An Alabama family recently grew by four after a Birmingham woman gave birth to “spontaneous” quadruplets, or those conceived without the use of fertility treatments.
Already the parents of an 8-year-old daughter, Michael and Hannah Carmack found out they’d be having two sets of identical twins on Oct. 31 of last year, making them a family of seven. The quadruplets were born on March 14 via cesarean section. Baby Evelyn was the first born, followed by identical twins David and Daniel and then Evelyn’s identical twin, Adeline.
The couple, who told television station WMUR9 that they weren’t planning to have another baby, say they asked their pastor for counsel after finding out about their soon-to-be new arrivals.
“We needed to hear that, ‘Hey this is special. Not everybody is chosen for something like this, and you’ve been chosen for this.’ Because we didn’t go through fertility, you’re like, ‘well, it’s the Lord,’” Michael said.
With four children coming, this was labeled high-risk pregnancy, and the couple experienced a number of medical issues along the way, especially with Adeline, the smallest of the four. The pregnancy was closely monitored, and the babies were born at 27 weeks.
Of course, bringing home four new babies means a lot of expenses, so the now father of five has set up a GoFundMe to raise money for a house remodel that will accommodate the family.
“We were kind of panicking,” Michael told The Sand Mountain Reporter. “What were we going to do? I work in ministry. My wife is a vet tech. She makes better money than I do but we don’t make a lot. We immediately thought we’re going to need a minivan and a new house. Our current situation clearly wasn’t going to work.”
The family exceeded their fundraising goal of $25,000 in just six days and is still open.
The family’s latest update posted on Hannah’s Facebook page celebrates the quad’s two-month birthday on May 14 — appropriately, Mother’s Day — with Hannah saying it was the first time in 32 days that she was able to hold all of the babies at the same time. They have been in separate incubators in the neonatal intensive care unit and will remain there until June.
“I can not wait until I can to do this whenever I want to. We are getting so much closer to having some of our babies home,” she wrote.
The Carmacks are not the first family to conceive quadruplets without the use of fertility treatments, but this is still quite rare. According to a 2018 study, spontaneous quadruplet pregnancies only occur in somewhere between one in 512,000 to one in 677,000 births. Having two sets of identical twins is even more rare, since it means both embryos split after fertilization.
In 2020, Texas resident Jenny Marr became one of only 72 women ever to give birth to identical spontaneous quadruplets. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in a news release that the chance of having identical, spontaneous quadruplets is 1 in 11 million.