiness could not be contained. But, during a routine ultrasound, they discovered something that shook both their lives.
An expecting couple got the surprise of a lifetime when they went in for an ultrasound and heard the doctor say as she pointed to the screen, “Here’s baby one . . . and baby two and three and four.”
But as the doctors looked more closely at the newborns’ faces, they discovered something truly jaw-dropping. Tim and Bethani Webb conceived their identical quadruplet girls naturally, which their nurse said was a one in 67 million chance that put their small Canadian town of 900 on the map for a one-in-a-million birth. Their town Hythe is in Alberta on the border of British Colombia.
The four girls: Abigail, Grace, Emily, and McKayla are what is known as ‘perfect quadruplets’, in other words, they are completely identical. This occurs when just one of the mother’s eggs are fertilised, which then splits into two, combining the chromosomes of the mother and the father.
The odds of birth such as this one occurring is 1 in 15 million, and the only way to know for sure is through a DNA test performed after the birth.
It took about an hour to deliver the babies, who ranged in weight from three pounds to four-pounds-one-ounce and had no serious health issues. The girls remain in the hospital’s neonatal unit and doctors have told the Webbs they will probably be able to return to Hythe in about seven weeks.
“With the high-risk nature of the pregnancy, there was always talk that there was some risk of delivering very early,” said Dr. Billy Wong, the couple’s obstetrician. “For us to get to this date in the pregnancy, almost 33 weeks, we were actually very fortunate.”
The parents of four initially planned on staying in their one-bedroom apartment after having their first baby, but since learning they were to become a family of six they have had to consider other options, including moving in with Tim’s mother.
“I realised that we didn’t have a vehicle that could support four babies,” Bethani said.
“We were only planning for one and we’d only bought one crib, and we were only planning on buying one car seat. And then, all of a sudden, it’s going from one to four, and having to find the car seats and find the vehicle and find the cribs and find the space.”
To help with ongoing expenses, family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page for the family. Locals in the couple’s Alberta neighborhood have also rallied around and held fundraising events.
Raising quadruplets is a daunting challenge, but the Webbs are still more than willing to take it on. Proud dad Tim told Global News, “I’m looking forward to the memories and how close they’ll all be.” And Bethani added, “It’s going to be crazy the first few years… [But] it’ll be very exciting.”