Kimberly Fugate found out she was pregnant at the age of 42. This in itself was a revelation; Kimberly had had her tubes tied. But that wasn’t all. The mom-to-be was expecting triplets.
Kim Fugate, left, husband Craig and oldest daughter Katelyn pause for a family photo before two of the "Fugate Four"…
Kimberly and her husband, Craig, already had an 11-year-old daughter named Katelyn and were thoroughly bowled over by the news that their family would be expanding. Neither had twins in their family.
But they allowed themselves to grow excited as the months rolled on, rushing to make the necessary preparations for the arrival of 60 adorable little fingers and toes, and three new hungry mouths to feed.
Kimberly went into labor a little earlier than expected, on Feb. 8, 2014, at 28 weeks and one day pregnant. “Everything happened so fast,” Kimberly wrote, later sharing her recollections of the amazing (and terrifying) time with Today. “Sometimes, I still have to pinch myself and wonder, ‘Am I dreaming or is it real?'”
But Kimberly’s baby girls were born one by one, without a hitch. Until the doctor leaned forward and uttered four words that neither Kimberly nor Craig will ever forget.
“I have more feet!”
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!Kenleigh, Kristen, Katelyn, Kayleigh, Kelsey
Kimberly, after preparing for three, gave birth to four identical quadruplets in all. And every one a girl!
The baby girls were premature, underweight, and suffered a number of health problems as a result, however. Kayleigh, Kenleigh, Kristen, and Kelsey spent three months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Times were hard for the new parents, as they endured eye surgery, two resuscitations, and heart problems among their tiny brood.
“There were a lot of very scary moments,” Kimberly shared, “and their first few months were like a roller coaster. One baby might be having a good day but another having a bad day … There were times when I feared for their lives.”
The family garnered strength from one another, however, and by the summer of 2014, the baby girls were able to come home. Kimberly felt a rush of gratitude, especially for her husband and then-11-year-old daughter, who helped beyond measure.
“It’s a lot of work taking care of even one baby, let alone four,” she opened up, “but I don’t mind. It’s a lot of fun, and they make it all worth it.”
Immense joy came from the little things: “Hearing them coo at me and listening to them babble at each other,” Kimberly described. “The joy is overwhelming.”
Today, the girls are 5 years old and the very picture of health. They are a rare find; there are allegedly only 70 sets of identical quadruplets in the world.
As such, the girls are little celebrities, and their proud parents even chronicle their lives on the girls’ own Facebook page.
Of course, life as a family of seven necessitated something of an upgrade, space-wise. The family now uses a minivan and has moved from a “two-bedroom trailer in Jayess, Mississippi, to a four-bedroom, double-wide mobile home,” Kimberly said.
Just imagine the detritus when the girls hit their teens! Kimberly, however, remains overwhelmingly grateful. “I feel very lucky,” she said. “Like the luckiest mom in the whole world.”