Carter native delivers quadruplets in Alabama

By Lesley Jenkins
star staff

Since the odds of giving birth to identical quadruplets are 1 in 729,000, March 17 was a very lucky day for Carter County native Christine Webb and her husband, Kevin. At the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Christine gave birth to four identical girls.
   Christine, 31, is the former Christine Hopson, daughter of Elaine Gulow. She lived in the Hunter community before moving to Alabama with her husband. The couple have two other daughters, Amber, 12, and Calina, 10.
   According to Christine's aunt, Victoria Parfitt, 908 Milligan Highway, the doctors are astounded that the girls are doing as well as they are.
   Dr. John Hautch delivered the girls by Caesarian section around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at 30 weeks gestation. The average delivery time for quadruplets is at 29 and a half weeks. All of the girls are breathing on their own will without the help of ventilators.
   The odds of having spontaneous quadruplets - those formed without the help of fertility drugs - are predicted to be 1 per 729,000 births, according to a study done by the National Center for Health Statistics. It is estimated that 60 percent of triplets and 90 percent of quadruplets are the result of fertility enhancing treatments. The Webb quads were in the same placenta, which increases the risk of umbilical cord accidents.
   Emily Morgan was the first twin delivered weighing 2 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 13-and-a-half inches long. Marley Alaina weighed 2 pounds, 3-and-one-quarter ounces, and was 13-and-a-half inches long. Lindsey Reagan weighed 2 pounds, 4-and-a-quarter ounces, and was the tallest of the girls at 15 inches long. Topping the scales was the last baby, Sydney Michaela, 2 pounds, 4-and-a-half ounces and 14 inches long.
   Grandparents are Elaine and Mark Gulow, formerly of the Wilbur Dam area, and Robert and Carolyn Webb, of Winfield, Alabama. Great-grandparents of the girls are Elmer and Elsie Carden, of the Horseshoe community, and Arlin and Faye Hopson, Elizabethton, and Roberta Mitchell.
Christine Webb has been hospitalized at UAB since Feb. 24 to receive more extensive treatment and extend pregnancy as much as possible.
   "We couldn't be more excited for her," Hauth said. "This is an amazingly rare event, with only about one in a million births occurring as naturally-conceived quadruplets. Even more rare, only about 10 percent of those women get to this point -- carrying all four to 30 weeks and delivering with virtually no medical complications. We are extremely pleased with how well they are doing."
   The quadruplets are listed in serious condition in UAB's Level III Regional Newborn Intensive Care Unit (RNICU), but are doing remarkably well, according to doctors.
   Kevin, 39, and Christine Webb live in the small town of Guin, Ala., located in the northwest corner of the state. The couple have been married for seven years. Also welcoming the Webb babies are Kevin's daughter LaShae, 17, and son Blake, 15.