Britain's oldest mum of quadruplets, 51, celebrates her babies' first birthdays
Britain's oldest mum of quadruplets - a 51-year-old gran of eight - has celebrated her babies' first birthdays.
Tracey Britten hit the headlines last year when she gave birth to four IVF tots at 31 weeks.
After surviving a dramatic fight for life in intensive care, the babies defied the odds to see their first birthday yesterday (26/11).
Tracey, who has three adult children, celebrated by taking her one year olds to her mum's grave in Preston, Lancs.
Grandma Pauline Smith died in 2007 and left her daughter Tracey £7,000, which she spent on IVF to have the babies.
Tracey, who was raised in Preston but now lives in London, said: "If it wasn't for mum leaving me that inheritance then I wouldn't have been able to have the IVF.
"I've always wanted to do this on their first birthday, to say thank you to her."
The 51-year-old and her roofer husband Stephen, 40, explored the option of IVF after unsuccessfully trying for a baby naturally.
After being deemed too old for the treatment on the NHS the couple travelled to a clinic in Cyprus, where Tracey was successfully implanted first time.
She gave birth to George, identical twins Francesca and Fredrica and sister Grace, in London on October 26, 2018.
The miracle babies came into the world more than a decade after Pauline's death and Tracey said she had always been saving her mum's money "for a rainy day".
"When I couldn't get pregnant, I thought I'd put it towards that," she said.
"Mum always wanted one of her girls to have twins and so I feel blessed that I was able to do that for her.
"She was a wonderful person, she would give you her last penny."
Tracey describes Francesca as a "bossy boots", who if she cries, sets off Fredrica.
She said Grace "is her own person, nice and placid", and George is "laughing from when he gets up to when he goes to bed".
Tracey and Stephen met in 2005 and married seven years ago.
When Tracey found out she was pregnant with four babies last year she "nearly fell off the bed".
"I was crying, thinking I can't have seven kids, no way," Tracey said.
"I'd gone from three kids to seven in seconds. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.
"When I got home and told Stephen he was as happy as Larry. He just said at least we don't need to have any more."
Their joy turned to heartbreak during the pregnancy when doctors recommended two of the babies be aborted.
Scans revealed one of the identical twins was taking the blood supply of her sister and Tracey and Stephen were given just days to make a decision.
Tracey, a former drugs counsellor, sought advice from a doctor in the US who had delivered 120 quads and decided to "leave it up to nature".
"I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I'd have chosen the termination," Tracey said.
Fortunately the pregnancy went well and the babies all survived.
Tracey was a teenager when she had her older daughter and son and 28 when she had her third.
She's noticed plenty of differences in her approach to parenting now, more than two decades later.
"When you're young, you want to go out, go clubbing, go abroad and you get frustrated when you can't get a babysitter," Tracey said.
"But when you're older you're more relaxed and you've got that out of your system. I want to enjoy the blessing I've been given."
Due to their premature birth, the babies are not yet crawling, and only began sitting up six weeks ago.
Tracey said: "They will be mobile soon, but it doesn't bother me. I've got a big playpen and I will use that for when I need to go and do something in the house."