On Jenny Marr’s 34th birthday, she and her husband decided it was time to start trying for a baby. Both only children, Jenny Marr, 35, and her husband, Chris Marr, 35, live in Dallas. They would have been happy with just one child – a compact family of four, including their dog Zeke.
On Oct. 6, she took a pregnancy test: It was positive. The couple began counting down the days until they could finally see their baby on a sonogram screen, eager to hear the sound of a steady heartbeat. Little did they know, though, that they had not one, not two, not three, but four heartbeats to hear and four sonogram images to study.
Jenny Marr was carrying a quartet of medical marvels: identical quadruplets, of which there are only 72 cases recorded in medical literature, according to her obstetrician, Lauren Murray. Naturally, the first ultrasound was far from what the Marrs had anticipated.
“Dr. Murray began doing the sonogram, and all of a sudden she got this funny look on her face and turned the screen away from us,” said Jenny Marr. “I immediately started thinking something was wrong with the heartbeat. I told her it was okay and that she could tell me if there was a problem.”
After about six minutes of sʜᴏᴄᴋ and silence, the tears started streaming for both parents-to-be. “It sounds horrible to say, but I don’t know if it was necessarily tears of joy. We were completely overwhelmed and frankly, terrified,” said Chris Marr. “The fact that we didn’t have any medical intervention, and no history of multiples in either of our families, made the news a total sʜᴏᴄᴋ,” added Jenny Marr.
The couple had somewhere in the range of a 1 in 11 million to 1 in 15 million chance of ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠɪɴɢ these babies, Rinehart said. “Twins, triplets, and even quads have gone way up with assisted reproductive technologies. But naturally ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ identical quadruplets is something we just don’t really see,” Rinehart said.
He said any pregnancy is ʀɪsᴋʏ, but in this case, the ʀɪsᴋs are multiplied by four. For the mother, carrying multiple babies comes with an increased risk of high ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ pressure, ɢᴇsᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ ᴅɪᴀʙᴇᴛᴇs and other health issues. Fortunately for her, the pregnancy was smooth, and the babies grew equally well, until the final curveball came: the ᴄᴏʀᴏɴᴀᴠɪʀᴜs ᴘᴀɴᴅᴇᴍɪᴄ.
On March 15, at 28 weeks into her pregnancy, Jenny Marr went into early labor, just when ᴄᴏᴠɪᴅ-19 protocols were being put into place and hospitals across the country were preparing for the worst. That was the first time she really let herself worry. But the C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ was successful, and within three minutes, Harrison, Hardy, Henry and Hudson came into the world.
“It’s exhilarating every time I deliver a baby,” Murray said. “But to deliver identical quads was just incredible.”
All four boys came out strong and healthy, and even the tiniest baby – weighing 1 pound, 15 ounces – didn’t require oxygen support.
The Marr parents said they’re relishing every moment with their boys, watching as they grow and change every day. “They all have such different personalities already,” said Chris Marr. “It’s incredible to watch.” The identical boys wear different-colored ankle bracelets to help distinguish them. “I still can’t believe we created these tiny humans,” said Jenny Marr. “All in one shot.”