When a routine ultrasound revealed not one, but four babies, newlyweds Bethani and Tim Webb of Alberta, Canada were left speechless. Married for less than a year, Bethani and Tim could do little more than stare in disbelief when faced with the ultrasound report.
“I could not believe it, I was in such shock,” Bethani told CBC News. “Honestly, I thought the ultrasound tech was joking.” Initially, the Canadians were happy when they discovered that they were expecting – however, they were completely unprepared
for quadruplets. And if finding out you’re pregnant with quads isn’t impossible enough, there would be an even crazier surprise waiting for her when the expecting mom finally made it to the delivery room and laid eyes on the four little ones for the first time.
Before their lives were turned upside-down, there really wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary for the young couple. Bethani, 22, and Tim Webb, 23, exchanged vows in June, and like many normal couples very much in love, they started thinking about having children. In fact, they
were thrilled when they found out in September that they were expecting.”My husband definitely wanted to wait a year,” Bethani told CBC News. “I was fine with whenever it ended up happening, but when we found out we were very excited, only thinking then we were having one, not four.”
The day before Christmas Eve 2015, the first-time parents attended a routine scan. That’s when they were given their first peek into their eventual future. When the nurse asked if there was any history of multiple births in either of
their families that the couple knew of, they were understandably caught off-guard. Still uncertain of what multiple births would really mean for them, the couple shook their heads no. It was then that the nurse delivered some unexpected and unbelievable news.
During the ultra-sound, Bethani said she saw the technicians looking and pointing at two different areas of the screen. She had therefore assumed that she was going to have twins. “She turned the screen and she started counting babies and she counted baby one, baby two, baby three… I was thinking ‘OK you can stop at baby three. Baby three is enough’ – and she counted out the fourth
baby,” Bethani reported to Canada’s Global News. “That’s when I just about fell over!” Tim added. “I definitely did go through some panic attacks,” Bethani admitted. While they had originally planned to start a family slowly, all of that changed in seconds right before their eyes. In one day, their small family of two tripled. Realizing the full gravity of the situation, their joy and excitement were suddenly replaced with panic.
“That day with the ultrasound, when they counted the four, I actually felt quite faint and I had to ask for a seat because it was just too much all at once,” Tim recalled. As there was no family history of multiple births in Bethani and Tim’s families, and the couple did not use fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization to conceive their children, the news of their pregnancy is even more astounding. “The doctors
said it’s just something that happens. It doesn’t happen all the time – it’s very, very rare.” As of 2007, there were approximately 3,500 sets of quadruplets recorded worldwide. “I’m definitely glad I was laying down because I could not believe that there were four there. I thought there had to be some kind of mistake…” she laughed. “One of the nurses that works at the hospital said it was a one in 67 million occurrence.”
Without a doubt, the Webbs had more than what they could handle. As a result, Tim’s mom has offered to house them to give them a helping hand – or two. But help didn’t stop there, as you might have imagined. The people of Hythe, Alberta, the tiny Canadian town of 820, were lining up to offer their support. “The community held a fundraiser which brought in approximately $50,000, and there’s a GoFundMe site set up by friends,” Tim told the National Post. Completely
blessed and overwhelmed, the Webbs even had to start stockpiling additional supplies and reserves in a local church. Bethani confessed that while she was excited for the babies, the notion of how much they would need to care for them is overwhelming. After all, four times the love means four times the cost. “I realized that we didn’t have a vehicle that could support four babies,” Bethani said. “We were good until that four number kicked in, then we weren’t prepared at all,” Tim added.
The soon-to-be parents of four were planning on staying in their one bedroom apartment after having their first baby, but since learning they were to become a family of six they have had to consider other options, including moving in with Tim’s mother. “Going from one to four is like four times everything. Four strollers, four car seats, Four cribs. Diapers.
Diapers everywhere,” Bethani lamented. “Diapers and formula – that’s probably going to be the most expensive part for us right now.” The Webbs calculated that they would need approximately 48 diapers a day now once their daughters arrive. So whose responsibility will it be to change all those bottoms? “Hers!” Tim exclaimed. “I have a weak stomach! I can’t change diapers.”
Despite having to completely reinvent their lives from the bottom up, the pregnancy was going quite well. Considering that the Webbs are from the village of Hythe though, which isn’t equipped with a large hospital, doctors had advised that she be transferred to the state-of-the-art Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. “I’m excited, but it is weird when they start moving. Sometimes I’ll feel more than one move at once and
it kind of takes me by surprise, even being 27 weeks pregnant, I don’t think it’s sunk in that there’s four there yet,” said the happy mother to be. The doctors couldn’t let her go full term as it could jeopardize the babies’ health. To avoid complications, she would need a C-section at the 33 week mark. “I’m definitely nervous about the birth, but I’m also really excited to see them,” she said.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, and only weeks before their very first wedding anniversary, the Webbs became an instant family. This was an anniversary gift that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
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.” Yet the true magic didn’t become apparent until the girls were laid side-by-side. What the doctor told the Webbs next changed the odds of this pregnancy from 1 in 15 million to something even more impossible.
So not only had the Webbs already won the baby lottery by getting quadruplets, but miraculously they ended up being all girls. And if those one in over 15 million odds weren’t astronomically small to begin with, just wait until you read this: incredibly, all four newborn girls were all identical! It only took about an hour to deliver the babies, who ranged in weight from three pounds to four-pounds-one-ounce. Tim –
I’m sorry but your dreams of raising a son are going to have to wait, because you’re about to live in a house full of girls! “Living with five girls… Yikes! I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s going to be overwhelming, being the last man standing.” But then, on Friday, May 6, as each of the girls arrived and were lined up next to each other, everyone was stunned.
“With the high-risk nature of the pregnancy, there was always talk that there was some risk of delivering very early,” said Dr. Billy Wong, the couple’s obstetrician. “For us to get to this date in the pregnancy, almost 33 weeks, we were actually very fortunate.” The Webbs say they an extensive
support system back in Hythe, where everyone is waiting for the new family to arrive home. The relieved dad 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 now, we are proud to present the little girls who were 1 in 15 million: Emily, Grace, McKayla and Abigail! So the downsides of having quadruplets clearly means quadruple the trouble, but you at least get one nice perk to it all.
“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.” Now Tim and Bethani have a new problem: how do they tell them apart?
To make things a bit easier differentiate one quadruplet from the others, immediately after the birth each girl was placed in her own tiny incubator. Just don’t take them out of the incubator! 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.” Soon enough however, our new family is going to have to come up with a solid plan to distinguish the girls from one another.
Luckily for new mom Bethani, their individual temperaments couldn’t be more different from each other. Certainly, that will be the most distinguishing factor in telling them apart. Abigail is the smallest and youngest so she is a bit hot-headed- I’d watch out for that one! Emily and McKayla are apparently super chill, however Grace, on the other hand, is described as
‘a character.’ And yet, now that they’re all home and a bit more relaxed, the couple has hatched a makeshift plan to differentiate between each girl. Each girl will get a designated color-coded bracelet or hair accessory (as if they even have hair at this stage…). They’ve also considered painting their toenails as a more semi-permanent solution.
Bethani Webb was a bundle of nerves one evening in early June. That’s because the next morning, her 2-month-old identical quadruplet girls would have their very first photo shoot. “I was nervous that they wouldn’t sleep and they’d be awake the whole time or crying and fussy,” Webb, who lives in Alberta, Canada, tells Us Weekly. “But they
did so good.” The project took much more planning and assistants than photographer Cassandra Jones was used to. Five extra people helped her set up the shoot: one person per baby and one person to help arrange the flowers and props. It took three large vehicles to haul all the items needed to the outdoor location in Grande Prairie.
Obviously, feeding, changing and caring for four babies is an incredible task, but photographing them so perfectly wasn’t easy either! Photographer Cassandra Jones was blown away by the infants. “There were absolutely no tears,” she told Today Parents. “In fact, they didn’t even raise an eyelid. They slept like little angels
for the entire shoot.” The girls’ knit hats and wraps were custom-made specifically for the shoot. Jones chose white outfits so that she could coordinate all of the different hats without having to change the babies and risk waking them up, she said. Meanwhile, the tiny sisters are already confounding adults.
They may be just two months old, but sisters Abigail, Mckayla, Grace and Emily Webb have already managed to steal the hearts of thousands. The photos from the shoot have since gone viral with more
more than 5,000 likes. Jones admits she and her assistants did struggle to tell the girls apart however. The pictures she took are absolutely beautiful and I love them so much, Bethani smiled.
Since the girls are identical, the parents came up with a solution to help them identify their daughters: Each baby has her toenails painted a different color than her sisters. As for a more permanent solution, mom Bethani revealed that they recently had the girls’ ears pierced, and each wears a different color of stone: Purple for Emily, red for Grace, blue for Abigail, and pink for Mckayla. Each baby
has her own distinct personality as well. Abigail is the feisty one, Emily’s usually pretty quiet, Grace is the one that is most sensitive to pain and Mckayla is a combination of all of them. “She can be feisty but is also calm and collected. All four girls share a regular-size crib. They like sleeping together, they don’t like being apart,” says Webb. If we separate them they’re not happy.
Bethani said Tim was estatic about becoming a dad but still needed to get used to the idea of being the only man in a house of five females. “I think my husband has gotten used to the idea that there are four babies, but I don’t think he’s gotten used to the idea that there are four identical girls,” the mum-to-be laughed. As for
the dad-to-be: “I think of them as blessings really. I’ll probably be pulling my hair out a year from now, but now I’m excited. My dad passed away just about a year ago and so this is kind of a blessing to have the family that I have and the community that I have and the doctors that we have here,” he said.
The chance of having quadruplets without fertility drugs is one in 729,000, Dr. James Bofill, a professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi, told TODAY when he treated a Mississippi woman who gave birth to quadruplets in 2014. But the odds of having identical quadruplets are about one in 15 million pregnancies, according to Raising Multiples. The Webb babies are the fifth set of quadruplets born
in Alberta since 2004. As the high-risk obstetric and maternal care center for northern Alberta, last year the LHHW delivered 240 sets of twins and six sets of triplets. “I’m looking forward to the memories and how close they’ll all be,” proud dad Tim told Global News. Bethani, a bit more weary, added, “It’s going to be crazy the first few years… [But] it’ll be very exciting.”