Megan Hulen, from Minot, North Dakota, and her husband Joshua were already parents to Jacob, 7, and Matthew, 2, when they decided to try for one more baby in the hope of having a little girl.
The mum, who has polycystic ovary syndrome meaning that she doesn’t naturally ovulate, had previously relied on fertility drugs and IUI when conceiving. So the couple was astounded to learn they had conceived the quints through natural ovulation, Megan Hulen said that she started to feel really weird and she thought, surely there’s no way she could be pregnant because I never actually ovulated on my own.
“But then we found out that we were having five babies and nothing could have prepared us for that,” she added.
“I was so shocked – the ultrasound technician worried they were hurting me because I was shaking and I said ‘I’m shaking because you’ve told me I’m having five babies.’
Emotions aside, Megan found that there was a big difference between carrying one baby and carrying five.
“There were a lot of differences from being pregnant with one and with five. I couldn’t vacuum the carpet without needing to take a break.
“Standing in front of the mirror to put my makeup on I would become too winded or too tired from holding the weight up and would need to sit down.
“Even half-an-hour was too long to stand!”
But while the pregnancy was a slow plod, Megan was baffled by both the speed and ease of the birth. And after a few long and exhausting months, the time finally came. From the moment Megan went into labor, everything happened very fast.
“The birth was not what I expected it to be,” Megan told The Sun, “I was so ℎ because the babies were all born within four minutes of each other. It was boom boom boom and all the babies were out.”
And then they were finally there: Allison, Adam, Emma, Madison, and Chloe.
Within three days of giving birth Megan was discharged despite doctors previously warning that she may require a blood transfusion due to multiple birth complications.
And the babies themselves were born without complications but at 32 weeks were premature and kept in the NICU for just three weeks. After a three-week hospital stay – the delivery was premature – they were all allowed to go home to mom, dad, and siblings Jacob (7) and Matthew (2). But for the parents, the work had just begun.
Taking care of seven children is no easy task, and Megan and Joshua have found that sleep has become an overpriced luxury. Because there were five more mouths to feed, staying up for 24 hours was not unheard of. For the weary mother, it was a long day: each feeding session lasted nearly three hours, with only a half-hour break before starting again. It’s all understandably messy and topsy-turvy.
“Life with the quints is chaotic but it’s a good chaos – we’re just so happy to have everybody under the same roof,” Megan said.
She said: “We’re hoping in two years we will be able to get another house. We are definitely going to need one. This one is already somewhat small for a family of three kids.
“Everything we’ve looked at has eight seats and we need nine so we have started to look at larger commercial vans.”
Megan said: “Our eldest is adjusting really well. He was so excited about the babies from the beginning and was the only one to guess all the genders correctly.
“He told me ‘mom I wished and prayed for sisters’ so he got his wish and is so thrilled and loves helping with them.”
The couple is now settling into home life with their quints, admitting that it has been something of a learning process.