Shawn and Haylee Ladner of Mississippi always dreamed of having a big family, and Haylee had expressed her desire to have at least four kids since the couple married, in 2019. Unfortunately, their journey to parenthood has not been easy, as the couple experienced two heartbreaking miscarriages before turning to intrauterine insemination (IUI) treatment. This fertility treatment involves placing sperm directly into the uterus to conceive.
Expecting one or possibly two babies, the Ladners got a big surprise when they learned there were five.
“When we went for our appointment, my wife had two viable eggs to be fertilized, so we thought twins would be the max,” Shawn wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page. “To say we were in shock would be a severe understatement.”
Haylee shared the news with family and friends on Facebook.
“As many of you know, Shawn and I had our third IUI in August,” Haylee wrote in the post. “We were excited to find out we were pregnant, but little did we know, we were not pregnant with 1 baby but 5 babies!”
Haylee’s pregnancy was an especially rare one, with four identical females, a phenomenon that occurs in only 1 in 60 million pregnancies. One of two fertilized eggs divided four ways, resulting in identical quadruplet girls, and the other egg was their brother. University of Mississippi Medical Center reports that there is evidence of only one other instance of this combination in medical literature since 2018.
Haylee, a middle school teacher, carried the five babies until 28 weeks gestation, which is typical for multiple pregnancies with three or more babies. She was admitted to Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she stayed for five weeks. While her technical due date was set for May 10, the family welcomed the babies on Feb. 16.
When WDAM 7 asked if the couple would have more children, Shawn responded quickly.
“Definitely not,” he told the channel. “Five is enough.”
Girls Adalyn, Everleigh, Malley, Magnolia and little boy Jake are all doing well in the neonatal intensive care unit, breathing on their own and off of ventilators.
“They’re thriving, and we’re looking forward to the day when they can come home,” Haylee said in a statement from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “They are the greatest blessing of my entire life.”
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.