The parents of seven children welcomed premature quintuplets last week, making a family with 12 children. Tragically, one of the babies passed away just three days after birth.
According to the Huff Post, the two boys and three girls were born via C-section on February 12 at 28 weeks at the University Hospital in Krakow, Poland. Each weighed between one pound, 9 ounces, and three pounds, one ounce. They were placed in incubators and given support breathing, but overall, they were each doing well in the days following their births until one of the boys, Henry, passed away.
Dominika Clarke, the babies’ mother, said during a news conference shortly after the children’s births, “I feel great. Much better than I thought. The children are resting, their condition is stable. This is something extraordinary that is not given to everyone. Such a pregnancy occurs once in 52 million. I’m a mathematician, I like such statistics. There is a greater chance of winning the lottery than having such a bunch.”
She added, “If you have a system, a calm approach and a positive attitude, then it is possible to have a really cool life with such a large bunch of children.” Clarke and her husband Vincent, from England, have seven other children, including two sets of twins. Those children are 10 months, twin four-year-olds, twin seven-year-olds, 10 years, and 12 years.
The newest members of the family are named Charles, Henry, Elizabeth, Evangeline, and Arianna. Sadly, Henry passed away at just three days old.
“You’re on a massive high and then it was like being winded,” explained Vincent. “It’s been really hard because they were all stable and then we lost Henry. It was so sudden and such a shock. We have absolutely no blame for the hospital in our hearts. They tried everything to bring him back.”
A nurse is taking care of one of the quintuplets laying in an incubator. Krakow, Poland on February 14, 2023. Three girls and two boys were born in the University Hospital, in the 28th week of pregnancy by caesarean section. Polish-British parents have already seven children aged between 10 months and 12 years, and include two pairs of twins. Statistics show that quintuplets are born once in every 52 million pregnancies. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
He added, “It was an absolute honour and privilege being chosen for little Henry’s parents. We enjoyed every second of time we were able to spend with him.”
Dominika spent the final 10 weeks leading up to the quints’ births in the hospital under observation while Vincent stayed home with the other children. The couple owns a business, and though they met in the UK, they moved to Poland to raise their family in a house in a forest.
“We want to raise children in the old climate, in the bosom of nature, where deer will come,” said Dominika.
This is the second time University Hospital has delivered quintuplets, and doctors there decided to keep Dominika at the hospital for 10 weeks in order to prepare for any possible complications. They said they worked to “prepare the children for birth in the best possible condition.”
Henry’s death is a heartbreaking tragedy, but he was loved and given the best care the hospital and his parents could give. He was seen as a gift, when too often, children conceived as multiples are treated as commodities to be “reduced.” One couple, pregnant from sperm donation, became pregnant with quintuplets and decided to selectively reduce the babies down to two, killing three of the babies through abortion. A feticide was injected into their hearts at 12 weeks.
But Charles, Henry, Elizabeth, Evangeline, and Arianna equally loved and respected, and were each given their chance at life — a chance all humans deserve.
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