Quadruplets made ʜɪsᴛᴏʀʏ because they all born had come from ᴀ sɪɴɢʟᴇ ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ, in what was ᴇsᴛɪᴍᴀᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴀ 70ᴍɪʟʟɪᴏɴ-ᴛᴏ-ᴏɴᴇ ᴄʜᴀɴᴄᴇ. Christine and Justin Clark from Brinsworth, Rotherham trying for a baby for ten years have ᴅᴇғɪᴇᴅ ᴏᴅᴅs ᴏғ 70ᴍɪʟʟɪᴏɴ ᴛᴏ ᴏɴᴇ to produce quadruplet daughters from ᴀ sɪɴɢʟᴇ ⒾⓋⒻ ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ.
The couple started trying for a baby after marrying in 2004. Eight years later they tried ⒾⓋⒻ , and though ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs harvested only ᴏɴᴇ ᴜsᴀʙʟᴇ ᴇɢɢ from Christine, it ғᴇʀᴛɪʟɪsᴇᴅ at once. Five weeks later she took a ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ test. She recalls: “The ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ ʀᴇsᴜʟᴛ was such a sʜᴏᴄᴋ that Justin insisted I take another test . It was an even bigger surprise when we were told we were expecting not one, two or three, but four babies. I couldn’t believe it. I was overjoyed but we were also ᴡᴀʀɴᴇᴅ about the ʀɪsᴋs . We were advised to ʀᴇᴅᴜᴄᴇ the number of babies but we ʀᴇsɪsᴛᴇᴅ . If they were all healthy we wanted to let nature take its course.”
The ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ process was ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇʟʏ ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ , Christine sᴜғғᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇ ᴍᴏʀɴɪɴɢ sɪᴄᴋɴᴇss ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ , ʜʏᴘᴇʀᴇᴍᴇsɪs ɢʀᴀᴠɪᴅᴀʀᴜᴍ . She also needed ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ for ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜʟᴇssɴᴇss. At 24 weeks she was admitted to ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ thanks to the sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ ᴍᴏʀɴɪɴɢ sɪᴄᴋɴᴇss ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ʜᴇʀ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ . In March, the quads were ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ 10 weeks ᴇᴀʀʟʏ by Cᴀᴇsᴀʀɪᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ . Caroline weighed 2lbs 3oz, Darcy 2lbs, Elisha 2lb 14oz and Alexis 3lbs. And Darcy, Caroline, Elisha and Alexis Clark , are thought to be the first quads in the ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ born from the sᴀᴍᴇ ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ and weighed ᴊᴜsᴛ 10lbs between them when they arrived. Justin, a lorry driver who is now turning full-time dad said:”It was a very emotional time for us as we’d been trying for nine years to have one child and had ɴᴏ ʟᴜᴄᴋ . When we ғᴏᴜɴᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ we were having four babies, I ᴊᴜsᴛ couldn’t believe it. I was speechless and to be honest, I didn’t believe it until I saw them for myself. All that mattered to either of us was that they were healthy.”
Life changes beyond comprehension for all new parents, but for the Clarks it hit like ᴀ ʜᴜʀʀɪᴄᴀɴᴇ. Christine said:”For the first few months we were sleeping for half an hour a night. Now our routine starts when they wake at 7.30am and finishes when we put them to bed at 6pm. It is non-stop all day.” At feeding time Christine places each girl into her own rocker with the bottles balanced on bunched-up blankets so they can all feed at once. She added :”They are all developing their ᴏᴡɴ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴᴀʟɪᴛʏ. Alexis is the ᴄʜɪʟʟᴇᴅ-ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏɴᴇ, Caroline is the diva and Elisha looks out for the others. She gets ᴜɴsᴇᴛᴛʟᴇᴅ if one of them isn’t around.” Now they can’t wait to celebrate their first Christmas with the quads. Mom Christine said :”People think our life must be ᴄʜᴀᴏᴛɪᴄ, but it’s normal for us. Four toddlers running around shouting and playing is our normal and we can’t imagine it any other way. The girls are all ʀᴇᴀʟ ɪɴᴅɪᴠɪᴅᴜᴀʟs with very ᴅɪғғᴇʀᴇɴᴛ ᴛᴀsᴛᴇs. Alisha is a really girly girl, she loves to play with dolls, while Alexis is a bit of ᴀ ᴛᴏᴍʙᴏʏ who’d much rather be climbing on things and playing with cars. We’ve never dressed them the same and we encourage their ᴅɪғғᴇʀᴇɴᴛ ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇsᴛs and their ɪɴᴅᴇᴘᴇɴᴅᴇɴᴄᴇ from one another. We’re raising four ɪɴᴅɪᴠɪᴅᴜᴀʟ people. Having said that, they are very close and if one gets ᴜᴘsᴇᴛ, they all get ᴜᴘsᴇᴛ, or if one is ill, all the others look after her. We are so lucky to have our four ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇ ᴍɪʀᴀᴄʟᴇs this Christmas.”