EDMONTON — In this case it may actually take a village to raise a child — four of them to be exact — in a northwestern Alberta community.
Tim and Bethani Webb of Hythe planned to have a family when they got married last June and were thrilled when they found out not long after that they were expecting.
The thrill is now tinged with a bit of panic since the couple has learned that Bethani is expecting four identical baby girls.
“I definitely did go through some panic attacks. I’m still in such shock that I’m having quads,” said Bethani, 22, who has been admitted to an Edmonton hospital until the girls can be safely delivered, probably in early May.
No fertility drugs were involved in the conception.
“One of the nurses that works at the hospital said it was a one in 67 million occurrence,” Bethani said.
The village of Hythe, population 821 and 500 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, is rallying around the young couple. A fundraiser is scheduled for April and a GoFundMe campaign is raising cash to help with what is going to be a busy time for the Webbs.
“I think we’re going to go through at least 48 diapers a day,” Bethani laughed.
The hospital in nearby Grande Prairie is holding a diaper drive to help with the stockpiling.
Tim Webb, 23, said he was almost overcome when he heard the news.
“When I first found out I almost fell over,” he said.
“That day with the ultrasound, when they counted the four, I actually felt quite faint and I had to ask for a seat because it was just too much all at once.”
The Webbs have been making busy planning for once the babies, who are to be delivered by C-section, are delivered.
“I realized that we didn’t have a vehicle that could support four babies,” Bethani said. “We were only planning for one and we’d only bought one crib, and we were only planning on buying one car seat. And then, all of a sudden, it’s going from one to four, and having to find the car seats and find the vehicle and find the cribs and find the space.”
Tim said they will be giving up their one bedroom and move into a house with his mother, who is thrilled at having four grandbabies. The SUV will also have to go to make room for four extra passengers.
Bethani is now trying to figure out how to tell four identical baby girls apart.
“I’m probably going to have to paint their nails or put a bracelet on them or different coloured ribbons.”
As for the dad-to-be: “I think of them as blessings really. I’ll probably be pulling my hair out a year from now, but now I’m excited.”