By John Connolly

OREGON, Ohio, December 21, 2007 ( – A couple in central Ohio gave birth to quadruplets last week, their second pregnancy after giving birth to twins three years ago. It had been suggested they abort one of the children, using the terminology “selective reduction”, but the parents refused. They were also offered induced labour and early delivery of the children but they opted to wait for labor to begin naturally.

Tony and Shannon Hand of Oregon Ohio became the proud parents of Madison Claire, Everett Joseph, Isabel Grace, and Olivia Justine. The couple was expecting two boys and two girls, and were surprised by three girls and a boy instead.

“During all the moving around, they fooled us,” said Tony. “It’s a better [Christmas] present than I could’ve hoped for.”

The quadruplets were delivered on December 9 at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon.
“I’ve always wanted a big family,” said Shannon, who is recovering at the hospital. “I love babies and kids.”

The couple tried to conceive for five years without success, and turned to fertility drugs for both their pregnancies. Although they knew of the chances of multiple children resulting from the fertility treatment, Tony and Shannon weren’t expecting quadruplets.

“It was a little shocking,” Shannon said.

“We said, ‘Well, whatever the good Lord provides,’” Tony said. “We’re very fortunate because a lot of people can’t have families. To me, it’s just twins times two. We already buy everything in twos.”

Dr. Peter Johnson, who delivered the babies, said the delivery went “smooth as silk.”

The pregnancy lasted thirty-four weeks and two days, two weeks longer than most quadruplet pregnancies. Dr. Paul Byrne a noted pro-life physician, director of St. Charles’ neonatal unit and former president of the Catholic Medical Association, said, “We encouraged bedrest and waited for labor to begin naturally”. He explained, “the extended pregnancy would give the infants more time to develop before birth, allowing them better health.”

Dr. Byrne, who treated the infants at birth and in the hospital nursery, reported that, after the birth “none of the infants had to be place on a ventilator. None had umbilical lines.”  In a communication today he stated, “They are going home tomorrow 12 days after delivery.”

“The mom and dad are special people,” he said.

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