BY ANDREW SMITH
TIVERTON – A former Listowel couple is celebrating the arrival of a new bundle of joy – nearly 20 lbs. of joy to be exact.
Adam and Shannon Coutts of Tiverton are the proud parents of quadruplets Lincoln, Dylan, Easton and Owen, born on July 27. In an interview from their home, the couple said they could tell it wasn’t an average pregnancy when they went for a scheduled doctor’s appointment.
“The girl that was doing the ultrasound just went about three shades whiter,” Adam said. “We could tell something was going on.”
Although the suggestion of having twins wasn’t a complete shock for the couple, the revelation of four heartbeats on the ultrasound made Adam and Shannon excited but nervous for the health of the babies.
“We were scared, but the whole way along we just tried to stay positive,” Adam said.
Almost immediately, Shannon said she could tell the pregnancy was an altogether different experience than when she was carrying their first child Delaney, who is now four years old. In addition to morning sickness, Shannon was faced with a growth rate of nearly twice the normal pregnancy.
“I was almost that big probably around five months,” she said. “By the time I had these babies, I was measuring 65 weeks pregnant.”
The babies were delivered at Victoria Hospital in London, carried two-and-a-half weeks past the usual full-term of 32 weeks for quadruplets, which Shannon said helped increase the birth weight of the babies and make them healthier.
“The doctors said the length we kept them and the size of the babies when we had them was very unusual, and obviously very good,” Shannon said.
The babies weighed between 5 lbs. 11 oz. and 4 lbs. 3 oz. and the entire family was able to go home after just 11 days in the hospital, a relatively quick amount of time for quadruplets.
“Normally they’re much more premature and much smaller, so it takes them a lot longer to get up to feeding standards,” Adam said. “Overall they were very healthy, especially for there being four of them.”
The adjustment of adding four babies to the environment at home hasn’t been easy, with night-time feedings every three hours, giving them two hours to prepare for the next one.
“Everybody’s got to sleep at some point,” Shannon said. “It’s definitely a two-person job.”
The Coutts credit their family and neighbours for lending a hand and doing what they can to make the transition easier, whether it means cutting their lawn or bringing over a meal.
“At the beginning, it was overwhelming just because you don’t have the help of nurses and doctors,” he said. “Fortunately for us, we have very good family support and our immediate neighbours have been awesome.”
The support has also stretched from the family’s former home of Listowel, where a community shower was held and resulted in some much-appreciated baby supplies.
“It’s great, we couldn’t be happier,” Adam said. “It means the world to us to have people help us like that.”