A couple who have been trying for a baby for nearly a decade are celebrating the birth of quadruplets after a ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ that made ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ history. Doctors were stunned when four children of the same sᴇx developed after a single ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ was ɪᴍᴘʟᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ in the couple’s first time in IVF. And after 9 years of longing to start a family, proud parents Christine and Justin Clark sᴜᴅᴅᴇɴʟʏ have a pretty close relationship.
The babies are now seven weeks old, are doing well in hospital and are likely to be allowed home next month. When the whirlwind of sleepless nights and feedings will ʜɪᴛ. But the Clarks, from Rotherham, are simply overjoyed at their luck. With the odds of having quads from one embryo estimated to be more than two million to one. The babies had a combined weight of just over 10lb when they were born at Jessop Hospital in Sheffield on March 25.
Darcy weighs 2lb, followed by Caroline at 2lb 3oz, Elisha at 2lb 14oz and Alexis at 3lb. Brother Clark, a lorry driver, said: ‘The girls are all doing well. Now we can’t wait to bring them home. “He added that the couple had almost given up hope of having a baby when they decided to try IVF. Only one ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ was ɪᴍᴘʟᴀɴᴛᴇᴅ- and Ms Clark, 36, found out she was ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ just three weeks later.
The ɪɴɪᴛɪᴀʟ sᴄᴀɴ showed triplets, but the second showed four babies. Brother Clark, 43, said: ‘It was emotional. We are happy, but worried about logistics. “Pʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ was also difficult when Mrs. Clark, a nurse, suffered from severe morning sɪᴄᴋɴᴇss, she was hospitalized at 24 weeks with difficulty breathing. But the doctors kept her stable until 30 weeks ago gave birth to four babies by ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ.
Experts believe that the single ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ splits into triplets before one of the ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs separates again, resulting in quadruplets. Adel Shaker of CARE Sheffield, who performs the fertility ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, said: “I have been doing IVF for over 20 years. And this is the first case I know of where a transferred ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ can lead to a ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ four. “Previous cases of IVF twins have seen infants from both sᴇxᴇs and were reported after the transfer of at least two ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏs.”
The first Darcy was born at 2.46pm weighing 2lbs, the next Caroline at 2.46pm weighed 2lbs 3oz, Elisha was born at 2.47pm weighing 2lbs 14oz. And finally Alexis weighed 3lbs at 2.48 pm. Mr Clark, 43, said he and his wife were able to get the oldest Alexis out of the special unit. And added: ‘This is the first time either of us has pushed a stroller.’ A single embryo was implanted, and a ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ test confirmed Mrs. Clark was ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴛ.
The 36-year-old said: ‘When we found out we were having four children, I couldn’t believe it. I’m speechless and to be honest, I didn’t believe it until I witnessed them with my own eyes. “They were the first quartet to be born from a single ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ, then they split into three,” Mr Clark said. One of these three then splits in two, to form twins. “When we give birth to babies, there are two placentas so we’re still not sure if we’re having two babies and twins or triplets and a twin.
‘Tests will have to be done when they are 10 to 12 weeks old to confirm this. During her ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ, Mrs. Clark suffered from extreme morning sickness – known as severe morning sɪᴄᴋɴᴇss. She said: ‘When the news about Kate Middleton came out, I knew exactly what she was going through. It didn’t stop until 27 weeks and it was exhausting. ‘I feel sick constantly, tired and ʟᴇᴛʜᴀʀɢɪᴄ. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. ”
At 24 weeks, Mrs Clark was admitted to the hospital with difficulty breathing, but doctors managed to keep the ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ under control until week 30 when the baby girl was born by ᴄᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ