Published January 13, 2015
Angela Magdaleno's husband wanted many children -- she just didn't know that they were going to have this many.
Magdaleno, who had triplets three years ago, gave birth to quadruplets on July 6 by Caesarean section in what doctors said was a rare occurrence of multiple births. Though she used fertility drugs with the triplets, she didn't with the quadruplets.
The latest additions -- two girls and two boys -- were doing well Wednesday, while their mother, resting at home, said: "I'm happy because they're healthy and so am I."
Still, Magdaleno, 40, worried she might be overwhelmed with the work and sometimes struggles with mixed emotions about the future. She has two older daughters, too.
"I don't know if I'm sad or happy," she said. "I'm happy but, I don't know. I don't know how to explain it."
Three years ago, Magdaleno gave birth to the triplets after undergoing in vitro fertilization. She said her husband wanted many children. After their birth, she thought she was done having babies.
Then she got pregnant with the quadruplets. Magdaleno said she was shocked at the news.
"She wanted to run," said her husband, Afredo Anzaldo, 45, who lays carpet for a living.
Her doctor, Kathryn Shaw, a high-risk pregnancy specialist, said Magdaleno did well during the pregnancy and developed no complications.
The babies were born at 32 weeks -- well beyond the 29-week average for quadruplets. At birth, the girls were 4 pounds and 17 and 17.5 inches long; the boys about 3.5 pounds and 16 inches long.
Shaw said the odds of conceiving quadruplets without fertility drugs are about one in 800,000. She's seen only one other case of quadruplets being conceived without drugs -- 18 years ago.
Even more rare, the boys appear to be identical twins, according to their doctor, Soha Idriss, who expects the babies will join their mother at home in about eight weeks.
As of Wednesday, their parents were still deciding what to name them.
When the quadruplets come home, Magdaleno will have help from two older daughters.
All 11 family members will be living in a one-bedroom apartment in east Los Angeles. She said the living room is large, but she isn't sure what the family will do when the babies get bigger.
When the older girls are at school and her husband is at work, a friend has offered to help with the newborns and the triplets. "It's a lot of work," their mother said.
In the hospital, the babies sleep wrapped in blankets and attached to monitors and wires in separate incubators. They have full heads of straight dark hair and plump pink mouths.
Anzaldo took the couple's triplets to White Memorial Medical Center to meet their new brothers and sisters and to let Magdaleno get some rest at home.
They have accepted their new brothers and sisters, Magdaleno said. But at first the triplets weren't sure if they wanted the extra siblings, Anzaldo said.
"They wanted one baby and no more," he said.