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What’s It Like to Be a Quadruplet?

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Answer by Tracy Hess, quadruplet:

Since being a quadruplet is all I know (as opposed to being a single child, twin, etc.), I don’t know how it would feel to be anything other than a quadruplet. So the best way I can answer the question is that for me, being a quadruplet is probably similar to people who have siblings close in age. Sometimes you get along and have a built-in best friend, while other times you hate each other. Sometimes I would get along better with one sister than another, but that would rotate. I attribute being very competitive with the fact that while growing up, I was constantly fighting for my parents’ attention and had to figure out who I was as an individual instead of being just “one of the four.”

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I have learned to appreciate that since quadruplet births are more rare than single births, there is more interest in it. The Mothers of Supertwins, or MOST, organization estimates the odds at 1 in 571,787 pregnancies. As a kid, I didn’t understand what was so interesting about it. It wasn’t until high school that I really started noticing that people seemed to have similar reactions. Here are the most common reactions/questions and how I answer:

“What is it like?” I don’t know any different.

“I have never met a quadruplet before.” You may have, but if the conversation hasn’t come, up you wouldn’t know. I have met a lot of people who don’t know I am a quadruplet unless we happen to talk about siblings and they ask questions that make me feel it is appropriate to mention.

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“So there are three more of you?” We are fraternal (do not look alike), so our looks and our personalities are very different. We have similarities, but you would probably only guess that we are sisters, not necessarily born within a five-minute span.

“Do you have telepathic connection and feel the same pain when another sister gets hurt?” I think anytime you know someone extremely well, you are somewhat in sync. I don’t necessarily feel the pain when a sister gets hurt, but we seem to think alike. For example, in the past we have all called my mom about different things within an hour of each other without planning.

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