What Makes These Quintuplets Special?

Jeanne Sager
9

baby bootiesAnother day, another woman pregnant with multiples. So what makes Melissa Keevers special? The Australia woman carrying five babies in her belly didn't use in-vitro fertilization to get them there.

Not that hers was an old-fashioned conception.

Keevers, who is 27, told Australia Woman's Day that she and her partner, Rosemary Nolan, opted to use a sperm donor to conceive what they thought would be their second child.

Instead they're celebrating children two through six. Even cooler?

Nolan is a multiple herself -- she has a twin. Which doesn't have any real bearing here; although multiples are said to run in families, Nolan's not genetically related to her kids.

But she is very much their mom, and the couple has decided to go through with a process they say is both scary and amazing.

Not surprisingly, the odds of quintuplets spontaneously implanting in the womb are impossibly low -- most reports put the number at one in about 60 million births. But that doesn't mean they don't happen. The Dionne quints, arguably the world's most famous as they were the first five wombmates to survive past infancy, were born in 1934 -- well before Nobel laureate Robert Edwards mixed Louise Brown's mom's egg and dad's sperm together in a lab in the late 1970s.

The babies are traditionally delivered much earlier than your standard pregnancy, so Keevers is only expected to carry around the five fetuses until late December, putting her at about 30 weeks pregnant when doctors pull her into the delivery room.

It's a risk that draws a lot of criticism to couples who undergo fertility treatments, but with Keevers saying she never even use hormone treatments, it will be curious to see how they're received.

Congrats to the couple and big sister Lilly!

 

Image via normanack/Flickr

 

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