JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It's 8 o'clock in the morning and tiny human alarm clocks start to go off at the Cochran home in Hurley. Four hungry babies awaken from their slumber.
"Good morning," Sandra Cochran said as she picked up the tiny tots from their cribs.
On cue, mom warms the bottles and gets ready for another hectic day.
"Normally between 5:00 and 8:00, and it can get really loud," said Cochran.
Dad takes time off from work to offer extra helping hands. And four-year-old sister Hannah Noelle pitches-in to soothe her four siblings.
"We got our own little daycare," mom said.
Meet the Cochran quadruplets. They were born on August 18th, and already showing very different personalities.
"Lauren, we call her Madame Librarian. She is laid back. Nothing bothers her," Sandra said. "Avery's nickname is Ticker. She's like a time bomb. You never know when she's going to go off. Cannon is very, very high-spirited. And then Gunner, when he came home, he was the best baby I have ever known. He has his moments."
Life is very structured, with set schedules for feedings, medicines, nap and play time. Everything is color-coordinated.
"Lauren, everything with her is pink. Avery, we do everything purple. Cannon's blue and Gunner's green," Sandra explained.
There are also monogrammed clothes, bibs, and diaper bags, but the parents can easily tell the four babies apart.
At birth, they weighed between 2-pounds-eight ounces and 3-pounds-one ounce. Their arrival into this world was filled with medical complications and uncertainty. You see, Sandra and Matt Cochran had always wanted children, but Sandra couldn't conceive. They had Hannah Noelle four years ago through fertility treatments.
"Nobody walks into a fertility thinking 'I'm going to have multiples'. They walk in knowing I want to have a child," said Sandra.
Last year, the couple decided to have another baby.
"The first round, it was successful. I had a miscarriage. We had to wait two months," said Sandra. "And then we did the second round, and it was very successful."
Was it ever. The first ultrasound showed only one baby. During follow-up visits though, doctors discovered two babies, then three heartbeats, and a fourth.
"Two to three was the big jump for us," said Matt Cochran. "Three to four, we just kind of looked at each other and I still see the look on her face was like 'Oh well'. Hey, what's one more?"
"He actually told me I don't want you going back to the doctor. I don't want to see another one," said Sandra with a big smile on her face.
Sandra was placed on bed rest at 12 weeks and then hospitalized in June in Mobile. The babies weren't due until October 29th. However, Sandra went into labor two months early.
"I was crying. I just wanted to know: Are the babies going to be OK?" Sandra said. "At that moment, you're scared to death. I was miserbable. I was in a lot of pain."
Cannon was born first, followed by Gunner. Then came the two girls, Lauren and Avery.
"The doctor came in and he said everybody's doing great!" said Sandra. "And when he said that, that was just the most overwhelming feeling, knowing they were all four OK."
The newborns grew stronger and were allowed to go home one by one. A couple of weeks later, they were back in the hospital for a viral infection and pneumonia.
Today, at three months old, the quads are still hooked to machines to monitor any breathing problems. And they have to be fed a high-calorie formula every three hours. That explains why their weight has tripled. In one day, they go through 32 bottles, 45-diapers, and an entire box of wipes.
"It's still crazy. I mean there's nothing normal about having four babies," said Sandra.
The quads have brought immense joy and changes to the Cochran's life. Sandra quit her job as a court reporter and paralegal. Matt still coaches football and baseball, and he teaches Special Education at Moss Point High School. He doesn't get much sleep, not when he has to help with the 11 PM and 5 AM feedings.
"You get used to it. Very, very used to it," said Matt.
Even big sis has learned to adjust to the new additions.
When asked if she has a favorite baby, Hannah Noelle said "That would be all of them." And when it comes to the crying, she said "They always wake me up."
"We just deal with it and move on and love every minute of it," Sandra said. "When they're Hannah Noelle's age, I'll have four babies that are going to come up and give me a hug and I'm the best mommy in the world. And that's the best thing to hear. I'm going to get to hear it from five different children."
Sandra's older sister quit her job in Houston, TX, and moved in with the Cochrans to help take care of the children. And the family is clearing land next to their trailer in Hurley to build a six-bedroom house. They're going to need it, especially when those babies start to crawl.
Sandra Cochran has been keeping a blog page since she found out she was pregnant with the quads. She frequently posts updated pictures and a progress report on the growing babies.
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