South Yorkshire IVF quads who made medical history celebrate their fifth birthday

The Clark quads are five today!
The Clark quads are five today!
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Say hello to the awesome foursome!

The South Yorkshire Clark quads made medical history five years ago when all four of them were conceived through IVF treatment - using just one embryo.

The Clark quads are five today

The Clark quads are five today

Fertility specialists were shocked to discover their mum Christine Clark was pregnant with four babies after she and husband Justin underwent IVF treatment at Care Fertility in Nether Edge.

The girls: Alexis, Caroline, Darcy, and Elisha celebrated their firth birthday today with a trampolining party at Tramp2Lean in Rotherham.

Christine said: “It was beyond our wildest dreams. We didn’t think we were going to have one baby, so four was just amazing.

Dad Justin said life had changed immeasurably for the couple from Brinsworth, Rotherham, over the last five years.

The Clark quads are five today!

The Clark quads are five today!

The 48-year-old said: "It's been chaotic, but we don't know any different. To us having four girls is normal but obviously as an outsider looking into our world it's not normal.

"We have our ups and downs like any family with them having temper tantrums and health issues but I wouldn't change it for the world."

The couple decided to undergo IVF in 2012 after trying to conceive naturally for nine years.

A single embryo was implanted and Mrs Clark found out she was pregnant three weeks later.

Justin and Christine Clark with their quads

Justin and Christine Clark with their quads

The girls were born by Caesarean section at Sheffield's Jessop Hospital on March 25 2013, weighing just over 10lbs between them.

Justin, a former long distance lorry driver, gave up his job so he could be nearer to home to help Christine raise their children.

The field engineer said the girls, who started school in September, all had very different personalities.

"Alexis, who was born first, is a tomboy. She has no concept of fear and she has a Spiderman push bike but she also likes to wear dresses.

The Clark quads opening their presents

The Clark quads opening their presents

"Caroline and Darcy we call the squidgees - they were the little ones and they are mirror twins as they were in the same pregnancy sack. Caroline is a monkey, she's very devious and clever. Darcy is mummy's little helper - she costs me a lot of money because she gets paid for little jobs she does around the house.

"Elisha is the mother hen, she likes to look after the others. She is potentially high functioning on the autism spectrum. She sees herself as the mum to her sisters."

The girls all go to Brinsworth Manor School where they are in three different classes.

They are transported around in a Multimac car seat especially made for them and the family does the food shopping at Tesco Xtra in Rotherham town centre where there is a £500, four seater trolley, which was made especially for the girls.

The family is completed by their collie cross dog Chase.

But to keep costs down, Justin and Christine don't buy four of the same toy and they don't treat the quads as a single unit.

The Clark quads when they were born

The Clark quads when they were born

"They are individuals," said Justin.

"We don't believe in treating them as one unit so they have various toys and they all play with them - we don't buy four of the same, that way they learn how to share.

"They love reading, puzzles and doing arts and crafts - they don't have the electronic gizmos other five year olds have."

And it seems the couple already have their daughters well trained around the home - they love to do housework.

Said Justin: "They empty the dishwasher and help out by wiping down the surfaces."

For their birthday gifts the girls were given a selection of toys, puzzles and clothes.

Paying tribute to Christine, who works as an agency nurse, Justin said: "Christine is a great mum, she has done a tremendous job with the girls.

"People think we must have help but we don't as my parents have passed away and Christine's live down south."

"It's been a chaotic five years but we wouldn't change a thing."

Adel Shaker, the fertility specialist who treated the Clarks, said: "Our lovely Clark Quads made history when they were born following a single embryo transfer at CARE Fertility in Sheffield. They truly are an awesome foursome and the joy they bring is infectious. A very happy birthday from everyone at CARE.”

The Clark quads aged 14 months

The Clark quads aged 14 months