The Negus babies — Logan, Mason, Porter and Connor — aren't a common, humdrum set of quadruplets.
They're rare, even among quadruplets.
The foursome, born Tuesday at Methodist Women's Hospital, is doing well, as is their mother, Sabrina Negus, of Tilden, Neb. Their father, Lucas Negus, expressed relief and began to envision the four boys making up the majority of Elkhorn Valley Schools' six-man high school football team.
“It's going to be a long road to make sure that everybody's special,” their mother said, “but nobody's too special.”
Dr. Todd Lovgren, the perinatologist who oversaw their care, said there have been fewer than 100 cases reported in the United States of quadruplets developing inside their mother the way these did.
“This is probably the only time I'll ever see a set of quadruplets like this,” Lovgren said.
Typically, quadruplets are formed by four sperm fertilizing four eggs. In the case of the Negus babies, though, one egg split twice, producing identical triplets who shared one placenta. The fourth, fraternal sibling Connor, was produced by a separate sperm and separate egg.
Lovgren said the case was extremely complex. The threesome utilizing one placenta, which delivers oxygen and nutrition from the mother to the babies, had to share the blood vessels equally or they would be at great risk. While monitoring the quadruplets, Lovgren said, he saw that one fetus wasn't growing because it wasn't receiving adequate nutrition.
Lovgren decided then to deliver the babies.
They were born at 31½ weeks and have shown no more problems than any other baby born that early, said Dr. David Minderman, a neonatologist who also helped care for them.
Two of them are breathing on their own and the others are on minimal breathing support, Minderman said. They range in weight from two pounds, six ounces, to three pounds, eight ounces.
“Overall, the babies are doing fabulously,” Minderman said. “We would expect the babies to grow up and be well.”
The quadruplets probably will remain in the hospital for six to eight weeks, but their mother expects to be discharged from the hospital today.
The Neguses, who are in their 30s, tried about three years to have a baby. Then they decided to undergo fertility treatments in Omaha. During the initial ultrasound, her fertility specialists saw three fetuses. The next week, another ultrasound revealed a fourth.
“I was a little shocked,” Sabrina Negus said. “Lucas couldn't believe it. I just laughed.”
They soon became aware of how delicate the process would be. “Carrying four babies is interesting in the first place,” the mother said, but the unusual nature of this pregnancy made it more interesting. “We've had some things to worry about,” she said.
“It's a heavy weight on your chest,” said Lucas Negus, a wildlife biologist. “She worried about the babies. I worried about everything.”
Sabrina Negus was hospitalized for 11 weeks. She came to know certain nurses well, and it comforted her to see them when the cesarean section occurred. Each baby had his own team of four practitioners working for him, including doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists.
The babies emerged. “I was glad that they were screaming,” the mother said.
“It's nice to have as good of luck as we've had,” she said.
They're as ready as they can be, the parents said. They have good family support.
The mother called her departure from the hospital the completion of a journey.
And the beginning.
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