Four Children in One Year

While making plans for a family, a couple will most likely discuss how many children they would like to have together and also whether they have a preferred age gap between their children.  A couple from Lytham, St Annes in Lancashire amazingly had four children in just one year!

Andrew and Hazel Bowden met in March 2003 through an online dating site and the couple were married in Florida two years later.  Just a few days before their wedding Hazel found out that she was pregnant and twins were confirmed during her fourteen week scan.  Forty year old Hazel had, through her childhood, dreamed of having a lovely home with a great career and expected to have no more than two children but in September 2005 her children increased to three when she gave birth in Blackpool Hospital to Hannah and Luke who both weighed almost five pounds each.

Hazel already had a daughter, nine year old Charlotte and now along with husband Andrew, Luke and Hannah, they had no plans to increase their family’s numbers.  That all changed when the twins were four months old and Hazel missed her period.  After having her pregnancy confirmed she was again informed at her fourteen week scan that she was carrying another set of twins.

After hearing the news, the couple travelled home in shock but knew that they would keep the babies and made plans to cut back on expenses and traded in their car for a bigger family model.

When Hazel was six months gone, she could no longer look after the other children so husband Andrew stopped work to look after everyone.  Just three days before Hannah and Luke turned one, Hazel was in hospital giving birth to Connor and Sarah, who at just over five pounds each arrived over a month early.

Hazel and thirty eight year old Andrew are believed to be the first couple to have two sets of twins born in the same year.

Not all a Bed of Roses

Like most families, the Bowden’s have had their share of ups and downs and fact that the couple had four children all under the age of one year old put a strain on their relationship and the pair even discussed separating.

Their relationship suffered due to the expense as well as the physical strain and the lack of sleep that came with having such a large and young family.  Hazel said that their day started early before 6am and that as well as the twenty plus bottles they had to prepare they were changing over thirty nappies every day.  She stated that her washing machine was on at least four times a day and getting up in the night totalled about eight times.

Hazel found even the simplest of tasks difficult and would often find herself sitting on the toilet with two children on her knee.  Her appearance also began to suffer as she never felt like she had the time to look after herself and sometimes she would be housebound for weeks at a time.  It became particularly bad when the children were all poorly at the same time, especially if Andrew or Charlotte fell poorly too.

The Good Life

Despite the difficulties of looking after the children, Hazel considers herself very blessed to have five healthy children and after the couple received some marriage counselling they were able to set their relationship right and begin to enjoy their family life.

As the twins got older the couple found that their life also became easier and now that the children have started at nursery Hazel is finding time to do the things she has wanted to do for a very long time as well as making an effort to spend more time together as a couple.

Wow!  This family had such a big year and despite their problems they somehow managed to pull through it.   Now that the nappy changing, late night feeds and teething problems are out of the way they can begin to really enjoy their family life together!