Hats off to all the parents of multi-babies!
It’s normal enough these days for most of us to know of or even be a sibling of a twin, but anywhere of three and upward babies sharing a womb becomes less common. With the modern medical technology available now, conceiving and caring for multiple birth babies has a much more positive outcome than in the past.
1. The Dionne Quintuplets
These five identical baby girls, born in two months premmie in a farmhouse in Ontario in May 1934, are the first quintuplets known to have survived their infancy. Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, Emilie and Marie, were made wards of the King at 4 months old and were moved across the road from their birthplace, where the Dafoe Hospital and Nursery was built for the five girls (to ensure their survival) and their new caregivers. The girls lived there until they were nine years old, during which time, though cared for very well by nurses, were subjected to constant scrutiny of the public two to three times a day in their play area. Approximately 6,000 people per day visited the observation gallery that surrounded the outdoor playground to view the Dionne sisters.
The sisters had occasional contact with their parents and five other siblings across the road and in 1943 the Dionne family won back custody of the girls. A super-sized, modernised 20 room mansion was built in walking distance of the nursery they grew up in and was, essentially, funded by the money the girls had earned. Unfortunately it was not to be a happy home-coming, according to the accounts of the surviving sisters, the parents often lectured them about the trouble they had caused the family by existing. They were sometimes denied privileges the other children received, and were more strictly disciplined and punished.
In 1995, the three surviving sisters alleged that their father had sexually abused them during their teenage years and in 1998, the sisters reached a $2.8 million settlement with the Ontario government as compensation for their exploitation.