Phelps Family Welcomes Quadruplets!

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PHELPS, N.Y. (WHEC) – A Phelps couple looking to expand their family got the shock of a lifetime when they naturally became pregnant with quadruplets.

Karissa Vancamp-Smith and Dillion Smith have two happy little boys, 7-year-old Tyler and 4-year-old Colton but they’ve been through a lot in the last several years trying to expand their family. “We lost twins at 20 weeks and then our 4-year-old is our surviving twin, we lost his brother Elijah when he was 12 days old,” explains Karissa, “and then we lost a little girl the day before our second trimester started.”

The family decided to give it one final shot. “I actually said you know I’d like to try one more time I really would like to have a daughter, I was like why don’t we try one more time,” recalls Dillon.

Karissa eventually agreed and the two got pregnant naturally. When they went for a sonogram two babies popped up right away. “She moved the wand a little bit and the third one popped up and then I think I blacked out a little bit,” recalls Karissa which led her to barely hear the Doctor confirm a 4th. Karissa knew she had a tendency to hyper-ovulate but never considered it would lead to more than twins.

Because of their previous losses, the family was nervous throughout the pregnancy but it went as best as could be expected. This week, at 29 weeks and 3 days, the babies were ready to come out. Karissa’s team at Strong Memorial Hospital, led by Dr. Loralei Thornburg was ready. “We had been preparing but you can’t really get ready until you know it’s the day that the boys have decided that they’re going to have a birthday,” Dr. Thornburg says.

Each baby had its own team of a doctor, nurse, and respiratory therapist. “We also have a lot of people waiting in the wings when we have a delivery like this so, people who don’t necessarily have a job but are ready in case we need something extra or to go get something because the complications for both the pregnant person and the infants can be higher,” explains Dr. Thornburg.

Baby after baby was delivered via C-section, all as healthy as can be expected at this age, weighing between 2-3 pounds and all four babies are boys.

“Spontaneous quads (like this) are very rare,” says Dr. Thornburg, the odds are somewhere between 1 in 500,000-700,000. Even more rare? There’s a possibility the boys may be identical, the odds of that are somewhere in the range of 1 in 12 million. “It certainly looks suspicious for them having been a very early split but it’s very hard to tell unless they do genetic markers on the boys,” says Dr. Thornburg.

For now, Karissa and Dillion are looking forward to holding their new boys for the first time. “They’ve all been doing fantastic, there’s no oxygen requirements they’re all on the same page,” Karissa says.

The boys will likely be in the NICU for the next 6-8 weeks but Karissa and Dillion are counting their blessings and truly believe that Zachariah, Lincoln, Ian and Daniel were a gift from above, “we’ve dealt with a lot of loss, we lost four through multiple pregnancies and now we got four back so, it’s kind of like our prayers were answered,” Dillon says.

If you’d like to offer support to the family, you can visit their baby registry here.