that's life (Australia)
Surprise quads – From 0 to 9 kids in three years
Maxine Young, 30, never expected such a big brood SURPRISE QUADS
Cradling the tiny bundle in my arms, my heart burst with love. ‘She’s gorgeous,’ I beamed to my husband, Jake.
Back at home, we introduced baby Elliott to Aiden, four, Parker, two, and Connor, 11 months.
‘This is your baby sister,’ I told them.
All four kids were siblings Jake and I were fostering.
We believe that every person on the planet has a responsibility to make the world better and that fostering would be our way.
The other three kids had been with us for just under a month when authorities called to say Elliott had been born.
‘I’d say we have room for one more,’ Jake smiled.
And so, within less than a month, we’d gone from no children to four!
It had been a shock at rst, but I’d quit my job to look after the kids, and Jake and I had quickly got into a rhythm.
We’d instantly connected with the children and our days became packed with chaotic fun, going to the zoo or park.
We’d also been trying for a biological baby of our own. But it hadn’t been easy. We’d struggled getting pregnant and suffered multiple miscarriages.
After a failed round of IVF, we’d tried IUI, where I fell pregnant again.
‘I’m worried we’re going to lose the baby,’ I’d admitted to Jake.
But nally, after two years of heartache, little Henry was born in October 2018.
The others adored him and Elliott, by then aged one, insisted on holding her baby brother all the time.
Around the same time, we were told we could of cially adopt Aiden, Parker,
Connor and Elliott, so we started to get the ball rolling.
The kids were so excited, but it was a long process. In December 2019, I asked them what they wanted for Christmas.
‘To be adopted,’ Aiden and Parker chorused. ‘Hopefully soon,’ I said. Just days later, we received the best news – the adoption had gone through!
Not long after that, Jake and I decided to try for another bub.
A few weeks later, I took a test and was stunned to see that it was positive.
At the scan, there was another surprise.
‘I can see three babies in there – you’re having triplets,’ the nurse said.
‘Oh my gosh,’ I breathed. Texting Jake with the news, he replied, Wow!
We spent a week getting our heads around the idea of triplets before I had another check up.
‘Wouldn’t it be funny if there was another one!’ I quipped, as the sonographer did a full scan of my uterus. Moments later, she gasped. ‘There is another one!’ she said.
I burst into nervous laughter as she showed me a fourth heartbeat.
‘There’s a chance not all will survive’
Carrying quadruplets is a high-risk pregnancy, so a doctor came to talk to me about selective reduction.
‘There’s a very high chance not all of them will survive,’ he explained.
But I refused; it wasn’t something Jake and I believed in.
Jake was at work, so I texted him and told him we were having quads. You’re lying! he said.
So I sent him a picture of the ultrasound.
We decided not to tell the kids right away.
Meanwhile, Jake and I stocked up on baby clothes and nappies.
‘Mummy’s belly is getting fat,’ Parker, then ve, remarked to Jake, as my bump grew.
A few weeks later, when I reached the 20-week mark, we told the kids.
‘There are four babies in my tummy,’ I revealed.
‘No, there’s only one,’ Aiden said, in disbelief.
‘Sometimes you can carry more than one baby,’ I explained.
The kids were so excited and started pitching in with name options.
On July 31, 2020, at 32 weeks, I had a C-section where all four babies were safely delivered in two minutes.
Silas weighed 1.81 kilos, Theo was our tiniest at
1.36 kilos, Beck weighed in at 1.64 kilos and Cecilia was 1.5 kilos.
I felt a rush of love as I saw our teeny, tiny bubs for the rst time. ‘They’re beautiful,’ Jake grinned.
Born so small, the quads had to stay in hospital until they were strong enough to come home, one at a time, which gave Jake and I chance to adjust.
It’s now been seven months since our quads arrived and life is hectic, but fun.
We thrive on the chaos of each day. Jake and I have a good routine, each feeding two babies at one time.
If he’s at work, I’ll put the babies in an assembly line before feeding them one by one.
The other kids adore their new siblings and are always desperate to help.
‘When are we getting more babies?’ Aiden will ask us.
‘Nine is enough!’ I chuckle. For now, our hands are more than full, but Jake and I do joke, never say never!
I never imagined the two of us would become a family of 11, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. ●
We each feed two babies at
Follow Maxine and her family’s journey on Instagram, @maxinelee_y and on YouTube at The Family Young VLOGS.