Ask just about any parent, and they’ll tell you that having children is the greatest joy in their life. Sure, it can be an emotional rollercoaster (not to mention financially demanding—hello, college tuition!), but overall, kids are a welcome addition to every family.
Bethani and Tim Webb were over the moon at the thought of bringing home their own bundle of joy. Still, as prepared as they were, they couldn’t help but be completely shocked when their doctor delivered some very unexpected news…
Just a few short months after their wedding, Bethani and Tim Webb of Hythe in Alberta, Canada, were ecstatic to learn they were going to have a baby. They’d initially planned to wait a year before growing their family, but they couldn’t help but be elated by the news.
A few months afterward, during a routine visit at the doctor’s office, the couple was asked an unexpected question: did either of their families have histories of multiple births? Confused, Tim and Bethani both shook their heads.
That was when the doctor gave the couple the shock of a lifetime: “She turned the screen and she started counting babies and she counted baby one, baby two, baby three…” Bethani recalled. “You can stop at baby three. Baby three is enough… and then she counted out the fourth baby.”
Bethani immediately started to panic. Obviously, quadruplets would be an enormous challenge—and one that was incredibly rare. In fact, in 2015, there were only 228 sets of quadruplets born in the entire United States!
Most families with quadruplets had the aid of a fertility treatment; there’s also only a one-in-729,000 chance of having quadruplets naturally. So it was understandable that, when Bethani and Tim shared the news with their families, they assumed they were joking!
Of course, they were entirely serious. The couple quickly considered the logistics. Bethani said that she “realized that we didn’t have a vehicle that could support four babies.” They would also need to temporarily move in with Tim’s mother, as their one-bedroom apartment simply wasn’t big enough for six people.
Their finances would be another issue. It’s a costly affair to raise just one child, let alone four! “Four strollers, four car seats, four cribs. Diapers—diapers everywhere,” Bethani said. All the while, the due date continued to loom…
The pregnancy itself went well until, at 33 weeks, Bethani was transferred to the larger Royal Alexandra Hospital in nearby Edmonton for a C-section. It was there that the couple finally welcomed their daughters—Abigail, Emily, Grace, and McKayla—into the world!
Remember how there was only a one-in-729,000 chance of having quadruplets through natural means? Well, the Webbs were even luckier, because the odds of all four of their babies being girls were just one in 15 million!
There are few guarantees with any pregnancy, but each one of the Webbs’ quadruplets was as healthy as she could be. “I feel overwhelmingly awesome that the babies are here,” Tim said. “I feel blessed.”
Becoming a dad took on a special meaning for Tim, who’d lost his father just a year before the quadruplets were born. Thankfully, he’d have plenty of chances to make his late father proud!
Of course, nothing could help Tim prepare for being the only man in the house. He was largely outnumbered! Nonetheless, he was happy to have such a beautiful family, and he tried to take his role as a new dad in stride—exhausting as it might have been.
Though the babies were a handful, Bethani and Tim were completely in love with their big family—and they made sure to see the silver lining in everything, even when times were tough. “At least [we] get one nice perk to it all,” Bethani joked. “It was nice that we didn’t have to pick our favorite [baby names].”
Despite being able to use all of their top name choices, the couple came across one unique problem: trying to tell each baby apart! They needed to find some way to help make the girls look visually distinct…
Bethani and Tim developed a nifty color-coding system. They selected yellow for Grace, purple for Emily, blue for Abigail, and pink for McKayla—though those colors would change slightly. (Grace would eventually wear red while Abigail wore green, for instance.)
They painted the girls’ nails in designated colors, and the quadruplets would wear different-colored earrings once they were old enough to get their ears pierced. Still, Bethani and Tim enjoyed matching their daughters’ outfits. How could they resist?
Thankfully, Bethani and Tim observed that their daughters all displayed different personalities right away. It was important to them that they addressed each of their babies’ needs—and recognized them as individuals.
With their rare birth and individual quirks, the young quadruplets and their adorable photos quickly took the internet by storm. Of course, one baby would be cute enough, but four identical babies were another story!
Fortunately, the Webbs’ unique situation caught the eye of their local community. Caring neighbors in their hometown of Hythe set up a GoFundMe campaign to help offset the enormous costs. Some even held fundraisers for the family!
As hectic as it might have been, the Webbs were dedicated, and they quickly found a routine that worked for them. “I don’t know what I’d do without them,” Bethani said of her beautiful family. Just take a peek at what life was like for the Webbs below…
There’s nothing sweeter than seeing a happy family, even when the odds seem stacked against them. Hopefully the Webbs’ journey continues to go as smoothly as possible!
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