June 5, 1996
Media Contact: Karen Infeld
Phone (410) 955-1534
While Michelle Jarrett is restricted to bed rest waiting to deliver quadruplets, her husband, Fred, has been in labor for weeks -- trying to finish a two-room nursery he is adding to the Baltimore couple's home. "He's the one doing all the work now," says Michelle, smiling. "But it won't be that way for long."
After five years of frustration, the Jarretts were about to give up trying to have a baby because of concern for Michelle's health. In a final attempt, they went to the Johns Hopkins In-vitro Fertilization Program. Although the Hopkins IVF program had one of the nation's best ongoing pregnancy rates last year, the Jarretts knew their odds were long; it often takes several cycles for a fertilized egg to be successfully implanted, but their insurance would cover only one cycle. As it turned out, one was enough.
"When we learned I was pregnant, I just cried. I couldn't talk. And we were even more surprised it was quadruplets," says Michelle, who is 27 weeks pregnant. Endrika Hinton, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics/gynecology, who performed the IVF procedure, says that although there is a 30 percent to 40 percent chance of multiple pregnancy with in-vitro fertilization, quadruplets are relatively uncommon.
Michelle, who is largely confined to her hospital bed in an effort to allow the pregnancy to reach at least 30 weeks, looks forward to her husband's nightly visits to the hospital after working on the new nursery all day. "He's exhausted, but we'll have a lot of help from family and friends when the babies come," she says. "We can't wait."