Blessed with four!

Blessed with four!

Four babies. At the same time. Umhlanga couple Julia and Pieter are extremely excited and more than just a little daunted at the prospect of giving birth to their naturally-conceived quadruplets in just a few months’ time. We sat down with the 35-year-old teacher and her helicopter pilot husband ahead of their colossal journey into parenthood.

Talk us through your decision to start a family? I was ready to start a family 10 years ago (just kidding). We both decided we were ready to embark on the parenting journey about a year ago and hoped and prayed that it wasn’t too late. It took a little longer than I expected, but we fell pregnant after a holiday in the Cape (they may be having a drought, but I think the water is rather fertile!). I always joked about having twins because I think the bond between twins is something so special.”

Tell us about finding out you were pregnant, with quads… There was great excitement in the house after we got a positive home pregnancy test. My gynaecologist sent us for blood tests first and then seven weeks (which felt like seven years) later we went for our first scan. When we got to the rooms and we were waiting for our turn to go in, I looked at Pieter and for some reason or other I said, “what if its quads?”. He laughed and said that was ridiculous! But, as it turned out, Dr Nagel’s screen lit up with little sacks during the scan. I thought he was playing some kind of a joke! He was in absolute awe and kept saying, “wow, this is incredible, you two are so blessed. What a miracle. Do you see what I see?” By this time my eyes were welling up and my poor husband had broken out in a cold sweat and was leaning against the wall. We both just stared at the screen. When we got to the car and looked at each other, we both just burst into tears. I don’t think we could ever explain that rollercoaster of emotions to anyone. Needless to say, I went into complete shock and landed up in hospital on a drip the very next day with severe dehydration.

When are you due? What are the concerns with having four babies? Our full-term date is 9 July however, I definitely won’t carry until then. There are many concerns as this is a high-risk pregnancy and I am already on bed rest from now until the babies arrive. If they are born between 24 and 28 weeks we risk losing all four of them. For every week over 28 weeks the likelihood of survival is that much stronger. Both Dr Nagel and foetal specialist Dr Bhorat say it would be amazing if I can carry them until 32 weeks, but I am adamant I will carry these little miracles to 34 weeks to ensure they have the best start to their lives.

Tell us about your gender reveal party? We decided to have the party at the Virginia Wings club. Because Pieter loved the Virginia Air Show, he spoke to his fellow pilots about getting involved in the reveal. Pieter came home super excited with his idea and I took one look at him and said he was nuts! There was no way we could possibly afford such an elaborate reveal. Then he sat me down and calmly told me that it was all being sponsored. I burst into tears and couldn’t believe the generosity of these incredible pilots. Another work colleague, who happens to be an engineer, helped create these amazing contraptions that would be held out the aircrafts so that we could have coloured smoke billowing from the machines! On the day we had three streaks of pink for our set of identical girls and our fraternal girl and a streak of blue in the sky for our fraternal boy.

How has your pregnancy been thus far? It has been incredible. I am one of the few fortunate mothers-to-be who hasn’t suffered with any morning sickness. But, from about 19 weeks, I started feeling some discomfort as my ligaments started stretching, and have had pains that I have never felt before.

What are you looking forward to and worried about, as parents of four kids? I think our biggest concern is the financial side of raising and educating four children at the same time. Pieter joked, saying he hoped we’d have four identical babies so that we could send twin one to school on Monday, twin two on Tuesday, twin three on Wednesday and twin four on the Thursday . . . so we could save on the cost of school fees! We are super excited about having eight little feet running around and causing absolute havoc in our home and lives.

Have you got a plan of action when your babies arrive in terms of help and support? To be honest, we don’t have a plan of action as yet and just plan to take it one day at a time. When they arrive, they will more than likely be in the NICU for about two months. I don’t want to have a plan in place and then feel like a failure when things don’t go according to the plan. We will definitely need a bigger car, as four car seats and prams won’t fit in the cars we currently have. We are also looking for a nanny who is experienced with premature babies, as we will need an extra pair of hands to help us with meal times and in the evenings.

How can our readers lend a helping hand? Any form of donations, including nappies, wet wipes, vouchers for formula etc would be greatly appreciated!

Get in touch:
Follow their journey on Instagram @MassynQuads or Facebook: Massyn Quads

Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photograph: Melissa Mitchell Photography, | Gender reveal photograph: Photo Centz,



Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) – November 2018

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