Life as quadruplets

Life as quadruplets

Abby Hogan and Sidney Hogan

“I told dad on the way to the ultrasound I had a feeling I was having twins because the pregnancy was so different at the beginning.” Even though my mom, Stephanie Hogan, may have had a feeling she was having more than one baby, my parents weren’t prepared for the news that there were four. 

   Conducting the ultrasound, the tech pointed out Baby A then Baby B. She went on, “and there’s baby C, and there’s Baby D.” Another doctor steadied my dad, Paul, putting her hands on his shoulders, worrying he might faint. 

   Twins were exciting. Quadruplets were scary. Would they all live? What would their health be like? How do we pay for four babies at once? 

   “When you’re doing fertility treatments you sign all  this paperwork that says you understand that this (having multiple babies) could happen, but you don’t ever think it will happen to you,” Stephanie said.

   As of 2007, there were about 3,500 recorded sets of quadruplets in the world. That’s 14,000 people who call themselves a quadruplet. We’re lucky enough to be two of those people. With so few knowing what it’s like to be a quadruplet, we get asked many questions. We’re here to answer them. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions with some surprising answers:

   Do we fight a lot? 

   We don’t fight that much; I can’t remember the last time we argued. Being the same age helps. There’s no argument of “Well, I’m older!” We just compromise or end up laughing about whatever we disagree on. 

   When we do argue, it’s about who gets to wear the new sweatshirt, or who has to wash the dishes. We never yell at each other or lash out and say something we might regret. We know that the unimportant arguments aren’t worth our time

   Did we feel like individuals when we were younger? Did we ever not want to be quadruplets? 

   While I’ve never not wanted to be a quadruplet, I often wonder what it’s like to be a singleton. All of my birthdays are never just mine. I share them with three other people. So I never have a day all about me. Honestly, I don’t really mind. Who wouldn’t want 4 birthday cakes? 

   The only time being a quadruplet is annoying is when people don’t try to get to know just me. In middle school, some of my teachers just referred to me as “Hogan” instead of my first name. This made me feel like they didn’t want to put the effort in to get to know me, let alone learn my name. 

   Do we have twin telepathy?

   Yes and no. Can I tell you what Abby’s thinking about at this moment? No. There are times that I think our brains are somehow connected. 

   I can’t count how many times I’ve heard Abby and McKenzy singing the same song from two rooms in sync. We might respond to a question at the same time, in the same words, with the same cadence. It’s a little creepy when that happens, but I usually just laugh it off.

   Do we have the same friends? 

   This is one of the first questions I get asked after I tell someone I’m a quadruplet. The short answer is yes. Our core group of friends is the same for us. I’d describe us as a package deal.

   It’s not often that only one of us is invited to something. The exception is theatre. Neither of my sisters wanted to do theatre, so in that group of people I’m known as an individual. In our main group of friends we have people we’re closer to than others. 

   Where’s the other one?

   When you see us in person, It seems like we’re triplets because there’s only three of us. If someone never met our sister, the assumption would be that we’re triplets, so it’s not surprising that we get this question. 

   Our sister, Keyan, died four years ago due to many medical complications. We don’t mind getting asked this question; in fact, it’s more awkward if you’re wondering and don’t ask. I’m not afraid to talk about my sister. When someone asks about her, she’s being remembered, which is a great feeling.

What’s the best part about being a quadruplet?

   The best part about being a quadruplet is knowing that you have best friends for life. No matter what I do or how much I mess up, my sisters will always stay by my side. 

   How many people can say that about their friends or family? I’ll never be able to explain what it’s like to be a quadruplet. People can imagine, but they won’t understand what I experience every day. 

   If my sister and I are in a class, we’ll choose to be partners when we’re doing group work. It’s not that we don’t want to work with someone else, we’re just most comfortable with each other.

What’s the worst part about being a quadruplet?

  The worst part about being a quadruplet is the constant questions and the stares. My family has stories of people asking if we were a girl scout troop or if we were friends. People were always in awe by the fact that we were quadruplets who looked just enough alike but weren’t identical. 

   Because my sister Keyan was often in a wheelchair and always had a trach, we were stared at a lot. My parents can remember a time where they were surrounded by random people at the mall.

   We were babies and my parents needed to go shopping. Instead, they were mobbed and yelled at with people asking “Are they identical?” “How did you do it?” “Are they all yours?”

   My parents felt like celebrities having paparazzi follow them. Sometimes they just wanted to be able to go through their day without having to stop and explain their whole life story to strangers.

   As we’ve grown older and been to more places by ourselves, we’re now the ones answering these constant questions and they can definitely get annoying. 

   Although the thought of having four babies at first came with a lot of fear and shock, I don’t think anyone in my family would have had it any other way. Being a quadruplet has added more to my life and has taught me how important family is. As our mom would say, “Our family overshares everything with each other.” That is what I love most about my family, and I think without going through everything our family has, we would never be as close as we are today.