The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Four daughters, at once

Chennai, June 9: Aditi, Aakriti, Akshiti, Aapti. The children trooped in almost in a single file, noisily, 10 weeks too early.

But Shruti and Vivekanand don’t mind the new arrivals at their home. They know that it isn’t every day that couples have quadruplets born to them.

“I couldn’t believe our good luck when we discovered that Shruti was carrying four babies. Now I can’t believe I am a father to four babies all at once,” exclaimed an over-the-moon Vivekanand, 28.

Husband and wife, both Chennai-based software engineers who got married last year, were warned about the risks ' and told about the option of aborting a few of the foetuses.

“At first, I was really nervous, considering the various complications that could occur both before and after birth,” the 26-year-old mother said as she left the hospital with her babies today. “But my husband made me see that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The Apollo Hospital, which said this was a first in its 23 years of existence, saluted the mother. At a time when “foetal reduction procedures are available, the number of quadruplets in modern medicine is a rare phenomenon”, hospital authorities said.

“Identical quadruplets (born from the same fertilised egg) are medical marvels,” said Shruti’s obstetrician, Dr Charumathi. Such births following natural conception occur once in 6 lakh to 7 lakh deliveries.

The babies were born on April 25 ' at 10.55 am, 10.55 am 30 seconds, 10.56 am, and 10.56 am 30 seconds, 10 weeks before full term. They had a caesarean delivery.

“Mothers with multiple foetuses are expected to begin contractions at 28-30 weeks. Shruti was very lucky not to have developed any complications. She went into regular labour at around 30 weeks,” Dr Charumathi said.

At birth, the babies weighed less than 1 kg, but have since then added over 300 grams each.

Doctors said that though foetal reduction (selective abortion) was an option, there was a risk of losing all four as they shared their placental blood vessels.

“The doctors gave me the courage and confidence to go through with this. I am now looking forward to bringing up my four girls,” Shruti said.

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