Quintuplets’ mother remembered for retreating from spotlightAs the mother of five children in a small South Dakota town, the limelight was the furthest thing from Mary Ann Darling Fischer’s mind. All that changed on Sept. 14, 1963, when Fischer gave birth to the first known surviving quintuplets in the United States.
By: Kristi Eaton, The Daily Republic
As the mother of five children in a small South Dakota town, the limelight was the furthest thing from Mary Ann Darling Fischer’s mind. All that changed on Sept. 14, 1963, when Fischer gave birth to the first known surviving quintuplets in the United States.
Thrust into the spotlight after giving birth to the four girls and one boy, Fischer and her then-husband retreated into the most quintessential South Dakota activities: they took part in a bowling league, hunted pheasants and attended regular Sunday church services.
“I would rather go into the delivery room than come down here,” Mary Ann Fischer said as she faced 30 reporters at her first news conference following the birth of the babies.
Mary Ann Darling Fischer died Sunday at age 79. Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory says she died at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen.
The Fischers didn’t know they were expecting quintuplets until a few days before the babies were born two months premature. An Xray showed the reason why Mary Ann had grown so large during the pregnancy. When Dr. James Berbos informed the couple of the news, Andrew Fischer said he “shook,” while Mary Ann, 30 at the time, started crying when the doctor told them that instead of one baby, they were having five.
A few days later, on Sept. 14, 1963, the couple welcomed Mary Ann, Mary Catherine, Mary Margaret, Mary Magdalene and James Andrew between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
The babies were not weighed immediately but the doctor estimated each of the girls weighed between 2½ and 3 pounds while James Andrew weighed about 4 pounds.
Mary Ann was named for her mother; Mary Catherine and Mary Margaret were named for two hospital workers and Mary Magdalene was named for her paternal grandmother.
Immediately following their birth, each baby was placed into an isolation chamber to control the oxygen, temperature and humidity around them.
Four of the five babies were breech deliveries, while one arrived in the usual headfirst position. The couple did not know of any other multiple births in their family.More from around the web