For the first time in four years, a set of quadruplets has been welcomed into the world at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in South Brisbane.
The four babies, who arrived 11 weeks early, are brothers Louis, Eddie and Archie and their sister Anna.
Shining the spotlight on Multiple Birth Awareness Week (19 – 26 March), Ipswich parents Yogesh and Aruna said they were “shocked” when they first found out more than one baby would be joining their family.
“The doctor said there might be two babies in there, and then he said, ‘No, actually there’s four!’,” Yogesh, 47, laughed.
“It’s amazing and it was unexpected. They are our much-wanted babies.”
Due on January 5, the quadruplets arrived on 21 October, with Archie, the smallest, weighing just 593 grams. Anna weighed 805 grams, Eddie 1050grams, and Louis was the heaviest at 1185 grams.
The couple, from Redbank Plains, said the journey to bring their “four precious miracles” home from the Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit had at times been daunting.
“Anna, our only daughter, spent about 100 days in hospital, and Archie, Eddie and Louis were there for about 90 days, receiving continuous care as they battled breathing difficulties and infections.”
Fortunately, little Louis, Eddie, Anna and Archie had a world-leading team of doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health clinicians on their side in Mater’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where they received around-the-clock care.
Aruna, 44, said her dream of becoming a mother had “finally come true”.
“I am a bit tired, but I am glad they are healthy and home from hospital now,” she said.
“We’re so thankful to Mater for helping us bring our miracles home safely.
“Anna still needs a feeding tube, and Archie is on oxygen and has a feeding tube, but they are growing much bigger day by day.”
The last set of quadruplets – all girls – were born at Mater Mothers’ Hospital in 2018, and the previous set of quadruplets arrived back in 2011.
Mater Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Fellow Dr Phoebe Swan said Mater’s expert sonographers kept a close eye on the quadruplets throughout Aruna’s pregnancy.
“Keeping four babies separate takes a lot of skill, although it is helped by one being a different gender and their being varying sizes,” Dr Swan said.
“Normally when we look at the anatomy of one baby that takes about 30 to 45 minutes. With four, Aruna had to come for more than one appointment just to complete the routine anatomy scan.
“The MFM team took the lead in her pregnancy care. She was case managed by Clinical Midwife Consultant Barbara Soong who provided her with continuity of midwifery care and all of its benefits.”
Dr Swan said carrying four babies had posed significant risk to both Aruna and her babies.
“I saw Aruna at her first visit to MFM at 14 weeks, after she had recently arrived in Australia from Nepal, and I was there for the delivery of her babies,” Dr Swan said.
“It was really lovely to be able to provide continuity of care for Aruna and to be part of the wonderful MFM team that cared for the family before, during and after the births.”
Mater Director of Neonatology Dr Pita Birch said it was great to hear that the once tiny bundles of joy were gaining weight and developing their own personalities.
“Thanks to modern maternity care and research, the medical, nursing and allied health teams within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are able to save sick babies like Louis, Eddie, Archie and Anna,” Dr Birch said.
Yogesh said the siblings were reunited for the first time at home just a few weeks ago.
“We brought home two babies first, then one more a few weeks later, and finally the fourth baby came home. It was the first time in a long time they had all been together,” he smiled.
As the family settles into life with quadruplets, Aruna’s mother Geeta has travelled from Nepal to help with endless bottle feeds, nappy changes, and around-the-clock cuddles.
“We are planning to keep grandma here for as long as possible,” Yogesh said.
“The hardest part for Aruna and I is dividing our time between them all.”
He said each of the babies had their own personalities, with Anna being the naughtiest.
“She cries all night and doesn’t stop!” Yogesh said.
“Louis is the most chilled – he just feeds and is so laid back.”