A woman who was advised by a doctor to have an embryonic reduction — virtually aborting two of her four fetuses — successfully delivered quadruplets early Tuesday at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital. Shontae Minor, 22, and Khristian Rohena, 34, originally were told to expect twins; but at a routine ultrasound in September, they got a surprise.
“The doctors came back in smiling and said, ‘You know you have two sets?’” Rohena recalled.
Baby joy turned to shock when the couple realized Minor was pregnant with quadruplets. The revelation was all the more shocking because the couple were not undergoing fertility treatments.
Despite this miraculous turn of events, the couple’s first doctor advised them to abort two of the fetuses because of complications that could arise from a multiple birth, Rohena said. They were referred to a Houston facility for the procedure.
“We cried and we prayed all the way to Houston,” he said.
But when they arrived, two things changed their plans: The procedure would not be covered by Medicare because the mother was in good health, and all four babies were healthy as well.
The couple switched doctors when they returned to San Antonio, selecting Dr. Jessica Diaz, who delivered their first baby and was excited to take part.
“It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Diaz said.
Dr. Lissa Magloire, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, was also recruited to help the couple.
Minor remembers Magloire gave them hope at their first meeting.
“She just said, ‘Have faith; we can do it,’” Minor recalled.
On Tuesday at 7:54 a.m., the proud mother and father welcomed Yandel Louis, Yariel Raphael, Orion Rico and Ryan Nico to the world.
The children are something of a medical miracle.
The chance of conceiving “spontaneous quadruplets is about one in 700,000 — very rare,” Magloire said.
Also, Rohena had been told by doctors he likely couldn’t conceive children because of an illness for which he’s awaiting surgery.
Already parents of 8-month-old son Khristian Rohena Jr., who’ll celebrate his first birthday in April, they said they were excited to add to their family, but didn’t expect their brood to grow so much so soon.
Minor gave birth to the two sets of identical twins, ranging from 2 pounds 7 ounces to 1 pound 15 ounces, after spending several weeks in the hospital.
“Two of the babies developed twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome,” Diaz said about a complication that can arise in multiple births where there is a disproportionate blood supply between two fetuses sharing a single placenta. “They needed a lot closer monitoring.”
The parents each chose names for a set of twins: Rohena named Yandel and Yariel, and Minor named Orion and Ryan.
“I’m excited,” Rohena said. “I’ve got five now — that’s a team!”
Dr. Adrian Gresores, the neonatologist who helped deliver the quadruplets, said the babies’ conditions are “critical but stable,” and noted this is a milestone for the hospital as well.
“This is the first set of quads at St. Luke’s,” Gresores said at a news conference there Wednesday morning.
Both parents have twins in their families — Rohena’s brother is the father of fraternal twin boys and Minor has a twin brother.
Rohena, an Iraq War veteran, is currently on disability. Viva Doulas, the local chapter of the Central Texas Doula Association, is accepting donations on behalf of the family.
Items needed include baby care products, a breast pump and baby carriers, among other items.
Drop-off locations have been set up throughout the city; for locations and more information, go online to vivadoulas.org.
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