The surprise was therefore great when they discovered that the family of four would grow to nine.
Americans Jamie, 33, and Skyler, 36, lived in the same neighborhood in their teens, but did not meet properly until Skyler’s sister arranged a blind date for them. Skyler quickly fell for the charming blonde, and Jamie realized he was the one for her when she saw how good he was with children. For the couple, they wanted children – and preferably more.
Jamie and Skyler were married in the summer of 2004. One year later, they had their first son, Shayden, and five years later Landon was born. They wanted to have one more child, and after five years of trying and a lot of frustration, they chose to see a specialist to try assisted ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. It didn’t take long for Jamie to become pregnant, and there wasn’t just one child in her ᴡᴏᴍʙ… there were five.
“We were extremely surprised! We longed for one more baby to make the family complete. Imagine how surprised we were when we found out there were five babies inside my belly, I just started crying with joy,” Jamie says.
The chance of ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠɪɴɢ quintuplets is one in 60 million, according to the National Vital Statistics, and almost none of these occur without assisted reproduction. In Norway, the last quintuplets were born in 1984.
The pregnancy itself was a challenge in itself, but in some ways it was no tougher than the two previous pregnancies. “The two previous pregnancies I had ʜʏᴘᴇʀᴇᴍᴇsɪs ɢʀᴀᴠɪᴅᴀʀᴜᴍ, a kind of extreme variant of pregnancy sɪᴄᴋɴᴇss. Miraculously I didn’t get it when I got pregnant with all these babies,” says Jamie.
Being pregnant with multiples is associated with an increased ʀɪsᴋ of ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs. And the more children, the greater the ʀɪsᴋ. “It was terrifying and very uncomfortable at times, but I felt it was a miracle to be pregnant with five babies. We knew right from the start that a lot could go wrong. When the water ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ in one ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ sᴀᴄ after 21 and a half weeks, we thought we were going to lose all the babies. It was very tough, but we prayed to God and tried to keep our optimism. We just had to take it one day at a time.”
On March 21st this year, the quintuplets were born after 29 weeks in their mother’s ᴡᴏᴍʙ. Jamie says that the birth itself came on suddenly. Jamie gave birth to two boys and three girls, whose names are Logan Matthew, Lincoln Alan, Lily Jane, Violet Rose and Daisy Kate. All five babies had to be given oxygen via a breathing machine, but they were in good shape under the circumstances. Jamie was in the hospital for six months before she was able to take all the babies home.
“It is very challenging at times, having to take care of five babies and at the same time give enough attention to Shayden and Landon. That’s why we try to take the boys out of the house sometimes, to show them how much we value them and all the love they show their siblings.”
To go from a family of four to nine in a matter of minutes is a huge upheaval. But the family gets a lot of help, and they share their everyday life on Facebook and Instagram under the name Five.Two.Love.
“We are incredibly tired, but we have so many wonderful people around us. Family, friends and neighbors contribute as best they can. They help with the babies and send us food, clothes and nappies. People are so kind, boasts the mother of seven.”
“There are many good moments throughout the day, and moments where we think, ‘My God, I don’t know if I can do this, I’m so tired’. But then someone usually comes and helps us, so that we can relax and recharge our batteries again,” says Jamie. “Thanks to the enormous support we receive, it’s not just about meeting basic needs such as feeding and nappy changes – the babies are doing well and thriving. It is incredibly important to me.”