The emotions that accompany motherhood can be overwhelming for any pregnant woman. But for first-time mom Bethani Webb, all of the joy, fear, excitement and trepidation was multiplied four-fold when she learned she was expecting quadruplets. What’s more, there would be a further surprise in store when the mom-to-be finally reached the delivery room and, one by one, she looked into the faces of her newborn babies.
The Webbs are a typical couple from Northern Alberta, Canada, and their love story begins like many others. Tim and Bethani got hitched in their early twenties, and like many a normal couple who are very much in love started thinking about having children.
As it turns out, however, things started happening faster than they’d anticipated: shortly after their wedding in June 2015, in fact, Bethani fell pregnant. The couple had been planning to wait at least 12 months before having their first child, but life, as they say, happens while you’re making plans. Still, it was great – if unexpected – news for the young couple, who looked forward to starting their own little family.
So, on the day before Christmas Eve 2015, the first-time parents attended a routine scan. And it was then that the nurse delivered some unexpected and pretty awesome news. It wasn’t quite the early Christmas present the couple had been preparing for, and the twosome were completely floored as a result.
The first clue that something was up came when the nurse asked if the couple knew of any multiple births in either of their families. The expectant pair said no, unsure of what was coming next. The nurse then drew their attention to the monitor.
As Bethani recounted to Canada’s Global News, “She turns around to the screen and she says, ‘There’s one baby, there’s two, there’s three and there’s four…’” “That’s when I just about fell over!” Tim added.
And when the excited couple announced the news to their families, they were just as stunned. No wonder: according to Dr. James Bofill of the University of Mississippi, the chance of anyone conceiving quadruplets without the aid of fertility treatment is roughly one in 729,000!
Aside from having to quadruple their preparations for the new arrivals, however, the pregnancy went well. During that time, moreover, the Webbs got some more news: Tim was going to be seriously outnumbered, because all four of their babies were female! Then, just a month after that bombshell, Bethani arrived at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, in preparation for the births.
Because she was having quadruplets, doctors had advised a cesarean section at 33 weeks, and Bethani would gave birth via cesarean to four cute and healthy little babies. But as each of the girls arrived, and the newborns were lined up next to each other, everyone was stunned.
If the odds of naturally conceiving quadruplets are small, then the likelihood of the Webbs’ new discovery was nigh-on miraculous. Because incredibly – and by a chance of one in over 15 million – the four newborn girls were all identical.
Tim told Global News, “It was kind of like a magic show, because they’re pulling out one, two, three, four… It was kind of surreal.” Once the magic show ended, of course, the couple had to name their new arrivals – and they chose the names Emily, Grace, McKayla and Abigail for their little girls.
The ecstatic dad later said, according to the Edmonton Journal, “I feel overwhelmingly awesome that the babies are here. I feel blessed. Relieved, too, because you worry with multiple births. There’s risks… but all of it was perfect.”
And while multiple births might mean less sleep and more diapers, there is, at least, one big advantage when it comes to choosing names. “It was nice that we didn’t have to pick our favorites,” Bethani told Global News. “We could pick four we liked, we didn’t have to choose just one.”
And the naming, it seems, proved a lot easier than actually telling the girls apart. That said, immediately after the birth each girl was placed in her own tiny incubator, making it a little easier to differentiate one quadruplet from the others.
Distinguishing the girls from one another outside the incubators, however, proved slightly more problematic. Speaking to CTV News, Bethani revealed, “Right now I’m glad they’re separated so we can tell them apart. But even just holding two side-by-side, I can’t tell them apart at all.”
New mom Bethani, however, also divulged to CTV News that their individual personalities couldn’t be more different, and in time that will most certainly help to tell them apart. She described Emily and McKayla as chilled out, and Abigail – the smallest of the four despite being the eldest – as feisty. Grace, meanwhile, is “kind of a character.”
The couple does have a plan in place to help them differentiate between each girl now that they’re home, however. Bethani and Tim will color-code each one with hair accessories and bracelets! And they’ve even considered painting their toenails to tell each one apart.
Undeniably, there’s a lot for the new parents to adjust to, and so the pair have moved in with Tim’s mom for a helping hand. They even have the 820-strong population of Hythe, Alberta – their hometown – behind them, too.
As Tim told the National Post, “The community held a fundraiser which brought in approximately $50,000, and there’s a GoFundMe [site] set up by friends.” The couple have been so overwhelmed with the generosity of the community, in fact, that they’ve even had to turn to a local church in order to house all the gifts.
Raising quadruplets is a daunting challenge, but the Webbs are still more than willing to take it on. Proud dad Tim told Global News, “I’m looking forward to the memories and how close they’ll all be.” Bethani, meanwhile, concluded, “It’s going to be crazy the first few years… [But] it’ll be very exciting.”