CHENNAI: For every mother, her child is one in a million. For Shruthi Vivekanand, her four babies are one in four million. Her four identical female babies, sharing the same blood group, fall under the category monozygous quadruplets, considered a medical rarity.
Monozygous quadruplets are born once in four million births. Which is what gets Aditi, Aakrithi, Akshiti and Aapti Shruthi and Vivekanand's kids all the attention they have been getting since birth.
The quadruplets were born on April 25, over 10 weeks before the full term of nine months, within seconds of each other.
"Women with multiple foetuses are expected to begin contractions at 28-30 weeks, especially if they are first-time mothers. The uterus cannot expand sufficiently to hold the babies," explains consultant gynaecologist Charumathi of Apollo Hospitals, who is in-charge of the patient.
High risk is involved in this kind of a pregnancy. High blood pressure, gestational diabetes and anaemia can cause complications for the mother and child.
While terminating some babies is medically recommended in such a case, it was not advisable for Shruthi as she had a single placenta connecting all the babies.
At birth, the four infants weighed less than a kilo each and had to be provided special care at the hospital.
Says neonatologist Meena Thiagarajan: "Pre-term babies are extremely fragile and prone to umpteen complications, quadrupled in this case." Her colleague Siyamala adds it was a challenge from the word go.
However, the children seemed to have done well, what with the combined care from several departments in the hospital, including the Music Therapy department.
At just over one kg, the four kids were discharged on Friday.
Their proud, excited parents confidently held two each in their arms, ready to take them home.