This is so rare that it only happens in 1 in 60 million births.
One amazing couple in the Czech Republic has a lot to be thankful for as they welcomed new babies into the world! Yes, BABIES. Plural. The couple, Alexandra and Antonin, already had one child already and were so excited when they learned a new addition was on its way! They soon found out that this new addition was actually twins, and since both parents had a history of twins in their families already, they will be carrying on the family’s tradition!
While the Kinovas from the Czech town of Milovice were looking forward to welcoming a new addition to their family, they soon learned from their doctor that Alexandra was pregnant with not just one baby, but two. The lovely couple celebrated upon hearing the good news and began to prepare themselves to go from being a family of three to a family of five. But almost immediately, the doctor asked the couple if he could see them again, to re-diagnose.
What they were about to find out from the doctor was something they would never in a million years had dreamed of. The doctor decided to show them the ultrasound again. When she looked, the doctors revealed some surprising news… the couple was actually expecting 4 babies! But the news didn’t stop there, just a month after that, another shocking ultrasound discovered there was a 5th baby in there!
“When we finally found a fifth head, I started to cry,” Alexandra said. The chances of the 23-year-old conceiving them naturally were one in seven million. And, Alexandra planned to breastfeed them all!
When it came time for the babies to be born, doctors scheduled twice the amount of doctors and midwives. There were almost 40 people there for the delivery. The head doctor of the neonatal unit said that there were no complications during the procedure. The sweet family welcomed four new baby boys into the world and one girl.
They named the boys Daniel, Michael, Alex and Martin and the baby girl Tereza. “In our country (birth) statistics have been recorded since 1949 and there’s no mention of quintuplets. In the Czech Republic quintuplets are born on average once every 480 years,” doctor Alena Mechurova said.
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Types of Quintuplets
Quintuplets can be fraternal (multi zygotic), identical (monozygotic), or a combination of both. Multi zygotic quintuplets occur from five unique egg/sperm combinations. Monozygotic multiples are the result of a fertilized egg that splits into two or more embryos.
It is possible for a split to occur more than once, producing monozygotic triplets or even a rare set of monozygotic quintuplets. Fully monozygotic quintuplets are rare, so rare that it is difficult to assess the odds. Quintuplets can be all male, all female, or a combination of both. (Monozygotic quintuplets will always be of the same gender.) Most quintuplets are a combination of boys and girls; all male or all female quintuples are rare. The first set of all-female quintuplets were born in the United States in 2015. In 2008, a Polish woman gave birth to a set of “probably identical” girls without the aid of fertility drugs.
Odds of Quintuplets
In 2005, the National Vital Statistics report for the United States reported the birth of 68 quintuplets and higher-order multiples. Because this number includes the possible birth of sextuplets, septuplets, or more, it is not determined exactly how many of those births were quintuplets.
The spontaneous conception of quintuplets is rare, the average estimate is 1 in about 60 million births. Most recent quintuplet births are the result of assisted reproductive techniques such as fertility-enhancing drugs or in-vitro fertilization.
Quintuplets do not always share the same birthdate. A delayed interval delivery (also known as iatrogenic asynchronous birth) may mean that individual babies are born days or even weeks apart.
Pregnancy With Quintuplets
The average gestation for a quintuplet pregnancy is 29 weeks, as opposed to 40 weeks for a full-term baby. The longest gestation I’ve discovered was 35 weeks, a record held by the mother of the Stanford quintuplets in Rhode Island. Many mothers will gain more than fifty pounds during their pregnancy and will require cervical cerclage, a surgical procedure in which the cervix is sewn shut to prevent preterm labor.
Nearly all quintuplet pregnancies result in cesarean delivery. The average birth weight of a quintuplet is about 2 pounds, 12 ounces and most quintuplets receive medical care in a hospital NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) until they reach their original birth date.
Interesting Facts About Quintuplets
The Wilkinson quintuplets weighed more than 21 pounds combined when they were born at about 34 weeks in 2007. The heaviest quintuplet births on record, according to the Guinness Book of World Records was 25 pounds combined, attributed to two mothers, Liu Saulian (China, 1953) and Mrs. Kamalammal (India, 1956).
Parents of quintuplets will change more than 35,000 diapers before their kids are potty trained.
The first set of quintuplets born in the United States were reported to be the Kanouse quints in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1875. They were all boys and did not survive.
The Fischer quintuplets were the first surviving quintuplets in the United States, born in 1963 in South Dakota, according to Wikipedia.
Baseball player Melvin Mora is a dad of quintuplets born in 2001 (3 girls and 2 boys).
The mascots of the 2008 Beijing Olympics were quintuplets.
A 2004 television show, “Quintuplets” starred Andy Richter and Rebecca Creskoff as parents of teenage quints. The 1994 novel, Feather Crowns, is about a young Kentucky farm couple who gives birth to quintuplets.
Quintuplets are indeed quite special and blessings from God for sure!
I can only imagine how hard and busy life would be as a new parent, and adding four more babies on top of that is almost inconceivable! But, God promises that he will never give us more than we can handle! And, we know that Alexandra and Antonin will be amazing parents to their 5 new babies.
We are praying for Alexandra and Antonin as they journey into this new (and very, very busy!) chapter of their lives. We know that God will provide for them and bless this sweet family. These babies are so amazing and we know God has great things planned for them!
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