Carla and Paul Crozier used IVF treatment in a last ditch effort to give their daughter Darcie a sibling – and now they have four on the way
For Carla and Paul Crozier, it was their last chance against all odds to give their daughter a brother or sister.
The couple had been through a five-year battle just to have little Darcie in their lives.
They then went on to try for a second child through self-funded IVF, wiping out all their savings, only to lose two babies.
But undaunted Carla and Paul weren’t prepared to give up on their dream. So they made the decision to take out an £8,000 loan for one final IVF gamble.
And the shocked pair have ended up 70 million-to-one winners, with Darcie set to get three more playmates than they’d bargained for.
Because not only is Carla, 34, expecting quads, but they’re also extremely rare. The four babies, all girls, are two identical sets of twins.
“I was in absolute shock when we found out,” says Carla. “I still am. The odds of this happening are apparently one in 70 million.
“It’s just crazy to think this has happened to us when we’ve had so much trouble just having one baby.”
And builder Paul, 42, adds: “I would have been happy with two children, and still can’t quite believe we’re going to have five.”
In total, the couple have endured nine traumatic years of negative pregnancy tests and miscarriagies. in their quest for a family, and it’s cost them a total of £16,000.
Darcie came along in 2013 thanks to fertility treatment on the NHS, but only after five frustrating years of trying to conceive naturally.
The couple, who met when Carla was just 16, then embarked on three years of heartache trying for another baby using frozen embryos from the IVF cycle that produced their daughter, now three.
Carla fell pregnant after treatment in January 2015, but lost the baby at five weeks. With no savings left, the couple borrowed £5,500 from friends and family to travel to Cyprus where fertility treatment was cheaper.
In September 2015, Carla again found she was expecting. But the couple endured more heartache when an eight week scan showed no heartbeat. She says: “This time I had to undergo a procedure for them to extract the tissue. It was horrific. Once it was done I broke down.
“Looking back, I don’t know how we got through those times. It was really hard. I longed so much for the babies I had lost. I even found myself resenting other pregnant women who hadn’t even planned it. It just didn’t seem fair.”
It was a full year before the pair summoned the strength to go through the ordeal again, and this time they decided it would be their last attempt.
Carla says: “We had absolutely no money, so we had to get a loan of £8,000. This was our last chance. If it failed, we were going to accept not being able to add to our family.”
To raise their chances of success, Carla and Paul overhauled their lifestyles, losing nearly five stone between them. Carla says: “We wanted to do everything possible for the second child we craved.
“We went to an open day at the clinic we chose and they told us we needed to be ‘fit for fertility’. So we took them at their word. We ate healthily, ditched alcohol and went to the gym five times a week.”
Last September, a pregnancy test once again showed Carla was pregnant. “It was an amazing feeling. I broke down in tears,” she says.
“But although I wanted to be happy, I knew there was a long road ahead.”
Before her first scan at the clinic, after all their tragedies, she and Paul prayed the sonographer would find a healthy heartbeat. They were stunned to be told there were three.
Carla says: “We couldn’t get our heads around the fact we were having triplets.”
But the surprises weren’t over. Carla says: “When we went back for the 12-week scan we were told there were actually four heads in there. It was quite a shock.”
The couple’s joy was tempered when doctors warned them of the risks of carrying quadruplets – and suggested “selective reduction” to remove two foetuses.
Carla says: “They said twins would be a lot safer. There is the risk of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a disease of the placenta that affects identical twin pregnancies. There’s also the danger of miscarriage and a pre-term labour. But we didn’t even have to think about it. We weren’t going to get rid of any of our babies.”
Now the couple are frantically trying to prepare their three-bedroom home in Grays, Essex, for the arrival of four more babies in early summer.
Carla says: “I don’t know where they are all going to go or how we are going to cope, but I’m not even thinking about that at the moment. All I want is for them to get here safely first.
“I’m about five months pregnant, but I look like I’m nearly full term.” Luckily, the couple live next door to Paul’s parents, who have offered to help out after the births.
Carla’s only sadness is her mum Irene will never meet the quads. She died two years ago from a brain tumour.
Paul is now working as many hours as he can to pay back the loan and save for the babies.
He says: “I’m over the moon, but I will be even happier when they are all safely here and the chaos can begin.”