A MOM who feared she would never get pregnant took infertility medication – and ended up with QUINTUPLETS.
Hannah Merton, 23, and her husband Jacob, 24, feared she was infertile so she took medication to stimulate ovulation.
And it was more successful than they could ever have imagined.
She fell pregnant with FIVE babies, and Philomena, Evangeline, Meredith, Gideon, and Elliot were born prematurely at just 25 weeks.
The teeny miracles weighed between 1lb 13oz and 1lb 4oz each and had a tough early start.
The couple was devastated when the smallest quint, Meredith, died when she was three days old, following a fatal brain bleed.
It wasn't until a YEAR later that her four brothers and sisters were finally all reunited at home, because Gideon was kept in hospital, after suffering a collapsed lung.
They recently celebrated their second birthday, and despite the full-on job of looking after four young babies, mom Hannah said she "wouldn't change it for the world."
She said: "Having lots of children is scary, and it is crazy, but it is so much fun.
"I do have my hands full, that is true.
"But my heart is even fuller, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I suffered from infertility so I took medication to help me ovulate, and it worked better than we expected.
"We were told at the time I had a one percent chance of having triplets – nobody mentioned the chance of four, never mind five babies because it was so low.
"When I found out there were five, I was in complete shock and feeling every emotion you could possibly feel.
"Seeing them in the NICU was love at first sight but I couldn't bear to leave them behind, so finally bringing them all home was an amazing feeling.
"Having four babies to look after is very messy – I'm constantly cleaning – and it's chaotic and crazy and loud.
"People are always making comments that I 'have my hands full' – and I do – there are definitely times I think 'how in the world am I going to do this?'
"But it's so rewarding and so much fun, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
SO HOW DO THEY DO IT?
Taking care of four babies can definitely put a dent in anyone's pocket, but so far, the young parents have managed.
Shortly before the babies were born, their town hosted a community baby shower and they were gifted enough diapers and baby wipes to last them almost two years.
On top of that, they got baby soap, lotions, and detergent to last them the year, as well as clothes, toys, and cribs.
Hannah added: "We have had to buy some clothes since they started to get a bit bigger, but before then we didn't have to buy anything hardly.
"Before the babies, our house was pretty small and all the rooms were upstairs, so we had to move into a ranch-style home where the living room and kitchen and bedrooms were all on the same floor.
"That way we didn't have to worry about constantly taking them up and downstairs all the time, especially when that included all of Gideon's equipment like a ventilator.
"We had to buy a new car as well, but luckily the car seats were all donated at the baby shower too.
"I have no idea what it would have cost if we had to buy it all for ourselves. I can't even think! But it would have been really really expensive."
Speaking on hectic momma life, she admitted: "Looking after four babies can become a lot sometimes, but at this point, I am pretty used to it.
"Now the kids all sleep pretty well, so I'm not as tired as I was at the beginning.
"Looking back, I'm not sure how I did it at the start. When the first three came home, both myself and Jacob were getting up every three hours every night to feed them and change diapers.
"I would be so tired each day, I would be falling asleep on the couch while I was holding a baby.
"But I managed because I didn't have another choice."
Hannah and Jacob, a financial planner, began trying to get pregnant three years ago, but when they didn't fall pregnant, took medication to encourage ovulation.
In October 2019, a pregnancy test came back positive – and later doctors confirmed Hannah was carrying not one, but FIVE babies.
Hannah said: "It was very shocking when I found out I had five babies.
"I thought I was suffering from infertility!
"We'd been told the chance of triplets was one percent and we thought anything more than that would be virtually impossible."
Hannah was just five weeks into her pregnancy when she first was able to see her five babies on a scan – but she recalled her pregnancy rushing by.
At just 25 weeks pregnant, she was rushed into hospital on March 5, just a fortnight before she turned 21.
The five babies were delivered by cesarean section 15 weeks premature after doctors became concerned for their health.
The babies were so tiny – each one less than two pounds – and Hannah said they could fit in the palm of her hand.
The babies immediately needed to be hooked up to endless machines and wires to keep them alive.
Hannah said: "When I first saw them all, I was shocked, terrified, and excited all at the same time.
"It was love at first sight but so scary seeing them attached to so many different tubes and monitors and wires."
Tragically, the first-time parents had to say goodbye to one of their daughters, Meredith, at just three days old following a fatal brain bleed that likely occurred during her birth.
The remaining four tiny babies – Philomena, Evangeline, Gideon, and Elliot – had to spend varying lengths of time in NICU because they were too small and weak to go home.
Hannah and Jacob visited the tots in the hospital every day as they fought to live – with Gideon suffering a collapsed lung and spending a long time on a ventilator.
By five months old, Philomena, Evangeline, and Elliot had made it home, but Gideon remained in hospital.
He was unable to properly meet his siblings until he was a year old when he finally grew strong enough to go home although remained on a ventilator.
On March 25, 2021, Gideon was finally reunited with his siblings at home.
Hannah said: "Bringing them home was amazing but scary, it was the first time each of them had not been hooked up to monitors.
"Suddenly not being able to see their heart rate and oxygen levels were nerve-wracking, but also exciting.
"It was the first time that we were the ones properly taking care of them."
Since getting all four of the babies back home, Hannah and Jacob discovered the reality of looking after four tots at once.
It was made more of a challenge by the pandemic which left them with less support than they would have had.
Gideon still has breathing problems and a tracheostomy, and Evangeline has cerebral palsy.
But the young parents have taken the challenge in their stride – and say they embrace the chaos.
Hannah explained: "It's pretty much go-go-go every day – crazy, chaotic, and loud.
"It's very messy, I'm cleaning my house non-stop.
"I clean one mess then turn around and there's another one appeared just behind me.
"But I like it that way – I grew up in a big family too – I was one of eight children."
The two girls, Evangeline and Philomena, share one bedroom while the boys, Elliot and Gideon, share another.
The parents keep organized thanks to a strict home schedule – naps, mealtimes, and bath time occur at the same time each day.
8.00am Wake up, get the kids up, and make breakfast.
9.00am Clean up from breakfast and dress the kids.
10.00am – 12.00pm Free play.
12.00pm – 2.30pm Nap time for the kids.
2.30pm Make lunch and get the kids up.
3.00pm – 5.00pm Free play.
5.00pm Dad is finished with work so he plays with the kids while mom makes dinner.
6.30pm Eat dinner.
7.00pm-7.30pm Baths, pajamas, storytime for babies.
8.00pm The kids go to sleep.
8.00pm-11.00pm Mom and dad clean up the house and maybe watch a movie and then off to bed.
Elliot and Philomena are both now on their feet and have learned to walk and climb – making the parents' job that much more chaotic.
Hannah said: "There are definitely times each day where I think 'how in the world am I going to do this?'
"But I don't have another choice – stuff has to get done, so we get on with it.
"During those days when things are too much, it's easy to just turn on a TVshow for the babies and step out of the room to calm down for a minute. Then you can go back into the situation and get it sorted."
She said: "Luckily, Jacob has always worked from home so he has always been able to be quite flexible.
"His work is very understanding if he ends up logging on a little late in the morning because they have always accepted our unique situation having a big family."
Hannah said she 'probably' won't go back to working again because she's got a lot on with the babies for now, and the next few years likely.
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But despite the chaotic mom life, Hannah says she wouldn't change a thing.
She and Jacob said they would even consider one day having another child one day.
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