Jenny Marr would have been forgiven for thinking there was something wrong with her unborn baby when her doctor had a peculiar look on her face during the first ultrasound...
Little did she know Dr. Lauren Murray was about to change her and her partner’s life forever.
Everyone who has been expecting a baby and has made a visit to the sonographer knows how nerve-wracking and exciting it can be.
To see something appear on that black screen and know it’s a living thing is incredibly emotional. But for Jenny Marr and her partner Chris, it was those things and much more.
The couple, from Grapevine, Texas, met in a local pub and had tried to have a baby for several months. But when Jenny finally got pregnant, she and Chris got the shock of their lives when they went in for a routine ultrasound.
That’s when Jenny realized she wasn’t carrying one baby.
Jenny explained to TODAY: “I was like, ‘Oh no, there’s no heartbeat.’ And, she’s like, ‘No, there is a heartbeat.’ She goes, ‘Y’all, there are three babies in there.’ And we were just absolutely floored.”
Jenny and her partner Chris were naturally shocked, but the surprises didn’t end there.
Just a week later, on November 19, 2019, they visited a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for a follow-up appointment and got the same odd glance from the technician performing the ultrasound.
“The tech — who was doing the initial (scan) — gave me a funny look. We were like, ‘Oh what’s going on now?’ We got worried again,’” Chris told TODAY.
“She was really cute. She said, ‘I’m not supposed to say this, but y’all got four babies.’”
In just seven days, they’d gone from expecting one baby to being told they were having FOUR.
Chris said: “I made the joke that I am not coming back because there are going to be five babies next time. We were just shocked. Jumping from three to four was easier to swallow. Just after that, we heard they were healthy.”
Dr. Lauren Murray and her colleagues estimated that identical, spontaneous quadruplet births occur in 1 in 11 million or 1 in 15 million births … extremely rare to put it mildly.
“It’s unbelievable. It’ll never happen again in my career. I said, ‘Girl, go buy a few lottery tickets because those are the kind of odds we’re dealing with,’” Murray said. “What a miracle it was.”
Despite the risks that one of the babies could pull nutrients away from the others, thus requiring surgery and causing problems, it turned out that this quartet was perfectly ready to share.
“The babies shared incredibly well. There were no incidents on the sonogram even leading up to that where we were worried that one of them, or two or three of them, would be significantly smaller,” Murray said.
So it was that at 28.5 weeks, on March 15, Jenny went into labor.
She was trying to get to 33 weeks but had to deliver early. The babies arrived during the beginning of the coronavirus chaos, but her C-section went well.
Baby Harrison came first, weighing 2 pounds and 6 ounces. Hardy came after at 2 pounds 10 ounces, then Henry at 2 pounds 6.7 ounces, and finally Hudson, who was 1 pound 15 ounces.
“They were all born in three minutes. It’s incredible,” Jenny said. “We called them our baby birds because they really looked like baby birds.”
Three of the four stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit for 10 weeks to receive oxygen, amongst other things. In early May, though, they came home … and Jenny and Chris couldn’t be happier.
When a year had passed, Jenny talked to DFW Child and gave an update on how her quadruplets were doing.
”They’re all crawling. I have two who will be walking in the next month probably, which means the other two aren’t far behind. They’re into everything. They’re dirty and messy. They’re already such little boys! Eating is just shoveling food into their face as fast as they possibly can. They’re funny and just sweet as can be.”
“We just hope that this little story and our boys bring as much joy to everybody as they bring to us,” Jenny explained.
Today, the quadruplets have turned 3 years and they seemed to be thriving.
Jenny has created an Instagram account where anyone can follow the family’s journey. She has 140,000 followers and Jenny, who previously worked as a dental assistant, often posts updates and shares glimpses of the Marr family’s everyday life – and it’s a busy one!
With such a unique birth, it is natural that many people have questions and are curious about Jenny’s family and birth experience. Jenny says she conceived these boys without any medical or medication assistance.
Many people also ask Jenny how she’s coping with four lively boys.
”I don’t know anything different, and I don’t really have another option! My family had preschools when I was growing up, and 8 weeks was the starting age. I used to sit in with the preschool babies. I was around kids so much that it is like second nature to take care of children,” Jenny says.
”It is what it is. You’ve got to roll with the punches. I remember asking my doctor, “Do I need to go to parenting classes?” She said, “No, you’re going to learn things in the NICU. And there are four of them. Nobody’s going to teach you how to do this.”
People also wonder how Jenny and Chris managed to tell the boys apart.
”Well as their parents we just kind of know. We typically see 4 different faces, but their personalities and voices are so different. For someone who’s just met them though: (in birth order) Harrison is the biggest and has the best hair. Hardy has a chipped front tooth and is super slender. Henry has a chubby face and his hair bounces when he runs. Hudson has the smallest head and a freckle on his forehead. That’s about all I can give you in regards to how to tell them apart,” Jenny says.
Four precious little babies come into the world … what a truly blessed day March 15 was.
Jenny and Chris, I’m delighted for you both. I can’t imagine the memories you’ll create as a family and the love that will be present in your household.
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