Fifty-year-old grandmother who has become Britain’s oldest mother of quadruplets reveals she ignored doctors’ advice to get rid of two of the foetuses – before giving birth to three healthy girls and a boy 31 weeks into her pregnancy
- Tracey Britten’s babies are recovering in hospital after the ‘miracle’ birth
- Could enjoy celebration as their discharge may coincide with her 51st birthday
- The new mother wept tears of joy after the quads were delivered last month
Never mind the mechanics of fitting them all round the dining table.
The grandmother who has become the oldest woman in the UK to give birth to quadruplets says she hopes to have them home in time for Christmas.
Tracey Britten, whose babies are recovering in hospital after the ‘miracle’ birth, could be rewarded with a double celebration – as their discharge may coincide with her 51st birthday.
Mrs Britten became pregnant after spending £7,000 left to her in her mother’s will on IVF treatment in Cyprus
The new mother wept tears of joy after the quads were delivered last month. She had ignored warnings that the pregnancy was likely to go wrong.
Her three girls and one boy were delivered by caesarean during an emergency operation involving 35 medical staff.
Mrs Britten became pregnant after spending £7,000 left to her in her mother’s will on IVF treatment in Cyprus.
She decided to gamble on the procedure as both she and her husband Stephen were ‘desperate’ for a child, while doctors said she had the physical condition of a 30-year-old.
After being discharged last week, Mrs Britten said: ‘I only wanted one child and was blessed with four. It’s a miracle. I didn’t realise we’ve made history … I was told they simply couldn’t pull through at my age.’
Her three girls and one boy were delivered by caesarean during an emergency operation involving 35 medical staff
The quads were born on October 26, only 31 weeks into the pregnancy, after a scan showed one of them was suffering circulatory problems.
They are still being tube-fed, having gone into intensive care immediately after their births. They had been expected to be allowed home by their original due date in January.
‘It’s been a whirlwind and I’m so grateful,’ Mrs Britten said. ‘One of the quads has had so many tubes around her that I haven’t seen her face properly. The babies have not all been together yet, each hooked up to different machines.’ But their quick recovery has given the Brittens hope that the babies could be taken back to their three-bedroom house in London by Christmas, or even by Mrs Britten’s birthday two weeks before.
Mrs Britten said: ‘No one guessed how well they’d do, the doctors are so impressed.’
The quads were born on October 26, only 31 weeks into the pregnancy, after a scan showed one of them was suffering circulatory problems
The former drugs counsellor, who also has a daughter aged 32 and sons aged 31 and 22, was implanted with four embryos at the Kolan British IVF Centre in Cyprus to maximise her chance of conceiving.
But she was stunned to be told nine weeks into the pregnancy that she was carrying four babies.
Further scans revealed one of the embryos had failed to implant but that another had split in two, creating identical twin girls.
Doctors warned Mrs Britten to get rid of two of the foetuses, as it was likely they would be born with serious problems.
She agreed to an abortive procedure, but later cancelled this and decided to let ‘nature take its course’ instead.
The grandmother-of-eight said: ‘I thought if I could get to 28 to 30 weeks I had a chance. It was inner strength that made it happen. I was determined and my mind was set on nothing else.’
The first quad to be born was a girl weighing 2lb 2oz, followed by her 1lb 15oz identical twin one minute later.
Within the next few minutes a girl weighing 2lb 7oz and a boy of 3lb 10oz were born.
Three of the quads are now breathing independently, with one remaining in intensive care due to digestive issues.
Mrs Britten has previously dismissed criticism from those who say her pregnancy is irresponsible. She said prominent older male parents, such as Sir Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood, are not subjected to the same levels of criticism.
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