There's a one in a 55 million chance of having naturally-conceived quintuplets, and Kim and Vaughn Tucci of Perth, Australia basically hit the jackpot. It is five times the blessings, of course, but we cannot imagine the baby care duties that come with it.
Kim and Vaughn were really planning to add one more to their brood of three--their two daughters and Kim's 9-year-old son from a previous relationship. The odds seemed against them because Kim suffers from endometriosis and polycystic ovaries, two conditions that can lead to infertility issues. So imagine their surprise during an ultrasound when the doctor informed them that there were five hearts beating inside Kim's womb.
Vaughn couldn't believe it. Kim, on the other hand, was just shaking in disbelief and described it as a miracle. She chronicled her pregnancy journey until she gave birth to the quintuplets prematurely on January 2016. Thankfully, everything checked out for the mom and her healthy five little ones: son Keith and daughters Tiffany, Allie, Beatrix and Penelope.
And so a new journey begins, the one where it involves feeding, nappy changes, and other baby care duties.
"We have five times the first smiles, the first giggles, the first time they look at you lovingly," Kim said in an interview with 7 News Sydney. But then they also wake up tired, Vaughn added, even with an army of family and friends, even kind strangers, to help them change 50 nappies and prepare 40 bottles a day.
Kim said, "Even if we give an hour to each child, that's seven hours a day. And you still got house work, [grocery] shopping..."
Vaughn cuts in, "And you've still got to eat." Nope, we're not having a hectic day compared to these two.
The couple granted interviews to share how they survive and keep sane while attending to the quintuplets and three more kids. Kim also regularly posts snippets of their life on her Facebook page Surprised by Five. These pieces of advice we've culled from her excperiences apply to any other parent.
1. Ask for help. Kim's grandmother had setup a GoFundMe Page. Her best friend even recently offered to bring home two babies for a night (we kid you not).
2. Multi-tasking and routine are vital. Kim and Vaughn have become pros at it, but they have also learned the importance of establishing routines. The quintuplets, now almost 7 months old, are sleeping longer now. "All I can say is routine, routine, routine from birth if possible," Kim stresses.
6. Focus on the good. Remind yourself of your achievements. "No-one thought I could do it, and I did, I showed everyone in my life. So, I think it's the first time that I've actually been proud of myself," Kim told local TV show 60 Minutes.
But although the family is "overwhelmed" by the momentous job of caring for eight kids, six of them all under 5 years old, the couple says they are the "happiest they have ever been in their life."
Looking into the future, seeing themselves with grandkids, Kim realizes, "We'll never be alone." Vaughn agrees, "Yeah, we've got family. I love my family."
Follow the adventures Kim and Vaughn as their raise their eight kids on Facebook and Instagram.