West Lothian couple celebrate rare birth of quadruplets

A Scottish couple are celebrating the rare birth of naturally conceived quadruplets.

Arlene and John Mitchell, from Longridge in West Lothian, have spoken of their joy after becoming parents to Ben, Noah, Harrison and Rory on 14 May.

Harrison was the smallest, weighing 2lb 14oz, while his brothers each tipped the scales at 2lb 15oz.

Naturally conceived quadruplets are extremely rare, with NHS Lothian estimating the odds at around one in 700,000 births.

The siblings are said to be the first naturally conceived quadruplets born in Lothian and are preparing for the big move home.

The Mitchells are getting used to being a family-of-eight, as the couple already had daughter Lauren, 11, and son Hunter, three.

Mrs Mitchell, 34, said it has been an "incredible and overwhelming experience".

She added: "It was a total shock when we found out there were four babies at the first scan.

"The nurse said she thought there was more than one baby and then she said there was more than three babies. I was absolutely speechless and my husband just couldn't believe it.

"They are really beautiful and we are so delighted. We can't wait to take our four boys home to Lauren and Hunter and start our journey as a family of eight."

Mr Mitchell, 38, added: "Life is going to be a bit noisier for all of us but I'm really looking forward to us being one big family."

Mrs Mitchell was closely monitored throughout her pregnancy due to the risks associated with multiple births, such as premature delivery and pre-eclampsia.

She said: "Having quadruplets is a high-risk pregnancy and at every scan I was really anxious that there wouldn't be four heartbeats.

"The midwifery team were absolutely amazing, they really supported me every step of the way."

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A team of 17 doctors and midwives delivered the quadruplets in the Simpson's Centre for Reproductive Health at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Mrs Mitchell underwent a planned caesarean section when she was 30-weeks pregnant to help reduce any risks.

Each baby had an individual team of four clinicians assigned to look after them.

At first, the boys were each given intensive care in the neonatal department to help stabilise their breathing and allow them to grow while they were tube fed.

Harrison and Rory were later moved to the special care baby unit at St John's Hospital in Livingston to be closer to their family, before Ben and Noah joined them.

Katy Ruggeri, associate director of midwifery at NHS Lothian, said: "Delivering quadruplets is an extraordinary experience and I am immensely proud of our entire midwifery and neonatal team for their dedication and expertise throughout this remarkable journey.

"This was the first set of quadruplets delivered in Lothian and it's something the entire team will remember for the rest of their careers."