Four of a kind equals a full house.
A 31-year-old German woman gave birth to identical quadruplets, an event so rare doctors place the odds at 13 million to 1, and experts say their are only about 60 such sets in the entire world.
The four girls – Laura, Sophie, Jasmin and Kim – were not the product of artificial insemination, according to the German English language paper The Local. They arrived ten weeks early on Jan. 6. The babies, who weighed between two and two-and-a-half pounds, were doing well, as was their mother, according to the paper.
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
“They came through the early birth astoundingly well,” a spokeswoman for the hospital said.
Doctors at Leipzig Hospital told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that the fact the pregnancy ran into the 28th week without any problems was extremely rare, noting that multiple baby pregnancies are often much shorter.
Doctors said the chances of having identical quadruplets were very low – about one-in-13 million.
Although there are risks for any premature babies, the chances for the four girls look very good. They will remain in incubators at the hospital until shortly before their due date.
Burkhard Jung, the mayor of Leipzig, was made the girls’ first godfather and went to see them on Tuesday.
“Crazy,” he said afterward. “It is simply unbelievable. The most beautiful thing is that everything is complete. In short – all are healthy.”
The parents, who already had a five-year-old boy, can only talk to and stroke the little girls in their incubators. They are being fed their mother's milk via bottles.
“When they are a little more stable, the mother can begin kangaroo care,” said Dr. Ulrich Thome, referring to taking them onto her bosom.
Thome said the parents were, “of course somewhat stressed – they do not yet know how it will work when they are released from hospital.”
Last year, a reality TV show called "The Quad Squad" premiered on Lifetime Television, featuring identical quadruplets Megan, Kendra, Sarah and Calli Durst, of Buffalo, Minnesota. There are only about 60 known sets of identical quadruplets in the world, according to experts. Great Britain's only known set of identical quadruplets, the Carles sisters, was also chronicled in a television show, called "Four of a Kind."