AFTER months together in the womb the Slattery quadruplets have been reunited in the Caherconlish home of loving parents James and Grace.
Mum and dad, big brother Josh, grandparents, family, neighbours and friends are over the moon to see all the babies discharged from hospital, healthy and happy.
It has been a long journey for James and Grace as she spent a total of 13 weeks in the Rotunda and University Maternity Hospitals before and after they were born seven weeks ago.
“We got Lucas first, then we got Lily, then Mollie and then Amelia. We had a few days to get ready, to kind of get used to having one, then two, then three and four - not to get overwhelmed with all of them together. To have them home is amazing,” said Grace.
Last, but certainly not least, was Amelia, who had a minor hernia operation.
“They are fine strong babies. Everyone who dealt with them, the doctors and nurses, was amazed at how strong they were. They were still seven weeks premature, so even single babies who are seven weeks premature don’t do as well as they’ve done.
“The smallest of them was Mollie and she was 2lbs 15oz, which is only an ounce off 3lbs,” said Grace, whose bump alone weighed 24lbs.
But with the growing babies drinking 24 bottles a day between them comes plenty of nappy changes. They estimate 30 to 40 a day. Although James jokes, “It seems to be more when I mind them!”
But Pampers have come to the rescue and given them a year’s supply.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity and very grateful to the kind people at Pampers who were the first company in Ireland to reach out to us and offer their support.
“It’s such a generous gift of 6,400 nappies. It’s going to help us out so much financially and as we live in the country not having to leave to go get nappies,” said James.
The babies didn’t as much as murmur when the photographers’ cameras were flashing.
“They’re very good, they’re just sleeping and eating at the moment. We don’t have a cranky one or anything like that, they’re all kind of chilled and relaxed.”
“Two of our friends came over on Sunday, they were even saying out in the car before they came in that they were a bit hesitant - they expected a mad-house with four babies. They came in and the four babies were nice and quiet and we were just sitting down watching TV, relaxing, having a cup of tea. The two of them were in shock,” said James.
Grace’s qualification in childminding is certainly being put to good use but “I don’t get to go home at five,” she smiles.
She wouldn’t change it for the world.
“After everything we went through, we are just happy to have them home and healthy,” said Grace. The couple had four miscarriages but now they have four beautiful new-borns.
“They all decided to come at once,” said James.
“The anniversary of the first miscarriage was Sunday gone, so it was amazing to have them all here, home for that. It was three years since the first miscarriage. It wasn’t a sad day anymore,” said Grace. After five and a half weeks into this pregnancy Grace had a scare at home.
“We just presumed it was another miscarriage, so we went in [to hospital. We didn’t even look at the screen or anything, we were convinced that was it. She paged a doctor, she was double checking obviously what she was looking at.
“She took ages to tell us, and then she told us there were four and they were all there - we were just overwhelmed, gobsmacked,” said Grace.
“We were always told how high risk it was, and that you probably won’t end up with four babies. They said you’ll probably end up with one, maybe two and that would be it because you would lose some along the way - they don’t survive. If they do survive, they’re going to be one, one and a half pounds, so we were always told you’d be lucky to get to 28 weeks and they’d probably have disabilities and health issues, but we broke all the rules,” she adds,
James and Grace wished to thank family, friends, doctors, nurses and neighbours for all their help and support. They even received Mass cards and holy medals from strangers. Neighbours and family went into the house to paint it and make it ready for the babies as James was either working or in Dublin with Grace. As well as Pampers they wish to thank Dunnes Stores, Musgraves, Boots, Tommee Tippee and Dream Team Nannies for their kindness.