Local News

Fort Bragg couple has quadruplets after nine-year fertility struggle

Posted July 20, 2011 5:56 p.m. EDT
Updated July 20, 2011 7:26 p.m. EDT

— A Cumberland County woman gave birth last week to quadruplets, four tiny bundles of joy that ended a nearly decade-long fertility struggle.

Sgt. Athena Rose and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Nick Rose, both active-duty soldiers at Fort Bragg, had two girls, Lilly Ann and Emma Lynn, and two boys, Ethan and Nick, Jr. on Friday afternoon. But the 3-pound infants were marked "Rose A," "Rose B," "Rose C" and "Rose D" at Womack Army Medical Center's intensive care unit Wednesday. 

Athena Rose had planned to deliver at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, but when her labor began, the staff at Womack decided it wasn't safe for her to travel. They'd have to deliver the hospital's first set of quadruplets themselves.

"People who ordinarily have leadership roles kind of put on scrubs and helped out," said Col. Paul Whitecar, Womack's chief of maternal medicine.

The births were the culmination of a nine-year journey for the Roses. In their desire to have children, they endured rounds of fertility treatments, three miscarriages and plenty of heartache.

"The first (miscarriage) was the hardest. It takes your breath away. It changes who you are," Athena Rose said. "(Infertility) definitely put us through very trying times."

Then, about seven months ago, the Roses saw something they'll never forget.

"The heartbeat," Nick Rose said. "The first time (I saw) the heartbeat, it was an amazing thing – and then, four heartbeats."

The ultrasound confirmed that Athena Rosa was pregnant with not one, but four children. Fear nagged at the soon-to-be new mother.

"I didn't think it would last. I lived my life as if the pregnancy wasn't going to last," she said. "I didn't count on producing four healthy babies."

But she did, and she couldn't be happier.

"It makes me feel like a little kid on Christmas morning," she said. "(It's like) when you open your presents and get exactly what you wanted."

Doctors said all six Roses are doing well, but the infants won't be able to home until they can breathe, eat and stay warm on their own.

Athena and Nick Rose, who have both served in Afghanistan, are confident they won't be deployed in the near future.