BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Jeremy and Molly White were dealing with what’s called unexplained fertility.
Molly could get pregnant but couldn’t stay pregnant.
They went to Buffalo IVF for some help and tried something called “IUI”: intra uterine insemination.
“And they said you have four…eggs, but the chances of all of them fertilizing, implanting is less than 1 percent,” Molly said. “So, we went forward with it, and a couple of weeks later, we found out all four had in fact worked, and we were pregnant with quadruplets.”
The couple was terrified. Having quadruplets was a high-risk pregnancy.
“It’s the kind of scenario where the ultrasound techs will call somebody else to kinda …’You’ve got to get a look at this, there are four in there.’ You know, you become a bid of an oddity, an anomaly, a side show to some degree,” Jeremy said.
What was supposed to be a joyous time was stressful. Both Molly and the babies faced uncertainty.
“You know, ‘they also could not all make it’ was another realization,” Molly said.
The Whites went to the 2019 Bills’ home opener. It was a happy day, and a pregnant Molly took a photo with head coach Sean McDermott.
But later that night, she didn’t feel well.
“That’s when we found out that I was in labor and that they were going to do all they could to stop it, but there was a chance they wouldn’t be able to stop it,” Molly said.
The quadruplets were just shy of 20 weeks. Zoe was born first. Lincoln, the next day. Then labor stopped for two days, which briefly bred hope.
“Inside the worst week of your life, you have two days where you start to think about having those other babies,” Jeremy said. “I thought it was a pretty important lesson, just the idea that, you know, finding hope in a dark place is valuable. It’s important. Even if you can just see the littlest bit of it, you can come out of it with that with you.”
But labor started again. Miles and Brecken were born a day apart. Four labors. Four losses.
“Every nurse was so good, and everyone there was so good about just … making us feel like they were our babies even though they weren’t with us anymore,” Molly said. “So that was really, really awesome. I don’t know how if we would have got through it the same way if we didn’t have that experience, that closure.”
That’s where the Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network (WNYPBN) comes in. It’s an organization the Whites now hold dear to their hearts.
“Instead of having a lifetime of memories, you have a few moments or hours, maybe days depending on the situation, and so, really, that opportunity in the hospital is for the hospital staff to have a conversation with the family around what would be meaningful for you? And to provide options,” explained Tara Petty, the family support coordinator at WNYPBN.
In the hospital, the network can facilitate making footprints of babies, taking pictures, or just buying time for parents to spend with their children. WNYPBN works with nurses in 12 local hospitals to train them on helping with these options when a couple or a mother experiences loss.
“They make it so that it’s normal to hold your babies and to spend as much time with them as you want. They dress them, they gave us bear that had their heartbeats on it,” Molly said.
That special bear is part of the in-hospital program as is a care package of resources.
The WNYPBN also offers support groups, help with financial burdens for families who qualify, and being there for siblings, if they’re in the picture. The network also hosts its annual Walk to Remember, a large fundraiser and another opportunity for families who have dealt with loss to come together.
“It’s a loss that often goes untalked about and unsupported,” Tara said. “Then so as a network, if we’re able to help a family understand they’re not alone, that there are people out there who have been through this who are here to support them, that’s our goal.”
That’s exactly the network did for the Whites in their time of need.
When they were ready, Jeremy and Molly tried traditional IVF and became pregnant with twins, their rainbow babies. A rainbow baby and a symbolic name for a baby after the storm, an infant or infants that are born and survive after a type of loss or struggles with fertility.
“‘You have a serious issue we’re all dealing with.’ That was the quad pregnancy. With good reason,” Jeremy said. “And the twins was more like, everyone was, ‘Congratulations! Wow!’ Twins happen all the time. Molly’s a twin. So, part of our process was, you’re a twin. You have twin brothers. Twins happen all the time. This can happen for us. We’re going to get through this. We’re going to be okay.”
Still, this pregnancy, too, had risks. A new puppy in the family named Goose helped calm their nerves and not focus on their fears.
“When you’re thinking about all those days and milestones, it looks pretty big in front of you, and we thought – she thought – and made a good point, why don’t we just have something to distract us from all that? Something good, something we will love together,” Jeremy said.
“And if everything works out, then he’s there, then the puppy will grow up with them,” Molly chimed in.
“He’s the bridge to our babies a little bit too,” Jeremy said of Goose.
Goose and the Whites’ other dogs now have a brother and sister. Knox and Dillon are eight weeks old as of the time of this publication.
“It’s kind of unbelievable every day,” Molly said, in awe of her twins.
Now, Jeremy and Molly are deep in the throes of infant parenthood and deeply in love.
“Just like everything I never knew I wanted that I can’t imagine not having,” Molly said.
They’ve been open and public throughout their journey. As a popular morning show host for WGR 550 Radio, when Jeremy shared their loss in 2019, thousands of people were heartbroken for them. Jeremy said sharing isn’t for attention. It’s to reach people who need the help.
“Complete strangers and colleagues and people around the area reached out and shared their stories that maybe they didn’t tell a lot of people because it’s this stigma, it’s this thing you don’t talk about,” he said. “And it’s not easy to tell everybody in the world the worst thing that’s ever happened to you or us, but the things that came out it were so good.”
The couple found support, inspiration, and empathy, in people who had been through loss, too. Jeremy made a connection with a Canadian man whose family also went through loss who he has yet to meet in person. The two hope that by sharing their story, more people know they’re not alone.
The Whites want to remind you to treat others with grace because you never know what a person or a couple is going through.
“It’s always of good intention when people say ‘Oh, when are you going to have kids?’ or ‘When are you going to get to it already?’ But that can be really triggering for some people, and I always like to remind you that your friends and family will share with you the exciting news when they’re ready to,” Molly said.
“To want a family is a powerful thing, and to have it be a struggle is hard,” Jeremy said.
You can find support from the WNYPBN or donate to the organization here.
Erica Brecher is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.