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Schoolteachers Become Parents of Quadruplets : Births: Babies, mother and father doing fine. But the expected 2 boys and 2 girls turn out to be 3 boys and 1 girl.

September 03, 1993|JODI WILGOREN and MATT LAIT | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

ORANGE — Schoolteachers Scott and Pamela Morris are used to being surrounded by other people's children. But just after 8 a.m. Thursday, they acquired a little crowd of their own.

Not quite enough for a classroom, but just one shy of a basketball squad.

Pam Morris, 35, gave birth to three boys and a girl at St. Joseph Hospital. All four babies are healthy, weighing from 3 pounds to 3 pounds, 11 ounces, and measuring from 15 inches to 16 1/2 inches.

"It's pretty overwhelming," said the proud father, who videotaped the births. "It's scary, it's mind-boggling and it's wonderful. . . . It's going to be wild."

There was one minor hitch. For 33 weeks, the Morrises have been preparing for what the doctors told them were two boys and two girls.

When the babies arrived, however, they were three boys and a girl.

"It was a bit of a shock," Scott said with a smile. "I'm just happy they didn't find another baby or two in there."

He said that the little miscalculation means they will have to reconsider some names. Brennen and Corbin will be the names of two of the boys, and the girl will be called either Justine or Ariana. As for the other boy, "We don't know yet," the father said.

Scott Morris, also 35, said the Fullerton couple had tried unsuccessfully to have children for about a year, then used a fertility drug. The drug, Scott Morris said, "worked and it worked and it worked a little more."

It worked so well, he said, that he now must buy a new car and a new house just to handle the family. They also will "need at least one live-in" baby-sitter, especially when Pam Morris goes back to work, he said. Admittedly, he said, it will be tough on two teachers' salaries.

"We'll never starve, but we won't be moving to Beverly Hills anytime soon either," Scott said.

The arrival of quadruplets was a joyous occasion for the Morrises' relatives.

"It's incredible," said Pam's younger sister, Dawn Elkin. "But they are very precious. With a lot of hair. I'm excited. They're adorable."

Scott's mother, Rosella Morris, said the family was "as proud as can be." Pam's mother, Beverly Starr, said the ordeal left her feeling "exhausted but nice." Both women were all smiles as they walked the halls of the hospital.

The Morrises have been married five years. He teaches fifth grade in Placentia, and she teaches kindergarten in Los Angeles.

When the couple learned they would have quadruplets, Elkin remembered, "Pam cried . . . Scott was more in shock."

Pam Morris, who is 5 foot 3 and weighed 108 pounds--a perfect size 3--at the beginning, gained 47 pounds during the pregnancy. She spent the last three months in bed at St. Joseph to give the babies time to grow.

Throughout the pregnancy, she has been in touch with a multiple-baby support group and with another woman who has quadruplets. She hasn't done too much shopping though.

"You know you can't go out and get four new cribs, four of everything, so she's just been getting stuff from everybody," Elkin explained, adding that three baby showers have already been planned, starting with one at the end of the month.

Doctors decided to do a Cesarean section Thursday morning because tests on Wednesday showed the babies were all healthy and weighed at least three pounds, but that toxemia was setting in and could harm their health, Elkin said.

Thursday was the first time in at least a decade that quadruplets have been born at St. Joseph.

About 20 doctors and nurses hovered in the delivery room during the 20-minute operation, for which Morris only had local anesthesia. There were four teams of nurses, each including a specialist from neighboring Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Two of the babies were born at 8:09 a.m., one at 8:10 and the last at 8:11.

Keeping them straight, Scott Harris admitted, will be tricky.

"Oh, definitely. It'll be interesting."

Pam Morris, who grew up in Long Beach as one of five sisters, is a little worried about all those boys, her sister said. But the oldest sister is the mother of twins, so they have a little practice in that department.

"Since we were raised with all girls, we don't know that much about boys," Elkin said. "We have one nephew and six nieces, and he's a terror, so (Pam) kept saying, 'What am I going to do with three boys?"

Elkin said the babies probably would go home in about a month, and that their mom would be released from the hospital within the week.

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