Michelle, 37, is mum to seven children under the age of five after giving birth to three sets of twins and a boy in four years, defying odds of 500,000 to 1 with three-sets of twins. They live in a four-bedroomed house in Dublin, Ireland. The super mum had planned to stop in September 2010 when her brood reached five. She even signed a hospital consent form for sterilization. Former teaching assistant Michelle, who is originally from Portsmouth, met Irish plumber Chris online in January 2008. They sparked up a relationship which saw Chris flying to England to visit Michelle every two-weeks or so. Three months into their relationship, Michelle discovered she was pregnant. Michelle said:” I was scared to tell Chris because we’d only been dating a few months. But when I called him and broke the news he was really chuffed. I knew he’d stand by me and he moved in a few weeks later. When I found out we were having twins it was a nice surprise but it wasn’t really a sʜᴏᴄᴋ as multiple births run in both our families. My grandmother was a twin and Chris’s brother is a father to triplets.”
In October 2008, Michelle was 25 weeks’ pregnant when she was ʀushed to hospital suffᴇring from ᴄomplications and gave birth to non-identical twin boys Anthony and Adam. Michelle recalls :” The boys were so tiny they had to stay in hospital for three months. Chris and I traveled to see them every day. It was a really difficult time as we didn’t know what was going to happen. The doctors told us Adam had suffᴇred ʙʀᴀɪɴ ᴅamage and would need extra care as he got older. The first few weeks passed in a blur. Then when the boys were 10 weeks old I realized I had missed my ᴘeriod. A test confirmed I was pregnant again.” The couple moved across to Ireland so they could be closer to Chris’s family and their third child, Andrew, arrived in September 2009.
Michelle said:” I’d take the boys shopping and people would mistake them for triplets. I was glad they would grow up without a big age gap but I did worry that Andrew would feel ʟeft out being the baby brother of twins. Chris and I talked about having one more child. We decided we would leave it up to nature and when Andrew was five months old I found out I was pregnant again.” When Michelle went for a scan at 12 weeks, the sᴏɴographer revealed she was having another set of twins. She said:” Chris was waiting in the car with the boys while I went into the hospital for the scan. When I came out with the news, my legs felt like jelly. Chris only had to look at my face and he knew. He asked ‘How many?’ and I just held up two fingers. He started to laugh and said, ‘Well we’re going to need a bigger car’. I did worry how we’d cope with five children all under the age of three but I figured that we’d made them so we’d just have to get on with it.”
Michelle decided that five children was enough and planned on being sterilizeᴅ after they were born. She signed a consent form at her local hospital in preparation – giving doctor spermission to carry out the sterilization procedure when the babies were delivered by ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ. But with five children to take care of, the busy mum didn’t find time to book in for the operation and instead she had the ᴄᴏil fitteᴅ. But Michelle sufferᴇᴅ an ᴀllergic reaction and had it removed three months later. When Lilian and Luke were 14 months old, Michelle was ʜɪᴛ with another ʙᴏᴍʙsʜᴇʟʟ – she was pregnant with her third set of twins. Michelle said:” I was only just getting over the sʜᴏᴄᴋ of being pregnant again when I found out it was twins. When the sᴏɴᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜᴇʀ told me she could see two sᴀᴄs inside I nearly fell off the bed. It never even crossed my mind that it would be twins for a third time – the odds were just too high. We did worry about how we’d cope with all the children under the age of four. But we’re a strong family and can get through anything.” In June this year, Ollie and Olivia were born – taking Michelle’s brood up to seven. She said:” We live in a mad house but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It can be pretty hectic at times, especially when it comes to changing nappies. We go through 260 every week.”
The couple, who both look after the kids full time, have got them into a strict routine to help them cope. Michelle said:” The older children have breakfast and dinner together at the kitchen table and go to bed at 7pm. Then we’ll bottle-feed the youngest twins every few hours. Sometimes we have to remind them all that we only have one pair of hands each and not 20! Chris and I don’t have much time where it’s just the two of us. But our relationship is so strong it hasn’t changed a thing. We take each day in our stride. I’m so proud of my big family. The kids love having so many brothers and sisters. They all share a special family bond – the older ones even fight over who is going to hold Ollie and Olivia first every morning. It’s great that the kids are of similar ages as it means that we’ve been able to save money on clothes and baby products. We’ve passed on Adam and Anthony’s clothes to Andrew and in time Lilian’s clothes will go to Olivia. They have each got their own personalities but I love nothing more than taking them all out together in matching clothes. It shows we’re one big happy family.” It comes as no surprise to the couple when they find their weekly bill has reached a whopping £160. But Michelle has scuppered her chances of adding even more to the brood with a fourth set of twins as she has now been sterilized. She said:” I actually signed the consent form when I was being wheeled up to the theater to have Ollie and Olivia. I was determined this time not to be caught out again.”