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Real Life

EXCLUSIVE: Miracle quads turn one

Natalie, Kahn and the siblings celebrated with
a happy chaotic balloon and cake-filled party.

By Natalee Fuhrmann
The room is full of balloons but the one Natalie Te Aroha carried around on her tummy for eight months is missing.
"And I'm glad that's behind me," laughs the 31-year-old mum-of-five, who sums up her giant quadruplet pregnancy in one word: "Uncomfortable!"
Having been with Natalie during that challenging pregnancy and for the birth, Woman's Day is excited to celebrate the quads' first birthday party at the family's Bunbury, WA home.
The floor is alive with girls Maddi, Frankee and Marley, and their brother Maioha (pronounced My-or-ha), all in various stages of walk-crawling.
Meanwhile, proud big sister Kiana, three, is fussing over her little brood, and all five squeal with delight when the balloon blowing begins.
"This last year has been a blur," confesses Natalie, who admits to feeling she's been knee-deep in soiled nappies and no sleep since her four babies arrived last July. "I think I was living 
in a fantasy world when I was pregnant. I wasn't thinking about the reality of being a mum of four newborns, until 
I started living it."
"It's really hard and non-stop. There is always someone to feed, a backside to clean, food to be made and a baby to put to sleep. It's hardest when one of them is sick, and since Christmas last year, I've always had at least one sick baby."
But the former personal trainer cannot remember life before having her beloved children.
Maioha, Frankee, Maddison and Marley tuck into their birthday cake. (Image: Jessica Oud/Woman's Day)
"I'm too busy!" laughs Natalie. "I don't even take phone calls any more. I look at messages at the end of the day when everyone's asleep."
Natalie suffers from anovulation – where the body produces eggs that don't release – and was self-injecting a hormone to help her conceive when she got pregnant with the quads.
When she and husband Kahn, 34, heard four little heartbeats during the ultrasound, she was shocked. "My jaw dropped in disbelief."
The fit mum's tummy grew... and grew ... and grew, and even though it was painful, she was determined to see her babies through to at least 34 weeks.
Some loose tummy skin is all that remains of the big stretch, and Natalie is proud of regaining her fitness.
The non-identical quads have been keeping the family busy since their arrival last July (Image: Jessica Oud/Woman's Day)
"I exercise about five to six days per week in my home gym and at yoga, but my priority is to no longer 'look' a certain way – it is to put my health first and be a great role model to my beautiful children," she says.
Online, super-toned Natalie continues to inspire a legion 
of followers on social media as Kiki and The Quads, posting most of her workouts and "real pictures" of the parts of her body that no exercise will fix.
"We should be proud of what our bodies have done, not criticise them for what they look like. I am still on the self-love journey," she says.
Back on the floor, the one thing more exciting than chasing a balloon, is smashing a birthday cake, especially if you've never tasted one before.
The family enjoyed a fun filled day. (Image: Jessica Oud/Woman's Day)
Each quad sat for 10 minutes gorging on they-still-don't-know-what, while last-born Maddi, lingered longest.
"Maddi has a whole deck of teeth now," laughs Natalie.
"She's our super-chilled, cuddly girl, who happily plays by herself."
"Maioha is the opposite. He's snuggly but very sooky, the most demanding of all 
of them. Frankee is the one with blue eyes, and she has just broken her habit of pulling everyone's hair, thank goodness. She loves playing and will sit for a full minute with a blanket on her head, waiting for someone to walk by and play peekaboo."
Natalie had 
a caesarean 
at 34 weeks... Instagram
"And Marley is our tiniest and most mischievous baby. She 
is into everything – drawers, people's bags..."
With every minute of every day so jam-packed, it's hard 
to imagine how a marriage might survive, but the Te Arohas are trying.
"We never get free until about 9pm, so it's hard," says Natalie, who has no plans for more babies.
"We make an effort to do stuff together, but the spontaneity we once had has gone.
"Thankfully, we have lots of family and friends who allow 
us to get out. We are actually enjoying this whole experience because of our amazing network of helpers."

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