Danesha Couch, 21, from Kansas City shares her amazing story of heartache and joy...
The excitement I felt was truly overwhelming. ‘It’s twins!’ I told my mum, Rhonda, now 61.It was my first pregnancy and I was absolutely thrilled. So thrilled, I shopped for baby things straightaway.Matching prams, booties…
I’d split from the twins’ dad, but I couldn’t wait to be a mum. Then in April 2014, at 26 weeks, I woke up in a puddle of blood.
I phoned for an ambulance. By the time I got to hospital, I was having intense contractions.‘We’ve got to deliver now!’ I heard a doctor say.
Before I knew it, Desmond was born, weighing 2lb 2oz. He was still in his sac and doctors whisked him away.
It was much too risky to deliver his brother naturally, so I had to have an emergency Caesarean.Danarius wasn’t in his sac but he was as small as his brother. They were taken to the NICU.
Then, hours later… ‘I’m sorry but Desmond didn’t make it,’ a doctor said. ‘No!’ I cried, breaking down. They’d done all they could to resuscitate him but Desmond’s tiny body had given up. Danarius was kept in hospital with respiratory, heart and acid reflux problems.
Back at home, I sobbed my heart out. Instead of leaving hospital with my arms full, they were empty. After three months, Danarius was well enough to come home. Still grieving for his brother, it took all my strength to keep going.
Then in that September, I met Jeff, 26. I was moving into a new flat and he’d spotted me from across the street. ‘You look like an angel,’ he said, chatting me up. His charm won me over and we soon became a couple.
He was great with Danarius. And, before long, we decided to have a child of our own. I quickly fell pregnant and we were both so happy. Then, at a scan…
‘It’s twins,’ a sonographer said. ‘Again!?’ I said. I knew the chances of having two sets of twins was very unlikely. ‘No mistake, it’s definitely twins!’ she laughed. I was beyond happy. But worried about getting my hopes up after poor Desmond.
After, I lived for each scan, willed my babies to get stronger. When I found out I was having girls, I was overjoyed. I tried to resist shopping, but excitement got the better of me. ‘Look at these!’ I said to Jeff, holding two frilly, pink frocks.
Last May, Delilah and Davina were delivered by Caesarean section.Both little girls were healthy, thank heavens. ‘They’re gorgeous!’ I cried, when I saw their cute, little faces.They had to stay in NICU on oxygen for a few weeks, but doctors were confident they’d be fine.
When I finally took them home a month on, I was walking on air. No way! By now, Danarius was a year old, so I had my hands full with three littl’uns to care for.
Jeff and I managed to make it work, though, and quickly got into a routine. Bottles, followed by a nappy change, then a 30-minute nap, before another nappy change… ‘You’re pros,’ Mum praised us, clearly impressed.
Then, a few months after the girls were born, I began to suffer from terrible headaches. I went to see my doctor who ran some routine tests. And…
‘You’re pregnant,’ he said. ‘There must be a mistake,’ I said, shocked. The girls were only a few months old, there was no way that I could be pregnant again. When the doctor did another test, he told me that the result had been a false positive. But just minutes later, he returned again. ‘I was wrong – it is positive. And you are pregnant,’ he confirmed.
Back at home later, I was still in shock. ‘It’s an unexpected but brilliant surprise,’ Jeff grinned, when I told him. By this time we’d got the girls and Danarius into a
pretty good routine. So we were fairly confident that having one more baby would be a breeze. But at a scan in November…
‘I can hear two heartbeats,’ a doctor told us. My own heart started racing! Surely he doesn’t mean…
‘It’s twins!’ the doctor added. I gulped. ‘Have you counted right?’ I laughed nervously. The doctor checked again, and then nodded. I was absolutely speechless.
I’d never heard of anybody having three sets of twins in two years before. The doctor agreed that it was extremely rare. Twins do run in my family, though, and the doctor said my body could be releasing two eggs each cycle, instead of one. It meant I had a higher chance of conceiving fraternal twins.
When I told Jeff, he was totally flabbergasted.‘How are we going to cope?’ I cried, terrified.Looking after two sets of baby twins and a toddler was going to be exhausting.But Jeff and I agreed that we’d make it work somehow.
In June this year, Delanie and Darla were born and they were both perfectly healthy. Poor Danarius looked so confused when I brought the new arrivals home.
‘He’s probably wondering where all these little sisters are coming from,’ I laughed. It was tough looking after five littl’uns, but Jeff and I muddle through and manage.‘ No more kids for another 10 years at least,’ we often joke. But really, we wouldn’t change our brood for the world.
Little Danarius is 2 years old now and he’s into everything. Delilah, now 17 months, is the cry baby of the bunch and her twin, Davina, is a little chubster. Delanie, 4 months, is the loud, fiery one, and Darla is the total opposite – quiet and snuggly.
Having five children is exhausting work. We go through about 30 nappies a day and when one cries, it sets them all off! But I’ve since learned that by having three sets of twins, I’ve beaten odds of 88,000 to one. And that makes me one very proud, very busy, but extremely lucky mummy!