One year of blissful chaos: Nashua family prepares to celebrate their quadruplets' first birthday

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
January 28. 2018 8:51PM
The Cook quadruplets of Nashua -- from left, Ellie, Benjamin, Michael and Hailey -- are celebrating the first birthday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

For the past year, life at the Cook household has been a whirlwind of sleepless nights, countless diapers, never-ending runny noses and above all else — pure joy.

“I often find myself asking God, ‘Why me,’ but I know in my heart that we are very truly blessed,” said Corrie Cook, the Nashua mother who delivered quadruplets nearly one year ago.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, of the nearly 4 million births in 2015, only 228 were quadruplets, the lowest rate since 1992.

As the four babies prepare to celebrate their first birthday on Friday, Cook, 30, and husband, Keith, are reflecting on the past year with a grateful heart and a ton of emotion.

“We definitely did not know how to take care of four babies — I’m not sure anyone does,” she said on Friday while easily managing the quadruplets crawling on her lap. “I honestly don’t remember much of the beginning. The first five months are a big blur.”

Cook delivered the two girls and two boys — conceived without the aid of fertility drugs — on Feb. 2, 2017 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston with a team of about 30 doctors in the delivery room.

Hailey Yvette, Michael LaRue, Benjamin Robert and Ellie Germaine were welcomed into the world weighing between 2 pounds, 11 ounces and 3 pounds, 14 ounces. Some of the babies had to remain in the newborn intensive care unit for several weeks.

Once all four of the babies were home, Cook said reality quickly sunk in.

“It is hard to remember them that small. I would give anything to hold them as newborns again,” she said.

It was not only a huge adjustment for Cook and her husband, but for their oldest son, Alex, who is now 4. With all of the attention on the quadruplets, Cook acknowledged that it was rough on Alex during the first few weeks when the babies were being brought home at different intervals.

Alex joked Friday that his favorite baby is Michael, but said he likes playing with all of them.
Corrie Cook of Nashua gathers her quadruplets (from left) Ellie, Benjamin, Michael and Hailey, and her four-year-old son, Alex. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

The quadruplets have grown into little people with their own charm and temperaments, according to their mother. Ben is the easygoing baby who is always happy, Michael is the sensitive one who likes to be with mommy, Ellie is the bossy sibling who has to be first at everything and Hailey is the constant smiler, full of joy. 

“There is never a dull moment,” Keith Cook said. “It is very exciting now that they are starting to walk, talk and develop their own personalities.” 

The quads go through an average of 32 diapers, 20 bottles and two cans of formula a day, according to the Cooks, who laugh about the huge amount of laundry and dishes. 

“They are constantly on the go. And once I do get them to sleep, if one of them wakes up, the rest of them wake up,” said Corrie Cook, who is hoping to relocate to a larger home. “Just when we think we have it figured out they turn our schedule upside down.” 

She has also finally learned to ask for help, according to Yvette Pelletier, the babies’ great-grandmother. 

“I don’t think I could have done it,” said Pelletier while holding two of the babies on her lap. “I am very impressed with them.” 

Pelletier said it helps that the quadruplets are content babies, and that the Cooks have a strong support network of friends and family. The couple tries to get out of the house once a week without the babies, although that is typically to shop at the grocery store. 

One of their few outings as a family of seven was to the mall to visit Santa Claus — an excursion that ended up being much longer than expected. 

On the days when she doesn’t have a chance to shower or get out of her pajamas, Corrie Cook reminds herself that it is just temporary. 

“It took a village to get us to this point. We could never have done this just the two of us,” said Cook, adding Friday’s big birthday bonanza is not just for the kids, but a celebration of survival for the parents as well. 

khoughton@newstote.com


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