When a Georgia mother found out she was pregnant again, she naturally thought it would be her second child. She was stunned to think that she had been told she was pregnant with quadruplets during a checkup weeks later. Now, the “two boys and two girls” quadruplets who were born safely are 5 months old and thriving.
Madison Collier, from Marietta, said she had not had any ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ and had no family history of multiple births, so it was definitely “the biggest shock of my life”.
The 34-year-old teacher said she was alone for an eight-week routine medical check-up last April but did not expect a huge surprise.
“I was terrified, breathless for a moment, and ended up calling my husband, Justin Collier, who was also very shocked,” she said. The couple then shared the good news with their then 3-year-old daughter Isla.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the chance of conceiving quadruplets naturally is only 1 in 700,000.
Madison recalls her pregnancy, despite the pain, as her belly was stretched to accommodate her four growing babies, she was healthy.
The quadruplets came into the world “anxiously” on September 3, 2021, when their mother was 28 weeks pregnant, nearly three months earlier than their due date on November 26, and once again surprised their parents.
The quadruplets Callaway, Eliza, Iris and Wilder were born soon after each other, weighing between 2lb 5oz to 2lb 10oz (1.13kg-1.19 kg). After the safe birth, they were immediately sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for a period of specialized treatment and care.
While the babies were in the NICU, the Colliers visited the hospital every day.
“At first we couldn’t hold them, but very quickly we did,” Madison said. “After a while, we started helping with changing clothes and feeding, and then they stopped needing oxygen, which was really great.”
She recalled that only Callaway went through “the most difficult period,” but all the babies returned home after more than two months in the hospital.
After being discharged from the hospital, the couple had to take care of four newborns at the same time, which was a little overwhelming at first.
Dressing, undressing, changing diapers, bathing and formulating take up most of their time, and feeding every three hours for an hour each. These tedious tasks seriously disrupt their sleep habits, making them only able to sleep for two hours straight. According to Madison, they were literally “exhausted.”
But now, Madison says five-month-olds, who can sleep about five hours straight each night and take naps during the day, are now “very normal babies.”
However, the cost of caring for five children at the same time is not a small expense. To address this, they have a GoFundMe page, and they also have support from the Marietta community.
“It’s a huge blessing,” Madison said.
“We’re really lucky that the quadruplets are ‘very cute’ and very well behaved and are developing their own unique personalities,” said the proud mum. “Almost like a teacher” to her younger siblings, with whom she reads and plays. In addition, she also helped to prepare milk powder, choose clothes, coax children and so on.