A woman couldn’t believe her ears or eyes when doctors revealed she was expecting quadruplets. Due to the ʀɪsᴋs involved, medical professionals suggested she keep only two of the four babies – but the mother refused. While one doctor agreed with Kendall’s ᴏʙsᴛᴇᴛʀɪᴄɪᴀɴ’s advice, another was uncertain. Kendall recalled them saying she should go ahead with the pregnancy because she had had no issues thus far.
The couple knew Kendall needed to reach the 28-week ᴛᴇʀᴍ if they wanted their babies to survive. It was challenging, but they persevered and chose to keep all four ᴜɴʙᴏʀɴ ɪɴꜰᴀɴᴛs. The pregnancy was sᴛʀᴇssꜰᴜʟ for Kendall. By week 25, Kendall and her husband moved closer to the ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ ꜰᴀᴄɪʟɪᴛʏ, and at the 28-week mark, she went into ʟᴀʙᴏʀ.
It was a three-day ordeal, but Kendall experienced no pain. She couldn’t believe she had gone into labor, and the doctors worked hard to bring all four children into the world safe and sound.
Molly, Quinn, Indie and Hudson, New Zealand’s first set of quads in at least two decades, were born on August 15 at 28 weeks and four days, ranging in weight from 1.1 to 1.3kg. The four were born within three minutes of each other and their birth followed months of hospital appointments, sᴜʀɢᴇʀɪᴇs, and stays at Ronald McDonald House and in Christchurch ahead of the birth.
While it has been more than 20 years since quads were born in New Zealand, the MacDonald four are also special as Kendall and Josh tried for three years to have another child after the birth of Brooklyn, ʟᴏsɪɴɢ a child along the way.
The quads are made up of identical twin girls who shared the same ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇɴᴛᴀ and fraternal twins – a boy and a girl. “We tried for so long to have another child,” Kendall said.
Kendall and Josh MacDonald, along with their 3-year-old son Brooklyn, have been adjusting to being back at home with four 13-week-old babies for the past few months. Changing about 30 nappies a day, going through endless tins of formula and opening their home to a whirlwind of visitors are all part of the daily routine for the MacDonald family, of Timaru, as they settle into life with newborn quadruplets.
Kendall said life for the family was “exhausting and busy” but she had the support of family and friends. She said support also came in the form of a nanny, employed with the help of Work and Income Multiple Birth Home Help Payments. The payment allows those who have given birth to triplets, or more, to receive up to 1560 hours of help, to be used within 24 months.
The family have also been supplied with disposable nappies by Rascal and Friends, had assistance with a compatible vehicle through Christchurch’s Wheeler Motor Company and have been given a supply of formula for a year, saving them “thousands,” she said. She said Josh’s employer, Fonterra, had been “very understanding and supportive. If it hadn’t been for Josh’s work and mine [LJ Hooker], when I was pregnant, I don’t know what we would have done. They’ve been so supportive.”
She said the house was a bit like a train station at the moment, with medical visitors and friends and family stopping by to help the couple out. “The number of people that do want to help us has been amazing.”
Kendall has now had to write everything down in a diary because of lack of sleep and caring for four babies. The family’s washing machine is now constantly in use too, she said. “It’s trying to remember four things at once.”
Leaving the hospital to come home had been a “terrifying” experience, she said. “We spent about 95 days in hospital and leading up to coming home, we were getting quite anxious. We imagined never sleeping. We were terrified.”
However, she said she was managing to get a “decent” amount of sleep. The babies are in a good routine and if one is woken to feed, the other three are woken too.
Kendall started a Facebook page to deal with the interest from throughout the country, following the couple’s shock discovery that they were having quads at a specialised scan. A Givealittle page has also been set up for the family to help pay a nanny for more hours.