A mother who gave birth to identical quadruplets amid the coronavirus pandemic has opened up about what life is like with her 20-month-old sons, saying she and her husband change 24 diapers a day and spend $300 a week on groceries.
Jenny Marr, 36, from Texas, and her husband Chris welcomed their four boys — Hudson, Harrison, Henry, and Hardy — on March 15, 2020, when much of the country was going into lockdown and hospitals were implementing severe visitation restrictions.
Nearly two years later, the parents are inundated with never-ending diaper changes and trips to the grocery store, but they wake up every day grateful for their ’15 million to one miracles.’
‘Life has completely changed for Chris and I now that we suddenly have four babies to look after,’ Jenny told The Sun. ‘We go through 1.5 gallons of milk every couple of days, and I do try and cook homemade food, but sometimes I’m so exhausted that I just heat up something that’s frozen for Chris and I to eat.’
Incredible: Jenny Marr, 36, from Texas, and her husband Chris are proud parents to identical quadruplets: Hudson, Harrison, Henry, and Hardy
Brood: The 20-month-old boys were conceived naturally. The odds of having identical, spontaneous quadruplets is somewhere around 1 in 11 million or 1 in 15 million
The couple was ready to become parents when they stopped using contraception in March 2019. Six months later, she learned she was pregnant, but her 11-week ultrasound revealed surprising news.
Jenna recalled how the sonographer was looking ‘intently at the screen,’ making her worried that there was something wrong.
‘She turned the screen away from me and told me everything was fine, but she was still looking hard at the monitor. So I knew there was something up,’ she explained.
‘I started laughing and nervously asked her if I was having twins. But nothing could have prepared me for her answer. “No, you’re having triplets,” she told me, finally.
‘I saw Chris had gone a ghostly shade of white, and with a thump he passed out on the floor. One of the nurses helped him up and gave him a glass of water. He was still in shock as he came to, sitting on a chair.’
Surprise: Jenna and Chris were told she was having triplets at her 11-week ultrasound, which caused her husband to pass out. They later learned she was pregnant with four babies
Risky pregnancy: The doctor told Chris there was a 0.01 per cent chance that all of the quadruplets would survive
Jenny was also shocked to learn she was pregnant with multiples. The sonographer told them it was the first time in her career she’d ever told anyone they are having naturally conceived triplets.
When they went to see a specialist the following week, they learned she was actually pregnant with four babies — and they were identical.
‘This time Chris and I both laughed, and he didn’t faint straight onto the floor,’ Jenny said. ‘We just found it funny. “We’re not coming back next week,” we told the nurse, laughing. I was pleased that it was going to be four, as I’ve never liked odd numbers.
‘”They will be able to pair up,” I told Chris happily. ‘There is never going to be an odd one out.’
The odds of having identical, spontaneous quadruplets is somewhere around 1 in 11 million or 1 in 15 million.
Miracle: Jenny was 28 weeks pregnant when she delivered her sons via caesarian section on March 15, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic
Preemies: Jenna and Chris’s sons had to be tubefed because of their size, and Hudson was the only one of the four boys who didn’t require oxygen support
Grateful: The new parents were given special visiting rights during lockdown, and they were able to see their baby boys every day
Jenny’s doctor stressed that their case was ‘incredibly rare,’ explaining that their identical quads were also sharing one placenta.
‘We couldn’t believe it. I’d been pregnant with one embryo, which had split very early on into my pregnancy, and then both halves had split again,’ she explained. ‘The hospital told us that there were only 75 recorded cases of it ever happening in the world before.’
Jenny knew the pregnancy was risky, but she was unaware of how unlikely it was that all four of her children would survive.
‘The doctors told Chris that the babies had less than a 0.01 per cent chance of them all surviving,’ she said. ‘He kept that awful secret to himself all the way through and never told me, as he didn’t want me to panic about it. If I’d known, I would have been distraught.’
Jenny’s case required her to have weekly scans, and every time she had one, there were ‘four little heartbeats pumping strongly away.’
Amazing: Hudson, Harrison, Henry, and Hardy came home from the hospital at the end of May
Smart: When the boys were infants, Jenny said she’d ‘line them up in the order of who was born first,’ so she would know which boy was which
She knows: The mom has no problem telling her boys apart now that they are older because they have ‘four individual faces’ and unique personalities
She was 28 weeks pregnant when she went into early labor. Her four boys were delivered by caesarian section, and they all had to be tubefed because of their size.
Hardy weighed 2 lbs., 10 oz., while Harrison and Henry were slightly smaller at 2 lbs., six oz. Hudson was the smallest at 1 lb., 15 oz., but he was the only one of the four boys who didn’t require oxygen support.
Jenny and Chris were given special visiting rights during lockdown, and they were able to see their baby boys every day. Their sons stayed in the hospital until the end of May.
‘Hardy came home first, and he was only 5 lbs.,’ she told The Sun. ‘Chris and I were so nervous that first night and barely slept a wink. Then the other three came home shortly afterwards, and since then, our house has been crazy.
‘It’s been one whirlwind of nappy changing, feeding, and sleeping. But we have got them into a routine where they all nap at the same time, which is great. People ask how we tell them apart, and when they were just weeks old, I would line them up in the order of who was born first, so I knew which one was which.’
Busy life: Jenny and Chris have to change roughly 24 diapers a day
Hungry toddlers: The family spends a whopping $300 a week on groceries, including plenty of milk for the boys
Happy family: Jenna and Chris are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with their four sons, who will be turning two in March
Now that they’re older, the mom has no problem telling her boys apart, explaining that they have ‘four individual faces’ and unique personalities.
‘Harrison is the big brother and likes all the attention. Hardy is so funny and relaxed, he just goes with the flow,’ she said. ‘Henry has an infectious smile and loves going outside, and Hudson is the little mother hen and is always checking everyone is OK.
‘Every day I look at my 15 million to one quads, and marvel that they are here with us today,’ she added. ‘They were 15 million to one miracles, and we feel like the luckiest mom and dad in the world.’
Jenna and Chris are looking forward to celebrating Christmas with their boys, who will be turning two in March.
‘It’s going to be a great Christmas this year — so different to when it was just Chris and I,’ she said. ‘We are going to spend it together just as a family watching Christmas movies together, and the babies are going to be so excited when they see the lights and decorations.
‘Life is so hectic for us now; we will need to spend Christmas definitely relaxing.’