Three girls and two boys were born by cesarean section at 28 weeks of gestation. Their parents, Dominika and Vince Clarke, chose names for them: Charles Patrick, Henry James, Elizabeth May, Evangeline Rose, and Arianna Daisy. The children weigh between 710 and 1,400 grams, and each measures approximately 40 centimeters.
“A miracle happened, I got pregnant. We planned for the eighth child, and it turned out that there would be more children,” the mother of the children told journalists on Tuesday. Seven siblings, ages 12 and 10, 7-year-old twins, 4-year-old twins, and a 10-month-old baby are waiting for new family members at home. The day after the quintuplets were born, the couple told their other children that they had five siblings. Previously, it told children that the family would grow by three people.
“We didn’t want them to spread the word at school. We also didn’t want to scare them,” said Mrs. Dominika.
When asked how she felt, she replied that it was very good – better than she thought she would feel. She added that the condition of the children is stable and that they are resting.
The couple lives in Puchacze, in the province of Lublin. “I knew that I would need good care. I found information on the Internet that the University Hospital in Krakow dealt with such cases. I contacted the professor,” recalled Dominika.
For the last 10 weeks, she has been in a hospital in Krakow. “Emotions were different. There was fear for the children about how it would be,” she described.
Prof. Hubert Huras, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Perinatology, admitted that such a pregnancy is a challenge.
“We have agreed that you will stay with us until the end due to your pregnancy and possible complications and to prepare your children for birth in the best possible condition,” he said.
On Sunday, the head of the Department of Neonatology, Prof. Richard Lauterbach, spoke. As he reported, the hospital was prepared to accept children in two wards. Three girls required respiratory support (non-invasive ventilation), and two boys required mechanical ventilation. Now all children are non-invasively ventilated.
“This gives more hope that the lungs will develop better and faster,” emphasized Prof. Lauterbach.
Babies also receive their first food. Soon all five will be incubated in one ward, where they will be within sight of their mother.
“We hope that, as before, we will be able to bring these children to a happy moment and discharge them home,” said the head of the neonatology department, adding that at least for the first three years of life, children will have to come to the hospital for consultations.
Ms. Dominika is Polish, Mr. Vince is British. After studying at the AGH University of Science and Technology, Dominika left for Great Britain to, as she recalled, experience a different life. She worked at a school as an English and math teacher. She met Vince there. Friendship turned into love.
Six years ago, the couple returned to Poland. In Puchaczach, in the province of Lublin, they have a house surrounded by a garden and a forest.
“We want to raise children in the old climate, in the bosom of nature, where deer will come,” said the mother. In her opinion, a peaceful life is possible if there is a proper care system and a positive attitude. “It’s nice to have a life with such a bunch,” she noted.
She admitted that help would be needed, but for now, the children are being cared for at the hospital. Both Mrs. Dominika and Mr. Vince are professionally active, each of them runs their own business.