Quintuplet family gives unique advice to lesbian mums-to-be
IRELAND'S only mother of quintuplets urged expectant mums Rosemary Nolan and Melissa Keevers to "take all the help they can get".
Wexford woman Veronica Cassidy gave birth to quintuplets in 2001, and having already been through the drama of multiple births, has a few words of wisdom to the now-famous lesbian couple in Australia.
The pair hit the headlines yesterday when it was revealed that Rosemary (21) would be a mother to girlfriend Melissa's (27) quintuplets -- who were conceived via artificial insemination.
Rosemary's father said last night that he has been in constant contact with his daughter since the announcement and their primary focus now is the "health of mum and the babies".
And the dedicated mum of nine-year-olds Conor, Cian, Rory, Amy, and Dearbhail, said that the expectant couple should not be shy about availing of any assistance that anyone has to offer.
Speaking to the Herald, she said: "No matter how much help you have already, take every bit of help you can get. Take help off your neighbour, your family and friends - you're going to need it all."
While it is likely that the couple will get sponsorship deals due to the amount of international interest in their story, Veronica explained how crucial generosity was when the children were particularly young.
"It's difficult having the five babies at the one time," she said. "The workload is so intense for first year and a half, and you're constantly worrying about them picking up infections.
"If she gets sponsorship, all the better. People were so fantastic to us. Our nappies were sponsored until they grew out of them, which is amazing.
"We got buggies, cots, bottles - loads of stuff."
She also emphasised the importance of one-on-one time for children as they grow up, saying she never had the opportunity to "sit down and snuggle" with each of them as much as she wanted to.
"I wanted to have the feeling to have one you could hold and bring home with you," she said. "I didn't have that because I didn't bring any of them home straight away. So you don't get to sit down and snuggle like you wanted to.
"I still feel I missed out on so much of that, so it's very important for her if she can get time.
"When the kids got big - I think they were about two years old - Kevin and myself would take turns to go into town on Saturday and just take one of the kids with us. We made sure they all had their individual time with us."
"I've tried to make them as individual as possible, for example they never dressed the same. Only very rarely did they, and that would generally be just for photos
"I think that helps to develop their personality."
She added: "My children are quite individual, but when it comes to birthdays - they refer to it as 'our birthday', which is quite unusual."
See Anna Nolan, page 15