Dundalk woman gives birth to quadruplets Four boys' prognosis 'very good', doctor says

couple also has girl, 4 DTC

April 14, 1996|By Joe Mathews | Joe Mathews,SUN STAFF

When yesterday began, Sarah Luckert was an only child. By day's end, she had four younger brothers.

The Luckert quadruplets -- Christopher John, Joseph Austin, Michael Patrick and Nicholas Ryan-- were born to a Dundalk couple yesterday between 3: 56 and 3: 58 p.m. at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Sarah, 4, will keep the upstairs bedroom; the four boys, conceived with the help of fertility drugs, will share a room downstairs, next to their parents.

"Little League infield, basketball team, any kind of team, we can do it," said Joe Luckert, a dump truck driver and father of the boys.

Mother Laura Luckert was reported to be feeling well late yesterday, and the prognosis for the quadruplets, who weigh between 3 pounds, 2 ounces, and 3 pounds, 13 ounces each, is "very good," said Dr. Gadi Alpan, the attending physician. The boys are resting at the neonatal unit at Hopkins Bayview, and are expected to go home in about four weeks.

Doctors credited Mrs. Luckert, a 29-year-old secretary, for her hard work in carrying the boys for 32 weeks. Average gestation for quadruplets is 30 weeks, doctors said, and the extra time makes a difference.

"The art is in letting the mother do the work," Dr. Alpan said. In nature, one in every 700,000 births results in quadruplets, though fertility drugs increase the incidence of multiple births.

The Luckerts were married Oct. 4, 1986, at St. Jerome's Church in Pigtown, and Joe Luckert, who is an identical twin, had told his wife of his desire for twins of his own.

But they weren't prepared for their wedding anniversary, when they learned that Laura would have quadruplets. Doctors raised the possibility of reducing the number of embryos from four, but both parents were against it.

Still, Mr. Luckert, 38, says the task of raising five small children is enormous, and Mrs. Luckert's sister will move in for a few months to help out.

"It's going to be hard at first," he said. "But everyone's helping out. We had an aunt who bought three cribs. People are stopping by the house and dropping off formula."

"I was never afraid," he added. "Laura's a great mother."

Pub Date: 4/14/96

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