Imagine trying to add one more child to your family, only to find out you’ll be adding five! Kim Tucci was already mom to three children – a boy and two girls – when she and her husband Vaughn decided to have a baby, hoping to add another boy to their family. What they got was the boy they were hoping for, plus four baby girls. Doctors, who feared for the health of the babies and their mom, advised selective abortion.
While Tucci was thrilled to discover she was pregnant after being diagnosed with endometriosis, she shared on Facebook that when she first learned she was pregnant with five babies all she could do was laugh. She wrote:
[The doctor] started to count ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE!!! Did I hear that correctly?? FIVE?? My legs started to shake uncontrollably and all I can do is laugh.. […] I could see the excitement in [my husband’s] face he told me ‘We can do this’
But while excited, she was also “scared of the unknown” and doctors advised the couple to abort some of their babies. She explains:
After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life… I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried, I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival?? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more.
For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy.
Tucci had already been through the frightening birth of her first son Kurt when she was just a few days shy of her 18th birthday. He was born eight weeks early by emergency C-section and doctors weren’t sure he would survive. Kurt proved to be a fighter but his mother learned he was deaf. Tucci has chosen to keep Kurt out of the spotlight until recently, but during that time with him in the NICU, she witnessed the loss and struggles of other preemies and she watched the pain of the parents. She didn’t know it then, but it was preparing her for the arrival of her future quintuplets.
“There were many teenage mums in the neonatal ward when Kurt was born, I would visit him multiple times a day and just sit by his side and hold his hand. On one occasion I witnessed another young mum who had been given the devastating news that there was nothing more the doctors could do for her daughter, she was born too soon,” she told Kidspot. “I left the unit without seeing Kurt and sat in the stairwell and wept, I have always valued life more since that moment of pure sorrow.”
It’s that value for life that would carry over into her refusal to abort any of her babies. Now two years old, the quints are a joyous handful, of course, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Being the mom of eight may have its challenges, but it also has its rewards. Mother’s Day must be extra special when you’ve had to fight for your children’s lives.
The quintuplets were born via C-section on January 28, 2016, with a team of 50 doctors and nurses. While they were each born healthy, Keith, Penelope, Beatrix, Tiffany and Allison all spent time in the NICU and finally went home on April 7, 2016.
“50 fingers 50 toes, 6 hearts beating at once. My body fought the toughest of battles to get five babies here safely,” Tucci wrote. “Everything I did I did for them.”
Tucci celebrated her 29th birthday on May 3, 2018. While her entire 20s were spent being a mom, she said she will dedicate this next year to living out some dreams outside of her identity as a mother – something all moms can relate to.
“I have gone through so much for a 29 year old yet my life experience has been very limited, all I really know is how to be a good mum. I think there comes a time for many that doing anything outside of being a mum turns into this anxiety-filled experience, it’s so hard for me to look past being anything other than a mother these days, ask yourself now who are you if you aren’t a mum? I certainly don’t remember who I am, maybe because I hear the word MUM so many times a day I have been brainwashed to only see that person […],” she wrote on Facebook.
“Regardless I’m one lucky mum and I really felt the love this morning from all my gorgeous children and husband.”