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Quadruplets Are Born at Fountain Valley Hospital

Fertility: Dong Xuan Pham and Kim Thuy Khuat of Gardena are parents of the second set delivered in Orange County in recent weeks.


FOUNTAIN VALLEY — Dong Xuan Pham finally got the girl he always wanted--plus three more boys.

Pham's wife, Kim Thuy Khuat, gave birth Wednesday to quadruplets at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, the first set of quads delivered at the hospital and the second set born in Orange County in recent weeks.

The babies came seven weeks early, but all four were healthy and delivered by caesarean section beginning at 7:46 a.m, hospital officials said.

The first was Andrew, at 3 pounds, 9 ounces; followed by Christopher, at 4 pounds, 1 ounce; Danny, at 4 pounds, 11 ounces; and finally Dianna, named after her aunt Anna of Kuwait and the Princess of Wales, at 4 pounds, 4 ounces.

"God has given us a big blessing," said Pham, 39, a Gardena machinist who emigrated from Vietnam.

He and his wife, a homemaker, already have a 17-month-old son and had "prayed for a daughter," Pham said through an interpreter.

Pham said that while he is happy about becoming a father of five, he is worried about how he will provide for his family. The couple live in a one-bedroom apartment and hope to find a larger house, he said.

Pham and Khuat met in a church choir group in Vietnam and were married in 1988. Khuat came to the United States in 1990, and her husband followed a year later. Family members said they had been trying to have a baby since they were reunited, and Khuat turned to fertility drugs, resulting in the birth of their toddler son, Martin.

Khuat, 36, who had been bedridden in the hospital for 7 1/2 weeks, took fertility drugs to help her conceive again, said her obstetrician, Cau Van Vo. Vo said that quadruplets are rare in Vietnamese families, mainly because of the high cost of fertility treatments.

"I haven't heard of any incidents of four births. . . . It's rare," said Vo, a physician for 27 years who practiced in Saigon before coming to the United States in 1980.

Pham said he and his wife had been stunned to learn that Khuat was carrying four babies. Early on, doctors had told them there might be twins. There was talk later of triplets and, in recent weeks, confirmation of four babies.

Vo said the chances of a woman giving birth to quadruplets without taking fertility drugs is 1 in 1.2 million.

With the use of fertility drugs, the chance of multiple births increases by 5% to 8%, said Vicki Lombardo, the hospital's director of maternal child health.

On Mother's Day, Susan and Robert Hasson of Westminster became the parents of quadruplets, born at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.

Wednesday's arrivals were assisted by a medical team that included seven doctors, seven nurses and four respiratory therapists.

The babies were delivered without complications. Vo said that each was placed on a respirator because of signs of irregular breathing after birth.

Dr. Armida Esparza, medical director of the hospital's newborn intensive care unit, said that tests show the babies' lungs to be healthy and that they are scheduled to be taken off respirators this morning.

"Once they get off the respirators, we need to worry about getting them to gain weight and to be able to thrive by themselves," Esparza said, adding that the babies will probably go home at different times within the next two to four weeks.

Hospital officials said the couple has received donations of clothing and four car seats.

Pham said he is concerned about how his wife will care for their five children when he returns to work.

"I hope that God will guide us to take good care of the children," he said.

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