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The parents of expected quadruplets finally know the gender of all four in the womb. // It's a boy, a boy, a boy and a boy

Editor's note: This is the fifth in a series of updates on a Pasco couple expecting quadruplets late this month or in early October.

Mary Jo Adamita was on the ultrasound table last week.

A month ago, she underwent a scan that revealed three of her quadruplets would be boys. The gender of the fourth was then a mystery.

Mrs. Adamita watched closely Wednesday as Dr. Jim Pollard, chief obstetrics resident at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, pushed the ultrasound paddle back and forth across her abdomen. Her eyes moved from the doctor to the computer screen and back.

An image of Quad C, the mystery baby, was on the display.

"I'll tell you what I think . . ." Pollard began.

"You think it's a boy," Mrs. Adamita said.

"I think it's a boy, yeah," Pollard replied.

They both turned to look at Salvatore Adamita. Both husband and wife said they had hoped to have at least one girl out of the four.

"Waaah," he said, pretending to cry.

"The boys are going to be real happy," said Mrs. Adamita, 33, referring to her sons Anthony, 10, and Christopher, 12. The children live with their father in Clearwater during the school year and have taken to carrying newspaper clippings about their mother to show classmates.

When Quads A, B and D were determined to be male, the couple had boys' names all ready to go: Domenico, after Mr. Adamita's father, who was born in Italy; Salvatore Jr.; and Joseph, after Mrs. Adamita's father. Quad C might be given another traditional Italian name: Vincenzo.

"I don't know," said Mr. Adamita, 29. "We were going to use that as a middle name, but now, since it's another boy, we might use (Vincenzo)."

All of the quadruplets are healthy and continue to develop according to expectations. "So far, they all look to be doing well," said Dr. Jose Prieto, a perinatalogist with St. Petersburg Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates. "The measurements are coming out with normal growth."

Halfway through the pregnancy's 21st week, Quads A, B, C and D weighed 15 ounces, 13 ounces, 14 ounces and 13 ounces, respectively.

Fetal heart rates all measured around 140 beats a minute, which is normal. The Adamitas had been told that two quads were identical twins and the others were fraternal, but there is no way to be sure at this point.

Doctors want the pregnancy to progress as far as possible to allow for the most fetal development possible.

For example, at the 24th week, Mrs. Adamita will begin to receive steroid injections to encourage maturity of the babies' lungs _ "the most critical" factor for survival, according to Prieto.

"At this point, every day and every week you get (without problems) is a blessing," Pollard said.

Mrs. Adamita's pregnancy was the result of in vitro fertilization. Doctors gave them a 30 percent chance of having one child, but they ended up expecting four.

The New Port Richey couple had been married about two years before deciding to try having a child of their own.

The expectant mother has been on prescribed bed rest since a surgical procedure Aug. 8, when she began to show signs of premature labor months before the expected due date late this month or early October. The delivery will be achieved by Caesarean section.

If the Adamitas had been expecting one baby, the pregnancy probably would have gone to full term, with a due date in early December.

Quadruplets, however, tend to rush things a little; a full-term pregnancy in multiple birth situations is unlikely.

Mrs. Adamita's suite in the labor and delivery ward at Bayfront Medical Center has been a busy place lately: Lynna Lai, a television reporter with WTSP-Ch. 10, did a live broadcast there Wednesday morning for Good Day, Tampa Bay.

Rob Sumner, the hospital's public relations manager, guessed that media attention will become even more intense as the pregnancy progresses.