When Antonin Kroscen and his wife, Alexandra Kinova, heard about their baby twins on the way, they just couldn’t hold their excitement. And who could blame them? To be struck by the news of not one but two new babies? Who wouldn’t jump up and down with excitement?
To be fair, the 23-year-old mother and her loving husband had already had a child before. But the thought of a second child accompanied by a third one was heart-warming beyond words. Still, the good news didn’t stop there! After about a few months, the doctors were gladly telling the parents about their findings from the results of the ultrasound. Turns out, Kinova was not just expecting two, but four beautiful babies!
The parents were extremely happy to have four new additions to their good small family. However, when a second ultrasound was conducted, it was found that the young mother bore not four, but five babies!
Kinova was unable to contain her excitement and the maternal passion for all five babies. She had an emotional breakdown, and her joy was beyond words. “When we finally found a fifth head, I started to cry,” said Kinova.
When it came time for the babies to be born, doctors scheduled twice the amount of doctors and midwives. There were almost 40 people there for the delivery. The head doctor of the neonatal unit said that there were no complications during the procedure. The sweet family welcomed four new baby boys into the world and one girl.
They named they boys Deniel, Michael, Alex and Martin and the baby girl Tereza. “In our country (birth) statistics have been recorded since 1949 and there’s no mention of quintuplets. In the Czech Republic quintuplets are born on average once every 480 years,” doctor Alena Mechurova said.
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Types of Quintuplets
Quintuplets can be fraternal (multi zygotic), identical (monozygotic) or a combination of both. Multi zygotic quintuplets occur from five unique egg/sperm combinations. Monozygotic multiples are the result of a fertilized egg that splits into two or more embryos.
It is possible for a split to occur more than once, producing monozygotic triplets or even a rare set of monozygotic quintuplets. Fully monozygotic quintuplets are rare, so rare that it is difficult to assess the odds. Quintuplets can be all male, all female, or a combination of both. (Monozygotic quintuplets will always be of the same gender.) Most quintuplets are a combination of boys and girls; all male or all female quintuples are rare. The first set of all-female quintuplets were born in the United States in 2015. In 2008, a Polish woman gave birth to a set of “probably identical” girls without the aid of fertility drugs.
Odds of Quintuplets
In 2005, the National Vital Statistics report for the United States reported the birth of 68 quintuplets and higher order multiples. Because this number includes the possible birth of sextuplets, septuplets or more, it is not determined exactly how many of those births were quintuplets.
The spontaneous conception of quintuplets is rare, the average estimate is 1 in about 60 million births. Most recent quintuplet births are the result of assisted reproductive techniques such as fertility enhancing drugs or in-vitro fertilization.
Quintuplets do not always share the same birthdate. A delayed interval delivery (also known as iatrogenic asynchronous birth) may mean that individual babies are born days or even weeks apart.
Pregnancy With Quintuplets
The average gestation for a quintuplet pregnancy is 29 weeks, as opposed to 40 weeks for a full-term baby. The longest gestation I’ve discovered was 35 weeks, a record held by the mother of the Stanford quintuplets in Rhode Island. Many mothers will gain more than fifty pounds during their pregnancy and will require cervical cerclage, a surgical procedure in which the cervix is sewn shut to prevent preterm labor.
Nearly all quintuplet pregnancies result in a cesarean delivery. The average birth weight of a quintuplet is about 2 pounds, 12 ounces and most quintuplets receive medical care in a hospital NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) until they reach their original birth date.
Interesting Facts About Quintuplets
The Wilkinson quintuplets weighed more than 21 pounds combined when they were born at about 34 weeks in 2007. The heaviest quintuplet births on record, according to the Guinness Book of World Records was 25 pounds combined, attributed to two mothers, Liu Saulian (China, 1953) and Mrs. Kamalammal (India, 1956).
Parents of quintuplets will change more than 35,000 diapers before their kids are potty trained.
The first set of quintuplets born in the United States were reported to be the Kanouse quints in Watertown, Wisconsin in 1875. They were all boys and did not survive.
The Fischer quintuplets were the first surviving quintuplets in the United States, born in 1963 in South Dakota, according to Wikipedia.
Baseball player Melvin Mora is a dad of quintuplets born in 2001 (3 girls and 2 boys).
The mascots of the 2008 Beijing Olympics were quintuplets.
A 2004 television show, “Quintuplets” starred Andy Richter and Rebecca Creskoff as parents of teenage quints. The 1994 novel, Feather Crowns, is about a young Kentucky farm couple who gives birth to quintuplets.
Quintuplets are indeed quite special and blessings from God for sure!
I can only imagine how hard and busy life would be as a new parent, and adding four more babies on top of that is almost inconceivable! But, God promises that he will never give us more than we can handle! And, we know that Alexandra and Antonin will be amazing parents to their 5 new babies.
We are praying for Alexandra and Antonin as they journey into this new (and very, very busy!) chapter of their lives. We know that God will provide for them and bless this sweet family. These babies are so amazing and we know God has great things planned for them!