An Irish couple who nearly gave up their dream of starting a family after the heartbreak of four miscarriages is elated to celebrate Christmas this year with their new quadruplets, born in May.
Grace and James Slattery defied enormous odds by conceiving the babies naturally.
“The babies are our Christmas miracles. We are blessed,” Grace said. "We call them our fantastic four.”
The blessing is especially poignant this year since the Limerick couple had suffered the pain of miscarriage four times in as many years before becoming pregnant with the quadruplets. The Slattery’s decided against trying IVF fertility treatment because the sorrow accompanying the miscarriage of their four older children had them thinking they couldn’t face anymore loss.
But then the miracle happened.
“Just when we thought we couldn’t go through any more and we were ready to give up we received the best news ever,” said Grace.
“When we went for the babies' first scan we thought we'd lost another baby,” she told the Daily Mail. “But we were given amazing news that we were definitely pregnant, everything was well and we were actually having quads.”
The website multiples.about.com gives the statistic of chances for naturally conceived quadruplets at 1 in 571,787 pregnancies. The site, along with others, estimates that 90 percent of quadruplet pregnancies are the result of fertility assistance.
For the Slatterys the painful specter of miscarriage remained present throughout the quads’ pregnancy, with the couple being advised not to get their hopes up at each appointment for the next 26 weeks.