Sunday 26 February 2017

Quadruple the tantrums but four times the fun

Paul Healy

Anita Kelly with her eldest son Matthew (18 months) and the quads Tom, James, Charlie and Luke. Photo: Orla Murray / Paul Sherwood Photography
Anita Kelly with her eldest son Matthew (18 months) and the quads Tom, James, Charlie and Luke. Photo: Orla Murray / Paul Sherwood Photography

THIS mum has her hands full with her four-month old baby boys - but she has no plans to give up the day job.

Anita Kelly, from Kilclonfert, Co Offaly, gave birth to the quadruplets last February.

But Anita, who already has an 18-month-old son, Matthew, said that despite becoming a mum-of-five overnight, she still hopes to return to her full-time nursing job.

She hopes to get back to her job at St James's Hospital as a full-time nurse by December.

"I have no choice - I'll have to go back eventually," she said.

She and her husband David were "shocked" to learn they were about to have four babies and spent the best part of a year preparing their house for their arrival.

Quadruplets Tom, James, Charlie and Luke Kelly aged 4 and Half Months pictured with Mum Anita Kelly and Clare Dunne at the launch of Kms4Kids Charity Cycle in aid of the Rotunda hospital.

"I was very surprised when I heard the news," Anita told the Herald.

"We went for a scan and when we found out it was quads, we didn't know what to think, it was all a bit of a shock.

"But you go home and you get used to it. We are blessed to have them."

Born early, the Kelly babies spent several weeks in intensive care.

Quadruplets are extremely rare and the likelihood of falling pregnant with them is 700,000/1.

Anita (31) named the four boys Tom, James, Charlie and Luke. They join a limited group of Irish quads including Amelia, Lily Grace, Molly and Lucas Slattery from Limerick, who were born in the Rotunda Hospital last year.

Four months down the line, Anita is handling her big family well, while Matthew gets used to the idea of having four new brothers.

Anita said the quads are all unique in their own way.

"They don't all look alike. Two of them are kind of alike but they're all different, with different personalities and different tantrums," she said.

And she added that she has had a lot of help from her brother, mother and extended family.

"Everyone is chipping in and doing what they can, but they all work as well so it's hard but they do what they can to help," she said.


Anita and her family returned to the Rotunda yesterday to say a special thanks to some 40 doctors and nurses who helped deliver the babies.

The Rotunda has become the default maternity hospital for helping mothers deliver multiple births, with triplets, quads and quintuplets all born there over the past decade.

More than 9,000 babies are born at the Rotunda every year.

Anita's brother, Maurice Fitzgerald, a keen cyclist, wanted to show his gratitude to the hospital by organising a 12-hour cycling challenge to help raise funds for its neonatology units.

Some of the staff at the Rotunda and the Kelly family will be taking part in the event.

"It's important to give back after all the great work they did for us," said Anita.

The Kms4Kids event is being held for people of all ages.

It will take place on a route near Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath, on September 5.

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