Linda and Chris Astefanous of Centereach, have always dreamed of a big family and this Halloween their wishes came true when quadruplets Brandon, Natalie Ann, Abigail and Charlotte were born October 31 at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.
Chris, a 30 year-old mechanical engineer and Stony Brook University alum, married Linda, an art education alumni of C.W. Post, in July of 2007. The couple decided right away that they wanted to build a family. Their son Gavin was born in October of 2011, but expanding their family and giving Gavin siblings wasn’t as easy. Linda decided to have a procedure called intrauterine insemination to help her get pregnant again.
The couple learned they were pregnant with quadruplets around the beginning of April, and were shocked. “I almost fell off the table,” said Linda. “It definitely floored us when we found out we were having four,” said Chris.
Linda was immediately put into the care of Dr. James Bernasko, Division Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Stony Brook Medicine who said aside from a mild case of gestational diabetes, the pregnancy went exceptionally well.
“Linda had a great pregnancy. She did better than 80% of women who are pregnant with multiples. She carried the babies longer resulting in them being born at a normal weight for quadruplets,” said Bernasko.
Linda was admitted to the hospital at 29 weeks of pregnancy for observation. Though it was rough on the family to be apart, three-year-old Gavin, a Seawolves fan, was excited to visit his mom at the hospital with hopes that he might have run-ins with Stony Brook University Mascot ‘Wolfie’.
At 33 weeks and two days of gestation, Linda went into labor – two days before her scheduled Caesarean section – and four babies, just over 4-pounds each, were born within three minutes. “I heard one baby cry, then another, then another and finally one more; it was amazing,” said Linda.
After three weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit the quadruplets were sent home, just in time to meet their entire extended family for Thanksgiving.
“The babies’ health and Linda's health being so well are huge blessings. In quadruplet pregnancies, only very few go as well as this one did,” said Chris, “This Thanksgiving, more than others, we have so much to be thankful for in the present. More than ever, this holiday season, we’re going to have that joy of looking forward to all the things to come.”