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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bursting with joy: Mother celebrates quads' first birthday after defying the doctors who urged her to have two aborted

By FRANCES HARDY

A year on: Emma Robbins celebrates the first birthdays of her four healthy quadruplets Zachary, Samuel, Joshua and Reuben

The Robbins’ quadruplets turned one last week and their birthday presents — four blankets, a tent, a rocking snail and some plastic musical instruments — are arranged neatly in the family’s semi-detached home.
Routine and organisation are by-words for their parents Emma and Martin, who know that chaos would ensue if their sons’ lives were not regulated with military precision.

Inside the womb: This scan shows the four quadruplets before they were born

‘Even their menu is recorded on spreadsheets,’ says Emma. ‘We know what the boys will be eating in two weeks’ time, and all their food is freshly prepared and seasonal. This week they’ll have squash risotto, chicken and winter vegetables, Bolognese, fish and a Sunday roast. I cook for us all, then puree their meals.’
Bedtime, waking, naps, bottle-feeds and periods for play are also rigidly prescribed. ‘We stick to a timetable,’ says Emma, 31. ‘It throws them when their routine is disrupted, then they start to play up.’

With his newborn son: Martin Robbins with Zachary, one of the identical twins out of the quadruplets very unusually born on 29 February 2012

Under this judicious regime of discipline and love, Samuel, Reuben, Joshua and Zachary are happy and thriving. Emma presides over the household with impressive equanimity, which is why it comes as such a surprise to learn that in the early months of her babies’ lives, she was so exhausted she failed to bond with them and contemplated giving them up for adoption.
‘I wasn’t coping; I didn’t think I could ever love them. I was only getting a couple of hours’ sleep a night and I was so tired, I was hallucinating.’

Mummy's little miracles: The quadruplets were conceived naturally at odds of 750, 000 to one

Emma also worried that the quadruplets’ three-year-old brother, Luke, was being deprived of attention.
‘One day I just thought: “The quads would be better off without me.” ’
Yet from early in her pregnancy, she had fought to keep all four of her quadruplets, and the fact that they are alive and prospering is a minor miracle in itself.

Happy birthday: Mother Emma Robbins with sons Reuben, Zachary, Joshua and Samuel next to father Martin

Not only were they conceived naturally at odds of 750,000 to one, they are also the only leap year quads in Britain to have been born on February 29 — the chances of that are 3.5 million to one — and will therefore celebrate a birthday only every four years.
They are also flourishing despite the physical risks of multiple births. Indeed, when Emma — a former project manager — discovered she was pregnant with quads, she was advised repeatedly to ‘selectively reduce’ two of the foetuses to give the remaining pair a better chance of survival. She refused.
‘We knew about the things that could go wrong — premature births, miscarriage, cerebral palsy, even death — and I knew that even if all our boys survived, the pressure on our finances would be huge.

Time to celebrate: The quadruplets inspect their first ever birthday cake

The healthy quadruplets from left to right, Sammy, Zachary, Joshua and Reuben Robbins at home

Happy family: Left to right, mother Emma Robbins with her sons Reuben, Joshua, Zachary and Sammy and husband Martin at home in Bristol

Leader of the pack: Luke, pictured front right, is a very patient big brother to the four quadruplets

source: dailymail



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