I’m a quadruplets mum – they’re only five months old but have already cost me £200K, it’s crippling but totally worth it | The Sun09/13/2023
BEING a new mum is never easy, but Raquel Tolver has more of a challenge than most after giving birth to quadruplets.
The 33-year-old who lives in Florida, USA, naturally never has a break looking after four five-month-old babies – but it's the expense of having them that has taken the biggest toll.
With her husband, Darius, being the only breadwinner in the house, the couple have realised just how pricey four babies are, already spending £200k on the tots.
Naturally, the parents had to pay for most baby basics four times over, with their strollers being £320, their car seats originally came to £650 but due to them now needing bigger ones, there's an extra £1.1K to pay.
Two twin bassinets were £320, four cribs were £650, baby bottles were £160, their changing table was £250, their rocking chair was £160, their bottle sterilizers were £160, and their boppy pillows set their parents back another £160.
After stocking up on essentials, the stay-at-home mum and her husband are spending £2.5k a month, but she says it's all worth it to see her babies healthy and happy.
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Raquel's quadruplets – Bryson, Amaya, Royce, and Denzel – go through a box of nappies and wipes every three days and two huge cans of formula per week – and the couple also have an older son Dreyson.
Monthly top-up costs include milk formula for £400, due to one of the quadruplets needing special formula, £170 on nappies, £65 on wipes, £65 on laundry detergent, and after having to buy a bigger car, the couple have to spend £800 a month running it.
Raquel said: "It's really a miracle that all four of them have made it and they're so healthy.
"Their time in NICU was really hard, we had to pay £7k ($9k) straight out of our pocket. Without insurance, the full medical cost would have been $200k (£160k).
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"I was waking up in the night praying my babies were okay and that I'd have the strength to manage when they were born.
"I have been able to, but some days are so hard. It gets lonely when it's just me and four babies that can't talk back.
"I didn't get to hold them for 120 days because their NICU journey was so difficult – two of them relied on oxygen support for so long. I kept looking forward to the day I finally got to hold them, so when I did, I just cried. It really makes it all worth it."
The medical bills from the quadruplet's time in NICU is what builds up the majority of their cost so far – most of which was mercifully covered by the couple's insurance.
The quadruplets were born prematurely at 26 weeks, with their weights ranging from one pound four ounces to two pounds.
The mum, originally from Venezuela, tackles the tricky task of caring for the four newborns alone, which is a struggle in itself.
She says money and time, no matter how much, is not an issue as she celebrates what a miracle the babies are.
She said: "We go through a box of diapers and wipes every three days, a large bottle of laundry detergent a week, and two huge cans of milk formula a week.
"I wish companies were more willing to help mums of higher multiples maybe with a discount, but most of the companies I've reached out to have refused to help.
"All of this doesn't even include the immense amount of medical bills from their NICU journey.
"We've had to be very open to taking on second-hand clothes and toys, so that's been free, but that's okay because I'd rather just make sure we're spending on the priorities.
"I have two strollers and tons of bags because things just aren't made big enough for four babies. It's not just a financial burden – it's exhausting too."
Raquel has her hands full changing around 40 nappies every day, with the real struggle being a stay-at-home mum who's left to care for the babies alone.
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She said: "It's been really difficult. We're really trying. Thankfully, we've friends and family that have helped us with diapers but it's not enough – we're taking it one day at a time and doing what we can.
"It's hard work around the clock. We keep feeding and changing to a very tight schedule because it's the only way to survive, I feed them and change them at the same time, with changing taking around 20 minutes at a time."
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