FULL HOUSE: The Story of the Anderson Quintuplets by Karen with Jo Robinson Anderson

FULL HOUSE: The Story of the Anderson Quintuplets

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The mother's story of the Oregon quints born in 1973, from preconception to first school days. Karen Anderson had had six miscarriages before she began taking Clomid to help her achieve regular periods. Unexpectedly, the drug had a fertility side effect and brought motherhood in spades. The Anderson's had already adopted two boys from birth, Eric, Jr. and Paul, whom they'd begun raising in a trailer before building a home. Karen has a nearly superhuman will for parenting, shared by her husband Eric, but she was stunned when her X-rays seemingly revealed not the twins she thought she was carrying but quads. She was so abnormally distended that from the third month she looked in the ninth and then kept on growing. Lying in bed she could watch the babies' every gesture and move within the taut blue-veined wall of her skin. At the start of her sixth month, it was clear that the pregnancy would end prematurely--there was no room left in her for expansion. Then, on her own birthday, she went into labor and only during delivery did the fifth child account for her size. The fifth preemie, a daughter (two were girls), was not expected to live but pulled through, with Karen caring for her at home. After birth, the Andersons were swamped with offers from various companies. They refused all offers that would spotlight their children in advertising hoopla, but accepted a no-strings offer of free baby food from Gerber. The quints have led a remarkably normal home life, cared for by their mother, though Diane had a rough period as a blue baby. When they eventually entered first grade, Karen was disoriented with her newfound free time. At journal's end she's looking forward with dread to the quints' teen-age problems--all of them quintupled. Sprightly, with the reader's feelings building as the children age.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1986
Publisher: Little, Brown