An account of the birth of six babies (sextuplets) to a couple in Co. Tyrone made big news in Ireland recently. What appears to have been a major obsession with the media here, however, is the fact that the babies were conceived naturally, and not ‘as a result of IVF’.
An interesting piece was published in the London Independent in relation to the story, and I think it deserves to be reproduced here:
‘Nuala Conway and her husband, the County Tyrone couple who have just become the proud, if somewhat apprehensive, parents of sextuplets, are by all accounts very keen for people to know that the multiple birth was not the result of IVF, making it all the more extraordinary.
‘What is just as remarkable, though, is that they thought they were expecting twins until only a month before the birth, when doctors dropped the bombshell that there would be four more babies than they had expected.
‘It never fails to astonish and, frankly, delight me that in the 21st century, with some scientists refining cloning techniques and others working out how to land a man on Mars, something that happens every second of every day – childbirth – can still confound all the scanners, all the doctors, all the textbooks, in all the world.’