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The odds of Texas freezing over were slim. But so were the odds of Texas couple Bill and Starlyn Cafferata having quadruplets.
“We had fertility issues going way back to when we first got married 10 years ago,” said Bill, a teacher, coach and Realtor. It took six IUI (intrauterine insemination) tries and one round of IVF to conceive their daughter, Zoe, who was born in 2018.
But on Jan. 18, Starlyn welcomed four babies: a son Enzo, and three daughters, Lennon, Stella and Francesca. Born at 31 weeks, the accidental quadruplets are thriving in the NICU — and have needed to limit contact with their parents and each other due to the pandemic.
Last week’s out-of-the-blue storm made things worse. The parents couldn’t make it inside the hospital for more than a week. Although their electricity got knocked out, they FaceTimed the nurses caring for their babies as much as they could, and even delivered milk to them in a parking lot.
Now, the parents have just reunited with their tots — documenting the tearful hospital visit for their 440,900 followers on their TikTok account @CaffSquad — and are on track to bring them home from the NICU next week.
“You look at the odds of this and how crazy this is. It’s wild,” said Bill, 37. “But the fact that [Starlyn] stayed out of the hospital as long as she did? Delivered as late as she did? And the fact that all four of them are superhealthy and almost ready to come home soon? It’s beyond. I can’t even comprehend the odds of all of that working together.”
The couple had only one embryo left after the 2018 birth of Zoe and a failed transfer in 2019. “It was our last shot,” said Bill. In July of 2020, they made the transfer. Six weeks and a positive pregnancy test later, the couple got the surprise of their lives at the ultrasound appointment.
Looking at the screen, “Bill goes, ‘This doesn’t look like Zoe’s,’” remembered Starlyn, a 36-year-old pediatric nurse. Their doctor was shocked, too, at the sight of four distinct sacs. “She had never seen this before.”
Though extremely rare, multiples like this are possible. As the frozen embryo was implanted, Bill and Starlyn got pregnant with two more babies (not twins) the old-fashioned way. (Starlyn said it’s possible this was because she was on medication to ovulate for the implantation.) Then one embryo, most likely the frozen one, split into identical twins.
“I started hyperventilating. I said, ‘I need to take my mask off, I need water. I feel like I’m going to pass out …’” the mom of five said. Bill was “beet red.”
“He was like, ‘We need a bigger house. What kind of car are we going to get?’”
At six weeks along with quads, the mom was measuring as large as a single 15-week pregnancy. “I was at 18 weeks, and people would be like, ‘Congratulations! Any day now!’ ” she recalled.
By 29 weeks, Starlyn was admitted to the hospital for bed rest. Bored, she decided to make a TikTok video showing off her extra-large bump. “We woke up the next day to 12,000 followers,” said Bill. “We feel so fortunate that so many people care about these babies,” Starlyn added.
Indeed, nearly 40 medical experts were in the room to help the quads come into the world. But due to COVID, even family visits are limited. “We can’t both go in at the same time,” Bill said.
“We haven’t been able to kiss on them or snuggle on them because we’ve been wearing masks the whole time,” said Starlyn.
It also means that Zoe hasn’t met her younger siblings yet, although she’s been practicing their names. “I’m a big sister,” the tot told The Post.
But barring any more freak winter storms, they’ll all be home together next week.
“They’re at the right weight, they’re at the right age, it’s just about learning to eat,” said Starlyn. “I just want to be able to touch them whenever I want.”