Like many couples starting their marriage, Justin and Julie Davidson dreamed of having children someday and seeing them romp through their happy home.
But just one bundle of joy at a time.
An ultrasound and other tests at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville this summer confirmed instead that an instant family — as in four daughters — were on the way for the Banks County couple.
“It’s awesome — it’s going to be awesome,” 25-year-old Justin said from Julie’s hospital room last week. “She wanted to have two or three kids eventually, so we got it all done in one go.”
Justin has been overjoyed since they first got the news this summer.
That happened about six to seven weeks into her pregnancy, when the couple thought they were having just one baby. After suffering from back pains, she went to the hospital’s emergency room.
“I thought I was having a miscarriage,” said Julie, 23, who is in her 29th week of pregnancy.
When word came she was having quadruplets, “I just freaked out,” she said.
She phoned her husband, who was in the hospital cafeteria at the time, and told him to come to her room right away — without telling him why.
“She was crying, was upset and I couldn’t really understand what she was saying (on the phone),” he recalled.
After a mad dash to her room, he asked, “What is it?”
“We’re having four,” she said.
“Four babies?” he asked, getting a nod in return. “She was crying and I was like, ‘This is going to be awesome, like super fun.’”
“I don’t think you know what fun is,” Julie said.
Still, the news left the couple shaking their heads. Their babies were naturally conceived and multiples don’t run in their families.
“It came out of nowhere,” said Justin, who also has a son, 4-year-old Bentley, Julie’s stepson.
“They say God won’t give you more than you can handle,” Julie said. “I’m like … maybe he’s got me mixed up with someone else.”
The couple shared their story last week from the hospital’s Women and Children’s Pavilion, where Julie has been on bed rest since Dec. 28, passing the time knitting and putting together puzzles.
“We’re excited. We’re happy to be here,” she said. “I’m glad I’m here. The (hospital staff) seems very prepared. They’ve got people on call. The other day, they had a mock drill, like I had gone into labor.”
The real event is coming soon, as the babies could be born long before the typical 40-week pregnancy.
“The longer she can last, the less time they’ll have to stay in the (neonatal intensive care),” Justin said. “We’re trying to get them 3 pounds (each).”
So far, McKenna Emory is at 2.4 pounds; Teagan Kate, 2.5 pounds; Callie Noel, 2 pounds; and Sawyer Claire, 2.3 pounds.
The goal is to at least get Julie to 30 weeks, but it’s one week at a time, said her obstetrician, Dr. Holt Harrison.
“And she is doing remarkably well,” he said of his patient. “There is not an official delivery date established yet. An absolute line in the sand could be around 34 weeks.
“At this point, the (babies) are continuing to grow and develop. We’ll take as much time as we can get. … We’re just going to keep praying.”
For Harrison personally, this is his first time delivering quadruplets.
“This is really kind of a one-in-a-lifetime thing for an obstetrician,” he said.
“This is exciting,” Harrison added. “For the provider, there’s always a bit of nerves involved. You just want to be certain that everything goes well.”
It’s also a first for Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
“There was a set born at Hall County Hospital in 1944, prior to the hospital becoming NGMC,” spokeswoman Kristin Grace said.
Multiple births are fairly common, especially twins. The hospital has had 369 sets of twins and four sets of triplets since 2010, Grace said.
The Davidsons also are looking at life beyond the hospital, to when they can bring their daughters to their modest home about a mile from the Hall County line.
There, Justin has been busy putting together cribs — the babies will sleep in one crib early on — and otherwise preparing the nursery for the big arrival, or arrivals, as the babies likely will come home one at a time.
“We’re definitely going to have to build on (to the house), down the road,” he said during a visit to the couple’s home. “The first thing will be another room or two, as they get older.”
Another big purchase is likely to be a minivan.
“That Jeep out there is probably getting sold,” Justin said.
The Davidsons are lining up help from church and family members.
“My mom and her mom are extremely excited about the babies,” Justin said. “They said they’re going to be here a lot.”
The couple, documenting their story on Facebook, have gotten a lot of support worldwide from people they don’t know.
“People say they want to give us clothes, swings and (money),” Julie said.
“And there’s lots of prayers coming from all over,” Justin said, with a smile.