18 July 2011
ByAppeared in BioNews 616
Sextuplets: The Little Lambs
ITV1, Tuesday 5 July 2011
Featuring Andy Lamb and Vicky Lamb
'Sextuplets: The Little Lambs' tells the extraordinary story of the Lamb family. Vicky and Andy Lamb are the first parents of sextuplets born in Britain for 17 years.
Vicky suffers from polycystic ovaries - a common fertility problem affecting ovulation and hormone production. To conceive the couple's first child Grace - who is now five years old - she took the fertility drug Clomid. Later, Andy and Vicky again used Clomid - not understanding fully the risk of multiple births.
In the documentary, the couple tell of their reaction when they were told Vicky was pregnant with sextuplets at her 12-week scan. 'We were laughing, really laughing… because you didn't realise the enormity of what it is, or how serious and dangerous the pregnancy could be. Because you don't. If you've fallen pregnant and you've been waiting for such a long time…to have more than one is good', said Vicky.
The couple talk candidly about choosing not to selectively abort some of the fetuses. The sextuplets were born by caesarean section 14-weeks premature on 14 May 2010. Over 30 additional medical staff were drafted in for the birth, with each baby having two doctors and one nurse. The babies: Rose, Layla, Eric, Ellen, Matthew and Pippa were taken straight to intensive care.
The documentary showed the turmoil the family went through after the death of Matthew and Pippa and some shocking images of babies in the intensive care unit. For the viewer, it was highly emotional and truly harrowing to watch.
Overall, 'Sextuplets: The Little Lambs' reveals a couple's incredible personal journey and the start of their new family. Infertility and using drugs that increase the risks of multiple births were not discussed in detail. But I would recommend watching the documentary - it is a real eye opener about the effect of multiple births.