Stacey's family says that everyone around her prayed, while the new mom remained relentlessly upbeat.
"I'd say, 'How's Emma doing today?' and she'd say, 'She'll have a better day tomorrow,'" John Carey, Stacey's father-in-law, remembers. "You know, she kept herself probably calm for Brendan and the family."
"I've never met somebody in my life that was just so able to overcome these things in her life, and she did it like it was a breeze," her sister, Katie Horan, said. "She's someone who I look up to very much and aspire to be like."
Slowly, the fragile babies came home, in what family members describe as a miracle. But they weren't out of the woods yet. During the winter, more hospital visits came, with baby Patrick struggling the most.
"Patrick, he wanted his mommy," Stacey's sister, Ellie, recalled. "He wanted to be held. And when she put him down to leave, she used to get so upset. Because she said that he would struggle more with his breathing when he wasn't being held. So she'd say, 'I just wanted to be there with him all the time.'"
As winter gave way to spring, Brendan and Stacey's sextuplets all started to get stronger. Today they are still defying expectations.
"A lot of how well a premature baby does depends on the home they go to," Dr. Cleary says. "They are doing as well as they are because of how great a mom she is.
With love and support and tears of joy, Stacey's proud family, friends, and loved ones are wishing the joyful mom a very happy Mother's Day as she continues to care for her miracle six.
"You know we all love you and we're just so proud of the mom that you are," Claire says. "I don't know how you do it every day."