Mother told by doctors to abort quadruplets celebrates their 1st birthday
BRISTOL, UK, March 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – A British mother pressured by doctors to abort two of her four babies has just celebrated the quadruplets’ first birthday.
Doctors told 31-year-old Emma Robbins to abort two of her children in order to give the other two a better chance of survival after she beat 750,000-to-1 odds to conceive quadruplets naturally.
Despite what she described as “immense pressure” from her doctors, Robbins steadfastly refused to abort any of the children. Now, she is celebrating the birthday of Zachary, Joshua, Reuben and Sam, who were born on February 29, 2012 and are now happy, healthy one-year-olds. The four miracle babies who beat such enormous odds to be conceived naturally in the first place really outdid themselves with their leap day birth – odds of a leap day birthday are 3.5 million to one.
Robbins said she first consulted with doctors at ten weeks of pregnancy because she was so much larger than she had been with her previous, single birth. She also suffered from extreme morning sickness. She was worried that something was wrong, so her doctors ordered an ultrasound.
“The sonographer looked at both of us wide-eyed, turned the screen to us, then said she could see three amniotic sacs and not just two babies but four,” recalled Robbins. “And not just quads but identical twins as well.”
Robbins said her husband Martin, 39, “looked numb and just laughed.”
The doctors “said we had three options,” Robbins told the Daily Mail. “We could terminate the pregnancy, reduce the pregnancy by terminating some of the embryos, or carry on.”
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The suggestion of abortion horrified Robbins. “Instinctively I clutched my bump,” she said. “An overwhelming sense of love rushed through me and I told him that we were keeping all four of them.”
Despite the Robbinses’ conviction that they wanted to keep their babies, doctors didn’t let up on the pressure to abort some or all of them.
At twelve weeks, said Robbins, “I’d just been scanned and had been told everything looked fine but now he was pointing out the risks again and asking me to consider aborting the twins for the sake of the other two. I was beginning to feel pressured and it didn’t feel fair. We’d already made our decision.”
Added Robbins, “All our babies were doing well. We’d seen their tiny outlines on the screen and we’d already begun to think of them individually.”
At 16 weeks into the pregnancy, the couple was once again told to consider aborting the twins. “By now I felt under immense pressure and I was getting angry,” said Robbins.
At the babies’ 18-week scan, doctors yet again urged Robbins to consider abortion, warning her that 20 weeks was the latest an abortion could be performed.
“[A]s soon as he’d finished,” said Robbins, “I told him it wasn’t an option and that was final.”
Said Robbins, “We didn’t know how we’d manage financially and practically but I felt it must have happened for a reason. I decided I’d do everything in my power to give birth to four healthy babies.”
That’s exactly what she did. On February 29, two months before her due date, Robbins went into labor early and delivered all four babies by caesarean section. Ruben was first, weighing 2 lbs., 14 oz. Next came Zachary at 2 lbs. 8 oz. and his identical twin Joshua, who weighed 3 lbs. 1 oz. Last was Sam, at 2 lb. 13 oz.
The boys stayed in the hospital for two months until they were big enough and strong enough to go home with the mother who fought so hard for their survival.
Robbins says raising quadruplets has been hard but worth it.
“Each night the babies would wake up one after the other and start screaming, which would wake [older brother] Luke up too,” she said. “We had to turn our lounge into the nursery and would take in turns to sleep down there. With four breastfeeds to coordinate every four hours, day and night, as well as bottles, 30 nappy changes and endless baths, life was exhausting.”
Still, she calls the happy, healthy one-year-old boys her “little miracle Peter Pans.”