A couple received the biggest surprise of their lives when they discovered they were expecting triplets. After an intensive labor episode, they thought they were done being surprised when the doctor announced another astonishing news — something they never saw coming.
Parenthood changes people most unexpectedly. The idea of cradling a little one and tending to their many needs brings immense joy and satisfaction to parents. Nothing compares to the moment parents witness their children complete their milestones, like saying the first word or taking the very first step.
Indeed, becoming parents is nothing less than a wild rollercoaster ride, where every new turn is full of surprises. But eventually, the sleepless nights, exhausting days, and crazy evenings are all worth it, and no parent would have it otherwise. Today’s story is about a couple whose life changed for the best, thanks to a heartwarming surprise.
Kimberly and Craig Fugate were a lovely couple based in Mississippi and parents to a girl, Katelyn. In 2013, the couple learned they were pregnant again, and they couldn’t be happier. Then, the Fugates discovered another delightful news — they were expecting identical triplets.
On February 8, 2014, more than two months before her due date, Kimberly said she underwent intensive labor and grueling cesarean section delivery of her triplets and was exhausted when it was over.
EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED
But just when the Mississippi mother was about to heave a sigh of relief, the doctor interrupted her with another piece of shocking news. He announced, “I have more feet.” Kimberly was taken aback and couldn’t believe what was happening.
Kimberly’s babies arrived just a day before her 42nd birthday, which only multiplied the family’s celebration by four.
It turned out that there was one more baby to come. The fourth baby had somehow been overlooked on the ultrasound, managing to keep her existence hidden until she popped out behind the other three babies at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Kimberly recalled:
“They had got the three out and they said, ‘More feet. More feet’ … that’s all I heard and I said, ‘No.’ It’s one surprise after another.”
WELCOME, LITTLE ONES
In a most astonishing yet heartwarming turn of events, Kimberly, who was initially going to deliver triplets, welcomed identical quadruplets: Kenleigh Rosa, Kristen Sue, Kayleigh Pearl, and Kelsey Roxanne, named after their family members.
The mother said she had her babies at 28 weeks, and the idea of delivering four babies at once still seemed surreal. Kimberly added that her preemies weighed between two and two and a half pounds and were critically ill.
“THE FUGATE FOURS”
Kimberly revealed that the “Fugate Fours” spent a few months recovering in the NICU and were put on ventilators to help them breathe because their lungs were small. While doting on her little angels, she said:
“Just getting up in the morning and seeing the smiles on their faces, hearing them coo at me and listening to them babble at each other — the joy is overwhelming. I know every mom is partial to her babies, but I feel like I have the prettiest babies with the prettiest smiles. And those dimples …”
A GRAND CELEBRATION
In addition to Kimberly, Craig and Katelyn were thoroughly thrilled to welcome the quadruplets into their hearts and home and supported Kimberly every step of the way.
Kimberly’s babies arrived just a day before her 42nd birthday, which multiplied the family’s celebration by four. To watch over her newborns while they stayed in NICU, the mom said she stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital, where parents of other unwell kids became like her family.
A TRUE BLESSING
The Mississippi resident recounted that for the first few months, she felt fearful for her little ones’ lives, but gradually, things fell into place. After being in the NICU for three months, the little angels came home in May, and their mom shared that they looked healthy and in great spirits. She added:
“I believed that God picked me to have these quadruplets, and I felt that He would take care of them and allow them to survive. To see how far they’ve come makes me feel very blessed.”
FORMING A CONNECTION
The Fugates said they moved from their two-bedroom trailer in Jayess, Mississippi, to a four-bedroom, double-wide mobile home to have more space for the kids. Per Kimberly, the babies, who were in isolettes at the hospital, began to connect and hug once they acclimated to the home environment.
For some time, the babies wore bracelets with their names, but Kimberly said she took them off because she was afraid they might put them in their mouths. Because of their distinct personalities and physical differences, the happy mother said she had no trouble telling them apart.
A RARE SCENARIO
Dr. James Bofill, a professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the Mississippi Hospital, said that the odds of conceiving identical quadruplets were astonishingly rare — almost one in 13 million — with only 60 cases recorded in medical history.
Handling four babies was a lot of work, but thankfully, Kimberly said she had extra hands to help her out. In an interview with TODAY in 2014, she expressed:
“Katelyn, my 11-year-old, is a great help. She helps in the evenings with baths and feedings. She helps get them to sleep. She plays with them and keeps them entertained. I also have my family nearby to help if I need it.”
A LUCKY MOTHER
Kimberly confessed she was aware of how blessed she was and was grateful every day for having her little princesses. She said:
“I feel very lucky, like the luckiest mom in the whole world. The babies were the biggest surprise of my life, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.”
The “Fugate Fours” continue to thrive and celebrated their eighth birthday in February 2022.
Indeed, miracles happen every day, and often, they can surprise us when we least expect them. This mother had a miracle multiplied by four, and we wish her all the love and happiness.