If you’re on your toes with just one baby at home, remember that there are other moms who are even more exhausted right now. British Tracey Britten is one of them. At 51, she, who had four babies at the same time, did the math on how many baths, diapers and bottles she prepared per week.
British Tracey Britten, 51, already had three adult children and up to eight grandchildren when she decided she wanted another heir. After an I.V.F ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, she got a surprise: it wouldn’t be just one, but four! The UK’s oldest mother to have quads gave birth in October to three girls – Grace, Frederica and Francesa – and a boy, George, all healthy.
After the birth, she attracts attention again, but this time because of the numbers she counts for a week. Tracey prepares no fewer than 224 bottles of formula, changes 168 diapers, and dresses her little ones 56 times. Oh, and she even has the baths. That’s 28 in just seven days. It’s easy? Of course, with this hectic schedule, she hasn’t been able to sleep more than three hours a night.
But you must be wondering, how did she know all this? “We had to start writing everything down, because in the first few days we forgot which ones had been fed,” she explains. “We also kept the hospital badges on our ankles so we could tell them apart. We couldn’t always be sure, especially in the dead of night,” she reveals. “Now we can tell who’s who at a glance,” she says.
As her husband Stephen, 39, works full-time, Tracey spends 12 hours a day alone with the babies. In this “busy” routine, it is difficult to even find time for a shower. Her mother even reveals that she was only able to wash her hair six weeks after arriving at the hospital. “There are moments, late at night, when I think, ‘Oh my God, what have I done?” she says.
The mother also says that she has spent the last 24 hours awake because one of the children was upset. “Usually they sleep for about four or five hours during the day, and I really should take this opportunity to rest too, but I have a lot to do: wash bottles, clothes, clean, make beds and cribs,” she explains.
But the house with four babies is nowhere near a mess. “People wait to get into an asylum and then comment on how calm it is,” Tracey tells the Daily Mail. Also, according to the mother, they rarely cry all at once. “I think it’s because I was calm during the pregnancy. I tried not to let anything stress me out. And if I feel stressed, I put on some meditation music. Of course, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I decided to just live one day at a time,” she says.
“Some people might think it’s selfish to become a mother again at my age, but I don’t worry. I’m fit and healthy and I take care of myself, so I hope I live long enough to see my grandchildren’s school gates, but who cares? Most women are leaving to have children later these days, and people keep telling me I look a lot younger than I am,” she says.
Tracey, who hopes to be recognized as Britain’s oldest mother of quadruplets in the Guinness Book of Records, reveals what she really cares about is the attention they get. “With one you can pet it all the time. But at the hospital I was told to put them in their crib after every feed so they wouldn’t get too used to being held and cry when they were lying down – I only have a pair of arms”, she concludes.