All Myanmar Youths
Chad and Amy Kempel, 36 and 34, who live in a three-bedroom home in Mountain View, California, are now proud parents to Savannah, three, Avery, one, and Lincoln, Noelle, Grayson, Preston and Gabriella, four months.
The quins were born on January 11 this year, arriving at 27 weeks and three days into Amy's pregnancy via caesarean.
The pair also have two older children - twins, Marshall and Spencer - who sadly died at 22 weeks in May, 2013.
“It is craziness,” laughed Chad. “We are still getting used to the idea that people are so interested in the babies. Every day we ask, ‘Is this real?’”
The couple, who have moved out their master bedroom and handed it over to the quins, get through an eye-watering 80 nappies a day – or 2,480 a month.
The parents also make 40 bottles a day and survive on between three and five hours sleep.
“Laundry never stops because they spit up on their clothes,” explained Chad.
“Sleep is currently improving. Two weeks ago we got nothing. Now we get about five hours.
“I would never give them back, but if we’d been asked do you want five kids I would say no way. But now I can’t imagine anything else.”
Amy, who had intrauterine insemination (IUI), a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus to facilitate fertilisation, to conceive all her children, found out she was expecting in July last year.
Then, when she was seven weeks pregnant at the end of August, she discovered she was carrying quintuplets.
“I don’t ovulate on my own,” explained Amy. “I took drugs to overstimulate my ovaries and produce eggs.
“But, the procedure is not supposed to produce that many children.
“We were told there was a possibility we could end up with more babies, but we’ve done the [fertility] procedure 20-plus times and they have told us that every time.
“We thought, ‘We’ll probably just get the one’.”
But, in August – while having an ultrasound, the couple discovered they were having five babies.
Explaining how they found out, Chad said: “The doctor’s mouth just dropped open.
“He thought initially there were four, and then he went back and counted five.”
“Amy was smiling for the first sac and the second.
“The third one she started crying… and the fourth she was really crying.”
Initially, the family feared bad news.
“We were pretty much planning for a funeral,” Chad explained.
“We thought we were going to lose them all.”
The possibility of an abortion was mooted by medics, who feared the babies would arrive either dangerously early or suffer disabilities.
“They called it selective reduction,” said Chad.
“But we told the doctors it was not something we would ever do.”
And when the youngsters arrived in January weighing between 2lb and 2lb 14oz they were all reasonably healthy.
They were kept in hospital for nearly three months to ensure they could breathe on their own, and feed correctly.
Now back home, they crowd into their parents’ old room, Amy and Chad have their daughters’ former bedroom and the girls’ are sharing the smallest room.
But the family are happy.
Describing their personalities, Chad said: “Savannah calls Lincoln a grumpy guy and I think she’s accurate with that description.
“The girls are very laid back.
“Grayson smiles the most, while Preston is kind of in-between. He’s grumpy sometimes but right now he is lying there, chilled out.
“We wouldn’t change a thing – and we wouldn’t give them back.”