CHESTERTOWN, Md.- Imagine more than doubling the size of your family over the course of about an hour. That is exactly what happened when the Voelcker family of Kent County, Md. welcomed their new little bundles of joy into the world -- all four of them!
The Voelcker quads are now just over three months old, and while every day comes with multiple challenges, this growing family is truly counting its blessings.
WBOC spent a few hours with the Voelcker's, and saw precious moments between mother and child, along with sweet kisses from daddy to his little girls.
Back in November, her family of three grew to a family of seven.
"With Tyler, we tried for four years to get pregnant and finally, we went to more extreme measures with fertility treatment," she explained.
And when the time came to add on to the family tree, Katie and her husband, Allen, again turned to fertility treatments. They knew their chances of having twins or more were pretty high, but nothing could have prepared them for that first ultrasound last May.
"He didn't say anything for a while, then he shook his head and said, 'You guys!' And we're like, 'What?' And he said, 'Guess how many?' And Allen said 'Two?' He said 'No, more.' He said, 'Three?' 'Yeah,' he said, 'But let me count again to make sure.' And so he went back and looked again and said, 'Oh, there's another one,'" Katie recalled.
"It was shock," added Allen. "We were speechless. For about the next couple hours, we, wasn't a whole much said."
The family geared up as best they could, before Katie went in to labor on Halloween -- nearly two months before her due date. On November 1, 2012, Lexie came first, at just two pounds, six ounces. Then came Allison, followed by Daniel and William.
Four weeks later, all of them were out of the hospital and adjusting to their new lives at home.
As you can imagine, having one baby is challenging enough. Multiply that one by four, and that's four times the diapers, four times the bottles of formula and four times the sleepless nights.
"We're still in a three hour feed every day, so it seems like just as soon as you're done feeding them, it's time to start over again," noted Katie. "They get up pretty much every three hours at night, also, so we get pretty sleep-deprived, but we have had quite a bit of help."
Katie's mom took two months off work to fly out from Utah to lend a hand.
"It's just like you get up, you feed, you burp, you change diapers and then it starts all over again, so there's not a whole lot of alone time," said Katie's mother, Terri Carter.
And Allen's mother, who lives nearby, spends four or five days a week at the home helping out.
"It's trying, but I don't know, I don't want to say difficult," explained Edwina Voelcker. "It's a pleasure, because you don't know which one's the sweetest, which one you want to love the most."
While the job may be tiring;
"I didn't know what it was like not to sleep for a period of forever," Terri said.
The diaper changes constant;
"We go through at least 32 a day," noted Katie.
And the laundry endless;
"It's at least two loads of baby's things a day, sometimes it can be three," Edwina told WBOC.
The blessings are truly multiplied.
"I'm grateful to have our big family," said Allen. "It's crazy."
"I think back to when Tyler was little and all the different milestones and having to go through it again but then the four," added Katie. "It's kind of scary. But I think it'll be an adventure."
An adventure, four times over.
Clearly, raising four kids at once is far from easy. The Voelcker's have gotten help along the way from family and friends, with time and donations. The hospital was able to get formula donated for the babies, but that supply is almost out.
If you would like to help out, you can contribute to the quad's fund at PNC Bank, under "Voelcker Quadruplets."
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