DALLAS, TEXAS — One in 11 million. Those were the odds a Dallas family had when they walked into their first OB-GYN appointment late last year and walking out expectant parents to natural, identical quadruplets.
Following that initial appointment, Jenny and Chris Marr were now expectant parents of identical triplets. A week later though, the couple learned their egg had actually split four ways, meaning identical quadruplets were on the way — a one in 11 million birth for which there are only about 72 documented cases.
“This situation is so incredibly rare that there are only about 72 documented cases of spontaneous, identical quadruplets ever,” stated Lauren Murray, M.D., the obstetrician-gynecologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas who was the lead physician for the Marr quads.
Both Chris and Jenny are only children and had no history of multiples in their family.
A C-section was scheduled for 34 weeks but the boys had different plans — arriving at 28 weeks.
On March 15, 2020, the family welcomed Hudson, Harrison, Henry, and Hardy into the world at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
The boys were born a day before stay-at-home and social-distancing guidelines were put in place in Dallas County due to the COVID-19 pandemic which presented unique challenges for the hospital staff and the expectant parents.
“The good news is I think pregnant women are naturally more motivated to follow the rules to keep themselves safe and like to see all these precautions we’re taking,” stated Murray. “Jenny was an easy-going patient in that respect. She understood everything we were doing was for the safety of her and her babies. Because of that she did great, with absolutely no complications other than preterm labor, which is not unusual for multiples.”
A team of 24 caregivers were present during delivery, which is not unusual for a quad birth, as a small care team, including a nurse, respiratory therapist and neonatologist was ready for each baby.
“While we follow strict safety and quality guidelines for all our deliveries, the rare occasion of quadruplets being born during this time definitely created a buzz throughout the hospital,” stated Dede Scholl R.N., nursing manager of the Texas Health Dallas NICU.
“The babies were able to go home when they were feeding well and gained enough weight, and this happened at different times,” stated Cyndi Kelley, DNP, RNC-LRN, manager of the special care nursery at Texas Health Dallas.
After a 10-week stay in the NICU, they were transferred to the Special Care Nursery on April 25, where they stayed for a little less than a month. Henry, the last baby to be discharged, went home May 12, according to a press release from the Texas Health Resources.
“I knew that if God was going to give us this gift that we were going to be fine,” Jenny said of having four babies in the middle of a pandemic. “I just knew that we were going to be healthy and that everything was just going to be alright.”
“I was appreciative and impressed by all the precautions that were taken during our stay and the attention to detail in the care we received the entire time we spent with the boys at Texas Health Dallas,” stated Chris.
“It’s little things that make such a difference when you're here for a long time. To be able to have people that care, and truly love you, and truly care about you, that’s been the most wonderful part,” Jenny said. “I can’t wait until the day we can go back to the hospital for a visit and hug each other.”