Bristol leap year quads celebrate their first birthday
IT'S hard to believe it's been a whole year since I first put pen to paper for my column with The Post as I lay in hospital awaiting the birth of my four little stars. Reading back on the journey my family and I have been through brings a tear to my eye.
It has been the most challenging year of my life, but wow, am I proud of where we are now and what we have gained from it all.
I have learnt so many valuable lessons about myself and fallen in love with my husband all over again.
Something like this could have broken most relationships, but for Martin and I it has brought us closer together. We are a team like no other.
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My beautiful Luke who is now three and a half has had such a tough time but has also gained so much from the experience.
He is now a well-rounded social butterfly, happy to adapt to any situation and new people. I feel truly blessed by my amazing family.
My little Reuben, Joshua, Zachary and Samuel have conquered their first year of life but the strangest thing for me is not having a real day to celebrate their birthday on.
We will have to wait another three years to celebrate properly for them on February 29th.
It still seems incredible that they decided to make an appearance on that day rather than any other.
We are one of only two sets of quads on record ever to be born on a leap year, now that's special.
I will never forget the moment the doctor examined me and told me I was three centimetres dilated and that after seven long weeks of bed rest and at only 29 weeks gestation I was finally going to be meeting my four little stars.
Born at a tiny 3lbs and under, my boys are all now between 20 and 23lbs. It's hard to remember the fragile little babies I first met lined up next to each other in their incubators when I look at them now, it's all quite a blur to be honest.
Spending every day of eight weeks with them at St Michael's Hospital, praying that they would grow and develop properly as they were still so premature. Luckily for us we have four perfect little boys who are so full of life.
Their little personalities are developing so much now.
Sammy is such a mummy's boy, he loves his cuddles and is the most loving out of the four.
Zachary is easy going and bubbly and always chuckling to himself, I think he'll be the quiet happy one.
Reuben is quite a bully and always just wants what everyone else has and Joshua is the boisterous leader and is always the first to learn new things. Even though they are a year old they are only really nine months old.
They have followed their developmental milestones for their corrected age which is wonderful and are all just starting to crawl. It's going to be something else when they are all properly on the move.
As they get older they are becoming a lot easier to manage which is slowly freeing up more and more of our time.
We have gone from feeding them a total of 32 bottles a day, with a feed taking anything between one and a half to two hours, to three meals and two bottles a day which they now feed themselves.
To say the early days were very hard is an understatement, I don't think I will ever be able to explain to anyone who hasn't been in the same situation what we went through, and when you're in that place of sleep deprivation and continuous care it's hard to think that's it's ever going to get any better, but it does.
They are truly amazing human beings who bring so much joy and laughter to our lives.
They absolutely love Luke and even though he doesn't like to admit it you can see that he really loves them too. He only has to sing them a song or run up and down playing with cars for them to all be in absolute hysterics.
We have decided to celebrate their big day on the first of March as they were born at 11pm on the 29th.
We are going to be having a big birthday party with all the amazing people who have been a part of their lives over the last year.
I know I've said it many times before but without all the wonderful support from friends, family, the community, charities like Homestart, readers of my blog and all the other people involved in their lives we wouldn't have made it through this first year.
Thank you to all of you . This is just the beginning but what a first year it has been.