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How do gear girls live who surprised the whole world with their appearance in 1983


Source: Yandex Zen

37 years ago, the world's only gear girls were born in Liverpool who managed to survive after giving birth. Prior to that, their mother Janet Walton had more than ten unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, says the author of the blog "Mel" on Yandex Zen.

Photo: Shutterstock

The chance that children will be born was one in 104 billion

On that day, the ultrasound lasted a little longer than usual. Janet Walton noticed how the diagnostician changed his face when he saw the image on the screen, and asked what was the matter. He replied that everything was in order and that Mrs. Walton seemed to have twins.

For the spouses Janet and Graham Walton in five years, this was already the 13th attempt to have a child. Before this study, they decided: if the pill for conception, which Janet takes, and now do not work, the couple will adopt a child.

But after a few minutes, joy was replaced by anxiety. First, the diagnostician called one doctor, then another. Different specialists came into the room, and everyone was whispering among themselves. When Janet could not stand it and again asked what was the matter, she heard: “You will have six children.”

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One against 104 billion - such was the chance that such a pregnancy would go well. This is the same as putting one person against the entire population of the Earth, increased in 14-fold size. 37 years have passed since then, but every time, telling this story, Janet is worried.

But then, being in the center of events, the expectant mother felt surprisingly calm. At heart, she was sure that everything would be alright with the children.

Janet spent almost half a year in hospital before giving birth

On the day of the ultrasound, the expectant mother was in the eighth week of pregnancy. The next day she was admitted to the hospital, where she stayed until the birth. The birth of gears is an extremely rare occurrence, at that time only two such cases were known. The obstetric staff of the hospital, which was to have such a birth for the first time, was driven into a dead end.

“They put me in the gynecology department, because nowhere else in the hospital were there empty seats. Of course, for health reasons, I had absolutely nothing to do there. We just returned from vacation, I got a tan there and felt healthy. And then I was surrounded by mostly older women who were waiting for operations to remove the uterus and whispered after me: “Look, this is the one that is waiting for six,” recalls Janet.

23 weeks of gestation were to be the first critical point in the development of the fetus. Doctors believed that if Janet manages to maintain pregnancy until this time, then the girls have a chance to survive after childbirth. At 23 weeks, Janet felt that the children began to shove in her stomach. She managed to endure children up to a period of 31 weeks.

“The entire hospital staff was thrilled. But, I believe, there were people among them who were sure that I would not leave home with the six children I was bearing, ”the woman said.

Instead of names, girls first had numbers

On the day that the cesarean section was prescribed, Janet was absolutely calm. But outside her chamber, panic broke out. The preparation for surgery was very stressful for the doctors: all operations were canceled, and the maternity ward was closed.

Each child who was supposed to be born was engaged in a team of several specialists. The state of the mother was controlled by the seventh group. Janet gave birth under general anesthesia. Her first question, when she came to, was “Are they alive?”

And, to the surprise of many, they were alive. Six girls were born weighing from 1 to 1,6 kilograms. When the critical 48 hours passed, it became clear: these are the first gear-girls in the history who survived after childbirth. Journalists for convenience called them "child number one" or "child number five." Although at some point the doctors announced to the press on duty at the hospital that "child number two gives cause for concern." Today, this phrase has become a family joke: the second daughter, in adulthood, gives others concern, Janet jokes.

Screenshot: Real Stories / YouTube

The second child is Lucy, today she works on local airlines. Number one - Hannah, an elementary school teacher, lives with her parents. Number three, Ruth, she is the secretary. Number four, Sarah, is now on maternity leave, although she works at the medical center, and number five, Kate, is in the area of ​​staff recruitment. Number six, Jenny, runs her own pastry shop. In 2014, Sarah became the first of the sisters to be a mother. So another girl appeared in the Walton family, Georgie.

“We did not have time to think about what and how we are doing.”

“When the girls were born, I knew absolutely nothing. I did not have time to prepare. When I learned that I was pregnant in the eighth week, I was immediately locked up in the hospital, so I didn’t go to the school of young mothers, ”Janet recalls how she and her husband first brought six daughters home.

Screenshot: Wonder / YouTube

The first two years, Janet and Graham slept only a couple of hours a day, their life turned into an endless cycle of diapers and bottles for feeding. The couple used 11 thousand diapers per year. Graham, who worked as an artist and decorator, had to go on maternity leave after his wife to help her with the girls. “When they were small, there was more talc in our house than dust on the streets of London,” he laughs. The family was supported by nurses provided by local authorities.

Over time, the couple learned to cope with children. To go for a walk, Janet and Graham put baby girls in double strollers, and one more daughter in slings. If friends joined the walk, for such an occasion, the parents had a third double stroller in stock, in which they gladly rolled the girls.

Janet and Graham Walton. Screenshot: Real Families / YouTube

“Looking back, I can’t imagine how we managed. All these years have passed like in a fog. We did not have time to think about what and how we are doing. We could not even do any work on the mistakes, because the children were growing at the same time. It was a constant struggle, ”recalls Janet. The only thing she regrets is that she and her husband did not manage to enjoy the time when the girls grew up.

Graham agrees with his wife: "When I see young children, I want to go back and repeat everything again."

Multi-colored socks and a line at parent meetings

Raising six one-year-old children was not easy, but Janet’s natural organization and the fact that the girls loved their family very much helped. They were often shown on the news, sometimes invited to appear in commercials. So they helped parents earn a living. This sometimes allowed Graham, who had a family, to take a break from work and rest.

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The gear mom never wanted to dress the sisters in the same clothes, as many twin parents do. “Even when they went to school and began to wear uniforms, I had at my ready a basket with multi-colored elastic bands for hair and multi-colored socks, so that everyone could choose what she liked,” says Janet.

Although she, like any mother, sometimes gave up. For example, she was not easily given parent meetings. She even started a special notebook where she wrote down the most important of conversations with teachers. It was impossible to remember everything. “Other parents had to put up with the fact that they could stand forever in the queue to the teacher for us,” recalls Janet.

The Walton Family. Screenshot: Real Families / YouTube

All sisters, except the older Hannah, live a short drive from their parents' home. With age, they began to better understand how much effort parents put in to grow them and save their family. “I get tired looking after only one child, and she had six of us. I always admired mom, but now I appreciate her even more, ”says Sarah.

Janet, on the contrary, is glad that her granddaughter has only one so far: “Taking care of a single child is amazing.”

The original column is published in «Chalk» on Yandex Zen

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