Kim Tucci, of Perth, in Western Australia, never had it easy. From suffering depression as a teenager to becoming a mother at the age of 17, she had to grow up quickly. She had two more children after that. When she became pregnant again at the age of 26 with the hopes of having a boy, she was stunned to discover what doctors found in her first ultrasound.
What surprised her was that she wasn’t just going to have another baby. Instead, she was going to have five. To put this in perspective, of the almost 4 million births in the United States in 2017, only 49 were quintuplets or higher order, according to the CDC. But unlike many multiple births, Tucci’s five were completely naturally conceived. Tucci’s husband, Vaughn, told 60 Minutes Australia that the chances were 1 in 55 million.
Thus began an adventure that captured the heart of many in Australia and around the world, which Tucci documented on Facebook under the name “Surprised by Five.”
When Tucci and her husband Vaughn were interviewed by 60 Minutes Australia at 17 weeks along in the pregnancy, she shared that it was “like a dream.” Tucci explained that she was trying to take things one day at a time. “I try not to think about it too much because I have so many lives depending on me.”
Tucci began to record a daily video diary to document the process and shared her one-of-a-kind pregnancy experience on social media. Despite lots of support from her husband and other moms online, she struggled with endometriosis, a condition where the tissue that lines the womb grows in other places. This usually decreases the chance of pregnancy, which meant that Tucci thought she would have to resort to IVF to get pregnant.
Once pregnant, the condition didn’t go away for her and the Department of Health and Human Services notes, pain is “the most common symptom.” Tucci definitely felt it. “I don’t even what to do now to alleviate the pain,” she shared in one video. “I have so much more time to go and I feel like I just can’t do it.”
This absolutely stunning woman (or shall I say goddess??) is expecting not one, but FIVE babies. Yes, you read that…
But thankfully, Tucci did all she could to celebrate her special pregnancy rather than worry about the very real risks that some of her babies might make it or might be born with complications. She took the time to do a photoshoot with well-known local maternity photographer Erin Hoskins.
The pictures showed Tucci on the shores of the Indian Ocean in a flowing maternity dress, both peach-colored and white. Hoskins was so impressed with Tucci’s story, particularly the fact that she had decided to keep all her babies rather than do what doctors had proposed of terminating some to increase the chances of others’ survival.
As Kim had posted on her Facebook page: “I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival?? All I know is that I already love them, and with every heartbeat I hear, I connect with them more.” For Hoskins, this inner beauty shone through in the pictures. “These photos were taken at 24 weeks and she could not be more beautiful…her strength just shines through in every image. A true goddess, indeed.”
A picture speaks a thousand words ❤️Penelope, Beatrix, Allie, Tiffany and Keith https://www.facebook.com/erinelizabeth.com.au/
Hoskins’s striking photos along with Tucci’s incredible story made for a viral combination. Just as amazing was the fact that all of Tucci’s babies (four girls and one boy) were born healthy and she also made it through delivery in good shape.
Of course, the challenges were only beginning. Now she had to feed, clothe, and bathe five babies, all at the same time. When asked by the BBC how she managed to make it, she answered “I have to. I get up and I’m on a mission […] Whatever is thrown at me, I just embrace it and do what I need to do.”
We don’t often get an opportunity that we get everyone in a family photo. ❤️This was taken on the quintuplets second birthday at Perth Zoo 🦁🐻🐧🐨🙉🙈I’m so proud of all that these little people have achieved.
While she admitted that having enough time for everyone was really difficult, with the help of friends and her husband, they were surviving and thriving.
After giving birth, Tucci went back to Hoskins for some pictures of herself with the babies. In one particularly well-received photo, Tucci literally has a handful, as she stretches her arms over her head. Each of her hands cradles multiple babies. Hoskins had found a very beautiful and creative way to suggest a handful.
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Life hasn’t got easier for Tucci as the kids have grown, but she has grown more confident in herself as a result. As posted in May 2019 on her Facebook page, her advice is “Keep your head high and don’t let other people dictate what your future holds. You are strong, courageous, intelligent and WORTHY of love and acceptance!”
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