A mother of quadruplets described her “chaotic” mornings – getting up at 3am and pulling 40 diapers a day and 32 bottles a day.
On January 20, 2021, Santina Monreal, 37, and her husband Adrian, 37, welcomed not one but four babies via IUI.
Santina gave birth to two boys and two girls – Sebastian, Aiden, and Seville, Aria – they weighed 2 pounds 15 ounces, 2 pounds 13 ounces, 1 pound 10 ounces, and 3 pounds 3 ounces, respectively.
Since then, the couple have had to get used to being a family of six, juggling food, waking up, and cuddling.
The busy mother starts her day at 3 a.m. by expressing breast milk before falling back to sleep by 6 a.m., when she gets up to feed her and get ready for work.
Fortunately, her husband Adrian is on hand all day to feed her before she comes back with another round of breast milk at 7 p.m.
Santina, a property manager from Corona, California, USA, said, “At first I fed her every three hours.
“It was exhausting. You went through 32 bottles a day and about 40 diapers. Now it was only 20 bottles a day – which is still a lot.
“It’s a madhouse and exhausting, but a dream of being the mother of four beautiful babies is coming true.”
The family spends £ 108 a week on five large containers of formula – which takes a week and a half.
You will need to wash at least four times a week to clean the messy bibs.
“It gets very messy after each feed,” said Santina. “We have so many bibs that we have to replace them every time.”
As the babies grow, they also have to spend a lot on new clothes.
“I just bought the boys new pajamas and now they look cozy,” said Santina.
Adrian, an insurance broker, said, “I just bought £ 145 worth of onesies and they’ll probably only last a week.”
But despite the now manic lifestyle, the couple couldn’t be happier as the couple had been desperately looking for parents and spent £ 11,000 on six IUI attempts before becoming pregnant with the quadruplets.
In September 2017, the couple were naturally conceived, but unfortunately, Santina suffered a miscarriage – she was told she had a uterine partition, which is a “heart-shaped uterus” that is more likely to miscarry.
Doctors then removed their septum to correct the shape, but the couple struggled to get pregnant naturally again and turned to a fertility advisor for help.
Their second attempt was successful, but they lost the baby again and after five failed attempts they decided to try one last time and were thrilled when they expected in July 2020 and even more surprised when they found out they were going to have quadruplets in August 2020.
After a nervous pregnancy, Santina gave birth to two boys and two girls on January 20, 2021.
Thankfully, after two months at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in California, USA, all of the babies came home and they are now six months old and thriving.
Santina said: “I felt so defeated. I thought maybe I shouldn’t just have children of my own. But then I didn’t have one, but four.
“It was crazy. Having quadruplets is a lot to juggle. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. You are such a miracle.”
Santina and Adrian had almost given up hope of having children of their own when they decided to try IVF for the sixth time.
“We decided to make one last try,” said Santina. “I took a pregnancy test and it was positive and I couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t even call the fertility clinic like I should because I just didn’t really believe it was real.”
After five weeks, Santina went for an ultrasound that confirmed the pregnancy.
At seven weeks old, they went back for another checkup – to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
“I went to the bathroom and there was blood so I was scared of having a miscarriage,” said Santina. “I was expecting the worst when I went for the scan.
“But suddenly the sonographer just said, ‘Oh, there are three.’ I just started laughing. Then she checked the heartbeats and found a fourth. I couldn’t believe it. “
Santina had to be monitored throughout her pregnancy as she posed a high risk – from carrying quadruplets.
She had check-ups every week.
“I was always afraid of losing her,” said Santina.
Santina was hospitalized at 28 weeks old when one of her babies had intermittent reverse blood flow to the umbilical artery.
She was told that if any of the babies were in distress, they would all have to be born.
Santina managed to hold out for 31 weeks.
“I was afraid of giving birth,” said Santina. “The doctor came that morning and just said we had to deliver because one of the babies had a drop in heart rate.”
Santina was brought for a caesarean section and gave birth to her four babies.
“They were all crying so it was a huge relief,” said Santina.
The babies were forced to stay in the neonatal unit at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in California, United States, as they grew.
Aiden came home after five and a half weeks in the hospital, and Aria and Sebastian followed a few days later.
Seville had to spend nine weeks in the hospital before she could get home.
“It was really difficult to still have Sevilla in the hospital and the others at home,” said Santina. “Having them all at home was great. Personalities come out and they are doing so well.
“Aria is a little talker, Sebastian is the most smiling and neediest, Savilla is our easy baby and the cutest and Aiden has a flirtatious personality – he becomes a cheeky guy.”
Adrian said: “I always thought we would have twins. I always had the hope that we would get pregnant. So when we found out there were three and then four babies, I was so shocked.
“It sucks not being able to go to appointments with Santina. I will never forget the birth – to see her healthy and crying was a great relief.
“It’s amazing to have them all at home. I think it’s easier than we thought. We’ve been thrown in the deep end, we have four babies and we can make it work.
“I’m glad we have a family now. It can be messy, but this is our family.”
More stories from where you live can be found at Near you.