Quadruplets parents stock up on 5,500 nappies

By David Raleigh
The overwhelmed parents of Ireland's newest set of quadruplets have stocked up on more than 5,000 nappies, just to cover the first six months of nappy changing for their new large family.

Grace and James Slattery are "still coming to terms" with the arrival of three new daughters Amelia, Mollie Rose, Lily Grace May, and son, Lucas James, born at the Rotunda hospital, Dublin last Monday.

The couple had been trying to conceive for four years, and after four heartbreaking miscarriages, had decided to give it one final attempt. The couple could not afford IVF fertility treatment.

Even though doctors gave the couple from Caherconlish, Co Limerick, the good news at their first scan that there were four heartbeats, it was made clear all four babies may not survive.

Proud father James said today (Thursday): "From day one we were told, that with our (miscarriage) history, it didn't look likely that we would end up with four babies -- that (the pregnancy) might not actually go all the way, and that we might not have been able to carry (the babies). But, 'Supermum' did her thing, and here we are today with four babies."

The Quadruplets and parents James and Grace Slattery from Caherconlish, Co Limerick. Pic: Press 22

James, 33, who has a 13-year old son from a previous relationship, added: "We went from (a family) of three to seven in four minutes".

"It's incredible. We'll roll with it and keep going, there's nothing else we can do. We're looking forward to it."

James, who works at Tait House community enterprise centre in Limerick City, said they will go through thousands of nappies during the next few months.

"We've a batch of nappies for six months, which Grace's brother helped us get - five and a half thousand nappies for six months - so that's what we have."

However, the couple who have only one large cot, which they thought would have been big enough to hold their four new children, will have to fork out for more because the quads birth weights and sizes have surprised their parents and doctors.

"We expected them to be small, but they're actually fine sized babies, so we are a bit taken aback. I suppose we'll just have to come to terms with it. We'll just have to get used to it."

He added: "It is (unusual). The last quads that were born in the (Rotunda) were about five years ago. I think it was in the 60s in Limerick when the last quads were born so there's not many of them. At least they'll have that going for them."

James described how each baby had a special care team looking after them, after each were born a minute apart during the four-minute C-Section multiple birth.

"It was an experience. There was between 20 and 25 people in total inside in the room. Each baby had their own (special care) team and doctors and nurses with them."

He broke down in tears as he described how - first of the quads - Amelia, was brought into the world: "To see him lift her over the curtain was a beautiful moment. That was unbelievable, to see the doctor lift her over the curtain."

"After Amelia, then came Lily Grace, and then Mollie and then Lucas arrived. Lily Grace and Amelia were rushed straight up to the neo-natal unit upstairs, so we got to spend a little time with Lucas and Mollie downstairs, which was brilliant. Grace got to give Lucas a kiss, so that was a lovely moment."

"It was beautiful. It was something else," he added.

James said little Amelia was on a ventilator machine but that doctors hoped she would be able to shortly rejoin her three siblings who are sleeping "together".

"They're doing good. Three of them are together inside in one of the rooms inside in the neo-natal, and little Amelia is a little sick but she's not too bad. Hopefully she'll be alright. So she's just on a little bit of ventilation at the moment. Besides that, they are doing pretty well."

"So far so good, please god it stays that way."

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