The Ladner family of Purvis grew from two to seven on Feb. 16 when Haylee and Shawn welcomed the birth of quintuplets at Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“Haylee’s pregnancy was quite rare,” said Dr. Rachael Morris, associate professor of maternal fetal medicine, who provided prenatal care and delivered the babies. “She had a quintuplet pregnancy with four identical females. Reports of spontaneous quintuplets vary but are about 1 in 60 million. There are very few reports of identical quadruplets in the literature to date. Reported incidence is 1 in 10 to 15 million pregnancies. There is only one other report of this combination in the literature from 2018.”
Adalyn Elizabeth was born at 9:19 a.m. at 2 pounds, 2 ounces and 13.38 inches long. Following her were Everleigh Rose at 9:20 a.m., 2 pounds, 0.8 ounces, 12.59 inches; Malley Kate at 9:21 a.m., 1 pound, 11 ounces, 12.99 inches; Magnolia Mae at 9:22 a.m., 2 pounds, 2 ounces, 13.18 inches; and Jake Easton at 9:23 a.m., 2 pounds, 5 ounces, 13.77 inches.
All were born by caesarian section and are faring well for their gestational age of 28 weeks and one day. They have been admitted to neonatal intensive care at Children’s of Mississippi. Haylee has recovered well, Morris said.
If the Ladners’ pregnancy was rare, so was the fortitude of Haylee Ladner, Morris said. “She is the strongest mother I’ve ever met. From our first meeting, it was clear how committed and determined Haylee and Shawn were.”
Haylee was admitted to UMMC on Jan. 11 so Morris could keep a close eye on the expectant mom.
“Haylee demonstrated such strength and determination throughout her hospital stay, despite the tremendous challenges of carrying a quintuplet pregnancy,” Morris said. “After five long weeks in the hospital, Haylee started showing signs of preterm labor. Several multidisciplinary meetings had been held prior to her admission and during her hospitalization to plan and arrange every detail of her delivery. We were ready! The collaborative efforts from many disciplines were instrumental in a safe, high-risk delivery of five premature neonates.”
About three years into marriage, the Purvis couple wanted to start a family. After Haylee had problems conceiving and experienced a miscarriage, the couple tried intrauterine insemination, or IUI. One of the fertilized eggs divided four ways, resulting in identical quadruplet girls, and the other egg was their brother.
The Ladner quintuplets are thought to be the highest number of multiple babies born at UMMC since the quadruplets of Craig and Kimberly Fugate were born at UMMC in 2014.
Because of the risks of carrying five babies including premature birth, Haylee became a patient of Morris through the Center for Maternal and Fetal Care. Morris was soon on the phone with Dr. Mobolaji Famuyide, chief of the Division of Newborn Medicine.
“I said, ‘Dr. Famuyide, we have a mother expecting quintuplets,” Morris recounted during the announcement of the quintuplets’ birth Feb. 24. “She said, ‘OK, we can do this!’ And we did.”
Once Haylee was admitted to Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants, a labor and delivery room was set aside for her.
“Blocking a labor and delivery room for use by anyone but a particular patient is rare, but to be ready for the quintuplets’ birth, we had to,” Morris said.
The care team included about 30 specialists in neonatology and neonatal nursing in addition to experts in obstetrics, gynecology, hematology, respiratory therapy, anesthesiology and surgery.
“A daily schedule was in place for the entire duration of her stay in the hospital, and team members were willing and happy to be called in even if this happened at 2 a.m.,” Famuyide said. “There were five warmers and two rooms ready for the babies, and several neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, fellows, nurses and respiratory therapists ready every day. We were ready for weeks for this birth.”
The labor and delivery room was stocked with enough supplies for five babies instead of one or two. “Cord clamps, for instance,” Morris said. “Usually, three cord clamps are used in the birth of one baby. We had 30 ready for this birth.”
To have their babies at UMMC was an important choice for the family, said Shawn Ladner, a maintenance employee of Wis-Pak, a manufacturer of soft drinks and purified water in Hattiesburg.
“Who’s going to deliver these babies?” he said. “That in and of itself was a challenge, because you can’t just go to any hospital and find someone with experience in delivering multiple babies at once.”
A friend of Haylee recommended the Center for Maternal and Fetal Care and Morris and gave her contact information. “The OBGYN nurse called me in a few days and set up an appointment for us to see her. It has been the best decision we have ever made. She’s absolutely wonderful, and we adore her,” Haylee said of Morris.
Shawn agreed. “We couldn’t be more pleased. All our concerns, all our worries we’ve had about the delivery, she acknowledged them and explained how they would care for those issues. We’ve felt like we’ve been cared for the best we possibly could be.”
Since their birth, the babies have been getting the best of care, said Haylee, who has gotten to hold three of the five so far. “They’re thriving, and we’re looking forward to the day when they can come home. They are the greatest blessing of my entire life.”