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A Mississippi mom, Kimberly Fugate, discovered she was pregnant in November, the day before her 42nd birthday. While the pregnancy was a surprise, it was even more surprising to learn she was having triplets. But what was most shocking about this delivery was that quadruplets were born, identical quadruplets to be exact.
After Fugate gave birth to three healthy baby girls at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on February 8, the doctor looked at her and said, “more feet,” The Clarion Ledger reported. A few minutes later, a fourth girl was born.
It turns out this fourth baby was hidden in the ultrasound images, so the delivery was completely unexpected to the mother and the doctors.
Her physician, the director of UMMC’s maternal-fetal medicine, Dr. James Bofill, was just as shocked as Fugate was. “I was very embarrassed, obviously,” he said. “The news was sent to me by one of my fellows. I thought she was kidding.” Discovering a fourth baby during the delivery was something Bofill had never experienced in his 27 years as a doctor.
The news of the fourth baby wasn’t even the most shocking part of this delivery; it was the odds of this happening that truly shocked the doctors. Giving birth to identical quadruplets is an event of “almost incalculable odds,” said Bofill. “We’ve seen quadruplets here before, but we’ve never seen identical quadruplets. That’s what makes this case so unique and unusual.”
The doctor said that nobody knows exactly what makes a single zygote separate into identical twins, triplets or quadruplets. “It’s definitely an accident; it’s not supposed to happen and, in some cases, like Ms. Fugate’s, it happens in a spectacular manner.”
Fox News reported that the baby girls have been named Kenleigh, Kristen, Kaleigh and Kelsey.
Fugate also has a 10-year-old daughter, Katelyn.
The four girls were born prematurely at 28 weeks and are currently in intensive care. Although they will remain in the hospital until May due to their premature birth, the babies are healthy.
Fugate and her family have a lot to do before the four girls can go home. There was no time for a baby shower due to the early birth, so additional clothing, diapers and supplies must be bought, and a vehicle that is big enough for a family of seven is needed.
Nothing about the pregnancy or delivery was planned, but Fugate considers it “a blessing” and is just happy that the girls are all there and are all healthy. When asked if she plans on having any more children, Fugate smiled and said, “This. Is. It.”
Congrats to the new mother of five.