A couple left devastated after the death of their baby hours after his birth have been blessed with quadruplets within the same year.
Lorraine Cusack, who celebrates her 35th birthday today, and her husband Johnny Byrne, 38, are over the moon with their four rainbow babies who were born at Dublin’s Coombe Hospital in December.
The couple admitted their “shock and disbelief” when Lorraine became pregnant less than four months after their firstborn sadly died at birth.
She told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “Our little boy Dylan passed away in January of last year, he was only nine hours old when he died.
“It was absolutely devastating, he was our first and we’d been trying to get pregnant for about a year.
“It was the shock of it, even when they took him away we thought he’s going to be fine.”
In the midst of the heartache the couple decided they wanted to try again and just four months later Lorraine discovered she was pregnant.
She said: “For me I was desperate to have another baby. I felt every part of me just wanted to have that baby in my arms.
“I found out I was pregnant at the start of May just from doing a test at home.”
Because of what happened with Dylan the hospital classed it a high- risk pregnancy and kept a close eye on Lorraine.
She was brought in for an early scan at eight weeks – but Johnny had to stay outside due to Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.
“She said ‘OK there’s a baby and a heartbeat’, I was delighted. Then she moved the wand and said, ‘And another’.
“She moved it again and said, ‘And there’s a third heartbeat’. I said ‘Triplets, really?’ And she moved it again and said, ‘And there’s a fourth heartbeat’. I was in pure shock. I just couldn’t believe it.
Then came months of worry as two of the quads were identical and sharing the same amniotic sac, and risks of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome were factored in. However, Lorraine, who works in online advertising for Google, admitted the pandemic lockdown had one advantage – for her it was the perfect time to cocoon at home.
She added: “Coming up to the end of my pregnancy I was the size of a house.
“It was scary, we knew from the get-go the babies were going to be premature, the latest they would let me go was 32 weeks.
Erin came next, weighing 2lb 13oz, while Eve was born at 11.43am weighing in at 2lb 12oz. All four were doing great until Eve picked up a blood infection followed by a blood clot.
She has spent half of her first three months in hospital. Lorraine said: “With Covid rules changing by January, Johnny was not allowed to come in and see Eve.
The Byrne family was completed on January 29 when Eve joined her three siblings at the family home in Ballycullen, South Dublin.
For now life is a never-ending cycle of feeds and nappy changes with 24 bottles and at least 26 nappy changes each day. Lorraine admits it’s “full on” but she and Johnny are head over heels in love with their “four little dotes”.
She added: “The boys we think favour my side and the girls take after Johnny. The boys are identical so it’s hard to tell them apart.
“Cooper is the biggest and his right ear is pointy. He is definitely the most chilled out, while Nathan is a bit more of a drama queen. The girls look different, and Eve is the smallest.”
“After something so tragic happened to have something so wonderful happen… these little babies, they are our rays of sunshine.”