Premature quadruplets home for Christmas in Birmingham
- 20 December 2016
- From the section Birmingham & Black Country
A set of quadruplets born 10 weeks premature have been reunited at home in time for Christmas.
Ginger, Brodie, Trixie and Keiko were born by Caesarean section to parents Kirsty and Richard Jackson Fuller.
Weighing between 2lb 1oz and 2lb 12oz at birth, all four girls had illnesses, with one becoming so poorly her parents were warned to prepare for the worst.
But at three months old, the last two have just been given the all-clear from Birmingham Women's Hospital.
The couple, from Birmingham, had IVF treatment in March and first knew they might be having an unusual pregnancy when Mrs Jackson Fuller had her first test at a private clinic.
"I think the nurse's exact words to me were, 'you've got a belly full of babies'," said Mrs Jackson Fuller, a web developer, 35.
At their first scan, the news was confirmed.
The mother added: "The midwife looked at the screen and said, 'there's one, there's two, there's three...' and then people just started coming in the room.
"She just looked at us deadpan and said: 'There's four of them'.
"I'm a twin - and I would've liked triplets - but we weren't prepared for four."
The couple were given the choice of selective reduction, but Mrs Jackson Fuller said that "was never going to be an option for us".
She stated: "We must have been told 10 times that they weren't all going to make it."
The pregnancy progressed well until Keiko became poorly with absent placental flow and stopped growing.
At 30 weeks and two days, Mrs Jackson Fuller arrived at hospital in September to have elective surgery only to be told there was not a bed. Then her waters broke.
"If it hadn't been for Keiko's illness, we wouldn't have been in hospital and my waters would have broken at home. I don't believe in fate, but really, she saved all of them."
It was thought the sisters may have to be split up, but four neonatal beds were found at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and they were transferred that night.
After two weeks, they were brought to Dudley's Russells Hall Hospital and at four weeks old they were back at the women's hospital.
All suffered breathing difficulties. Ginger had to undergo laser eye surgery to avoid detached retinas, and Brodie contracted necrotising enterocolitis - a swelling of the abdomen that can be fatal in premature babies.
But all four have battled to full health.
They are in the sitting room, in their own special cardboard box pioneered by Finnish health chiefs, and the parents are doing six-hour shifts overnight so they both get a good chunk of sleep.
The biggest task before Christmas is how to make the trip to the doctor's surgery up the road, in their specially-made, four-and-a-half stone, four-berth pram.
Mr Jackson Fuller, 39, a journalist, said: "We're going to need a bigger car, and eventually we'll need a bigger house."
Mrs Jackson Fuller said: "If we had one baby, we'd probably be splashing out, buying a fancy changing table and other things.
"But with four, we can't afford to splash out. We're going to stick to the basics and we'll get by."