FIFTY-year-old Tracey Britten hailed her “miracle” babies after becoming the UK’s oldest mum of quadruplets.
A team of 35 medics delivered the IVF tots — three girls and a boy — defying million-to-one odds.
All were doing well in hospital. Gran-of-eight Tracey, of London, said: “I’m so grateful. I just can’t wait to get them home.”
The 50-year-old became Britain’s oldest mum of quads when the babies arrived via caesarean last month at 31 weeks.
The three girls and one boy were taken to intensive care where they were kept alive via breathing tubes and fed through drips.
Tracey, who has three grown-up kids and eight grandchildren, said: “It’s been a whirlwind and I’m so grateful. One of the quads has had so many tubes around her that I haven’t seen her face properly.
“The babies have not all been together yet, each hooked up to different machines.”
She added: “I only wanted one child and was blessed with four. It’s a miracle. I didn’t realise we’ve made history. I was told they simply couldn’t pull through at my age.”
After their birth on October 26, Tracey was told they would not be allowed home until January 2 — her original due date.
But all four are making such good progress that has dared to dream they could all be in her three-bed property by Christmas.
Tracey said: I can’t wait to get them home and start bonding with my special bundles of joy.”
The Sun revealed in September that Tracey was carrying the quads after spending £7,000 on IVF at a clinic in Cyprus.
But at her 30-week scan on October 19 doctors realised one baby was struggling with blood flow — and warned that it could put the other three in jeopardy.
Tracey was admitted to London’s University College Hospital and a mammoth medical operation swung into action.
Former drugs counsellor Tracey said: “My husband asked me if I was scared. I said, ‘No, I just want a cup of tea’.
“There were 35 incredible medical staff in the room. I owe them everything.
The first baby, a girl, arrived at 10.03am on October 26 with dark hair and weighing 2lb 20z.
She is a “feisty little raver” and “hasn’t stopped kicking”, her mum said.
The second — the identical twin of the first — was born a minute later weighing 1lb 15oz and was described as a “little fighter”. Tracey said: “The first two babies were rushed out that quickly I didn’t have time to see them.”
Quad three was born at 10.05am at 2lb 7oz and was described as the “strongest of the girls with a ravenous appetite”.
The trio’s brother and final quad was delivered at 10.07am at 3lb 10oz. Tracey said he was “so chunky and looks massive compared to the others”, adding: “He’s so happy.”
“The quads were all out sharpish. Each baby was immediately taken away and placed in an incubator.
“It was a surreal experience. I was trying to take it all in.”
Tracey was on a recovery ward until 11.30pm when they wheeled her up to see her babies in the ICU.
She said: “It was so emotional. I was crying my eyes out. I looked at them and couldn’t believe they’d fitted in me. I didn’t get to hold my babies or hug them for a week. I was so happy but desperate to give them a cuddle. It still hasn’t sunk in.”
All four have since been moved to another hospital in London.
HOPE FOR FOUR
QUADS are still rare, with only a handful born every year in the UK.
Reaching 31 weeks of pregnancy is not bad. On average, they weigh 3lb (1.4kg) each, though this varies.
Pre-term babies often have difficulty sucking and breathing, so tube feeding and a ventilator may be needed. The most worrying complications are often due to infection and immaturity of the gut. Sometimes there are brain development concerns — more likely with babies born before 28 weeks.
It’s impossible to make predictions but Tracey and Stephen’s babies have made good progress, so they’re right to be optimistic.
Last night the second quad remained in an incubator due to a digestion issue.
Tracey, who was allowed home a week ago, said: “Three are breathing on their own.
“It’s just quad two in intensive care, but they are still all being fed through tubes going into the belly. They can start being dressed in baby clothes. They are delicate. The nurse will ask if I want to take them out, and I’ll say, ‘No, you do it’. But they’re growing nicely.
“No one guessed how well they’d do. The doctors are so impressed.”
Tracey and roofer hubby Stephen, who do not live together, are still deciding on names for the babies.
She had three children — now aged 32, 31 and 22 — with her first husband. They split in 2003 and she met Stephen two years later.
Tracey spent £7,000 inherited after the death of her mother on a “last ditch” bid to have another child.
She flew to the Kolan British IVF Center in Cyprus in April, telling pals she was going on holiday. She had the maximum four eggs implanted — fertilised with Stephen’s sperm. One stopped growing, but another divided to create the twins.
Tracey ignored doctors’ advice to selectively abort two foetuses to give the other two a chance of survival.
She said: “It was a stressful time. I was told I wouldn’t get to 28 weeks pregnant.
“I thought if I could get to 28 to 30 weeks I had a chance.
“It was inner strength that made it happen. I was determined and my mind was set on nothing else.”
She also dismissed critics, saying: “No one criticised Mick Jagger or Elton John when they became fathers in their 60s and 70s, so why are they attacking me aged 50?
“People can be cruel, but I only care about my precious quadruplets, my incredible gifts of love and joy, not what anyone else thinks.”
She added: “I can’t thank the medical team enough. They have given me so much love and care.
“We couldn’t have done it without them. It was mad yet professional.”