'I thought I was infertile... then had QUINTUPLETS!'
I loved working with this amazing couple who after thinking they were infertile, had QUINTUPLETS! Their story is in this week's That's Life magazine #quintuplets #thatslife #reallife #sellmystory #quints
I’d just had an ultrasound and was so excited as I went to collect my two sons from school.
‘Final guesses as to how many babies are in my belly,’ I said.
‘I’m guessing triplets,’ Shayden said.
‘I’m hoping twins,’ Landon added.
‘It’s higher than twins,’ I replied.
‘Four?’ Landon said.
‘It’s not four,’ I said.
‘Five?’ Shayden said.
‘Five babies,’ I beamed.
Both boys’ mouths gaped open in disbelief.
‘That’s awesome,’ they cheered. ‘Five!’
The boys were almost as shocked as my husband Skyler and I had been when the sonographer had counted the heartbeats at our seven-week scan.
‘One… two… three… four…’
It was another 20 minutes before one more baby appeared.
We had both been in tears. Never in a million years did we expect quintuplets.
In fact, it was amazing I was even pregnant.
For years Skyler and I had longed to give Shayden and Landon a sibling. We had dreamed of having a girl and loved the name Lily.
We’d been struggling due to me having PCOS, so I’d started taking fertility medication. We’d been told the odds of conceiving quintuplets was 0.003%.
Well, it seemed we’d beaten the odds!
As the weeks passed, I was grateful not to feel as sick as I had with my previous pregnancies. I’d suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum both times, but now all I had was regular morning sickness.
It wasn’t long before I could feel the babies wriggling around inside me.
‘Calm down in there,’ I said.
I couldn’t believe I was already telling my brood what to do.
By 18 weeks, I looked nine months pregnant and my bump was so heavy it was getting difficult to walk.
We made our way to the hospital for another scan, this time to find out the babies’ sex.
Skyler and I held our breath as the sonographer spoke.
‘A boy… a girl… a girl… another girl… and a boy,’ she said.
‘No way,’ I said.
Skyler was grinning from ear to ear.
We had wanted Shayden and Landon to have a sister. Now they were getting three!
‘What could be more perfect?’ Skyler said.
We called them baby A, B, C, D and E, and nicknamed them #scquints, using our surname Scott.
The most difficult task was still ahead of us — thinking up five names. As if thinking up one wasn’t difficult enough!
Despite not suffering much with sickness, I became wheelchair-bound because I was so exhausted, and I was hungry all the time.
Doctors had told me to gain a whopping seven stone to feed my five extra mouths — they wanted me to eat 4,000 calories a day.
At 5ft 4in, I had always been petite, so it was quite a struggle. Plus, all I craved was healthy foods like cucumbers.
I tried my best to feast on pizzas, burgers, milkshakes and ice creams.
It was also difficult to sleep. My stomach was quite painful and when one baby moved, they all did.
‘It’s like a party in there,’ I said.
Shayden and Landon loved touching my bump. Their faces lit up every time they felt their siblings move.
Our neighbours and friends were so supportive too and donated spare baby clothes.
We knew we had a lot of baby gear to buy, including five cots, a triple and double buggy, and a people carrier to lug us all around.
But at 21 and a half weeks, there was bad news.
The water had broken on baby A, our boy closest to the cervix — he had half the amount of fluid as the other babies. And it meant labour was starting.
In a hospital room with six doctors, we began to panic.
‘Do we have any hope of saving this pregnancy?’ I said.
‘I’m sorry, but no,’ one doctor replied. ‘You’re going to lose all of the babies today.’
We both broke down.
I could still feel the babies wriggling around.
‘I want to enjoy this last moment with them,’ I said. ‘While they’re alive.’
Then something incredible happened. The labour stopped and the membrane healed.
Our specialist couldn’t believe it. The chances of this happening were slim to none.
From then on, I was kept in hospital.
I was put on bed rest, which was anything but relaxing. It was emotionally demanding and I could barely eat or even breathe.
Eventually though, I reached 29 weeks.
Then my contractions started.
After some difficulty, a doctor managed to check my cervix — I was 6cm dilated.
‘We’re having the babies now,’ she said.
My heart raced as Skyler got dressed in scrubs.
‘I love you,’ he said.
‘Love you too,’ I replied.
Then he kissed me before I was wheeled into theatre with 30 medics, consisting of a team for each baby and a team for me.
I was given a general anaesthetic and then everything went black…
When I came round, Skyler was smiling.
‘We have five perfect babies,’ he said. ‘Tiny but perfect.’
I burst into tears. We’d done it.
I was taken to the premature intensive care unit, where I met my miracle quintuplets, all in their own incubators.
Violet Rose weighed 2lb 6oz. Daisy Kate was 2lb 9oz. Logan Matthew was 2lb 2oz. Lincoln Alan was 2lb. Last, but not least, Lily Jane was 2lb 3oz.
My heart was so full. I gazed at them all, taking in the 50 tiny fingers and 50 tiny toes.
‘You’re right,’ I said. ‘They are perfect.’
‘They are more beautiful than I ever thought they would be,’ Skyler said.
While I recovered, I expressed milk for the babies and topped them up with donor milk and formula – except little Lincoln who I ended up giving just breast milk.
Shayden and Landon came to hospital to meet their brothers and sisters for the first time, and I’d never seen them so happy. They were mesmerised.
‘They’re finally here!’ Landon said.
‘They’re so small,’ Shayden said.
Over the coming days, our babies thrived.
And then we held them for the first time.
I carefully placed Lily on my chest, skin to skin.
‘Hello, little one,’ I cooed.
It seemed so surreal. It had been a long seven months and yet it was incredible to be a mum of seven.
Now I am healing well and getting my strength back.
I just can’t wait to take the quintuplets home.
They are seven weeks old and growing fast. I spend my days in hospital, cuddling them, feeding them and changing their nappies.
Shayden, 12, and Landon, seven, love visiting them and cuddling them to sleep.
Soon there will be nine of us under one roof, and that’s when our new adventure really begins.
I plan to draw up a chart for each baby and get them into a routine, with the help of our family and friends.
I know there will be mountains of washing, and we’ll get through 35,000 nappies before the quints are potty-trained, but I honestly can’t wait.
Skyler and I have agreed we will be tired for the next 18 years, and we are hugely outnumbered by our kids, but we’re ready for the madness. Bring it on!
Jamie Scott, 33