NEWS

We tried for one more – and got FIVE

Amy and Chad got more than they bargained for

Amy Kempel, 37, became a mum of seven overnight! Here she shares her story in her own words.

I squeezed my husband Chad’s hand excitedly, as I began settling myself onto the bed.

We were about to see our baby for the first time!

‘What do you think Amy? A boy or girl?’ Chad smiled.

Seven weeks in, he was as nervous as me.

But the sonographer quickly fell silent and as he looked up, his face was one of baffled bemusement.

My heart was pounding.

I’d previously suffered four miscarriages, two of which were twins who were born prematurely at 22 weeks.

We already had Savannah, three, and Avery, two, and this little one was going to be our rainbow baby, completing our family.

By now, we’d undergone around 20 rounds of IUI, a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside the womb, to increase the number that reach the fallopian tubes, increasing the chance of fertilisation.

‘Don’t panic!’ the doctor smiled. ‘Your baby is fine. It’s just there seems to be… Well, five of them! It looks like you’re having quintuplets.’

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We needed a bigger car (Credit: Caters News Agency)
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We’ve got our hands full (Credit: Caters News Agency)

Chad and I looked at each other gobsmacked.

FIVE babies! How on earth were we going to manage five babies?

We knew the IUI treatment meant a higher chance of multiples but we never expected quintuplets.

At our next appointment, there was sombre news.

‘Just because it’s five embryos doesn’t mean it’ll be five babies,’ the doctor said. ‘Their best chance for survival is if you were to terminate one or two.’

But this just wasn’t an option for us.

I struggled through the pregnancy, a bag of nerves, hoping my babies were fighters.

We knew I’d never carry to full term, but I managed to last until 27 weeks, when I was told the babies had a stronger chance of all surviving.

That day, on January 11, 2018, I had a C-section.

And just like that we were a family of nine! Lincoln, Noelle, Grayson, Preston and Gabriella each weighed 1.1 kilo and were perfectly healthy.

We’d been so apprehensive about them arriving safely that we hadn’t bought any necessities.

So my ingenious husband got to work, creating custom-made furniture for all five, like a giant change table and cots.

We were on a constant rotation, feeding, cleaning, putting them to bed…

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Milk time (Credit: Caters News Agency)
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And quins make seven! (Credit: Caters News Agency)
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Our cheeky quins (Credit: Caters News Agency)

I couldn’t help but worry about the day Chad went back to work and I was on my own.

Our house had become like feeding time at the zoo!

‘We can’t possibly feed them all individually,’ I sighed to Chad.

No sooner had we finished, baby number one was hungry again!

It was taking about two and a half hours to get through meal times, and it was fast becoming impossible.

Chad soon got busy again though, and in no time, we had our first invention – a feeding station!

He’d put chains in each of their feeding cots to hold their bottles in place. And he made five spaces in the middle of the dining table, so we didn’t need high chairs.

‘It should only take 30 minutes to get everyone’s bellies full now!’ he said.

Another thing we worked on was clothes stacking, so we could speed up changing.

We’d figure out what the babies were going to wear the night before, and then have the next outfit ready underneath.

Luckily, we found our pram on eBay, and some companies did sell things that helped deal with multiples, but most of the prices were extortionate.

‘We should help others,’ I said. ‘We can’t be the only parents of multiples in need of some hacks.’

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Our special pram (Credit: Caters News Agency)
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Chad broke a record for his marathon pushing the quins (Credit: Caters News Agency)
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My ingenious husband’s table (Credit: Caters News Agency)

So, we set about filming our crazy life, sharing all the tips we found useful.

One of the wilder things we made was our baby bus.

‘Look! It’s got its own changing table and we’re even fitting a television so our older girls have something to do when we have to feed and change the quintuplets!’ Chad told the camera. 

We soon got into the swing of things but now it feels like we’re in a movie when we’re all travelling together.

‘It’s just like the film Home Alone,’ I laughed to Chad. ‘I’ll be running in front and we’ll have our army of children following behind.’

Our crazy life has become the norm and I love our big family.

In March, Chad got a world record for running a marathon while pushing all five to the finish line! Now we’re working on bath hacks as the multiples get older and want to stand.

I’m hoping the hard part is behind us as they’re keeping each other entertained now. Savannah and Avery are in their element.

‘It’s just like playing with dolls!’ Savannah says.

They tell everyone they meet about their extra special siblings too. ‘We have five babies back home!’ they say, usually getting a look of pure shock.

I’ve learnt that it’s possible to survive on just a few hours sleep! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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